ALA Photodynamic light therapy (PDT) has been called the topical version of Accutane. It uses photosensitizing agents and a specialized high-intensity light source to treat acne and Actinic Keratosis. The photosensitizer used in these treatments causes certain cells to boost production of light-absorbing molecules. When the molecules absorb the high-intensity light, the targeted cells are destroyed.
What Is Photodynamic Therapy?
LENGTH OF TREATMENT:
Useful for Treating:
What to Expect
At Your Appointment
During the photodynamic therapy procedure, our medical aesthetician will apply levulinic acid to the skin. After the application, there will be a period of time to allow the levulinic acid to sit on the skin and absorb into the overactive oil glands of the treatment area. After the appropriate waiting period has passed, we begin exposing the ALA to blue light.
As the chemical is exposed to the light, bacteria within the pores begin to die. This is particularly effective in the oil glands, where the ALA has collected. The acid is sometimes further activated by using a pulsed laser, which enhances the treatment for more severe acne cases.
On average treatments last approximately 45 – 60 minutes from the time of ALA application. The treatment could last longer, depending on the severity of the acne or skin concerns.
What to Expect
After Your Appointment
After the treatment, you will experience some redness in the face or some mild swelling of any acne or surrounding skin. The swelling typically reduces about 2 days after the treatment. Some cases also experience peeling of the skin after the treatment.
Important Note – Patients are required to avoid the sun for 4 days post treatment. Sunscreen is a purchase requirement and its use mandatory. Since ALA is absorbed into the skin sunlight will reactivate the ingredients and can cause an overtreatment.
There is no significant downtime to this treatment, however, as stated above it’s important to avoid any direct sun or overly bright lights for the first 4 days after treatment. We recommend 1-3 treatments depending on the severity of your skincare needs.