What is PDT?

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment to reduce pre-cancerous skin lesions and/or acne outbreaks.  The treatment consists of using a topical medication, aminolevulanic acid (ALA), and a blue light to activate the medication.  By combining these photosensitizers with the particular wavelength of light, a form of oxygen is produced that is capable of killing precancerous or acne-involved skin cells.  Treatment begins by prepping the skin with a thorough cleansing.  Then, the photosensitizing agent, aminolevulinic acid, is applied and allowed to absorb for 30 minutes to an hour.  Finally, a blue light source is focused on the prepped area, and the area is treated for approximately 16 minutes.

The uses for PDT are wide-ranging.  Patients who have precancerous lesions such as actinic keratosis, skin cancer, acne, enlarged sebaceous glands, and rosacea may all benefit from PDT.

What are the benefits of PDT?

·        Selectively treat only the desired area of skin damage

·        Easier to use and offers quicker recovery than alternatives such as cryotherapy

·        Reduced scarring for treatment of actinic keratosis

·        Improves cosmetic results for conditions such as acne when prescription or topical medications alone are not enough

·        Side effects are typically minor and usually resolve quickly.  These may include temporary redness, peeling, and swelling.  Your provider will discuss these further during your visit.

Learn More about PDT

PDT is one of the most safe and effective treatment options for a large variety of skin conditions and concerns.  If you suffer from any of the previously listed conditions, consider discussing PDT with your dermatologist.  To determine if you are a candidate for photodynamic therapy, schedule your consultation and treatment with our Baton Rouge dermatologist or Lafayette dermatologists.