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Photodynamic Therapy

PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY FOR ACNE

Thanks to technological advancement, you don’t need to walk around with acne on your face. Acne creates a horrifying cycle of low esteem, anxiety, self-isolation, and depression. Our goal at Albany’s Cosmetic and Laser center in Edmonton is to clear your skin and prevent future breakouts. We will also help lessen existing scars and stop future scarring.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment that uses laser light to kill acne-causing bacteria. The light is absorbed by a photosensitizer, which produces oxygen that destroys the bacteria. PDT can be used to treat severe acne. The most common side effect of PDT is temporary skin redness and sensitivity to sunlight. You should avoid direct sunlight for at least 48 hours after treatment.

How does Photodynamic Therapy work?

Three components are required for photodynamic therapy: Photosensitizers are topically applied solutions that induce the production of light-absorbing molecules called porphyrins by some types of aberrant cells. This modification enables the light treatment to target the aberrant cells that contribute to acne. PDT is distinguished from other kinds of phototherapy by the use of photosensitizers.

After applying a topical photosensitizer, the skin is activated using a medical light source. This source of light may emit blue, red, or strong pulsed light (IPL). A physician will determine the optimal light source for each patient. When combined with the photosensitizer and oxygen, light aids in the destruction of acne cells and germs. Additionally, photodynamic therapy lowers the size and activity of the sebaceous glands on the skin. Acne is caused by the overactivity and irritation of these glands.

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You can improve or eliminate acne by using new technologies and sophisticated procedures and tools. Therefore, Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is one of the ways.

Photodynamic Therapy for acne is the fastest and most efficient treatment in Edmonton to stop acne and clear your skin forever. The procedure doesn’t require harmful oral drugs or continuous antibiotics doses. These drugs require rigid compliance and cause antibiotic resistance.

Photodynamic Therapy Summary

Session Duration

Each session take about two to three hours to be completed

Downtime

You need to plan to stay home for one week after the initial treatment

Session numbers

Most patients gets only one session every one to two years

Level of Discomfort

High. We will provide you with after care instruction to help you during the first week

Session Frequency

Photodynamic Therapy should not be treated more than two times a year
Results
Patients started to see the results on acne immediately after the treatments

Photodynamic Therapy FAQs

Fast treatment of facial acne It doesn’t require surgical excisions The skin will look younger and refreshed after the treatment No scarring It did not cause systemic side effects
We recommend 2 to 3 treatments at a two to three-week intervals for best results. But severe acne lesions may need five sessions.
Photodynamic Therapy is a process that you’ll see and feel. You can experience peeling and Redness after the treatment
1. On the day of treatment, please arrive with CLEAN SKIN (wash area prior to appointment) and the treatment area free of makeup, moisturizing creams, sunscreens, fragrances, or lotions. 2. Anyone with thick, dense hair in the chosen treatment region should shave the area two days prior to treatment. Shave the treated region for at least three days following treatment. 3. Bring sun protection gear to your appointment to protect you during the incubation period and on the way home. We recommend bringing sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and a scarf. If your hands or arms are being treated, you should wear gloves and long sleeves. The team has several side effects (such swelling, irritation, scabbing, crusting, and discomfort) that are significantly increased with ANY sun exposure, including INDIRECT exposure in the 96 hours following therapy. Cover the treatment area prior to leaving the office and throughout the duration of incubation. 3. Allow 2.5 hours at our office. This includes the 90–120 minute incubation period and the approximately 17 minute Blue Light activation period. 4. If history cold sores” or “fever blisters”) in the regions being treated, inform us so that we can prescribe medicine to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak following treatment. 5. Kindly inform us if you have any contraindications to PDT or Blue Light Therapy, such as pregnancy, lupus, porphyria, allergies, or intolerance to Levulan, PDT, or 400-450 nm blue light. 6. For one week prior to PDT, discontinue usage of all topical vitamin A preparations (such as Differi Retin-A and Tazorac). 1 month following your second treatment, you may resume these drugs. 7. Please notify us if you are taking any of the following medications, as they may exacerbate your reaction and increase your side effects: griseofulvin, sulfonamides (sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim combinations such as Bactrim or Septra) and antipsychotic medications), and tetracyclines (doxycycline, tetracycline, minocycline). 8. Please keep in mind that the most common side effects of treatment are scaling/crusting, skin lightening and/or darkening (hyper/hyperpigmentation), and itching. These symptoms often resolve within 5-7 days but may last several weeks. 9. Please refrain from wearing jewelry to your visit if you are having an extremity treated. Due to the possibility of swelling, you will be advised to avoid wearing jewelry for three days following your treatment. Wearing jewelry can result in a loss of circulation and, in extreme cases, amputation. 10. You must bring the following items to your visit and keep them at home for usage following treatment: • A hat with a wide brim for facial and scalp treatments. • Gloves for treatment of the upper extremities and long-sleeved garments for the treatment of all extremities. • A gentle cleanser without active chemicals or perfumes, such as CeraVe, Cetaphil, or Dove Unscented. • A high-quality sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 (we recommend zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as sunscreen ingredients). • A thick moisturizing cream without active chemicals or perfumes, such as CeraVe, Cetaphil, Eucerin, or Aveeno.
Avoid direct sunlight and bright indoor lighting for 48 hours following your treatment: • Limit your time in front of a computer screen and avoid watching television for extended periods. It would help if you were at least ten feet away from the television. • This includes windows with natural light, reading lamps, exam lamps similar to those seen in dental offices, and fluorescent and incandescent lighting. • If you must go outside during the first 48 hours following treatment, liberally apply sunscreen to the treated areas. A sunscreen with physical blockers such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide is a smart choice (Blue Lizard, Neutrogena Sensitive Skin). • Additionally, you should wear protective apparel and wide-brimmed hats to keep the treated regions out of direct sunlight. Sunglasses are recommended to protect your eyes. • Cleanse with a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil, Aveeno, or Cerave. Maintain a healthy level of moisture in your skin: • We recommend using Cetaphil, Cerave Cream, or Vaseline as a moisturizer (petroleum jelly). • For redness and irritation, you may use an over-the-counter topical hydrocortisone solution (Cortaid) twice or three times daily. Apply for 3 to 5 days, if necessary, or until the redness subsides. • As needed, use a cool compress for any swelling. • Soaking in vinegar and water may help alleviate burning and tingling. 1 tbsp. White vinegar and 2 tbsp. Cold water Soak a washcloth in the water/vinegar combination and apply it to the treated area. • Tylenol or Advil may be used to relieve discomfort or pain.
No, Actutally it is the last treatment. Conventional topical and/or oral medicines are the first-line therapy for acne vulgaris. Many patients, however, have contraindications, exhibit only a partial response, experience major adverse effects, or experience recurrence. Light-based treatments and photodynamic therapy (PDT) with topical porphyrin precursors are both off-label treatments for acne vulgaris, each with its own set of pros and cons. There is currently no agreement on the approach and specifications for PDT. Working knowledge of acne pathophysiology, light–tissue interactions, and PDT mechanisms of action is beneficial whenever PDT is explored as an alternate treatment. Blue light alone, in general, improves acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties. PDT with 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) or ALA derivatives elicits transitory antibacterial and anti-inflammatory responses. At high doses, red-light photodynamic therapy may cause sebaceous gland suppression or destruction, resulting in clinical improvement.

