Is Photodynamic Therapy Right for You?
If you’ve become troubled by persistent acne, sun damage, mottled skin tone, rough texture, or precancerous spots, you may be wondering what you can do to get meaningful, lasting improvement. The answer might be photodynamic therapy. We are pleased to offer this nonsurgical treatment to patients of our Highlands, NC office. Here, we discuss what PDT is and why it might be just what your skin needs.
Photorejuvenation with ALA-PDT
ALA, aminolevulinic acid, is a liquid photosensitizer that soaks into the skin quickly after it is applied. This acid is specifically attracted to oil glands and sun-damaged tissue, including precancerous skin cells. The metabolic activity within these cells converts the ALA into porphyrin, a chemical that is highly sensitive to light. The application of ALA precedes the use of intense pulsed light therapy to elicit superheating in the cells that have converted ALA to porphyrin. The heating that occurs destroys the damaged cells and shrinks oil glands.
Benefits of Photodynamic Therapy
- In addition to reduced hyperpigmentation from sun damage, patients often notice smoother skin texture and subtler lines and wrinkles.
- PDT is an excellent acne treatment because it destroys acne-causing bacteria while simultaneously shrinking the sebaceous glands that produce oil.
- Patients with rosacea may also achieve good results using PDT as a periodic therapy for maintenance.
- Photodynamic therapy is revered as one of the best treatments for actinic keratosis, pre-cancerous spots on the skin.
Are You a Candidate for PDT?
Photodynamic therapy is typically suitable for people with acne, sun-damaged skin, moderate to severe rosacea, and actinic keratoses. Treatment is not appropriate for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or for patients who have recently taken isotretinoin. Patients who have an active cold sore should postpone treatment to avoid a flare-up. Also, PDT should be scheduled during a time of year when sun exposure can be limited. Treatment should not be performed if one has recently tanned.
There are numerous ways in which the skin may be affected by sun, stress, and other factors. Fortunately, there are also several remedies that can address the problems that result. To learn more about photodynamic therapy, call (828) 526-3783.