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Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), also kown as ALA/PDT, is a treatment performed with a topical photosensitizing agent called Levulan Kerastick and is combined with a LED light that emits a specific wavelength. These treatments combined remove sun damaged precancerous spots, and also improve sun-damaged skin, fine lines, blotchy pigmentation, and rough skin patches. PDT also has the unique ability to minimize pores and reduce oil glands-effectively treating stubborn acne vulgaris, acne, Rosacea, and improving the appearance of some acne scars.
AKs are actinic keratoses and are often called "sun spots". They are rough textured, dry scaly patches on the skin that are caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light (UV) such as sunlight. Up to 58 million Americans have AKs.
Actinic keratoses are the most common precancer and are considered to be the first step in the development of skin cancer. They have the potential to progress to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). While most AKs remain benign, a study has shown that approximately 10 percent develop into SCC within an average of 2 years.**
AKs develop as the result of years of sun exposure. Because the effect of sun exposure is cumulative, it is your lifetime exposure that increases your risk. Even if you didn't suntan much, years of just doing simple tasks outside can add up to a significant amount of sun exposure.
Step 1: Levuan Kerastick Topical Solution is applied to the AK lesion. The solutions is then absorbed by the AK cells where it is converted to a chemical that makes the cells extremely sensitive to light.
Step 2: The AK cells are exposed to the Omnilux LED. A reaction occurs which destroys the AK cells.
**Fuchs A, Marmur E. The Kinetics of Skin Cancer: Progression of Actinic Keratoses to Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Dermatol Surg. 2007;33:1099-1101.
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