Photodynamic Therapy

PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY

Photodynamic Therapy in Midland, Texas

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is based on the use of the light-sensitive topical medication called Levulan. Levulan is applied topically to the skin. It is absorbed preferentially by the abnormal skin cells. When exposed to a powerful light source (usually BLU-U Light or laser) several hours later, the chemical is activated to destroy those abnormal cells.
Levulan is a “smart” solution. It is only absorbed by “diseased’ cells such as those in acne, rosacea, precancerous Actinic Keratosis and sun damage. It is the selectivity of this solution in targeting only bad cells that allows such quick success in restoring skin to a healthy normal condition.
PhotoDynamic Therapy, often referred to as PDT is a 2-step procedure:

  1. Step 1: The first step is the application of the light-absorbing agent Levulan. This liquid is left on your skin for 45-60 minutes while it very selectively sinks into abnormal skin cells, such as: acne pimples, acne cysts, overactive sebaceous glands, lesions of actinic keratosis, sun damaged skin or rosacea cells. The absorption of the Levulan essentially turns the abnormal cells into “targets” for the next step – light.
  2. Step 2: The unabsorbed Levulan is removed from your skin and you are placed under a special blue light (Blu-U Light) for 15 minutes or a laser treatment is performed. This light is drawn to the “targets”, strong oxygen radicals are formed and those toxic radicals destroy precancerous and sun-damaged skin cells or kill bacteria responsible for the acne.

THE TURNING POINT FOR ACNE CONTROL
A remarkable new treatment for resistant acne uses the sophistication of light-based technology combined with a safe, naturally occurring topical chemical. Cases of hard-to-treat, severe and persistent acne show striking improvement in four or five treatments. Photodynamic Therapy is indispensable in controlling cystic acne. Since acne cysts are responsible for acne scarring, it has become a first-line defense for both immediate acne management and prevention of post-acne scars.
Photodynamic Acne Therapy is a dependable treatment with proven results.
Short term post-treatment side effects can include reddening of the skin, some mild peeling and sun-sensitivity. Please note that for the first 48 hours after a PDT treatment you must stay out of the sun.

BENEFITS OF PHOTODYNAMIC ACNE THERAPY:

  1. Acne Control
  2. Pore Size Reduction
  3. Decreased Oiliness
  4. Smoother Skin Tone
  5. Acne Scar Prevention
  6. PhotoDynamic Therapy for Sun Damage

Sun exposure plays havoc with your skin. Besides skin discoloration from hyper-pigmentation, enlarged pores, collagen breakdown and spots, you may develop more serious conditions that can threaten your well being.
PhotoDynamic Therapy (PDT) is an FDA approved treatment for pre-cancerous Actinic Keratosis.

WHAT ARE AKS’?
Actinic Keratosis (AK) is a common skin condition that can signal the early beginnings of skin cancer. AK lesions develop as a result to prolonged exposure to the sun (ultraviolet radiation) over the years.
As time passes, untreated AK can turn into squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer. We can quickly and effectively treat your AKs with Photodynamic Therapy.

WHAT DO AKS LOOK LIKE?
AK lesions are caused by the overgrowth and thickening of the outermost layers of your skin, and can vary in appearance. They can be flat or raised, flaky or scaly, look like red patches, crusts or sores. They range in size from a few millimeters (the size of a pinhead) to 2 centimeters (about the size of a nickel).
AKs are generally found on parts of the body that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as the face, arms and a balding scalp.

HOW DOES PDT GET RID OF AKS?
By using a special topical solution called Levulan that’s activated by light or laser, abnormal cells are targeted and killed. It is the selectivity of this solution in targeting only the abnormal cells that allows such quick success in restoring your skin to a healthy normal condition.
As opposed to “spot” treatments (like cryosurgery or excision) for removing AK’s, Photodynamic Therapy improves the entire area treated creating one color, texture, and tone.

IS ALL SUN DAMAGE VISIBLE?
Overall sun damage accumulates over the years and we are usually not aware of it (with the exception of an obvious sunburn). It takes years for the damage caused by UV exposure to show up on our skin. Here is a photo taken with a special camera that shows underlying damage that has not yet shown up on the skin surface.

Rosacea presents itself with facial erythema (redness), papules, pustules, and flushing. Rosacea has no association with acne. Typical acne products may not reduce the occurrence of rosacea break outs to the level desired and in some instances may make it worse.
Over the counter products may inflame and irritate rosacea affected skin rather than improve the condition. Rosacea should be treated medically not only to control breakouts but to prevent irreversible skin thickening and scarring. Implementation of PhotoDynamic Therapy in conjunction with other carefully chosen treatments will in some cases be the most exact choice in achieving effective results.
PhotoDynamic Rosacea Therapy is a clinically researched and dependable treatment with impressive results. Short term post-treatment side effects can include reddening of the skin, some mild peeling and sun-sensitivity. Please note that for the first 48 hours after a PDT treatment you must stay out of the sun.