What is photodynamic therapy?
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a form of phototherapy involving light and a photosensitizing chemical substance, used together with molecular oxygen to encourage cell death. PDT has proven ability to kill microbial cells, including bacteria, fungi and viruses.
PDT is a unique new way to treat sun-damaged, blemished and aged skin on all areas of the face and body. By using PDT’s non-invasive light technology, doctors can now treat a range of skin conditions in a fast and affordable way with minimal side effects and downtime.
Actinic Keratosis (AKs) – Rough textured, dry, scaly patches anywhere on the skin that are caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light such as sunlight (sun-damage)
AKs are considered to be the first step in the development of skin cancer. Although, most AKs remain benign, they do have the potential to progress to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Since there is no way to determine in advance which AKs will develop into SCC, it is very important for patients with AKs to be under a dermatologist’s care.
Inflammatory Acne Vulgaris – Moderate to Severe
PDT can also be used to treat acne. For about a decade now, dermatologists have begun providing in-office light therapy to their patients in a 2 step procedure which helps traditional light therapy work better by helping to shrink sebaceous (oil) glands.
Available photodynamic therapies
BLU-U Therapy – Acne Vulgaris
BLU-U Light Photodynamic Therapy is a non-drug therapy for moderate acne. It is a unique blue light that kills the P. acnes bacteria in your skin. BLU-U light treatments are gentle, typically well tolerated by patients and can control or clear your acne for a length of time. The treatments are very simple requiring patients to simply sit in front of the light for a short time.
Levulan PDT (using BLU-U) – Treatment for Actinic Keratosis
Levulan Kerastick topical solution is applied to the AKs. The solution is absorbed by the AK cells where it is converted to a chemical that makes the cells extremely sensitive to light. When the AK cells are exposed to the blue light illuminator, a reaction occurs which destroys the AK cells.
Levulan PDT (Using BLU-U) – Treatment for Acne Vulgaris & Enlarged Pores
Stubborn acne may not always respond to traditional treatment methods such as antibiotics. Levulan is a safe and effective alternative for acne. Levulan topical treatment followed by BLU-U exposure prevents acne causing bacteria. It encourages an exfoliating action on the skin thus unclogging pores and regulating excessive oil production.
What to expect during a Levulan PDT treatment
PDT treatments are performed at the clinic. The treatment is a short, 2 part treatment course that includes the application of the topical solution followed by the exposure to the blue light illuminator (BLU-U).
The most common side effects of the treatment are scaling, crusting, skin discoloration, redness and swelling. Patients should avoid Sunlight exposure of the treated area(s) for at least 48 hours following the treatment. Your Nurse will explain and provide you with specific instructions regarding treatment expectations and post treatment care for maximal results.
Why choose photodynamic therapy?
- Convenient administration
- No prescription to fill
- No daily medication to take
- Excellent cosmetic response
- No scarring reported to date
How to schedule your treatment
To consult with our doctors to evaluate your need for photodynamic therapy to treat your condition, please contact us at 514-788-3200 for Dr. Carey and 514-788-3300 for Dr. Wang.