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woman receives blue light therapy on face

Troublesome Acne? Find a Cure with Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic therapy (seen as Blue Light Therapy), or PDT, is touted for its corrective benefits for advanced skin conditions. The short, two-part treatment uses blue light from the visible spectrum to address and sometimes reverse moderate skin concerns with little to no downtime.

So, what exactly is photodynamic therapy, and most importantly, is it right for you?


About Photodynamic Therapy

Photodynamic therapy is an innovative treatment that uses photosensitizing agents along with blue light to correct common skin conditions, like moderate acne and actinic keratoses (AK) that, if left untreated, can lead to skin cancer.

Photodynamic therapy has been shown to be effective in treating skin cancers, precancers and advanced skin conditions.

Its advantages include:

  • No long-term side effects if used properly
  • Most treatments take only a short time and often done as an outpatient
  • Little to no scarring after the site heals
  • Often costs less than other comparable treatments

However, photodynamic therapy is not without its limits, including:

  • Inability to treat large cancers, cancers that have spread, or cancers deep within skin or organs
  • Photodynamic therapy can leave patients very sensitive to light, requiring them to take special precautions when exposed to sunlight


Its Benefits for Skin

Photodynamic therapy is a great solution for moderate acne and actinic keratoses. Levulan® PDT is a cutting-edge, two-part treatment that eliminates actinic keratoses before they lead to skin cancer.

A special solution of aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is applied to the skin. The solution is then absorbed by the AK cells where it is converted to a chemical that makes cells highly photo-sensitive. Cells are then exposed to the BLU-U blue light illuminator, effectively killing the AK cells.

The BLU-U also destroys the P. acnes bacteria, leaving you with clearer, blemish-free skin. Sessions are simple and involve sitting in front of the blue light for up to 16 minutes, a few times a week, for up to five weeks. This is a great, no-downtime solution for those suffering from moderate acne and haven’t found relief from other acne relief methods.

Most importantly, when performed correctly, this therapy is an effective solution that doesn’t require patients to miss work, fill prescriptions, or live with unsightly scarring.

Please note that photodynamic treatment can cause increased photosensitivity to the exposed lesions for 40 hours after session. It is imperative to decrease exposure to sunlight, or prolonged or intense light, during this time.


Cumberland Skin: Your Photodynamic Therapy Experts

If you’re interested in how this therapy can benefit your advanced skin concerns, trust Cumberland Skin. All of our dermatologists are board-certified by the American Academy of Dermatology, meaning they’re fully capable of addressing and resolving your skin issues.

Although the benefits of photodynamic therapy for moderate acne and actinic keratosis is apparent, you may have questions on if this treatment is right for your unique needs. We encourage you to drop by one of our offices, where we can discuss your goals and determine if photodynamic therapy is the best option for you.

Learn About Your Photodynamic Therapy Options with Cumberland Skin in Tennessee.

Cumberland Skin Surgery and Dermatology provides effective, compassionate general dermatology, skin cancer surgery and cosmetic dermatology solutions for our patients throughout the Southeast. With offices in Hermitage, Lebanon, Brentwood and Hendersonville, Tennessee, we’re your destination for high-caliber skincare. Visit our website at or give us a call today at 615-257-7128.

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