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Photodynamic Acne Therapies

Photodynamic Therapy is a process by which a topical medication/sensitizer (Levulan) is applied to your skin that is activated by a specific wavelength of light (BBL or Blue Light). Levulan is a 20% solution of Aminolevulinic Acid (ALA). ALA is a “natural” product found in humans throughout the body. It is a precursor for hemoglobin synthesis (ability to make red blood cells and carry oxygen).

ALA (Levulan) concentrates in pilo-sebacous units that lead to sebaceous gland shrinkage and decreased sebum production for up to 12 months or longer. It is a series of treatments (2-3) and are spaced out (2-3) weeks apart. It is a lesser expensive alternative to Accutane and achieves the same results without the same side effects or expense. There are no contraindications for other maintenance types of treatments after the initial treatments and patients can acquire additional acne therapies if needed.

Before applying the ALA, the patient has a Hydrafacial and an acetone facial wash to allow better medication penetration. After ALA application, the patient remains in a dark room for 30 minutes to two hours while the medication is absorbed. After this induction time the medication is activated with exposure to blue light (wavelength 415nm). Depending on the condition being treated, other lights such as intense pulsed light or red light can be used to activate the ALA. Photodynamic therapy has been shown to be one of the most effective acne treatments currently available with acne clearance over 85%.
PDT is quite safe when patients and providers follow very strict protocols. The most important instruction is that patients restrict their exposure to sunlight or other bright lights for 48 hours after the procedure. Students receiving PDT usually miss a few days of school following the procedure. There may be some discomfort, redness and swelling following the procedure. Sun exposure can make these adverse effects significantly worse. Rarely, patients may experience some blistering after the therapy.

Commonly Asked Questions about Photodynamic Acne Therapy

What is Photodynamic Therapy?
Photodynamic Therapy is a therapy which uses light in order to induce beneficial reactions in the body, according to their problems. Photodynamic Therapy proves best for skin which is damaged severely.
BBL is also used to activate our photodynamic therapies such as 20% AHA Levulonic Acid. This treatment is specifically used for severe nodular and cystic acnes. Treatments are from 2-3 weeks apart with limited downtime and acne clearance is 85-90% for extended periods (12-18 months) after the procedure.

What does Photodynamic Therapy involve?
Photodynamic Therapy helps in:

  • Reducing the wrinkles
  • Treating sun burns or skin which is damaged by sun exposure
  • Treating Rosacea
  • Treating uneven skin tone
  • Treating cystic acne


Benefits of Photodynamic Therapy:

  • The benefits/advantages of Photodynamic Therapy is that:
  • It helps in making your skin smoother
  • It relieves you of Rosacea
  • It helps in improving the complexion of your skin
  • It helps in making your skin tone even
  • It helps eliminate acne cysts

What do we do before Treatment?
Before starting with the treatment, we will get your skin prepared by removing oil from the surface which requires treatment. This is because, removing oil prior to treatment, gives effective results.
After removing the oil, a chemical called Amino Levulinic Acid is applied to the skin. It needs to be applied at least for an hour, to make the skin produce another natural product by name PPIX. Amino Levulinic Acid gets absorbed by your damaged skin and PPIX makes your skin very sensitive to light at least for a period of two to three days.

Then, we remove Amino Levulinic Acid from your skin and activate a very bright light with appropriate color on the surface of your skin, which requires treatment. PPIX produced by your skin will absorb the light and destroy all the damaged areas of your skin. This treatment is continued under your skin for the next three days.

What should I do after Treatment?
You should stay away from bright lights and avoid exposure to the sun for 1-2 days after the treatment. If you get exposed to sun, then it might cause very severe blistering of the skin.
You might be required to use sun block for the rest of your life, in order to make the treatment effective. A moisturizer known as Aquaphor can be used until your skin dryness goes away.
Skin Rejuvenation is three times more effective in this treatment, while compared to PhotoFacial. If you suffer very severe skin damage, then you might be required to repeat this treatment every month, in order to get your desired results.

How do I get started?

Schedule your Photodynamic Acne Therapies appointment  at Ageless Beauty 208-587-6100, 1140 American Legion Blvd. Mountain Home Idaho  or for more information about Photodynamic Acne Therapies click here to contact us.