Photodynamic Therapy For Acne Treatment

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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 oesophagus, 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? 

Three to four sessions of treatment, of around four 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 oesophagus, and non-small cell lung cancer.

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

What is the price/cost 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. 

More Topics Related to Acne Treatment

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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.

Would you like to consult a doctor for Photodynamic Therapy For Acne Treatment ?

Questions answered by trusted doctors

Verified User
I've been suffering from acne . so give me the solution for acne problem.i hope you will cure my acne problem
Dr. Manoj Agarwala
Dermatologist, Delhi
Skin care needs to be customized based on the presenting complaints. There are different ways to achieve a flawless skin after acne and it needs medical interventions and commitment on part of the patient. Acne treatment has multiple stages - to control new breakouts, to clear the sequelae (pigmentation and scars) and to prevent a relapse. An attempt to find out the root cause of acne should be made in every patient or else it keeps recurring. Each phase takes a couple of weeks before we move to the next phase of treatment. If you have active acne lesions, it should be controlled on priority basis. Acne scar and pores can be treated with subcisions, dermaroller, fractional CO2 lasers, chemical peels and likewise. Remember combining treatment modalities help to achieve desired results earlier. Your dermatologist will decide a treatment plan for you after a consultation. Apart from active pharmaceutical medicines, a healthy diet and lifestyle is mandatory to achieve results.
Verified User
I have acne and acne scars all over my face and i have been suffering from it for almost 9 years.....
Dr. Shaurya Rohatgi
Dermatologist, Mumbai
Acne can be treated easily with facewash, tablets and creams. Some people have more oilyness on the face which results in breakouts. After completing treatment for controlling the active breakouts, tablets can be stopped and creams need to be continued to prevent recurrence. Diet and lifestyle modifications are also important. Please don't do any self treatment such as over the counter Steroid creams. Don't burst the pimples with your fingers as it can result in ugly scars. The marks and pores left behind after the pimples heal can also be treated. Please call me or send your photos through online consult option for detailed prescription and diet advice.,
Verified User
I have acne problem on some times but it will gone after few days but repeating acne problem in my face
Dr. Pavan Murdeshwar
Plastic, Reconstructive, Aesthetic Surgeon, Bangalore
Hello. Acne is a common problem which occurs due to the hormonal change which your body experiences during puberty. It can be exaggerated due to various reasons and cause scars. The treatment for the acute acne and its scars differs. The acute acne requires the treatment for decreasing the inflammation/infection, improve the skin healing and protection from the sun during the whole process. whereas the scar treatment is entirely different.. So its better if you can consult a skin specialist for proper examination and appropriate treatment. U can consult me online for any further details
Dr. Shaurya Rohatgi
Dermatologist, Mumbai
The treatment of acne differs according to the grade of involvement. Some people have more oilyness on the face which results in breakouts. After completing treatment for controlling the active breakouts, tablets can be stopped and creams need to be continued to prevent recurrence. Diet and lifestyle modifications are also important. Please don't do any self treatment such as over the counter Steroid creams. Don't burst the pimples with your fingers as it can result in ugly scars. The marks and pores left behind after the pimples heal can also be treated. Please call me or send your photos through online consult option for detailed prescription and diet advice..
Dr. C.R.V.Narasimhalu
Dermatologist, Chennai
Acne or  pimples... Due to hormonal changes..Oily skin causes it...Common in adolescent age...May occur in adults also.. Food like Oily foods, ice cream, chocolate and sweets increase it.. Treatment depends on the grade of pimples or acne..So, please  consult me in my clinic or consult me by direct online consultation by sending photos as it's a must to see which grade of pimples or acne for accurate diagnosis and treatment
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Did you know?

Foods do not cause breakouts

Chocolates do not cause pimples or acne, neither does pizza or fries. In fact, there's little evidence that specific foods actually do cause acne. Staying hydrated and eating a healthy diet, though, can help definitely result in a clear, glowing skin.

Sun exposure can minimize breakouts

Spending small amounts of time (10 to 20 minutes) in the sun can be beneficial for healing acne. Too much sun exposure though can be harmful. It can cause more breakouts and darken existing acne scars.

Do not overclean

Over exfoliating and over cleansing can actually aggravate your acne problems. It can irritate and dry your skin out, and make it produce more oil and then cause breakouts. Overdoing acne treatments can have the same effect. Therefore, stick to a morning and night regimen — cleanse, medicate, and moisturize.

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