In recent years, photodynamic therapy has become a viable solution for treating a string of skin conditions ranging from acne to precancerous lesions. PDT is practically non-invasive and performed with FDA-approved photosensitizers. We provide this treatment at Dermatology & Skin Care Associates, located in Mason, Ohio. Visit our website or give us a call today to set up your first appointment.
How PDT Works
Photodynamic therapy is the latest advance in skin rejuvenation. This course of treatment uses either blue light or intense pulsed light — also known as IPL — in order to treat skin that was damaged by the sun or skin affected by rosacea, many types of acne and even actinic keratoses.
PDT also requires the use of a photosensitizer agent that gets applied to the skin beforehand. Levulan (5-aminolevulinic acid) and Metvix (methyl aminolevulinate) are the two photosensitizers used for PDT skin rejuvenation with Levulan being a slightly more popular choice among dermatologists.
By using photosensitizers and exposing the skin to a source of light, photodynamic therapy leads to the development of activated oxygen molecules that damage and eliminate targeted cells and tissue. PDT comes as an upgrade to standard cryosurgery since it can treat almost all instances of actinic keratoses.
What a PDT Session Looks Like
Before we begin, we might take photos of the targeted area to compare them with the result. We’ll make sure you’re comfortable before we prepare the skin with a cleanser like alcohol or acetone. We’ll then apply the photosensitizer on the skin we’re about to treat and wait for it to incubate. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, even longer for areas like the back, chest, and legs.
Once we decide that the incubation is complete, we will expose you to blue light or IPL. While photodynamic therapy is ongoing, you might feel sensations of heat, warmth or a light tingling.
Pre- and Post-Treatment Care
It’s crucial to avoid sun exposure before and after going through photodynamic therapy. Performing PDT on tanned skin is impossible. After the treatment, it’s best to stay away from the sun for 48 hours. Otherwise, you risk the reactivation of the photosensitizer.
At Dermatology & Skin Care Associates, located in Mason, Ohio, we will sit down with you and discuss the entire procedure. We’ll be there for you before, during and after the treatment to provide you with the right instructions and aid. Give us a call today or visit our website to schedule your first consultation!