Improve your complexion with PDT treatment for sun spots & age spots

PDT or Photo Dynamic Therapy is the treatment of specific skin conditions with the use of a product called 5-Aminolevulinic Acid (5-ALA) that is applied to the skin and then is exposed to a very specific wavelength of light to cause a chemical reaction within cells in order to treat the skin condition you are affected with, often sun spots or sun damage but also acne can be treated with PDT.

How does PDT work?

The 5-ALA is applied to the skin surface, where it undergoes a reaction in the cells. This reaction produces a compound call a photosensitiser (Protoporphyrin IX). This photosensitiser then works within the damaged cells, when light of a specific wavelength is applied it makes the cells slough off and die. After these damaged cells have been destroyed, new, healthy skin cells begin to form leaving you with an improved complexion.

Which skin conditions can PDT correct?

PDT treatment is predominantly used to deal with solar damage such as sun spots or age spots. In addition to treating and removing the obviously unappealing look of the blotchy, white and dark areas that occur after long-term damage to the face, arms, legs and torso, these ‘sun-spots’ can manifest into dangerous precancerous skin conditions. Therefore we use PDT not only as a cosmetic procedure, but as a preventative measure to treat and inhibit further sun damage.

PDT can be used to treat a range of conditions as listed below:

  • Seborrheic keratosis
  • Hypertrophic esions
  • Non-Hyperkeratotic keratosis
  • Cystic acne, acne vulgaris and generally oily skin
  • Sebaceous gland hyperplasia
  • Hidradenitis suppurtivia
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Fine lines
  • Rosacea
  • Psoriasis
  • Large pores
  • Warts

What is involved in a PDT treatment?

Preparation: The physician or therapist will prepare and clean the skin (a skin care regime may have been recommended beforehand also)

Application: The 5-ALA is applied

Incubation: The 5-ALA is left to incubate for a period of time. Incubation time depends on the treatment regime. However typically it will be between 3 and 5 hours during which time the treated area must not be exposed to light. If it is a large area, especially the full face we will keep you here in one of our darkened rooms (we recommend you bring some music or audio books etc).

LED: Specific wavelength Light from our LED machine will then be applied to the treated area for between 20 to 30 minutes.

Post: Within 2 – 3 days, the exposed and sun damaged skin will peel, scab and flake off. Within 7- 10 days, the treated area will be healed, leaving healthy, clear skin behind.

PDT – the after-care guidelines

After the treatment the area will be sensitive to light and therefore it is essential that the treated area:

  • Is not exposed to direct sunlight for 24 – 48 hours after.
  • The skin should be kept moist post treatment (we recommend a post treatment balm, Mineral Based make up is great for hiding redness post treatment
  • Most importantly, Use a good Sunscreen to protect your new skin.

After your PDT treatment you may appear sunburnt – but don’t worry

You will have a period of time where the treated area will be quite red and will start to peel, depending on the severity of the treatment. You should be aware that during the first three days days you may appear very ‘sunburnt’ – don’t worry: this is an indicator of a good result.

You will also experience peeling and possibly slight scabbing of the treated area. This is normal and a vital part of the treatment and necessary for the regeneration of new, healthy skin on the treated area. If you experience greater scabbing than normal, it means that you had more sun-damage and it is being corrected. As your skin will be very delicate and will not have it’s normal appearance for a few days, you might want to think about taking a few days off work and staying indoors.

Call us on 0415 620 008 or contact us to make an appointment with our trained clinicians and doctors to discuss whether this is a suitable treatment for your skin condition.