The Appearance Center of Newport Beach is proud to offer a wide assortment of services and procedures to meet the skincare needs of our Orange County and Fashion Island area clients. A popular treatment here at the center is photodynamic therapy, also known as PDT. This photorejuvenation therapy is most often used in conjunction with other methods such as photofacial and BLU-U treatments as a means of amplifying the results. PDL is a kind of pre-treatment for such issues as pre-cancerous skin lesions, acne-prone skin and skin adversely affected by the sun. Read on to learn more about photodynamic therapy and how it can help you to rejuvenate the look of damaged skin or help to eradicate pre-cancerous spots.
About Photodynamic Therapy
During a photodynamic therapy session, a light sensitizing agent called Levulan is applied to the skin of the treatment area. Levulan increases the effects of other treatments, often leading to results after just one session that would have taken three to five without PDT. Photodynamic therapy produces dramatically smoother skin texture, higher reduction in pigmentation and less redness than treatments done without Levulan. Many patients find success in ending acne breakouts with PDL, thus taking proactive measures to avoid acne-related scarring. Also, it is the addition of PDT that makes the treatment of some superficial skin cancers and lesions possible.
Additional Benefits of PDT
Along with helping to intensify the results of other treatments and its ability to attack cancer cells and lesions, PDT offers a number of other benefits. Photodynamic therapy has very few side effects, unlike other options that may be painful and require long recovery times. With this treatment, you can expect a pain-free procedure with no downtime. Also, you won't experience the scarring of treatments involving cautery or surgery, nor will there be issues such as white spots or other possible marks as can occur in some methods. PDT is also much safer than some prescription acne medications such as Acutane. Another major advantage to this type of treatment is that it is able to affect an entire area, rather than spot treating as with other methods. Thus, your uneven skin texture, discolorations, age spots and acne can be improved in a uniform and efficient manner.
What to Expect
For two weeks prior to your treatment, it's important that you stop using any harsh skincare products like Retin-A, Glycolic Acid or even Vitamin C. It's also important to inform your practitioner if you have a history of cold sores so that preventative treatment can be provided to you. Do not wear makeup to your appointment session, and you will be advised on the kinds of after-care products you will need such as a gentle cleanser, sunblock and moisturizer.
During the procedure, the Levulan solution will be applied to your skin. This is painless and will remain in place between 15 and 60 minutes, depending on your particular needs. A specific light source will be used to activate the solution, which will only take about 10 minutes. This unique combination of solution and light destroys abnormal skin cells, resulting in overall healthier skin with improved texture and tone.
Possible Side Effects
Side effects are minimal in the use of photodynamic therapy. You can, however, expect to see some redness of the skin. Crusting or peeling is also a possibility, particularly when treating superficial skin cancer. Though these effects may last for several days, they should begin to subside within one to two days after your session. In addition, your skin will be extremely sensitive to the sun for approximately two days after treatment, so it is especially important that you stay inside for at least the first day in order to avoid exposure. Finally, other possible side effects include itching, burning, swelling or stinging, along with a slight potential for hyper-pigmentation in some areas. These are all temporary.
Here at the Appearance Center of Newport Beach, Orange County's leading facial plastic surgery center, you can expect to receive the highest level of care from a Board Certified Surgeon or dermatology specialist. We look forward to answering your questions and helping you to look and feel your very best.