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Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Treat Problem Cells With Light

Photodynamic therapy works to treat damaged cells. This can include treatment-resistant Acne, Redness and Rosacea. This treatment uses a light-sensitizing chemical that makes damaged cells sensitive to light. When exposed to light therapy, only the damaged cells that absorbed the chemical will be affected. This makes photodynamic therapy an effective way to target specific types of cellular damage.

PDT removes damaged and problematic skin cells. It involves the use of a light-sensitizing medication that makes the problematic cells more sensitive to specific wavelengths of light. 


Exposure to the wavelength of light activates the medication, creating a chemical reaction that destroys the unwanted cells. PDT is as effective at treating damaged skin cells as liquid nitrogen but without the risk of hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin).


Because your provider can apply light-sensitizing medication over an entire area of skin, it can also treat hidden lesions without causing harm.

The team at Colorado Skin and Vein uses PDT to treat precancerous skin lesions, treatment-resistant acne, and sebaceous hyperplasia. 


Precancerous skin lesions

Overexposure to the sun causes changes in the cell DNA, leading to an overgrowth of abnormal cells. 


Actinic keratosis is a precancerous skin lesion that may turn into skin cancer if left untreated. PDT is one of the primary treatments for this type of precancerous lesion.


Treatment-resistant acne

Treatment-resistant acne is a form of acne that fails to improve with traditional acne medications. The team at Colorado Skin and Vein may recommend PDT for patients with acne that doesn’t respond to other treatments. 


Sebaceous hyperplasia

Sebaceous hyperplasia is enlarged sebaceous glands, which produce oil for your skin. These benign skin growths usually appear on the forehead or cheek, creating small yellow bumps.


Though harmless, the team at Colorado Skin and Vein uses PDT to remove sebaceous hyperplasia growths.

The team at Colorado Skin and Vein customizes your PDT to match your needs and reviews the details with you at your consultation. First, they perform microdermabrasion to remove the dead layer of skin cells from the surface of your skin to improve the absorption of the medication. 


Then, they apply the light-sensitizing medication — Levulan® — and let it sit on your skin for two to three hours. They wash off the medication and treat the skin with an intense pulsed light (IPL) or pulsed dye laser to activate the medication. 


After your PDT, they apply cold packs to your skin to reduce redness, swelling, and discomfort. It takes several weeks for the skin to fully heal following PDT, and the team at Colorado Skin and Vein recommends using sunscreen to protect your sensitive skin. 


Call Colorado Skin and Vein or schedule an appointment online to learn more about PDT and how it can benefit you and your skin.

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