Photodynamic Therapy For Acne

Photodynamic Therapy (Kerastick) For Acne

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) kills the p. acnes bacteria in your skin, decreases sebum production and provides long term improvement of inflammatory or cystic (not comedonal) acne.

The treatment utilizes a drug, called Levulan ALA, to specifically target inflammatory acne at its root. Levulan has been used in the skin for decades to treat severe sun damage and skin cancers in adults. The product, called Kerastick, is applied topically (directly on the skin) and allowed to absorb painlessly for approximately 1 hour into the sebaceous glands of the skin. A light or laser source is then used to “photo-activate” the Levulan ALA and thus directly affect and smart bomb the hair follicle and sebaceous glands. In addition, the laser up-regulates the production of collagen causing significant improvements in scars and textural abnormalities.

The laser treatment itself takes approximately 10 minutes. Patients may feel mild stinging or burning when the skin is exposed to the light or laser source. Afterwards, there is no pain and mild to moderate redness can persist from 0-2 days, like a mild sunburn. For about 24 hours after treatment patients must avoid direct sunlight. Patients usually require 2-3 treatments spaced by 3 week intervals to see significant improvement (80% or greater) that will last for months at a time. Depending on the severity of the condition, the number and strength of the required treatments will vary.

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