Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic Therapy treats severe acne.

Clearer, Healthier Skin

At Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle, photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a light therapy that combines light energy with a photosensitizing agent called aminolevulinic acid (ALA). PDT helps control acne by killing the P. acnes bacteria in the skin. This treatment also effectively eliminates actinic keratosis, which can develop into skin cancer. Because you will be seen by a board certified dermatologist, you will receive a sound medical diagnosis along with a recommendation for treatment. If you are concerned about acne scars, you might consider fractional laser resurfacing or laser scar removal.

Your Treatment

When you arrive at our office for your PDT treatment, the ALA medication will be applied to the skin. After about an hour, you will put on protective eyewear and then have your customized light treatment which will last about 15-20 minutes. Once the ALA on the skin is exposed to the light, this photosensitive drug starts to react by attacking the bacteria or diseased pre-cancerous cells. Some patients may require more than one treatment.

Acne patients who want a more gentle option can use the light treatment without ALA medication, but this requires two treatments a week for four weeks.

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