Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is very effective in treating resistant and cystic acne as well as actinic keratoses, warts, sun damage, and other skin problems. In the past Accutane has been used for these conditions, but Accutane has serious side effects including: joint pains, liver damage, skin and lip dryness, as well as (rarely) severe psychological problems. PDT resolves these skin conditions with relatively brief, minor irritation. PDT can also work for those who have tried Accutane unsuccessfully.
How does PDT work?
A photosensitizer called aminolevulinic acid is applied to the skin and is absorbed by the hair follicles, oil glands, bacteria and rapidly growing cells. Blue Light or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is then applied to the skin. The light destroys acne bacteria (P.acnes) and reduces the output of over active oil glands in the skin. The result is that pimples heal and pores remain open, preventing further outbreaks.
After PDT, a small amount of activated substance remains in the skin for 24 to 48 hours. Sunlight and even indoor light may affect this and cause redness and itching. Use of sunscreen and a hat will diminish these undesired effects. This is why we strongly recommend doing PDT treatments in the late afternoon to evening and spending the day after your PDT treatment indoors. We suggest that, even on the following day, you wear strong sun block and a hat when you go outside.
Sunburn-like redness and mild swelling, as well as some peeling, are all common after PDT treatment. Swelling lasts for a day or two, redness and peeling persist for about a week.
Most patients will require about three treatments at a frequency of once a month, but the exact number of sessions required will depend on the severity of your condition.
During your free initial consultation, Dr. Rivkin will evaluate your skin and recommend the most effective course of treatment. He will explain the procedure in detail, and recommend a acne skin treatment for maintaining healthy skin.
Dr. Rivkin’s patients know that they can get in touch with him at any time. He’s always in the office at Westside Aesthetics, and is personally involved in every treatment.
Contact our Los Angeles, California office to learn more about Photodynamic Therapy, or to schedule a free consultation.