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Light at the blue end of the spectrum has a very short wavelength and high energy. This makes it ideal for addressing a variety of skin conditions. The treatment is called photodynamic therapy, and it is available from Dr. Ariel Ostad.

What can Photodynamic Therapy do?

Photodynamic therapy, or PDT, involves a special medication called aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is applied to skin for one hour. It is then activated with blue light for approximately 15 minutes, creating controlled damage at a proper depth. PDT is used to:

  • Remove actinic keratoses—pre-cancerous lesions
  • Even out skin tone
  • Reduce sun damage
  • Treat acne
  • Shrink sebaceous (oil) glands
Photodynamic Therapy

What to expect with Photodynamic Therapy in NYC?

You should protect your skin with zinc oxide sunscreen of at least SPF 30 for a month prior to treatment, to minimize risk of discoloration. Stop using artificial tanners three weeks in advance. Then:

  • Skin is cleansed to remove all traces of makeup and oil
  • An aminolevulinic acid solution is applied
  • After 60 minutes, you don protective goggles while skin is treated with blue light for about 15 minutes. You feel warmth, tingling, or stinging for approximately 30-60. Since topical numbing is not effective for this treatment, we keep skin comfortable with a cooling device
  • Sunscreen is applied, and you may return home
  • Tingling, warmth, redness, and swelling may persist for up to three days. Discomfort can be managed with cool compresses and over the counter analgesics
  • Skin flakes for about a week. Cleanse it gently—no scrubbing—and keep the treated area covered with a thin layer of petroleum jelly
  • You may wear makeup when there is no longer redness or crusting
  • It is essential to avoid sun exposure for the first 48 hours, and continue to use sunscreen until healing is complete

Dr. Ostad on Skin Cancer

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Skin Cancer
Dr. Ariel Ostad


What is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)?

PDT, also known as Blue Light Therapy, is used to treat actinic keratoses—pre-cancerous lesions, even skin tone, reduce sun damage, treat acne and shrink oil glands causing acne.

How does Photodynamic Therapy work?

PDT involves a medication called aminolevulinic acid (ALA) which is applied to the skin for an hour. It is then activated with the blue light therapy for about 15 minutes, which creates controlled damage at proper depth.

Is there any downtime?

You may feel some tingling, warmth, redness and swelling up to three days post procedure. Skin can flake for up to a week.

How long should I avoid the sun before and after the procedure?

It is important to avoid the sun for a month prior to the procedure, making sure to apply a sunscreen of SPF 30 to minimize risk of discoloration. After the procedure, avoid sun exposure for first 2 day, and be sure to use sunscreen until skin is completely healed.

How long does the procedure take?

Once the aminolevulinic acid solution is applied for an hour, the blue light procedure itself takes 15 minutes.

What does it feel like?

You will feel warmth, tingling or stinging for about 30-60 minutes; however, we keep your skin comfortable with a cooling device.

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update Virtual Consultation

Caring about our patients and our community: An update on the coronavirus outbreak

Hello Everyone,

The health and safety of our patients and staff is our top priority. Our practice is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), New York State and city health officials as we schedule patients.

Our Practice is open for essential procedures, however we encourage you to continue using our Telehealth feature.

There are steps our practice is taking, and those we ask our patients to take, to ensure the safety of all. We have further increased cleaning practices across the office and our ambulatory surgical facility. We ask if you feel you have any respiratory symptoms with cough or fever you seek care from your primary physician. We have zero reports of any staff member or volunteer who has been in contact with someone with the virus. We consider our practice to be a safe and welcoming space for those who need our dermatological and cosmetic services in this difficult time.

We hope to continue to serve you and provide you with our services. We continue to be guided by our unwavering mission and long standing values to care for our patients.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call our office to speak with one of our office staff or nurses or email us at [email protected]

Please use this time to stay home, help stop the spread of Coronavirus, and tend to your health and your loved ones.

We will come out of this stronger and more resilient than before.

With thanks for your cooperation,

- Dr. Ariel Ostad

We are open for essential procedures only, starting May 18
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