Photodynamic Therapy

FDA-approved Photodynamic Therapy has been proven successful in treating actinic keratoses, some early stage cancers, acne, rosacea, sun damage, and other textural irregularities. Patients who complete a treatment series can see benefits such as lesion reduction or removal, a clearer complexion, a more even skin tone, and even reduced pore size.
Areas Face Chest Leg Hands Body
Cost
Duration 30 minutes for acne, 90 minutes for lesions
Frequency Generally at least 3 treatments spaced 3 weeks apart
Book Consultation
Photodynamic Therapy

What To Expect

How it works

PDT destroys abnormal cells by harnessing the power of a topical photo sensitizer called Levulan, or aminolevulinic acid (ALA), combined with a special light and molecular oxygen. ALA, a natural substance found throughout the body, is activated by light to destroy target tissue cells.

The dermatological community regards PDT as an effective method for treating actinic keratoses (AK’s) and Bowen's disease, leaving you with clearer skin that also shows improvement of fine lines and blotchy pigment.

PDT also has the power to minimize pores, reduce oil production, and kill acne causing bacteria, effectively treating stubborn acne vulgaris, acne rosacea, and even the appearance of acne scars. Better yet, PDT acts not only to decrease active acne breakouts but also to reduce pore size, helping to prevent future acne by minimizing the breeding ground available to bacteria.

How we do it

For acne-related PDT treatment, you can expect to be in our office for about 30 minutes. Prior to the procedure, your skin will be prepped, ensuring skin is clean and free of all makeup, moisturizers, and sunscreens. The PDT protocol for acne involves sitting under the Blu-U light source with goggles on for an 18-minute session.

If you are getting PDT treatment for sun-damaged skin and/or precancerous lesions, your appointment will last approximately 90 minutes. Your skin will be prepped, ensuring skin is clean and free of all makeup, moisturizers, and sunscreens. Topical ALA will then be applied to your skin and will be allowed to incubate for painlessly for approximately 1 hour. The protocol for AKs involves sitting under the light for 22 minutes.

Side effects

You may feel a very mild stinging when your skin is exposed to the light. After the session is complete, you should feel no pain. You can expect mild to moderate redness and scaling that may persist for up to 5 days, similar to a mild sunburn.

Time to full effect

Patients usually require at least 3 treatments spaced at 3 week intervals, with maintenance sessions recommended to achieve long term reduction in lesions.

Questions? We’ve Got Answers.

How does PDT work?

PDT destroys abnormal cells by harnessing the power of a topical photo sensitizer called Levulan, or aminolevulinic acid (ALA), combined with a special light and molecular oxygen. ALA, a natural substance found throughout the body, is activated by light to destroy target tissue cells.

What are actinic keratoses?

Actinic keratoses (AK’s) are pre-cancerous lesions that arise from UV damage. It is important to get regular skin checks to determine if you have any of these lesions, as they have a chance of turning into a form of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma if left untreated.
Pre-Care Instructions
Post-Care Instructions
Ask Your Provider
Please notify our office prior to treatment if you have an active cold sore. You may require prophylactic therapy.
Medications
Avoid isotretinoin for 3 months prior to treatment.
Patient Safety
This treatment is not recommended for patients who are pregnant or who have pacemakers or internal defibrillators.
Sun Protection
Insert instructions here Sun Exposure & Tanning

Recommended Products

See All

Dr. Day’s Pro Tips

See All
Breathe Your Way to Beautiful Skin
dermatology
skincare
sunscreen
tips

Breathe Your Way to Beautiful Skin

Can you breathe wrong? Apparently, the answer is yes. How you breathe can affect how healthy you ...
May 08, 2022
Rosacea Awareness
Rosacea
skincare
treatments

Rosacea Awareness

Do You Have Rosacea? Here’s How You Can Tell If you’ve noticed an increase in redness, breakouts...
April 26, 2022
Your Body Needs Retinol Too
skincare
tips

Your Body Needs Retinol Too

  Who doesn’t want youthful glowing skin? We are all looking for that magic ingredient we can’t ...
March 30, 2022
New Year’s Detox and Resolutions
seasonal
skincare

New Year’s Detox and Resolutions

January is a perfect time to reflect and plan for the year ahead. My newest post will give you wh...
December 15, 2021
Combat Dry Skin and Cool Weather
seasonal
skincare
tips

