An estimated 40-50 million Americans suffer from acne at any given time. While you may associate acne with adolescence, many adults – especially women – acquire acne in their 30s and 40s, often due to hormonal changes.
Acne occurs when dead skin and oil clogs your pores. The cells trapped in these clogged pores get infected with a common skin bacteria, and pustules, blackheads, and whiteheads may appear. Many adults find that they have excess oil production due to hormone changes, and smoking has also been linked with adult acne.
You don’t have to just live with adult acne. At Z-Roc Dermatology, we offer photodynamic therapy to quickly and effectively treat this often embarrassing condition. Read on to learn how this revolutionary, noninvasive treatment may be your ticket to clear, smooth skin.
What is photodynamic therapy?
Photodynamic therapy is a type of light therapy that successfully treats acne conditions, especially in severe or stubborn adult cases. The therapy first requires the application of a topical photosensitizer, which is left on the skin for about one hour. This photosensitizer makes abnormal acne cells produce molecules called porphyrins that absorb light.
Light therapy is then applied via intense pulsed light (IPL), the same type used for photorejuvenation and photofacial treatments. Because the cells that are responsible for acne have been pretreated with the photosensitizer, they’re better able to absorb the light.
When the photosensitizer, light, and oxygen combine, the abnormal cells contributing to your acne are effectively destroyed, and your healthy skin cells remain unharmed.
Advantages of photodynamic therapy
Photodynamic light therapy kills acne-causing bacteria on the skin and affects only targeted cells — not healthy ones. This helps you maintain a smoother, healthier overall look. Photodynamic therapy can also reduce the size of sebaceous glands and reduce their oil-producing activity. The treatment causes no scarring, but can fade old acne scars.
Adult acne patients can find relief with photodynamic therapy that they can’t get with other treatment methods, including topical creams and ointments. Photodynamic therapy can also be combined with some acne medications — but not Accutane.
Adults with acne may have other skin conditions occurring alongside their acne, including rosacea and age spots. Photodynamic therapy can address these issues at the same time, enhancing your overall appearance.
Downtime following treatment
Adults who undergo photodynamic therapy must carefully avoid the sun for 48 hours following treatment. Your skin is highly sensitive to sunlight during this period, and you risk severe burning. Sunscreen is not an adequate protector — staying indoors away from sunlight is your best strategy.
If you use moisturizers, anti-aging serums, or makeup, consult with the team at Z-Roc Dermatology to determine when it’s okay to apply them again. You may need to refrain from using certain products for several days.
How many sessions will I need?
Your ideal number of sessions depends on your skin type and the severity of your acne outbreak. Most people benefit from 2-5 sessions scheduled 2-4 weeks apart. You’ll probably notice results after a single session, but you’ll see optimal results by going through a complete treatment plan.
Call Z-Roc Dermatology’s Fort Lauderdale, Florida office to find out more about how you can get clearer, acne-free skin with photodynamic therapy. You can also book a consultation online.