Photodynamic therapy (PDT) utilizes a photosensitizing agent (aminolevulinic acid or ALA) and a light source (Blu U) in order to treat a wide range of skin conditions ranging from inflammatory acne and sebaceous hyperplasia to precancerous lesions (actinic keratoses).

For our PDT protocol treating Actinic Keratoses, ALA is applied to the skin and allowed to incubate 90 – 200 minutes, depending on the treatment site.

During incubation, the ALA is selectively absorbed by precancerous cells and by the bacteria that inhabits the skin and can cause acne. Once absorbed within those cells, a photochemical reaction occurs converting ALA into protoporphyrin IX, a light sensitive agent. Now that the target cells have “time bombs” inside primed for activation by light, the Blu-U light source is applied to the treatment area for 16 min 40 sec, activating the medication.

While our patients experience minimal discomfort and achieve amazing results with our PDT protocol, it is very important to conduct strict light avoidance for 48 hours following treatment. Many patients will note a mild, sunburn-like reaction lasting for two to four days, the length of medication incubation time.

Take Control of Your Health with an Annual Skin Exam

When it comes to skin cancer, time is of the essence. The sooner potential issues are identified, the higher the likelihood of successful treatment. Yearly skin cancer screenings are the cornerstone of early detection, enabling us to identify any warning signs and act swiftly. Think of your annual skin exam as your proactive step toward a lifetime of skin health.