Photodynamic Acne Therapy is a safe and highly effective method of treating a variety of skin conditions--including the acne that plagues so many teenagers. Very few of us pass through adolescence without experiencing some form of blemish or pimple.
Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by poor diet, stress or chocolate. Genetics, hormones, clogged pores and bacteria are the major causes of acne. These factors cause the sebaceous glands (oil producing glands in the skin) to produce excess oil (sebum), which combined with dead skin cells, clog the opening of the pores. Bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) forms in the pores creating red inflamed pimples, pus filled whiteheads or black heads.
Photodynamic Acne Therapy is an alternative to systemic oral drugs such as Accutane®, which carries significant risks and side effects. A clear, painless solution of a photosensitizing agent called Levulan is applied to the surface of the skin. Thirty to sixty minutes later it is activated by a blue light that activates the porphyrins in the bacteria, which results in a photodynamic effect that kills the bacteria.