Photodynamic Therapy

Time for a beautiful face with Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic therapy delivers amazing results!

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a non-invasive procedure used to treat a variety of skin conditions. It is a special treatment performed with a topical photosensitizing agent called Levulan (5-aminolevulinic acid or ALA), which is activated with the correct wavelength of light. This treatment is also commonly referred to as “ALA or PDT treatment”, Levulan fotofacial or Photodynamic Acne Therapy.

What is photodynamic therapy used to treat?

  • • Acne
  • • Rosacea
  • • Sebaceous Gland Hyperplasia
  • • Actinic Keratosis

Photodynamic Therapy Frequently Asked Questions

What is photodynamic therapy?

PDT is used to treat sun damage, pre-cancerous regions on the skin (actinic keratosis), acne and rosacea. It is performed by placing the topical photosensitizing agent Levulan on the treatment area, which is activated with a specific wavelength of light. This treatment corrects the damaged skin.

How does PDT work?

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of acne and other skin diseases involves the use of photochemical reactions to photosensitizing agents, light, and oxygen. PDT involves two steps. First, the photo-sensitizer is applied to the skin surface and taken up by the acne lesions.Then a specific wavelength of blue and/or light is directed toward the acne lesions, activating the photo-sensitizer in the presence of oxygen.
Because the photo-sensitizer is preferentially absorbed by the acne lesions and the light source is directly targeted on the lesional tissue, PDT achieves dual selectivity, minimizing damage to adjacent healthy structures. PDT is mediated by oxygen-dependent photochemical reactions, resulting in the destruction of the acne or actinic lesions.
The purpose of lasers in PDT is to initiate photochemical reactions, and not to heat or mechanically change tissue as seen in other dermatologic uses.

Who is a good candidate for PDT?

Patients with the following conditions are good candidates for PDT treatments:

How many PDT treatments will I need?

Many patients need multiple PDT treatments, but the number of treatments depends on what problem you are trying to correct. In many cases, patients will have 4-6 treatments. During a consultation with one of our expert providers in Newport Beach, we will assess your needs and determine how many treatments you will need.

What are the advantages of PDT for treating skin pre-cancer?

The benefit of PDT for treating pre-cancerous lesions is its ability to target specific areas. PDT also decreases the risk of skin discoloration that is often caused by routine freezing with liquid nitrogen.

How much downtime should I expect after a PDT treatment?

Most patients experience 5 to 7 days of downtime after photodynamic therapy treatments. You should avoid direct exposure to the sun for 1-2 days after PDT,

What are the side effects of Photodynamic Therapy?

PDT side effects are minimal. Most patients experience redness immediately after the treatment, but it will fade after one week. However, as with all laser procedures, side effects can include swelling, inflammation, redness and tenderness around the treatment area. Patients who are being treated for actinic keratosis will find that their skin begins to peel days 3-5 and then they are pink for about another 5-7 days.

How much does PDT cost?

The cost of PDT varies from patient to patient depending on the goals of the treatment.

What is Levulan?

Levulan is a photosensitizing substance that has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of actinic keratosis. Levulan is activated by light to treat skin pre-cancers, sun damage, acne and rosacea.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) Treats
Age Spots