Photodynamic Therapy in Phoenix, Arizona

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an effective skin treatment for sun damage, acne, and pre-skin cancer growths called actinic keratosis on the face, chest, arms, and hands. PDT uses a topical acid and light treatment to target damaged areas of skin and oil glands without affecting healthy skin.

How photodynamic therapy is performed

Photodynamic therapy is a non-invasive in-office treatment that can take 1-4 hours depending on your skin care needs.

Your dermatologist will begin by cleansing your skin and marking out the treatment area with a pen. Then aminolevulinic acid (ALA), which is a clear liquid, is applied to your skin and allowed to soak in for 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on your skin condition and the type of light that will be used. The ALA makes damaged skin cells and acne-causing oil glands extremely sensitive to light exposure. A topical numbing cream may also be applied for your comfort.

After the ALA has soaked in, your skin is then cleaned and your dermatologist shines a blue or red light onto your skin for about 15 minutes. These special lights target and destroy areas of sun damaged skin, pre-cancerous cells, and acne causing oil glands without damaging healthy skin. You may feel a mild stinging or burning sensation during the light treatment.

Recovery and results

Photodynamic therapy can cause noticeable redness, irritation, and skin peeling for about 10 days after treatment, similar to a sunburn. You should be fully healed after about two weeks. You’ll have to avoid sun exposure and wear strong sunblock 48 hours after treatment because your skin will still be hyper-sensitive to light. Some people may need multiple treatments spaced two to four weeks apart for best results.

Before & After Photos

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