Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Review of Photodynamic Therapy for Acne

Review of Photodynamic Therapy for Acne

Overview

Red inflamed lesions and unsightly papules and pustules appear on skin plagued with acne. A successful acne treatment reduces oil and kills the acne-causing bacteria. Photodynamic therapy, or PDT, is a type of light treatment prescribed by physicians to treat acne.

Process

The day before the laser treatment, you apply a photosensitizing solution that contains aminolevulinic acid, or ALA, to the skin, and allow it to penetrate, usually overnight. Then, you return to the office to have the solution activated with a red or blue LED light or intense pulsed light, or IPL, laser.

Uses

Physicians offer photodynamic therapy as an alternative to isotretinoin or for patients who have acne that does not respond to antibiotics. A study by Massachusetts General Hospital, Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine and Harvard Medical School found that photodynamic therapy combined with ALA suppressed the production of oil and decreased bacteria in the follicles of acne-prone skin.

Cost

In 2010, a series of PDT treatments for acne range from $2,000 to $3,500, depending on how many treatments you need.

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