Acne Photodynamic Therapy
What is PDT?
PDT stands for Photodynamic Therapy. This is a painless and non-invasive treatment that utilizes a Blue Light to activate a medication called Levulan (5-aminolevulinic acid.)
During your appointment, the Levulan will be applied to clean skin. You will sit for a short amount of time to let the Levulan absorb or “incubate” into your skin. We then focus Blue Light on the area for a short time, usually around 15 minutes. This is not painful, though some patients feel a slight “tingling” sensation. Sunscreen is applied to the treated area prior to leaving the office.
How does PDT work for the treatment of acne?
PDT or Photodynamic Therapy works to reduce acne by two separate mechanisms. First, it shrinks the sebaceous glands (oil-producing glands) of the skin. This reduces acne by decreasing the amount of oil in each pore. Photodynamic therapy also attacks the P. Acnes bacteria that lives on the skin surface and causes acne breakouts. The overall texture of the skin may be improved upon by PDT and it may increase the speed at which post-inflammatory erythema or hyperpigmentation (the red and brown marks that linger after acne lesions) resolves.
What results should be expected?
Most patients experience a significant improvement of acne and a reduction in future acne lesions after a series of laser and light therapies. However, results vary for each person and some patients may experience only a modest result. Most patients do very well, and while the results can be permanent, some patients do a “touch up” treatment a few times yearly. The vast majority of our patients are very pleased with the results they experience after their treatments. However results will vary from patient to patient.
Is there any downtime after Photodynamic Therapy?
Some patients experience redness and peeling in the days following Photodynamic Therapy. This is typically very minimal and resolves within one week. It is important to be diligent with sun protection for 48 hours following PDT, as your skin will be very sensitive to sun exposure.
Is PDT or Photodynamic Therapy the Best Treatment for Acne?
While PDT is a great treatment choice for acne patients. There is no one “best” treatment for acne. The best treatment for your acne will be determined after you meet with one of our Acne Specialists in NYC.
How much does PDT cost?
The price of PDT is $450 per session. Most patients elect to do a package of multiple PDT treatments, in addition to other acne treatments.
Where do I get PDT Treatment? Who oversees the treatment?
All of our PDT treatments are performed in our Midtown Manhattan Office, in New York City. Our NYC office has 2 blue light units. All treatments are overseen by board certified dermatologist, Dr. Eric Schweiger.