Posted by: Skin and Cancer Institute in Cosmetic Procedures, Laser Treatments, Medical Dermatology

While acne is typically associated with adolescence, acne can also affect adults. Acne can affect one’s confidence and self-esteem, and in severe cases it can lead to painful facial lesions and cysts.

Dermatologists have developed several ways to alleviate skin acne and other skin conditions. One affective method is acne photodynamic treatment, or PDT. This is a new procedure designed by dermatologists to combat especially resistant and stubborn cases of acne with the use of light.

With photodynamic treatment, a special agent known as Levulan is applied to the skin by a dermatologist and left there for 15 to 60 minutes. Then the dermatologist uses a light of a certain wavelength to activate the solution, causing it to be absorbed by the skin and allowing the acne cells to be targeted by the light. Sebaceous hyperplasia and acne rosacea will also be targeted by the Levulan. The photodynamic treatment will decrease skin oiliness as well as clean pores while reducing their size. Pre-existing acne scars will also reduce, as will skin wrinkles. Other conditions such as sun-damaged skin with actinic keratosis can also be treated.

PDT has significant acne treating advantages over other forms of acne therapy. PDT requires no surgery and leaves no scarring, and is much less painful than other types of treatment. Also, PDT treats the entire facial area rather than just spot treating. There is some redness and skin peeling immediately following the procedure, and patients are encouraged to avoid direct exposure to the sun for 24 hours following treatment. Over the next seven to ten days, liver spots, if present, will also darken and peel away, resulting in normal skin. For best results, having 2-3 treatments at 2 to 3 week intervals is highly encouraged.