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Photodynamic Therapy

Insider Information: Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) For Acne

Photodynamic therapy is an excellent alternative to Accutane (isotretinoin). It achieves similar results and targets acne only where it is.

OMNILUX - PDT for acne and cancer treatment

Photodynamic therapy is covered by insurance for skin cancer / precancer treatments only. It is not covered for acne, scars, sebaceous gland hyperplasias, and skin rejuvenation.

65-70% of our patients fully control their acne after 4-6 PDT treatments ($500 / treatment) when performed every 4 weeks.

I apply Metvixia photosensitizing agent (rather than the Levulan Kerastick, which I find less effective for acne treatment) and let it incubate on the skin under Seran wrap for 2 hours and then activated by red light 633 nm for 3-20 minutes. The exact time will be determined by the tolerance or any redness occurring on the skin during activation.

After the treatment, sun light and fluorescent light protection is crucial for 42 hours after the application of the Metvixia. Most people who undergo PDT have some redness mild swelling for 24 hours after each treatment.

5% of patients experience a severe reaction with bright redness, swelling, and reactivation of acne that lasts intensely for one week and may require oral or topical steroid for several days and oral antibiotic for 10-14 days. If this rare reaction occurs, residual redness on the face may take up to 3-4 weeks to fully resolve. In those who have this severe reaction, only one treatment rather than 4-6 is typically necessary to control the acne. While nobody is pleased while in this severe phase, our patients uniformly said they would do it again given that their acne is gone afterwards or needs only minimal topical medication for control. The severe reaction can be avoided if the incubabtion time is reduced. However, for the majority of people that would mean undertreatment and payment for an ineffective treatment.

photodynamic therapy - PDT - Treatment
  • Expected Results
    • This photosensitizing treatment effectively treats inflammatory acne, rosacea, sebaceous gland hyperplasias as well as precancerous conditions and superficial skin cancers.
  • Preparation
    • Levulan Kerastick / Metvixia contains a clear solution of aminolevulinic acid that is applied to the skin for 1 to 2 hours (acne), or several hours (cancers / pre cancers), prior to activation with a light source.
  • Post treatment instruction
    • Sun exposure and fluorescent light exposure must be strictly avoided for 24-48 hours after the treatment as photosensitivity from the Levulan Kerastick / Metvixia persists for this amount of time. A zinc oxide / titanium dioxide containing sunscreen must be applied to any treated area that can not be covered by clothing.
  • Time to desired results
    • 4-6 treatments every 2-4 weeks for acne. Usually two treatments, 2 weeks apart, for precancerous conditions/skin cancers. 2-6 treatments, two weeks between treatments, for superficial skin cancers.
  • Contraindications
    • Sensitivity to aminolevulinic acid, photosensitizing medications.
  • Lasting results
    • Many months with acne/rosacea, up to 10 years with skin cancer.
  • Downtime
    • Gradually diminishing redness and peeling for several days. Crusting occurs when skin cancers are present. Topical acne/rosacea treatments can be resumed when the redness has faded.

How can we help you?

SKIN

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# of surveys: 3750
Last updated: 05/25/2018 9:32 AM,

PATIENT RATINGS

Would you recommend us?

definitely
93.1%
probably
6.16%
maybe
0.58%
not likely
0.08%
no
0.02%

Compare our service to other similar practices

excellent
87.9%
very good
10.1%
good
1.8%
poor
0.06%
very poor
0%

Overall doctor performance

excellent
94.2%
very good
4.89%
good
0.80%
poor
0.03%
very poor
0%

The doctor listened to you attentively

excellent
93.9%
very good
4.97%
good
1.05%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0%

The doctor took time to answer your questions

excellent
94.0%
very good
4.66%
good
1.27%
poor
0.02%
very poor
0%

The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
94.3%
very good
4.16%
good
1.25%
poor
0.14%
very poor
0.02%

The doctor explained treatment options

excellent
92.0%
very good
5.69%
good
2.18%
poor
0.11%
very poor
0.0%

Front desk performance

excellent
85.6%
very good
10.2%
good
3.66%
poor
0.31%
very poor
0.08%

Aesthetician performance

excellent
88.6%
very good
7.61%
good
3.39%
poor
0.24%
very poor
0.08%

Office comfort

excellent
90.9%
very good
6.93%
good
2.08%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0.05%

Parking

excellent
66.4%
very good
14.4%
good
15.7%
poor
2.49%
very poor
0.9%

Friendliness of the staff during appointment

excellent
90.9%
very good
7.23%
good
1.85%
poor
0.05%
very poor
0%

What WE DID WELL

(Answers:674)

Dr. Ringpfeil was very friendly & took time to answer all my questions. Very attentive & knowledgable!

#12018-11-30

The waiting room had interesting products and information. The staff were professional, kind and had a nice process.

#22010-11-10 12:28:11

Very relaxed and comforting environment. This was my first visit with a dermatologist and am quite happy with the experience.

#32018-08-04

Everything was good. I like this place.

#42018-04-22

I liked the fact that the MA is an aesthetician too. I really think the staffis super friendly and would recomend you to my friends and family.

#52011-04-26 11:00:08

Dr made eye contact and listened to my concerns....

#62018-06-27

Didn't have to wait long to see to get into the room, or for the doctor to come in. The doctor & medical assistant took the time to explain the medications, when I should take them, how much I should use and what they would do to my skin.

#72018-03-20

Both Alana and Dr. Ringfeil listened to all of my concerns. Excellent doctor and office, will highly recommend.

#82011-05-25 10:21:24

Linda and the medical assistant were wonderful

#92011-09-16 11:42:32

I love the decor of the office.

#102010-11-08 15:17:21

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

watercooler in waiting room.

#12018-07-24

Overall excellent service. Friendly front desk staff. A very small suggestion would be to have someone immediately identify themselves as the person to register a new patient and direct where to go when someone enters the waiting room. With a big waiting room and three people at the front desk, it is a lot to take in and not know to whom to speak. Having had negative experiences with doctors' receptionists where all three of the three people at the front desk have ignored me until I called out and forced a response, I am sensitive to the issue and imagine others have had this experience as well.

#22011-01-31 10:42:48

I have a suggestion: I noticed that two of the lovely rugs pose hazards to patients using walkers or who may have other mobility issues. The large rug placed at an angle and the narrow rug placed in front of the reception desk leave no room for these individuals to safely manuveur around the reception area and are likely to contribute to fall risks. I would suggest leaving these areas clear.

#32010-10-04 12:14:56

With such excellent service, there's nothing I can add to it. I am a very satisfied patient.

#42010-09-09 11:12:17

I have a suggestion: I noticed that two of the lovely rugs pose hazards to patients using walkers or who may have other mobility issues. The large rug placed at an angle and the narrow rug placed in front of the reception desk leave no room for these individuals to safely manuveur around the reception area and are likely to contribute to fall risks. I would suggest leaving these areas clear.

#52010-10-04 12:14:56

Cookies and Milk! Seriously, I love coming in and being seen promptly. More importantly, I like the fact that the doctor was not distracted and there was not a single interruption.

#62019-01-18

Excellent, no improvement needed.

#72018-07-10

I think the service provided fulfilled my expectations so at this time I do not have any suggestions for improvement.

#82018-08-05

everything was beyond my expectations . No doctor has ever given me such a complete exam

#92010-10-07 10:02:42

Magazines in the examining room to read while I waited for the doctor (I get bored easily).

#102018-06-20
Customer Rating : 4.8

Based on 4 ratings