Photodynamic Therapy Blu-U Light
What is Photodynamic Therapy?
Photodynamic Therapy uses light to destroy unwanted tissue and produce beneficial reactions. It helps those with cystic acne, rosacea and certain precancerous spots(actinic keratosis). This therapy is also used for the treatment of photodamaged skin by reducing the appearance of fine lines and blotchy skin tone. Skin oiliness is decreased and the appearance of pores is minimized. The entire skin texture improves following Photodynamic Therapy.
How does Photodynamic Therapy work?
A photosensitizing drug called Levulan (5-aminolevulinic acid or ALA) is administered to the patient topically. Levulan is a “natural” product found in all humans. When certain wavelengths of light from the laser or BLU-U are directed on tissue containing the drug, it becomes activated, and the tissue is rapidly destroyed.
Who are candidates for Photodynamic Therapy?
Those with severe acne, rosacea, actinic keratosis, or sun damage are the best candidates for the treatment.
Is there any downtime?
You can return to your normal activities following PDT. However, we advise remaining indoors the day of and following your treatment, as you are photosensitized for about twenty-four to forty-eight hours after having the therapy.
Are there side effects?
Every patient will experience some skin photosensitivity. Swelling, inflammation, nausea and fever are other possible side effects. You will be red and have some peeling and possible crusting for several days after the treatment. Usually, the first and second days are the worst. Pressed mineral based make-up will conceal the redness and is available in our MeSpa. A list of post-procedure instructions will be given to you as well.
What are the results?
Results can appear after one treatment, but, for the best results, most patients undergo a series of treatments. Acne is reduced within three to four treatments, and rosacea is improved within four to five treatments. Precancerous lesions usually respond in one to two treatments. For those with stubborn acne, Photodynamic Therapy provides an excellent solution.
How soon will results appear?
Results can appear after one treatment, but, for the best results, most patients undergo three to five treatments.
Treatments are scheduled every two to six weeks depending on the condition.
How long does the procedure last?
The Levulan is incubated on the skin for thirty to sixty minutes prior to the light therapy. A light therapy session lasts from eight to thirty minutes depending on the condition.
How does the procedure feel?
The procedure has minimal discomfort. Some patients experience mild burning and itching which is resolved with the use of a facial fan.
Who should avoid Photodynamic Therapy?
Pregnant women, those who have taken Accutane® in the past three months and those with cold sores should not undergo Photodynamic Therapy.
What are alternative treatments?
Topical creams and oral antibiotics are other ways to treat to acne and rosacea. Laser photorejuvenation and chemical peels are alternatives which treat sun damage. Surgery is an alternative for treating precancerous conditions.
Are additional treatments necessary?
Some patients may benefit from just one treatment; however, most patients undergo three to five treatments.
Instructions before treatment:
Three months before the treatment, do not take Accutane® or medications containing aspirin or other anti-coagulants.
Instructions after treatment:
Patients must avoid sun exposure and use sunscreen.