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Photodynamic Therapy complete guide

So what is Photodynamic Therapy for Acne?

Photodynamic Therapy includes a prodrug and a light system, which kills abnormal cells. Also, it targets overactive sebaceous glands, which are the leading cause of acne. Further, Photodynamic Therapy works via a 2-step process. First, your medical staff will apply Levulan (a topical solution) to the target acne area. As soon as the target cells (abnormal cells) absorbs this solution, a medical light will activate the Levulan action. We leave the solution in contact with your skin between 3-17 hours depending on the required efficacy, acceptable downtime and severity of the case. The action kills the acne cells. It also shrinks and damages the sebaceous gland, which creates a lot of skin oils. The result is smooth skin with less oil production and smaller pores.

Blue light or red light - which is best?

This is an important subject when it comes to treating acne. It accounts for the unsuccessful and limited results some patients experience with PDT. Blue LED or red light is generally used for PDT. Research indicates that Blue light kills the bacteria Propionibacterium and helps reduce enlarged oil glands. It also helps to remove acne, sun spots, scars caused initially by acne. What’s more, the treatment has relatively few side effects. A red light, on the other hand, penetrates the skin and helps treat thicker lesions.

How do we perform PDT?

First, your doctor will apply a photosensitizing agent such as a solution of Levulan. You should protect your skin from light exposure until the blue light treatment. This period enables the skin to absorb the photosensitizing agent and into your sebaceous glands. Further, your doctor will apply blue light on the skin for about 15 to 20 minutes. The light initiates the photosensitizing agent, which destroys the bacteria and helps reduce the size of oil glands. Currently, doctors have started using pulsed dye light and lasers as sources of light during PDT procedures too.

Photosensitizing agent

A photosensitizing agent is a unique solution applied to you during PDT. A precise light wavelength activates it. Levulan has been used widely for treating different skin problems. Levulan is a solution that contains 20% of Aminolevulinic Acid. The acid is a “natural” product seen in every human. Also, it is an antecedent for hemoglobin synthesis. What this means is your body can’t make red blood cells to transfer oxygen without Aminolevulinic Acid in your body. As we stated earlier, after Levulan is applied to your skin, it’s left for some minutes. In about 8-10 minutes, the blue LED light will then activate it. Other treatments may use Red Light which forces the Levulan deeper into the affected area. Further, your sebaceous glands (active cells) will absorb the Levulan.

Acne is a common skin condition that can cause blemishes, blackheads, and whiteheads. It can occur at any age, but it is most common in teenagers and young adults. Although there are many over-the-counter treatments available, some people may require photodynamic therapy to clear their skin.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a type of light therapy that uses a photosensitizing agent in conjunction with light to destroy acne-causing bacteria. The photosensitizing agent is applied to the skin and then exposed to light, usually from a laser or LED device. This causes the agent to produce oxygen radicals that kill the bacteria. PDT is usually done in a series of treatments, spaced several weeks apart.

There are two main types of PDT: topical and systemic. Topical PDT involves applying the photosensitizing agent directly to the skin, while systemic PDT involves taking a pill that is absorbed by the body and then exposed to light. Both types of PDT have been found to be effective in treating acne. However, systemic PDT may be more expensive and may have more side effects than topical PDT.

If you are considering photodynamic therapy for your acne, book a consultation with us

Contact Albany Cosmetic & Laser Centre in Edmonton

Address: 

12914 167 Ave NW

Edmonton, AB.

Canada T6V1J6

info@albanylaser.ca

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