Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an effective non-surgical procedure for various skin imperfections, including acne, sun-damage, pre-cancers (actinic keratosis) and inflammatory rosacea.
What is Photodynamic Therapy?
Photodynamic therapy or phototherapy is a procedure that utilizes a combination of a topical light-absorbing agent and a specific type of light. They work together to accomplish various cosmetic goals, as well as successfully treat precancers.
How Photodynamic Therapy Works
The light-absorbing agent is applied to the entire region of skin that is to be treated. It takes between 30 minutes and two hours for the agent to be properly absorbed, depending on the patient’s skin condition and the level of light to be used. Once the PDT agent has incubated in the skin for the required length of time, a wavelength of the light is engaged. The wavelength determines how far the light will travel into the body to work in conjunction with the PDT agent to treat the particular skin issue. Several types of light may be used to drive the solution deeper into the skin for the greatest cosmetic results. The light and the PDT agent work to put acne into remission for months especially when used in conjunction with other treatments. This treatment can also improve acne scarring. With a series of treatments, it can also help prevent skin cancers.
What is the Downtime?
Some patients may experience mild discomfort similar to a mild sunburn after the procedure, including redness and peeling. This typically lasts for up to five days.
Due to the varying types of light used during the procedure, the treated skin will become extremely sensitive to light for about 48 hours. During this time, we recommend strict sun avoidance and sun protection including hats, sun-protective clothing, and sunscreen with SPF 30+ as directed.
PDT’s side effects are minimal, and most of the patients require 6 treatment sessions depending on your skin condition.
For more information about Photodynamic Therapy, or to schedule a Photodynamic Therapy consultation, please contact Dr. Garramone’s office today at 239-482-1900.