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Philadelphia and Mainline Center of Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery

Written by Dr. Ringpfeil

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 ($650 / treatment) when performed every 4 weeks.

I apply Ameluz 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 1.5 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: 4187
Last updated: 1/02/2024 11:10 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)

The full explanation of my possible condition and the best line of treatment.

#12010-12-16 12:26:48

Everyone was friendly, yet professional

#22024-03-22

Doctor was very friendly & knowledgable. I especially appreciated that she seemed unrushed and focused on me. I am hopeful that the procedure she recommended will improve my condition (facial scar).

#32023-08-08

The friendliness with the staff kept me comfortable.

#42024-01-21

Very impressed by the Doctor and staff.

#52023-07-25

Dr. Ringpfeil has an excellent manner and seems extremely competent. She inspires confidence.

#62023-11-02

Everyone was friendly, yet professional

#72024-01-11

The staff was knowlegable in answering any additional questions I may have

#82023-09-26

I really liked how personable the doctor was during my appointment. She really made me fee confident about her ability.

#92023-11-15

as a man and coming in to see a doctor is usually awkward especially a female doctor to look over your entire body. The staff made me feel very comfortable and relaxed. Thanks so much.

#102024-03-18

What can we do better?

(answers:373)

Don't know, you guys did a great job.

#12024-06-04

keep on on trying to do your best

#22024-01-01

No complaints at all. Excellent experience

#32010-09-30 10:38:51

No changes needed.

#42023-08-10

When making the initial appointment and then calling to try to get it moved up (our of fear that I had a melanoma), I didn't think that one of the booking person(s) was particularly helpful or reassuring.

#52024-04-16

everything was fine

#62011-02-24 15:01:34

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.

#72023-06-29

Foodcoffe

#82023-08-23

You often have a long wait time in the room for the doctor. When she does come in it is not for a very long time.

#92010-08-23 17:00:56

Parking was a little tight.

#102011-06-09 15:52:46

Customer Rating : 4.6

Based on 537 ratings
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