Photodynamic Acne Therapy

What Is Photodynamic Acne Therapy?

Photodynamic therapy, or PDT, is a 3 step process that treats moderate to severe conditions of the skin. This is done through the use of a photosensitizing medication, Levulan, and a light source, BLU-U light, that activates the medication. PDT can be used to destroy abnormal cells that are linked to cancerous conditions or minimize pores and reduce oil glands. When targeting pores and oil glands photodynamic therapy inactivates the bacteria that triggers acne, exfoliates the skin to unclog pores, and alters the production of oil in the skin.

Photodynamic Acne Therapy San Francisco | acne removal

The Photodynamic Therapy Procedure

To start this 3 step therapy process our staff at SKIN Medical Spa will first apply a photosensitizer called Levulan. Levulan is made of aminolevulinic acid which is a naturally occurring substance found in your body. It can be injected into the skin or applied topically. Depending on the patient Levulan can be left on from one to several days to allow your skin to absorb the solution.

After absorption, a wavelength light source, BLU-U is used to activate the Levulan. The light source is used to target the patient’s affected tissue. During this step patients can experience burning, tingling or warmth in the treatment area. Once the activation step is complete patients can wash the treated area and return home. Most return to work within a day or two of completing a treatment session.

Results Of PDT Treatment

For ideal results, SKIN Medical Spa recommends a series of 4-6 treatment sessions. The number of sessions will depend on the severity of the condition. Patients can space treatment sessions about 2 to 5 weeks apart to continuously maintain results from the first session. PDT can produce a long-lasting improvement and is a very safe alternative to Accutane treatment.

Photodynamic Acne Therapy Side Effects

Photodynamic acne therapy is considered a safe treatment but there are some side effects that come with any other medical procedure. These side effects typically subside within a few weeks and are mild in nature. Side effects include:

  • Bruising
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Infection
  • Localized redness
  • Scarring

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about treating your rosacea symptoms schedule your consultation today. Give us a call at (415) 409-6500 to reach our San Francisco office.


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