Acne Treatment with Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) – Sydney, Canberra & Adelaide
Looking for the most effective Acne Treatment? Talk to the team at Cosmos Clinic to clear up embarrassing Acne problems.
Acne is a common problem especially for teenagers. Without an effective Acne Treatment, it can greatly affect their confidence and development. Active acne is best treated with Daily Skin Care and Photodynamic Therapy (PDT). Thirty percent of patients are cured of their acne following one treatment of PDT, 60% are cured after 2 treatments of PDT and 90% are cured after three treatments of PDT.
Acne Treatment with Skin Care
The combination of a vitamin A cream, antibiotics and benzyl peroxide wash has a 50% success rate compared to the 80-90% success rate of PDT. Roaccutane has a slightly higher success rate than PDT but many patients do not want to trial this option given the multitude of side effects.
Acne Treatment with Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
What is ALA Photodynamic Treatment (PDT)?
You have probably noticed that when you go to the beach in summer your acne improves. The sun is responsible for this improvement by activating a substance called ALA in your oil gland. This leads to the destruction of the blocked oil gland and the bacteria that causes acne. Photodynamic therapy is a treatment that amifies this natural process by artifically increasing the amount of ALA in your skin.
Photodynamic Treatment (PDT) is a process by which a photosensitising cream called Aminolevulinic Acid (ALA) is applied to your skin and then activated by a light source. The Photosensitising cream is a special solution that is activated by a red or blue light, which “turns it on”. ALA is a “natural” product found throughout the body. It is needed for haemoglobin synthesis. (It wouldn’t be possible to make the red blood cells to carry oxygen without ALA in your body).
How does it work?
The activation of ALA by light leads to:
- The destruction of sebaceous glands. The blockage of these glands is responsible for causing acne.
- The destruction of Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), the bacteria that triggers acne.
- Improved texture, tone and complexion of the skin.
- A reduction in pigmentation, pores and fine lines.
- A progressive reduction in redness with every treatment. The redness and flushing caused by Rosacea and broken capillaries can be reduced by 80 to 90 percent.
This makes this therapy particularly useful for acne, Rosacea, pigmentation (freckles), large pores and photorejuvination of the skin. It can be used for all skin types over the whole body. The use of Retin A gel and fruit acids prior to the PDT helps with the effectiveness of the treatment.
What does the procedure involve?
The skin is cleaned with acetone. The ALA cream is applied for 15 minutes to one hour depending on the desired effect and the amount of downtime available to the patient. After the cream is removed the patient is required to lie under a light source for 20 minutes during which a mild tingling sensation may be experienced.
What can I expect after this Acne Treatment?
After the procedure, it is important for the patient to avoid the sun where possible, wear sunscreen and a hat. Exposure to the sun will result in a burning sensation on the face (photosensitivity). The face becomes red a few hours after the treatment. The photosensitivity and the redness will last anywhere from two days to two weeks depending on the intensity of the treatment selected by the patient. The greater the intensity, the better the result, but the longer the redness and photosensitivity.
How many Acne Treatments will I need?
At Cosmos Clinic we advise 2-4 mild to moderate PDT treatments at 2 to 4 week intervals to obtain optimal results for acne and photorejuvination. Thirty percent of acne patients improve after one treatment, another thirty percent of acne patients will improve after two treatments and ninety percent of acne patients improve after three treatments.
How soon will I see results?
Active acne can improve dramatically within 2 weeks and will continue to improve 8 to 10 weeks after the treatment.
After each session, you will experience improvement in your skin tone and texture. There will be a decrease in the overall redness and flushing. Sunspots will fade; pore sizes will shrink. Fine lines and wrinkles will gradually decrease in size as the new collagen forms beneath the skin. These improvements will continue to increase with each treatment.
How long will the results last?
This treatment has been shown to have the potential for long term improvements in acne due to the destruction of the oil glands. Significant clinical improvement and a decrease in oil production and oil gland size have been shown after PDT.
The results will last for up to two years.
Are there any problems with PDT?
There is no risk of scarring with PDT. Some patients have a lively response to PDT and experience marked redness of their skin which will resolve. Temporary swelling may occur with the lips and around the eyes for a few days. Darker pigmented patches, called liver spots, can become temporarily darker and then peel off leaving normal skin. (This usually occurs after seven to ten days).
Who is a suitable candidate for PDT?
PDT is suitable for all patients with active acne lesions who have not had a response to antibiotic treatments and do not want to commence Roaccutane (due to the numerous side efffects).
PDT is a effective and safe treatment for active acne lesions.
Patients with dark skin types are able to be treated with PDT. The risk of hyperpigmentation is small if they are treated appropriately. If hyperpigmentation does occur, it resolves with appropriate treatment in 3-4 months.
Acne Treatment Before & After
Photodynamic Therapy Costs & Prices
Initial Consultation at one of our Cosmetic Clinics in Double Bay, Sydney or Deakin, Canberra is $120. One treatment of PDT starts from around $580, however discount packages are available.