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Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic Therapy, or PDT, may be recommended to you by the doctors at The Layt Clinic if you have some clinical evidence of sun damage on examination, usually in the form of sunspots. PDT has been used for some years now in Australia to treat sun-damaged skin, as well as some forms of skin cancers. There are various formulations of products used when performing a PDT treatment. The sections below explain how this innovative procedure can help many patients meet their needs.

What is Photodynamic Therapy?

Photodynamic Therapy is characterized by the application of a photochemical product and its interaction within cells after activation by a light source. The medication is applied to the skin surface and is mostly absorbed by abnormal cells or sun-damaged cells. This photosensitizer is then activated within the cells when light of a specific wavelength is applied. This causes the skin cells to become more sensitive to light, and when a certain type of light is applied, the reaction that ensues causes the targeted cells to die and slough off. After these damaged cells have been destroyed, new, healthy cells begin to form.

Damaged cells are usually due to excessive exposure to sunlight. Prolonged periods in sunlight with no protection can lead to uneven, blotchy skin. Sunspots, if left untreated, may eventually turn into certain types of skin cancer. In theory, sunspots are best treated in their early stages to prevent serious repercussions and to get the best cosmetic results possible.

Though there are obvious cosmetic benefits to the use of Photodynamic Therapy, this treatment may also have long-term skin health benefits. The treatment is predominantly used to deal with sun-damaged skin. Aside from the decidedly unappealing look of blotchy, light and dark areas that are found after long-term damage to the arms, legs, torso and face, “sunspots” can manifest into more dangerous conditions. There are currently many practitioners worldwide that encourage the use of PDT not only as a cosmetic procedure, but also as an annual preventative measure to treat and inhibit further sun damage.

What can be treated with PDT?

PDT can be used to treat a range of conditions, as outlined below:

  • Non-Hyperkeratotic keratosis (sun spots)
  • Cystic acne, acne vulgaris, and generally oily skin
  • Rosacea
  • Sebaceous gland hyperplasia
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Large pores
  • Fine lines
  • Hyperpigmentation (age spots, discolouration)

Why is PDT a great option?

  • Healing is usually rapid
  • Can provide an excellent cosmetic result
  • There is no systemic reaction
  • Can be repeated if necessary
  • Does not prevent you from undergoing any other cosmetic procedures in the future

How many PDT treatments will I need to see the best results?

To achieve maximum improvement on pre-cancerous areas, mildly damaged skin may require one to two treatments, whereas moderately to severely damaged skin may require up to three treatments.

During your initial consultation, our doctor can recommend the most ideal treatment regimen for your needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact The Layt Clinic with any questions you may have.