Photodynamic Therapy is light or laser therapy that is enhanced with the application of a chemical: Aminolevulanic Acid (ALA).
How it works: ALA is a photosensitizer which is absorbed preferentially by certain structures in the skin such as oil glands, bacteria, hair follicles and inflamed skin (rosacea, broken blood vessels, acne, pigmented spots, precancerous cells). This chemical is applied to the skin and is absorbed over the next 1-2 hours. Then an Intense Pulsed Light is applied which is designed to activate the chemical. By the end of this process, the results can be equivalent to 3 or 4 IPL treatments (Photofacial) without the chemical.
After the treatment, the client is slathered with a heavy duty sunblock, because additional exposure to sunlight can result in a severe burn. The client is sent home wearing sunglasses and a widebrimmed hat and must stay inside, away from sunlight for 36 hours. The skin will become progressively more red and will feel and will look similar to a moderate to severe sunburn after 6 - to 18 hours. Full healing can take up to 2 weeks, during which time there may be flaking, dry scaly skin, peeling, dark coloring of sunspots.
After 1 -2 weeks the skin will show marked improvement of pigmented spots, red marks, acne, fine wrinkles and large pores and continue this improvement for up to 6 mos.
Photodynamic treatment can be repeated up to 3 or 4 times for maximal results.
Frequently Asked Questions
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