When Photosensitivity can be a Good Thing

PDT Spring Lake, NJUsually, we want to do everything we can to protect our skin from the potentially damaging rays of light. UV light can create some problems if we are not careful to cover the skin before exposure. So why might you want to visit your dermatologist in Spring Lake, NJ to make your skin more photosensitive? Let’s see . . .

The purposeful creation of photosensitivity is referred to as photodynamic therapy or PDT. This treatment is appropriate for chronic or severe acne as well as for precancerous and cancerous growths. Finally, some people schedule photodynamic therapy treatments to manage their skin as it ages.

Treatment involves the use of an active sensitizing agent, aminolevulinic acid, or ALA. This may also be called Levulan. After skin cells have absorbed the agent and become more sensitive to light, we administer light to the skin. Why would we do this? Because of the absorption of ALA, a naturally occurring substance in the body, occurs in unhealthy cells. This allows us to target those cells for destruction.

The process is quite simple, as is the treatment itself. The combination of aminolevulinic acid and light has a unique effect on pores, oil glands, sun damage, and pre-cancerous cells. Destruction of targeted cells occurs naturally with oxygen molecules that are created during the synergistic process beneath the skin.

Photodynamic therapy can provide significant benefit due to the action it incites beneath the surface. This is where all problems begin, from acne to fine lines and hyperpigmentation to skin cancer. Therefore, treating only visible problems somewhat limits results. PDT reaches beneath the surface to affect sub-clinical, or invisible, problems before they manifest on the skin.

As with many dermatologic and cosmetic treatments available today, photodynamic therapy can be customized to meet needs and preferences. Fewer treatment sessions may be necessary when a more intense protocol is used. However, side effects are usually increased. To experience less acute side effects, each treatment can be tailored to be more conservative. However, more sessions may be necessary to achieve optimal results.

We are interested in helping you have skin that is healthy and vibrant. Learn more about photodynamic therapy and our other general and cosmetic dermatologic treatments at (732) 449-0167.

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