Photodynamic Therapy


Photodynamic therapy is the latest advancement in photorejuvenation therapy. Photodynamic therapy, or simply PDT, was invented to boost the results of IPL (often called photofacial) and BLU-U treatments.

PDT involves the application, on the areas of skin to be treated, of an FDA approved light sensitizing agent, called Levulan. This “pre-treatment” with Levulan makes sun damaged skin, acne prone skin, and pre-cancerous skin lesions more sensitive to the subsequent treatment with IPL or BLU-U.

With PDT using IPL there is a more dramatic reduction in pigmentation, texture irregularities, redness, and visible veins that previously required a series of 3 to 5 IPL treatments. Unlike IPL treatments without Levulan, PDT with IPL can treat many superficial pre-cancerous lesions (actinic keratosis) as well as some superficial skin cancers while simultaneously treating those skin problems mentioned before: pigmentation irregularities, vascularity, and uneven skin tone.

Similarly, the BLU-U when used in combination with Levulan can, in a single treatment, treat pre-cancerous lesions without any discomfort or downtime. In some circumstances insurance companies may provide reimbursement for photodynamic therapy. Also BLU-U is also an excellent treatment for problematic acne. The treatment can reduce the incidence and severity of breakouts, thereby reducing the risk of acne scarring. It has become very popular treatment option for acne with our teenage patients along with patients suffering from adult acne.

Fine lines and wrinkles, brown spots, uneven skin tone, sun damage with brown discolorations treated with Photodynamic Therapy.
For more information on photodynamic therapy (PDT) and how it can benefit you please contact us to come in for a complimentary consultation.

Pre Photodynamic Therapy Treatment Instructions

You have chosen to do Photodynamic Therapy to improve the condition of your skin. Please read the following:

Please discontinue any harsh facial products for two week prior to your treatment (this includes Retin-A, Retinol, AHA’s, Glycolics, and all Vitamin C products).

If you have a significant history of cold sores, please notify our office prior to your treatment so we may treat you preventatively.
If at all possible, please come into our office without any make-up on for your treatment.

Please have a mild cleanser, moisturizer, and sun block on hand for your after treatment care (we can recommend some great products if needed).

Please be aware that you will notice redness, peeling, and sun sensitivity after your treatment for an average of 5-10 days. With this in mind, please make arrangements to avoid the sun during this time.

If you have any questions, please call our San Clemente office at (949) 276-4141, our Aliso Viejo office at (949) 297-4141, or our Santa Margarita office at (949) 709-4141.

Post Photodynamic Therapy Treatment Instructions

After your treatment, you will experience some degree of redness. This redness may occur immediately or it may evolve over the next several days.
For the first 48 hours after your treatment, you must avoid direct sun exposure (as you will be at risk for burning).

Depending on the degree of your skin’s damage, you may also notice that your skin will begin to peel, crust, burn, and/or itch. You may also notice a temporary discoloration of your skin, which should resolve over the next 7-14 days.

You must avoid all undue sun exposure for the entire time that you have any degree of redness, sensitivity, and/or other noted side effects.
Sun Block is required to be worn daily on the treated area (SPF 30 or above).
You may treat the area with cool compresses or ice packs for any visible swelling, etc.

Please avoid hot showers and/or hot water on the treated area. Also, please avoid scrubbing the affected area.

Please avoid any harsh products (i.e. Retin-A, Glycolic, and “AHA’s”, etc.) on the skin until after your skin is healed. You may resume your regular routine after all irritation is resolved.

Please cleanse the skin with mild agents and moisturizers 2 times per day (we can recommend excellent products for your skin that are available at either of our offices).

Please schedule two follow up visits after your treatment. The first visit for one week after your treatment, and the second visit for one month after your treatment.

When you are four weeks post your treatment, you may retreat the skin with a photodynamic therapy treatment again if it is necessary.

If you have any questions, please call our San Clemente office at (949) 276-4141, our Aliso Viejo office at (949) 297-4141, or our Santa Margarita office (949) 709-4141.