the most evolving treatment, also the mostrevolutionary of treatments available nowadays for acne, is photodynamictherapy. i feel very strongly about photodynamic therapy. in my opinion,it can in many instances replace the need for oral antibiotics, that are unnecessarilygiven for long periods of time. it is very, very similarin results to isotretinoin or accutane without the need to exposure of chemicalsthat some people may be very fearful of. photodynamic therapy works by incorporatinga medicine, a substance called levulinic acid into our oil glands. it isthen activated by red light and
blue light, and that particular activationcauses destruction of the oil glands – not of all oil glands at the sametime, but of a number of oil glands. often times it results perhaps in shrinkageof some oil glands first before it can completely eradicate that oil gland,but that turns off the acne. and don’t worry, we have plenty of oil glandson our face and we really don’t need all of them. so, we apply this medicine on a cleansed face.we then let it sit on the skin to be able to move it into the oil glandsfor approximately an hour or
two, sometimes longer than that sometimesless than that, it depends a little bit on the characteristics of yourskin. and then we’ll expose your skin to the light source after that. and thelight source that the aminolevulinic acid is most receptive to isblue light. however, red light seems to also have quite some activation power,and so often times we combine it with red light as well. at theend of the treatment, you leave the office covered with sunscreen and oftentimes even a sun-protective hat if it was performed on the face. the sun protection has to consist of eitherzinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
it is crucial to avoid the exposure to visiblelight for 42 hours after the treatment and that is to avoid that there’sfurther activation of the medicine that still remains in your oil glands.what you can expect of the next few days, and that may already starton the day of the treatment, is redness and swelling. by about day three,the skin will feel very, very tight, and by about day four that tight skinwill start shedding off. there are some people who get more pronouncedreaction and may have some redness, to a certain degree, for up to tendays in their skin. some may even get very pronounced swelling. that isa subset of our patients, it
certainly doesn’t effect everybody and mostof the time it goes very, very straightforward. it is oftentimes a series of four to six thatare spaced anywhere between two to four weeks apart that gives the bestpossible results. and those results can, in the majority of all patientstreated, results in complete eradication of the acne. so what’s the successrate? about 75 percent of people who are treated with 4 to 6 treatmentsof photodynamic therapy will be rid of their acne by completion of thetreatment.