Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) in Santa Barbara, CA

Photodynamic therapy is an advanced light based treatment used to treat actinic keratosis (precancers) and acne. Dr. Keith Llewellyn offers photodynamic therapy (PDT) for residents of Santa Barbara, Ventura, Solvang, Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, and the surrounding areas of California.

What is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)?

BLU Light Photodynamic therapy is a light based treatment most often used to treat actinic keratosis (precancers). It may also be used to treat acne. A prescription topical solution, Levulan, is placed on the skin. Levulan is absorbed by abnormal precancerous cells (actinic keratosis) and by sebaceous glands (acne) and makes them sensitive to light. After an incubation period of about an hour, the Levulan treated skin is exposed to BLU light. BLU light photodynamic therapy is most often used for patients who have many actinic keratosis and freezing them all becomes impractical. Compared to efudex cream, which is also used to treat actinic keratosis, there is less down time (redness, crusting and scaling of the treated area) and better cosmetic results. BLU Light photodynamic therapy may be used to treat lesions anywhere on the body, but it is most often used to treat actinic keratosis on the face, scalp, upper chest, arms, and hands. BLU light photodynamic therapy may also be used to treat acne in patients who wish to avoid oral antibiotics or accutane. To obtain optimal results, typically two treatment sessions are scheduled about one month apart.

How Much Does PDT Cost?

The cost of your BLU Light photodynamic therapy is based upon the treatment plan that is developed by Dr. Llewellyn during the consultation. Our payment options are cash and major credit cards, and you can learn more on our financing page.

What Are the Benefits of Photodynamic Therapy?

  • Less downtime
  • Fewer post-treatment symptoms
  • Better cosmetic outcomes
  • Used to treat an area of many actinic keratosis as opposed to freezing them one by one
  • Treatment alternative to oral antibiotics and accutane for acne

Am I a Candidate for PDT?

If you have been diagnosed with actinic keratosis. you may be a candidate for BLU light photodynamic therapy. If you have acne and wish to avoid the use of oral antibiotics or accutane, BLU light photodynamic therapy may be a treatment option for you.

What is Photorejuvenation?

Photorejuvenation is the use of light based treatments to improve the cosmetic appearance of the skin. Patients who undergo BLU light photodynamic therapy for acne or actinic keratosis often report an overall improvement in the tone, texture and appearance of their skin.

What Should I Expect from Photodynamic Therapy?

After cleaning your skin, the levulan solution is applied and allowed to incubate for one hour (incubation times may vary). Then you will be placed under the BLU light for 16 minutes and 40 seconds. Most patients describe a stinging sensation that builds over the first six minutes of the treatment, then plateaus and is easily soothed for most patients with a handheld fan.

Most patient’s skin is pink following the procedure, but some have a brisker reaction and have red skin similar to a moderate sunburn. The redness and flaking from this procedure resolve over the next seven days for most patients.

Sunscreen will be applied post treatment. You need to remain indoors for 36 hours following your BLU Light PDT treatment and will need to avoid any indirect sun exposure. Do not sit next to windows.

Detailed post-treatment instructions will be provided for you following your treatment.

If you have precancerous skin lesions or acne, Dr. Llewellyn may recommend photodynamic therapy, or PDT. Aloe Dermatology offers photodynamic therapy (PDT) for men and women in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Solvang, Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, and the surrounding areas of California. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.