Moderate to severe acne can leave scars that are more than skin deep. They erode confidence, make sufferers want to cover up, or worse, avoid social situations altogether. Many have tried multiple treatments, some with side effects as harsh as the acne itself. Thankfully, Colorado Skin & Vein can help even the most severe cases of acne scarring with Photodynamic Therapy (PDT).
How Does Photodynamic Therapy Work?
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) requires three components: a photosensitizing medication, a light source, and oxygen. Levulan is the medication used to create porphyrins, light-absorbing molecules, in damaged or abnormal cells. Then, a medical-grade light source (blue, red, or intense pulsed light) focuses on the skin and activates the medication. Combined with oxygen, acne cells and acne-causing bacteria are destroyed, oil-producing sebaceous glands are reduced in size and activity, and acne scars are diminished.
PDT can also improve sun damage, rosacea, hidden lesions, and other conditions occurring simultaneously with the acne. PDT is proven effective against even resistant acne and severe cases of acne and extensive acne scarring. PDT offers benefits over other therapies, including:
- Targeting only damaged cells to maintain skin integrity
- Reducing the size and activity of sebaceous glands
- Killing acne-causing bacteria
- Fading existing acne scars and not contributing to new scars
- Effective for other skin conditions, such as age spots, sun damage, and rosacea
Am I a Good Candidate?
Patients diagnosed with actinic keratoses, moderate to severe sun damage or rosacea, cystic acne, sebaceous hyperplasia, or other resistant acne are good candidates. Those prescribed Accutane must stop taking it before PDT treatment. Schedule a consultation at Colorado Skin & Vein to get started.
Request a Consultation
Simply fill out the form on this page, and one of our highly trained staff members at Colorado Skin & Vein will reach out to your promptly to schedule your appointment.
What is the Treatment Like?
Your PDT treatment begins with a thorough cleansing and microdermabrasion or exfoliation to reduce blackheads and active acne breakouts, and remove dead layers of skin for maximum penetration of the photosensitizer. Levulan is applied, given the chance to absorb for 2-3 hours, and is then washed off. The light therapy that is best for your particular condition is then activated to react with the medication for 8-20 minutes. You may experience stinging or intense heating at this stage, depending on the type of treatment protocol you’re undergoing. Finally, cooling gel packs are applied. Your skin may be extremely sensitive, and it is imperative you avoid sun exposure for the next 48 hours. The photosensitizer is still effective during that time. Sun exposure can lead to severe burns and blistering.
When Will I See Results?
Studies show significant improvement, up to 50%-75%, of acne breakouts, skin texture, diminished scaring, and softening of the skin. Some patients who are best suited for a more aggressive treatment plan may only require 1-2 treatments, while others may require 2-5 treatments, spaced at 2-4 week intervals. Results may be noted after one session, but are not always immediately visible.
Dr. David Verebelyi and the Colorado Skin & Vein team understand how severe acne and scarring can affect the quality of your life. With Photodynamic Therapy, there’s finally an effective treatment with long-term results that can significantly reduce acne scarring, improve existing acne, and help prevent new acne and scars from forming. No matter the severity of your condition, Colorado Skin & Vein can help. You don’t have to suffer anymore. Smooth, acne-free skin is only a phone call away!