Photo Dynamic Therapy
Photodynamic therapy is a medical treatment that uses a photosensitizing chemical that is activated by blue light or IPL. It is used to treat pre-cancerous skin lesions known as actinic keratoses and nonmelanoma skin cancers. It is also recommended for patients with severe active acne, acne scars as well as severe sun damage, rosacea and psoriasis. It works by aggressively targeting and destroying cancerous cells, bacteria and fungus that cause cystic and severe chronic acne.
Our Board Certified Dermatologist uses the photosensitizer Levulan Kerastick (aminolevulinic acid) for photodynamic therapy treatment.
The treatment consists of two steps. First, the medication is applied to the skin and depending on what condition you are treating, it is left on for 1-3 hours which is called the incubation process. Since the topical cream makes the skin sensitive to light, the next step is the activation process where your skin is exposed to Blu-U Light, IPL (Intense Pulse Light), or both for up to 20 minutes in order to activate the medication. For precancerous skin lesions and nonmelanoma skin cancers, one treatment is typically needed. If you are treating active acne or acne scars, sun damage, rosacea and psoriasis usually three treatments spread out 4-6 weeks is needed for optimal results. After the photodynamic treatment, your skin will be extremely sensitive to light especially to sunlight. It's recommended to stay indoors and out of direct sunlight for at least the first 48 hours. Recovery time on average is between one to two weeks. The skin will still be sensitive even after it is visibly healed which is why it is imperative to avoid sun exposure as much as possible by wearing a protective covering.