Photodynamic Therapy For Acne Treatment


Contents


Acne Procedures Overview

- Chemical Peel

- Dermabrasion

- Microdermabrasion

- Laser Skin Resurfacing

- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

- Photodynamic Therapy



What is photodynamic therapy? 


Photodynamic therapy also known as Blue Light therapy is a relatively new procedure and is especially reserved for moderate to severe acne cases. 



How is photodynamic therapy done? 


A photodynamic therapy involves the following steps: 


  1. At the outset, the doctor applies a photosensitizing agent on the affected parts of your skin, which is then dressed and left for around 3 hours to incubate on the skin. This gives sufficient time to the oil glands in your skin to absorb the photosensitizing agent.


  2. After 3 hours, the doctor a red or a blue light is shone on the affected skin parts for upto 20 minutes. This light stimulates the photosensitizing agent, which then kills the bacteria causing the acne, and shrinks the oil glands.


This treatment is effective in cases of severe acne, warts, and certain types of cancer such as cancer of the esophagus, and non-small cell lung cancer. 



Are there any side effects of photodynamic therapy?


Some very common side effects you may experience are swelling, itching, redness, peeling, crusting, hyperpigmentation, sensitivity to light, which can last for upto a month of the procedure. You will be more prone to the side effects if you have a dark complexion.

Another common reaction you may encounter is a sudden burst of severe acne, which soon disappears. 

Also, you may experience severe pain during the process of the therapy. 


Are there any post-treatment guidelines of photodynamic therapy? 


You will be advised to stay indoors for a month after this treatment and to completely avoid the sun and also any bright light inside the house. You will also be asked to refrain from taking medicines which may the risk of bleeding such as aspirin and ibuprofen.


How many sessions of photodynamic therapy will I need? 


3 to 4 sessions of treatment, of around 4 hours each, are generally advised, which are spaced out approximately 3-4 weeks apart. 



How long will it take to recover from a session of photodynamic therapy? 


It usually takes two to six weeks for the treated area to completely heal. 



Am I an ideal candidate for photodynamic therapy?


It usually takes two to six weeks for the treated area to completely heal.

This treatment is effective in cases of severe acne, warts, and certain types of cancer such as cancer of the esophagus, and non-small cell lung cancer.

This treatment is a definite no-no if you are pregnant. 



What is the price of photodynamic therapy in India? 


The price of photodynamic therapy in India is approximately Rs. 90000. 



Are the results of photodynamic therapy permanent? 


Results are not considered to be permanent. Acne may disappear for few months or years and may re-appear. 



References


1. Sakamoto F, Lopes J, Anderson R. Photodynamic therapy for acne vulgaris: A critical review from basics to clinical practice. 2018. Available at: http://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(10)00019-8/abstract. Accessed March 2, 2018.


2. Terrell S, Aires D, Schweiger ES. Treatment of acne vulgaris using blue light photodynamic therapy in an African-American patient. 2018. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/26657785_Treatment_of_acne_vulgaris_using_blue_light_photodynamic_therapy_in_an_African-American_patient. Accessed March 2, 2018.


3. Hongcharu W, Taylor C, Aghassi D, Suthamjariya K, Anderson R, Chang Y. Topical ALA-Photodynamic Therapy for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris. 2018. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15409443. Accessed March 2, 2018.


4. Itoh Y, Ninomiya Y, Tajima S, Ishibashi A. Photodynamic therapy of acne vulgaris with topical δ-aminolaevulinic acid and incoherent light in Japanese patients. 2018. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2133.2001.04086.x/full. Accessed March 2, 2018.

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