Acne is a genetic, hormonal disease characterized by overproduction of oil by the sebaceous glands, plugging of the sebaceous glands to form micro- and macro- comedones (blackheads) and, finally, action of skin bacteria on oil trapped underneath the skin, to produce red inflammatory cystic lesions.
There has been some interest and some research in Photodynamic Therapy of acne. With Photodynamic Therapy, a drug that is activated by light is applied to the skin. After a certain period, the drug is then washed off and the skin is exposed to light. That light energy causes the release of singlet oxygen molecules, which have the biologic effect of killing P. acnes, the bacteria responsible for the production of acne. The light also causes involution of the sebaceous glands, which means they shrink thus producing less and less oil. The Photodynamic Therapy Treatment involves a several-step process, done in the clinic.
First, the skin is cleansed and disinfected acetone, followed by Levulan® which is applied to the skin. After a 60 minute waiting period, the Levulan is washed off and the skin is exposed to a light source which, in the case of acne, is Blue Light. The skin is then carefully cleansed after the treatment.
Photodynamic Therapy represents an entirely new modality of treating acne, which seems to be well-tolerated. It may, in fact, become the best treatment for mild to moderate or even severe, acne that has ever been available to date.
Can I Combine This With Other Treatments?
Yes! Combination therapies yield some of the most remarkable results. Your Medical Aesthetican will guide you as to the best combination treatments for your skin concerns.
What Areas Can Be Treated?
Face, Neck, Chest, and Back, and essentially any other areas that could benefit from a deep-cleansing of the skin.
How Often Should I Do This Treatment?
Depending on your skin concern, Photodynamic Therapy can be done 2-4 weeks apart. For best results, your Aesthetician will guide you in the most productive direction.
How Do I Prepare for This Treatment?
Please avoid using any retinols or products with active ingredients at least 5 days prior as your skin may be more sensitive. Be sure to let your esthetician know any products currently in your skincare regimen.
If receiving skin treatments while using medications such as Accutane, make sure to mention this to your attending esthetician before treatment begins.
Is There Downtime?
Please avoid using any retinols or products with active ingredients at least 5 days prior as your skin may be more sensitive. Be sure to let your esthetician know any products currently in your skincare regimen. If receiving skin treatments while using medications such as Accutane, make sure to mention this to your attending esthetician before treatment begins.
How Often Should I Get This Treatment?
For best results and to support your skin health’s long-term goals, 4 – 6 sessions of treatment is recommended at one month intervals. Maintenance treatments should always be a consideration as our skin is exposed and aging daily.
Always wear sunscreen with SPF30 or higher following a Photodynamic Therapy treatment (even in the winter months). It is important to guard against sun exposure for 48 hours after the treatment as some of the Photodynamic Agents may linger on the skin. Do not apply make-up for at least 4 hours. Do not exfoliate for a minimum 48 hours after treatment. Other specified instructions will be given upon completion of your appointment
Book your consultation to see how our Photodynamic Therapy can have you looking your best, or ask us how you can protect your most visible asset, and keep your skin clear and beautiful with at-home skin care recommendations. Contact us now.