Photodynamic Therapy: A Successful Treatment for Sun Damaged Skin
December 20, 2016
Photodynamic therapy is a great way to restore your skin to a more vibrant and youthful appearance. Using new state-of-the art technology, photodynamic therapy effectively and efficiently treats sun damage and sun-related hyperpigmentation. This new, gentle technique is great at correcting and removing precancerous conditions from years spent in the sun.
How Does It Work?Photodynamic therapy utilizes a photosensitizing agent that is placed on the skin and combined with a light source which activates the agent. Common agents used include Levulan Kerastick and Aminolevulinic Acid, a safe, natural solution that our bodies already make. The solution will remain on the skin for fifteen to sixty minutes. Once applied, a wavelength of light is then placed on the skin using an LED blue light or an Intense Pulsed Light Source (IPL) and left in place for eight to ten minutes. Alternate light sources may be used for severe scars or blemishes. The combination of the solution on the skin and the wavelength of light causes a reaction which creates healthier, smoother skin appearance. Treatment can be slightly uncomfortable as it may create a burning or hot sensation, though most patients report that it is not unbearable. The skin may appear red and irritated during treatment, but the results are often very dramatic, particularly for individuals who have experienced years of sun-damaged skin.
After Treatment CarePhotodynamic therapy sessions should be repeated in order to achieve optimal results. The number of treatments that are needed will depend on the severity and condition of the skin, but most patients have at least three. Due to the stress that the therapy puts on the skin, the treatments should be spaced at least three weeks apart. Swelling and moderate to severe redness similar to a sunburn are common after treatment. Peeling of the skin may also occur. These symptoms should fade within one week. As the healing begins, the damaged skin and sun spots will decrease, along with fine lines and wrinkles as new collagen is produced. It is important to the healing process to avoid sun after treatment for at least two days and to regularly use sunscreen thereafter.
Advantages to Photodynamic TherapyThere are many advantages to photodynamic therapy, including the following:
- It is not a surgical procedure
- The treatment can heal acne lesions very rapidly
- Old acne scars will also go away
- No scarring occurs from the treatment
- Few side effects will occur
- Your skin will appear fresh and younger