We are happy to provide PDT, or photodynamic therapy, to our patients who want to improve the appearance of their skin by treating acne and precancerous lesions. Historically, actinic keratoses were treated by freezing. This method of treatment, however, could be uncomfortable, leaving small blisters on the skin throughout the healing process.
In addition to treating precancerous lesions on the face and body, PDT also improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and poor pigmentation caused by sun damage. Patients who have large pores or diffuse redness also respond well to photodynamic therapy.
Photodynamic therapy is a gentle, effective light treatment that incorporates the use of a very specific photosensitizing medication, Levulan. This solution reaches damaged cells quickly and causes light sensitivity. The following application of light subsequently destroys damaged cells and allows fresh, healthy skin to shine through.
There are several benefits to Levulan PDT treatment, including:
- Only damaged and diseased cells are destroyed by PDT with Levulan; healthy tissue is preserved.
- Healthy tissue is preserved. Skin begins to recover immediately.
- Because the topical medication is absorbed into the skin, it is possible to treat damaged cells that have yet to reach the surface.
- No scarring occurs from PDT treatment and there is minimal recovery time needed after treatment.
What to expect
When you visit Foothill Cosmetic Surgery Center in Glendora, you will have the opportunity to meet with an experienced medical team to discuss your concerns. When photodynamic therapy is incorporated into the personalized treatment plan, these sessions are scheduled about a week apart. Most patients see a vast improvement with just a few treatment sessions, each of which can take a few hours.
Before the application of photosensitizing solution, the skin is cleansed and degreased with a mild acetone scrub. Levulan is then evenly applied over the treatment area and left on for up to two hours for full absorption. The time frame for each patient will vary based on specific need and will be discussed prior to the treatment session.
At the designated time, a blue or red light will be directed towards the skin. Most patients sit in front of our specialized lamp for only a few minutes. During the first five minutes, slight discomfort is likely as the medication is activated by light. Patients may improve comfort with a fan to cool the skin.
Following PDT treatment, the skin will likely be quite red. Sun protection is EXTREMELY important in the first 48 hours after treatment due to the fact that the sensitizing agent is still active. Over the course of about a week, redness and swelling will gradually dissipate. Areas where damaged cells have been destroyed may feel slightly irritated and may crust and peel.
The Foothill Cosmetic Surgery Center team seeks to help each patient enjoy healthy, attractive skin. Learn more about us and our various treatments in consultation with our experienced team.