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Phytodynamic therapy for acne and age spots

Is a Solution for:
Cellulite, Stretch Marks, Sagging Skin
July 14, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 3 Comments
Phytodynamic therapy has really exciting potential to reduce fine lines, pigmentation, and other textural problems, according to Dr Daniela Dadurian in a recent interview with Copley. I had to know more. What is phytodynmic therapy, how does work and what will (or won't) it do?

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is mostly used as a medical treatment for precancerous or cancerous cells. It uses a drug (typically a gel) that becomes activated by light exposure. The result is an activated oxygen molecule that can destroy nearby cells. PDT essentially has three steps. First, a light-sensitizing liquid, cream, or intravenous drug (photosensitizer) is applied or administered. Second, there is an incubation period of minutes to days (depending on what is being treated). Finally, the target tissue is exposed to a specific wavelength of light that then activates the photosensitizing medication. PDT using a drug called Levulan and a proprietary blue light is currently FDA approved for the treatment of skin precancers called actinic keratosis (rough scaly spots generally on sun-exposed skin).

PDT is also known as "ALA/PDT treatment" or "Super Blue Light." It has been referred to as a "super photo facial" when the photosensitizer is used with a machine called intense pulsed light or IPL. Sun damage, fine lines, and blotchy pigmentation may also be improved. PDT also has been shown to help decrease the appearance of enlarged pores and reduce oil glands, effectively treating stubborn acne and rosacea, while improving the appearance of some small superficial acne scars.

Although acne and rosacea do appear to respond well to PDT and require only a 30-minute incubation period, I've seen reports that PDT doesn't work so well for hyperpigmentation. Still, if you have age spots, PDT is worth keeping an eye on as the technology seems to be continuously evolving,
  • July 29, 2010

    by tman

    I had the IPL and Levulan therapy a few years back. The improvement is mild, and temporary. Remember NO treatments either with the latest creams, or laser completely repair the sun damage. Only a small percentage of your skin repairs itself even with the best treatment. Also the human body does not have the photolayse enzyme to do this properly and what you see in improvement on the surface is mostly collagen regeneration after treatment, but not complete DNA repair. Thats why damage re-occurs despite best efforts to keep high spf sunscreen on during the day.

    Hopefully, as time progressives we see more
    scientific improvements in this area.

  • February 1, 2010

    by 1ofnoother

    Hi Judy,

    Can you share if your sun spots/freckles came back just as they were before you had the IPLs done, or are they darker, and more abundant? Are there any other side effects? Thank you.

  • July 31, 2009

    by judy

    I did get series of IPLs done year and a half ago for sun spots and freckles. It did work very well and after about 4-5 sessions I didn't need to be treated anymore. However, they're all back now! And I wear sunblock religiously. I'm not sure where it went wrong...

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