Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is an established treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer and some skin conditions that could turn into cancer if left untreated. It also has the added benefit of being a highly effective treatment for rejuvenating the skin and treating acne.
To prepare the skin for treatment, a microdermabrasion treatment is carried out, then a cream containing a light sensitising chemical is applied to the area being treated. This cream contains 5-aminolaevulinic acids (ALA) and following application that area of the skin will be covered for three hours to allow it to penetrate into the sun damaged sun cells.
The 5-ALA cream makes the skin very sensitive to light. Once it has been properly absorbed the activating light will be shone onto the treatment area for up to fourty-five minutes. This light will target only the damaged cells, not the normal cells. These damaged cells are destroyed and will then be replaced by new, healthy cells.
For the treatment of acne, rosacea and sun-damaged skin, a course of PDT is recommended. The sessions are usually fifteen-thirty minutes long and there is no need to apply the light sensitising chemical in this case. The light takes down redness and inflammation, resulting in a visible improvement in the tone and texture of the skin.
How many treatments will you need?
The application of 5-ALA cream and PDT is advised for non-melanoma skin cancers, this is a course of two treatments. For severe acne and skin rejuvenation a course of up to four treatments is recommended. For acne and rosacea a course of PDT without 5-ALA is advised for three-six sessions, each a week apart.
This is a highly effective and established treatment for treating some forms of skin cancer. It is also a successful treatment for clearing acne, red and inflamed skin and completely rejuvenating areas of sun damage. The texture and tone of the treated area will be visibly improved.