top of page

Photodynamic Therapy for Treatment of Acne


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses light combined with a special chemical agent to reduce the appearance of moderate to severe acne.


Photodynamic Therapy for Acne


In photodynamic therapy, a medication that is activated by light is placed on the affected area and allowed to soak into the skin. After a specific period of time, a special light source is applied to the treated area. The combination works by shrinking sebaceous glands in the skin and decreasing oil production. It also destroys skin bacteria, which if left untreated, could lead to infection and inflammation.

Since Isotretinoin (Accutane), a drug commonly used in the treatment of severe acne is not appropriate for all patients, including nursing women; photodynamic therapy provides an alternative to the medication.

Depending on the severity of your acne, a series of photodynamic therapy treatments may be needed (usually ranging from 2-3 treatments). Once your acne has improved, your dermatologist may suggest an occasional photodynamic therapy session for maintenance.

For most patients, photodynamic therapy works best in conjunction with other treatments.


Side Effects of Photodynamic Therapy for Acne


Short-term side effects of photodynamic therapy include:


  • Skin redness

  • Peeling

  • Pain

  • Sun sensitivity for 1-2 days after treatment


Effectiveness of Photodynamic Therapy for Acne


Results of photodynamic therapy vary among patients, but studies have shown some patients achieve significant results from treatment with photodynamic therapy. 


bottom of page