Combat Dry Skin and Cool Weather

Autumn is beautiful but the colder, windy outdoor air vs  hot and dry indoor air can leave your s...
October 29, 2021
Skincare for the Seasons
seasonal
skincare
tips

Skincare for the Seasons

As we move from summer to Fall it’s important to take stock of your skin care and diet routine to...
October 12, 2021
Masks, and Maskne Are Still a Thing
acne
skincare

Masks, and Maskne Are Still a Thing

With many still unvaccinated and with the rise of the Delta and other variants, masks are going ...
August 25, 2021
Hair Loss, Why It Happens and What You Need To Know To Grow It Back
hair loss
treatments

Hair Loss, Why It Happens and What You Need To Know To Grow It Back

The incidence of hair loss has skyrocketed over the past year, it has become a toppresenting conc...
August 17, 2021
Summer Skincare
seasonal
skincare

Summer Skincare

Summer is a time for outdoors, sun and fun! Here's how you can enjoy your summer without ruining ...
July 15, 2021
Acne Update: Facts You May Not Know
acne
skincare

Acne Update: Facts You May Not Know

Acne is a chronic condition that can happen as young as at birth and as late as in your 50’s. It’...
June 22, 2021
What to Look for in Your Skin Care Products
acne
skincare
tips

What to Look for in Your Skin Care Products

Your skin care needs can change by the season, read my newest post on my blog to learn what you n...
May 11, 2021
Supercharged Sunscreen: What It Means and Why You Need To Know
sunscreen

Supercharged Sunscreen: What It Means and Why You Need To Know

Sunscreen is an important part of your beauty routine and being sun-smart is the best way to trul...
April 06, 2021
Pre, Pro, and Post Biotics 101
skincare
tips

Pre, Pro, and Post Biotics 101

Pre, Pro, and Post Biotics 101: What They Are and Why You Need to Know The Goal: Optimize your...
March 17, 2021
Organic, Clean and Natural Beauty, Oh My!  Navigating Buzzwords in Skin Care
skincare
tips

Organic, Clean and Natural Beauty, Oh My! Navigating Buzzwords in Skin Care

As a dermatologist and skin care professional, I navigate a landscape wrought with potential pitf...
March 02, 2021
Free Radicals and Antioxidants: One of These is Not Like the Other
skincare
tips

Free Radicals and Antioxidants: One of These is Not Like the Other

Free Radicals: How They Can Help or Hurt Your Skin A war is being waged by every cell in your b...
February 08, 2021
New Year's Detox and 5 Easy Resolutions for a Beautiful Year Ahead
seasonal
skincare
tips

New Year's Detox and 5 Easy Resolutions for a Beautiful Year Ahead

Before you make your New Year's resolutions, read on for tips on how to get your new year off to ...
December 28, 2020
Celebrating the Best of Beauty this Holiday Season
seasonal
skincare
tips

Celebrating the Best of Beauty this Holiday Season

This is a special time of the year, a time to reflect on all that is important, a time to celebra...
December 05, 2020
How to Manage the Effects of Stress on Your Skin
skincare
tips

How to Manage the Effects of Stress on Your Skin

Stress can accelerate aging of your skin and other organs as well. There are simple techniques yo...
November 23, 2020
Maskne: How It Happens and How to Fix It
acne
skincare
tips

Maskne: How It Happens and How to Fix It

Masks are here to stay, learn how to wear them effectively to minimize rashes and breakouts. Ther...
October 25, 2020
Which Sunscreen is Right for You?
skincare
sunscreen

Which Sunscreen is Right for You?

First, let’s set the record straight “But I wore sunscreen!”   Sunscreen safety   As dermatolog...
September 02, 2020
The Covid Conundrum
tips

The Covid Conundrum

We all know the feeling. A new year starts and we are resolute. “This is the year I will take ...
May 07, 2020
Face Fillers vs. Plastic Surgery
treatments

Face Fillers vs. Plastic Surgery

I want a more youthful complexion—what cosmetic procedure is right for me?By Emily Hebert Contra...
January 08, 2020
How to Use Fillers for the most Natural, Youthful Appearance
tips
treatments

How to Use Fillers for the most Natural, Youthful Appearance

Lips send a message even when they’re not moving. To create beautiful natural lips I often combin...
December 05, 2019
Birthdays are for Celebrating
tips

Birthdays are for Celebrating

Birthdays are for celebrating, even if the ones we cherish are not here to blow out their own can...
December 02, 2018