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Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) - Treatment of Acne and skin using PDT

What do you mean by Photodynamic Acne Treatment (PDT)?

Photodynamic Acne Treatment is a process by which a photosensitizing agent (Levulan) is applied to your skin. A Photosensitizing agent is a special solution applied to the skin that is activated by a predetermined specific wavelength of light, which "turns it on." Levulan has been used a lot for treatment of a variety of different skin conditions.

Unfortunately, only approximately 18-20% of people are eligible for treatment in this manner. Even if laser treatment is possible, more than half of the patients receiving laser therapy eventually develop regrowth of the blood vessels, and eventual central visual loss.

Photodynamic therapy, which employs selective activation of a photoactive drug by visible light, may be useful in patients with numerous tumors. Lasers also have been used for the treatment of skin cancer. Local radiotherapy delivered by brachytherapy, photodynamic therapy using a photosensitizing agent and endobronchial stents are other measures that can relieve airway obstruction from tumor. Some chemical structures (porphyrins, phthalocyanines) are selectively taken up by cancer cells by mechanisms not fully defined. When light, usually delivered by laser, is shone on cells containing these compounds, free radicals are generated and the cells die.

Hematoporphyrins and light are being used with increasing frequency to treat skin cancer; ovarian cancer; and cancers of the lung, colon, rectum, and esophagus. Palliation of recurrent locally advanced disease can sometimes be dramatic and last many months.

Effects of PDT

PDT improves skin wrinkles, skin pigmentation, Rosacea, pore size, skin texture, Sebaceous Hyperplasia, and Actinic Keratoses. Photodynamic Therapy even potentially prevents the development of skin cancer.

How does the treatment works and what precautions I need to take?

The treatment takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours to complete and you can expect some redness, peeling and flaking of the skin for 3-4 days. While under the light source you will feel some warmth. It is important to know that you will need to stay indoors for 24 hours following the procedure. The solution applied to your skin remains active for this period of time, hence the extra care during that period.

Porfimer photodynamic therapy causes the release of thromboxane A 2, which results in vasoconstriction, activation and aggregation of platelets, and increased clotting. These factors contribute to ischemic necrosis, which leads to tissue and tumor death.

How Photo dynamic therapies are beneficial:

  • Chronic infections (hiv, hhv-6, hpv, hepatitis a,b,c, candidiasis, idiopathic infections of unknown origin, mycoplasmal infections,bacterial infections, etc.
  • Precancer conditions such as endometriosis, cervical dysplasia, bph, etc.
  • Skin conditions such as psoriasis, pityriasis, fungal infections, virtiligo, etc.
  • Dermatology / cosmetic / antiwrinkle
  • Pain and inflammatory conditions
  • Edema
  • Wounds & diabetic ulcers
  • Cancers (various types)


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