Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a procedure that uses a photosensitizing drug to apply light therapy selectively to target pre-skin cancers, acne and sun damage.
What is photodynamic therapy used to treat?
PDT can help clear the skin of actinic keratoses which are premalignant growths in sun-exposed areas, mainly the face, chest, arms and hands. It is also effective for moderate-severe acne. A series of treatments can put acne into remission for months as well as reversing some scarring without taking oral medications. When used on sun damaged skin the results achieved are better and faster than when using the light alone.
What would I expect at a photodynamic therapy treatment?
The skin will be cleansed thoroughly. Then an acetone scrub would be done to degrease the skin in order to increase and assure even penetration of the acid. The aminolevulinic acid, a clear liquid, will be applied to the entire surface of the skin that is to be treated. This will incubate, or be absorbed, for 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on your condition and the light used.
The doctor will then use a machine called an intensed pulsed light to treat the face.
Are there side effects?
The most common after effect is redness which usually abates after 24 to 48 hours. Peeling may also occur but is usually mild. Depending on the severity of the patients existing skin damage prior to treatment and the intensity of the treatment itself, these side effects will vary. This should be discussed with your doctor prior to treatment.
Do I need a consult before scheduling a photodynamic therapy treatment?
Yes. The doctor will need to evaluate your skin and determine if photodynamic therapy is the right treatment choice for you. Risks and benefits will be discussed and you will have an opportunity to ask questions about the treatment.
How do I schedule a consult?
To schedule a consultation with Dr Robyn Gmyrek or Dr Julide Celebi at the Aesthetic Skin and Laser Center, please call (212)326-8889.