Photodynamic Therapy For Acne Blackheads and Blemishes

What is Photodynamic therapy for acne? For many people, it can provide the treatment needed to finally get rid of acne blackheads and blemishes that have been difficult to eliminate using other methods. For skin blemishes which are not too severe, (non – cystic blackheads and whiteheads), the light therapy alone can have hugely beneficial effects and about five minutes twice a week for about four weeks will produce very good results.

For a deeper treatment, your dermatologist will use a drug which is a photosensitizing agent (in other words, the drug makes your skin more receptive and sensitive to light) and a source of light to activate this drug. Once applied to your skin, the light from the treatment will activate the drug. When it happens, an activated oxygen molecule can work to destroy a cell that is nearby. Using the photosensitizing agent will result in greatly improved skin texture and refined pores – however, after the treatment, you feel as though you have sunburn and your skin will peel. You must take care to avoid sunlight for at least thirty-six hours after a treatment of this type as failure to do so can cause more skin than expected to peel off and thus, a longer recovery time. This form of the treatment also helps to improve sun damaged skin and conditions such as Rosacea and Keratosis Pillaris.

photodynamic therapy for acne

Image from dermatologistsnyc.com

There are many reasons to consider using Photodynamic Therapy or PDT as it is often referred to, but it is important to talk to your dermatologist about how well it will work for your skin before undergoing the procedure. Photodynamic therapy is not only used to remedy skin problems such as acne blackheads and other blemishes. In the past, doctors have used this procedure as a way of destroying cancer cells growing on the skin. In that way, it can be incredibly helpful as well, often helping to reduce the presence of harmful cancerous cells significantly. It has been particularly beneficial in those skin cancers which are on skin over bone (such as cancers on the skin overlying the shin bone or the hands).

How does photodynamic therapy for acne work?

If your dermatologist is using the photosensitizing agent, the procedure generally has three steps. The first is the application of the liquid or cream, which contains the agent. This is applied over the affected area. Once applied, this is left to be absorbed into the skin’s surface for the most beneficial results. Once the required time period has elapsed, the doctor performing the procedure will use specific wavelengths of light to scan over the skin.

Blue light, visible to the human eye causes the membrane of the cells of acne bacteria to rupture killing almost all of them within forty-eight hours of the treatment. The blue light is most effective on the bacteria on the skin surface and near the openings of your pores as it is unable to travel right down to the bottom of the pore.

Red light, however, does penetrate more deeply and this gets right down to the sebaceous glands which are a main contributor to the problem of acne blackheads and other blemishes because, for many reasons, they go into a sort of ‘overdrive’ producing excessive oil and causing the blockages that lead to blemishes and provide a feeding ground for the bacteria. The red light has the effect of ‘damping down’ the production of oil from the sebaceous glands and this, in turn, has a beneficial effect on your skin.

To avoid the damage that red light can cause to skin, modern photodynamic treatments use a combination of the two wavelengths, often in a pulsed treatment. Non-caucasian skin types respond particularly well to this combination treatment.

Once the treatment has done its work and killed the majority of the bacteria and lowered oil production levels, how soon you see an improvement in your skin will depend on how quickly the blemishes you already have, heal. You should notice though that new blemishes are not forming on your skin after treatment. Generally speaking, the younger you are, the more quickly you will see an improvement.

red and blue light therapy at home

This is just one of the home treatment machines available for red and blue light therapy

There are now home treatment systems delivering blue light for clearing acne blackheads and blemishes. These are effective and safe to use if you follow the instructions regarding length and frequency of use and how close your skin should be to the light source. For black skins, the blue light is a particularly effective way of destroying acne bacteria.

Interestingly, photodynamic therapy for acne is not something that is new. In fact, this type of procedure has been used in many ways since the early 1900’s. However, the newest versions of it are far more effective and the science is still evolving as well. The new products are more effective but are also safer for you to use. The doctor has more control over them as well, which improves your results.

There are a wide range of Blue Light Therapy For Acne products for home use available at Amazon.com

If your skin problems are causing you serious concern, you can talk to your dermatologist about the use of photodynamic therapy for acne. It is not something that most doctors will recommend as a first course of action. Rather, it is best used as a solution for treating the skin over a period of time only after other conventional methods have not produced good results.

Photodynamic therapy for acne is highly effective. It is the type of procedure that you can count on to provide your skin with improvement because it works so well to kill of the bacteria and to shrink the sebaceous glands, reducing oil production which has a preventative effect on future outbreaks as it helps to prevent pores from becoming clogged and providing a breeding ground for new bacteria. It is also very safe and the risk of skin damage or accidental burning of the skin is minimal. However, an initial consultation is important to find out if this is a treatment option right for your needs. If so, you can be confident that photodynamic therapy for acne blackheads and blemishes can work very well for your skin’s needs.


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