Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

In the field of dermatology, light energy is highly valuable—especially when customized to a patient’s specific needs. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a favorite dermatologist-approved skincare procedure and acne treatment for our Tucson patients from the Green Valley, Sierra Vista, Saddlebrooke, and Sahuarita, AZ, areas. This light-based procedure uses powerful red light to clear acne and also reduce some signs of sun damage.

What Is Photodynamic Therapy Used to Treat?

The “photo” in “photodynamic therapy” refers to a special type of red light emitted by the advanced BF-RhodoLED® device. The light can provide a variety of benefits, which include:

  • Reducing certain signs of sun damage by stimulating collagen development.
  • Treating active acne and preventing future breakouts.
  • Getting rid of actinic keratoses—common pre-cancerous skin lesions—when used in conjunction with a special topical product.

How Does Photodynamic Therapy Work for Acne?

PDT is an effective acne treatment because it kills the bacteria that cause acne breakouts and shrinks the oil-producing sebaceous glands.

Are You a Candidate for Photodynamic Therapy?

PDT with the BF-RhodoLED device is appropriate for many people and can be used to treat a number of skin conditions. You might be a candidate for treatment with PDT if you’re bothered by:

  • Acne breakouts
  • Actinic keratoses on your face or scalp

During your consultation with Dr. Orlick, you’ll discuss your own personal medical history to determine whether PDT is likely to be safe and effective for you.

Dr. Olson & Dr. Orlick

Meet Our Doctors

Board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Jerold Olson and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katherine Orlick blend their skills for your optimal well-being and comfort.

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Your PDT Treatment Experience

Your PDT treatment takes place here in our office, administered by Dr. Orlick. Once your skin has been cleansed, she places special protective eyewear over your eyes. She then places the BF-RhodoLED device over your skin (the device does not touch your skin). It emits light for a prescribed amount of time, depending on the condition you’d like to treat.

If you undergo PDT to treat actinic keratoses, Dr. Orlick will also apply a special chemical to your lesions before treatment. The chemical is “activated” by the PDT light and can break down and eliminate the lesions.

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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Photodynamic Therapy?

Most PDT sessions don’t require a special recovery period. When you undergo PDT to treat acne or a cosmetic concern, you can return to your normal activities as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. When you undergo PDT to treat actinic keratoses, you’ll need to take special precautions to avoid unprotected sun exposure for several days after treatment. This is because the chemical used during treatment causes your skin to be very sensitive to light. Don’t rely only on sunscreen, either. In the immediate days after your procedure, you’ll need to cover up with long pants and sleeves as well as a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

How Long Do PDT Results Last?

Depending on the condition you have treated, your PDT results can last for a long time. The procedure is considered an effective treatment for actinic keratoses; often, a single session is all that’s required to eliminate a lesion. People who undergo PDT for acne may need regular maintenance visits.

Would you like to learn more about PDT or try it for yourself with a dermatologist in Tucson, AZ? Please request a consultation online or call us at (520) 731-1110.