What is Photodynamic Therapy and How Can It Help You?

Individuals in Lincoln, Nebraska and around the country with cosmetic and skin care goals have found success through photodynamic therapy—a treatment first used to treat skin cancers. It has been developed over the years for the treatment of various types of cancers and blindness. Recently, it has been used for cosmetic purposes. It has been effective in photo rejuvenation procedures and to treat wrinkles, discoloration, acne and visible veins. The procedure uses a combination of a photosensitizer drug absorbed by certain cells, and a special light source. The combination of the photosensitizer and light source works by destroying the targeted cells. When it is used for the cosmetic purposes listed above, it is first applied to the face and the skin exposed to the light source.

The rapidly growing cells, oil glands and other skin structures absorb the photosensitizer and are subsequently destroyed by the reaction with the light source. This is a new advancement in facial rejuvenation and different methods are in use. Blue light, red light or intense pulsed light may be used to provide treatment. The photosensitizer is left on the skin for a variable period of time. Next, the skin is exposed to the light source and the photosensitizer is then removed.

Possible side effects of this procedure include transient redness, swelling, redness and stinging. The side effects present may differ depending on how long the photosensitizer is left on the skin, which light source is used and what is being treated. There have not yet been long-term studies to determine possible long-term side effects of the procedure.

There are a few advantages of photodynamic therapy over other types of facial rejuvenation procedures and patients interested are encouraged to seek consultation with a trained professional in the Lincoln area for more information. This procedure is less destructive than many deep peels or laser procedures, and there is minimal recovery time associated with photodynamic therapy. This procedure has also been successful in treating precancerous lesions, so depending on the technique that is used, there may be additional benefits of preventing skin cancer.

However, like most procedures there are certain disadvantages of which patients should be aware and should discuss with a trained professional in the Lincoln community. For one, it is a new treatment and long-term side effects are not yet known. The benefits are also now as well studied as other procedures. It is not known exactly how long benefits of this procedure may last, for example. Patients should always discuss the risks and benefits with a trained professional before receiving treatment, whether they are considering this or an alternative. Going over possible alternatives is also worthwhile. Each session of photodynamic therapy typically costs in the $550 to $800 range, although this varies.

Learn more about photodynamic therapy in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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