Photodynamic Therapy in Westport, CT

Westport, New Canaan, Ridgefield & All of Fairfield County

Also known as photochemotherapy, PDT has proven effective in eradicating microbial cells such as bacteria, fungi and viruses and weakening cancer cells. Many physicians such as Dr. O’Connell utilize PDT to deal with aesthetic skin care and improve the quality of life for their patients.

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What is Photodynamic Therapy?

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is phototherapy that uses light and a photosensitizing chemical substance with molecular oxygen to destroy cells.

Photodynamic therapy involves three steps beginning with a light-sensitive cream or photosensitizer that is applied to a targeted area.The second part depends upon how long it takes for the drug to be absorbed by your skin. This is referred to as the incubation period. Some patients return the next day for the final step – light activation.

Your tissue is exposed to a specific wavelength of light to trigger the photosensitizing medication and destroy the tissue. You may feel some burning sensation after your treatment.

Photodynamic Therapy FAQs

Dr. Joseph O’Connell, Total Aesthetics in Westport, CT

  • What is photodynamic therapy?
  • How is acne treated with photodynamic therapy?
  • What is Clearlight technology?
  • How is photodynamic therapy used for skin care?
  • What are the side effects of photodynamic therapy?
  • What is the recovery for photodynamic therapy?

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What is photodynamic therapy?

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) utilizes the topical application of aminolevulinic acid (Levulan®) that is subsequently activated by light to achieve a therapeutic effect. At Total Aesthetics, we utilize intense pulsed light for Levulan activation and we have the option of ClearLight™ technology from Lumenis®.

How is acne treated with photodynamic therapy?

Many factors can contribute to the cause of acne and appropriate treatment depends upon the nature, extent, duration and severity of the lesions as well as psychological factors. Levulan is a clear liquid applied to the skin after which the patient is treated with blue light utilizing either intense pulsed light (IPL) or the ClearLight machine from Lumenis. The Levulan serves as a photosensitizing agent that helps kill the bacteria most commonly associated with acne. Several treatments are usually required. Treatment is limited to mild to moderate acne lesions.

What is Clearlight technology?

ClearLight is a light-based treatment for mild to moderate acne. It involves a series of painless treatment sessions, each lasting about 20 minutes. The ClearLight machine utilizes a blue wavelength light source to destroy the bacteria most commonly responsible for acne lesions resulting in a decrease in the number and intensity of acne blemishes. All areas of the body can be treated, including the face, neck, back and chest, with immediate return to normal activities. ClearLight technology can also be used as part of photodynamic therapy.

How is photodynamic therapy used for skin care?

At Total Aesthetics, Photodynamic Therapy is utilized as an adjunct to photo-rejuvenation to reduce global photodamage including fine lines, brown pigmentation, sallowness and tactile roughness of the skin. Levulan is applied to the skin after which the patient is treated with intense-pulsed-light therapy (IPL).

What are the side effects of photodynamic therapy?

As with any minor procedure, there can be some side effects connected with photodynamic therapy treatment, including a burning sensation, infection, itchiness, redness, and swelling.

Possible complications of photodynamic therapy can include an allergic reaction, blisters and scabs, burning of the treated area, skin discoloration, skin redness, and telangiectasia. Photosensitivity usually disappears a few days after your treatment.

What is the recovery for photodynamic therapy?

For most patients, recovering from photodynamic therapy can involve soreness and redness on your skin for a few days. It can feel and look like a sunburn.

Am I a candidate for Photodynamic Therapy?

If you have light or fair skin, you are a potential candidate for photodynamic therapy. Let Dr. O’Connell know if you have had a history of skin infections or cold sores as well as any allergies, including allergies to topical anesthetics and other photosensitizers.

If you have darker skin, burn easily or are sensitive to light you may not be a good candidate for photodynamic therapy.

The first step towards a new, beautiful you is to schedule a personal consultation.

Along with providing the highest level of care, no effort is spared to create an environment where each patient is nurtured and cared for as an individual. Use our form to contact Dr. O’Connell with questions about any of our aesthetic or plastic surgery procedures.

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