Photodynamic therapy resolves many skin concerns for New Yorkers

Photodynamic Therapy New York 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 in New York from Dr. Ariel Ostad.

Blue light therapy PDT

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.

What to expect

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.
Often, just one photodynamic therapy session is necessary to achieve excellent results. Call Dr. Ostad's New York office at (212) 517-7900 to learn more.
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