Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
What is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)?
Photodynamic Therapy is an effective treatment for mild to severe sun damage, acne, rosacea and general skin rejuvenation. It utilises a light sensitising agent called 5-ALA that is absorbed into abnormal or damaged cells and produces large amounts of porphyrins. A specific light source is then used to activate these porphyrins to produce oxygen free radicals destroying the abnormal cells.
After the healing process has occurred (7-10 days), new healthy skin is revealed leaving a fresh, smooth and glowing complexion. Consequently, you see an improvement in skin texture, more even colouring, fine lines, fewer breakouts, refined pores, renewed elasticity and a more youthful appearance.
What can PDT treat?
- Mild to severe sun damage
- Aged skin
- Actinic keratosis (sun spots)
- Acne and congestion
- Enlarged pores
- Sebaceous hyperplasia
- Fine lines
- General skin rejuvenation
Contra-indications (reasons why PDT may not be suitable for you)
- Roaccutane use in the last 6 months
- Photo-sensitising medications such as Tetracyclines
- Active herpes simplex in the treatment area
- Inactive herpes simplex in the treatment area may require prophylactic treatment prior to PDT
How many sessions do I need?
This will depend on what our doctor has recommended for your individual requirements, but may be between 2-4 treatments. Though some patients are happy with the results from just one, additional treatments can be performed at periodic intervals to maintain results.
You will need to use special skin care products to prepare your skin for at least two weeks prior to your treatment, which will be recommended for you at your consultation.
This will differ slightly according to your individual needs but is approximately as follows:
- Acne and Rejuvenation treatments: 5-ALA is left on for 30-60 minutes followed by light activation (illumination).
- Severe sun damage and Actinic Keratosis treatments on the face: 5 hours 5-ALA lotion is applied first thing in the morning, you are sent home for 5 hours to allow the lotion to absorb and return to our Practice that afternoon for illumination.
- Body treatments eg hands, chest, back: overnight 5-ALA is applied at the end of the day and return to our Practice first thing the next morning for the illumination.
What does it feel like?
During illumination it is normal to feel varying degrees of stinging, tingling, prickling or burning which should go away after the treatment. In approximately 10% of cases significant pain is experienced during the illumination. (approximately 10-20 minutes)
What happens after the treatment?
After the treatment you will be sensitive to light for 24-48 hours and will be required to stay home, in a darkened environment for at least 24 hours, but preferably 48 hours. It is important that during this time your exposure to the sun and all forms of light including bright house lights, shopping centre lighting and even light through a car window be avoided.
- Redness, swelling, peeling, scabbing, tingling, sensitivity and tight skin are all normal responses but can vary significantly due to individual factors and your reasons for treatment.
*As with any medical procedure, if you are concerned about your skin post treatment contact us immediately.
- After a week the redness starts to disappear and your skin may still feel itchy, tight or uncomfortable.
- At 10-14 days your skin should be healed revealing healthy, smooth and clear skin.
- Most side effects relate to the photosensitivity.
- After acne treatments there may sometimes be a breakout within the following days due to purging of the bacteria
- No long term side-effects have been reported with PDT.
How much does it cost?
Click here to see our prices.
Call us on 9300 0663, or visit our online booking facility to make an appointment for a consultation today.