What is Photodynamic Therapy?
Photodynamic Therapy uses light to destroy unwanted tissue and produce beneficial reactions. It helps those with cystic acne, rosacea and certain precancerous spots.
How does Photodynamic Therapy work?
A photosensitizer drug is administered to the patient topically or through an injection. When light from the laser is directed on tissue containing the drug, it becomes activated, and the tissue is rapidly destroyed.
Who are candidates for Photodynamic Therapy?
Those with severe acne, rosacea or sun damage are the best candidates for the treatment.
Is there any downtime?
Patients can return to regular activities immediately following the procedure; however, they must stay out of the sun for a few weeks after treatment.
Are there side effects?
Every patient will experience some skin photosensitivity. Swelling, inflammation, nausea and fever are other possible side effects.
What are the results?
Results can appear after one treatment, but, for the best results, most patients undergo a series of treatments. Acne is reduced within three treatments, and rosacea is improved within five treatments. For those with stubborn acne, Photodynamic Therapy provides a permanent solution.
How soon will results appear?
Results can appear after one treatment, but, for the best results, most patients undergo three to five treatments.
How long does the procedure last?
A treatment session lasts from fifteen to forty-five minutes.
How does the procedure feel?
The procedure is painless.
Who should avoid Photodynamic Therapy?
Pregnant women, those who have taken Accutane® in the past three months and those with cold sores should not undergo Photodynamic Therapy.
What are alternative treatments?
Topical creams and oral antibiotics are other ways to treat to acne and rosacea. Laser photorejuvenation and chemical peels are alternatives which treat sun damage. Surgery is an alternative for treating precancerous conditions.
Are additional treatments necessary?
Some patients may benefit from just one treatment; however, most patients undergo three to five treatments.
Instructions before treatment:
Three months before the treatment, do not take Accutane® or medications containing aspirin or other anti-coagulants.