Since May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, now is the perfect time to talk about Photodynamic Therapy (PDT).
PDT works by applying a topical photosensitizing solution, containing aminolevulinic acid (ALA), to the treated area(s). Once adequate time has allowed the solution to absorb into the skin, it is then activated by specific wavelengths of light. Since ALA is a naturally occuring substance in our body, it can be selectively absorbed into actinic keratosis (AKs), which are precancerous spots that develop from frequent sun damage. These target cells are then destroyed. Since there is no way to tell which AKs will develop into cancer, monitoring and treating them early with PDT is key!
In addition, ALA can be absorbed into damaged skin cells, hair follicles and oil glands, making PDT a great option for treating acne/acne scarring, enlarged pores, rosacea, hyperpigmentation and age spots. It also has great anti-aging benefits like tightening your skin and improving skin tone and texture.
Downtime and post-operative care for PDT is relatively quick and easy. You can expect redness and peeling for 2-7 days. Lesions will appear darker at first, but will naturally peel off. The most important thing to remember, and I can’t stress this enough, is to avoid ALL sunlight for 36 hours following your procedure! If you go out, you risk burning your skin and getting a severe sunburn.
Come visit my office in Beverly Hills to see if this is the right procedure for YOU!