Articles & Tips
The Price of the Sun in Skin
As much as you loved the feel of the sun on your face and body, those golden rays probably left you with sun-damaged skin. While giving you a lovely toasted glow, ultraviolet rays also break down skin’s elastin. The results all too often go beyond the expected sagging and stretching. Skin may become fragile and tear or bruise more easily. Freckles and fine wrinkles may appear. Skin may display odd or uneven pigmentation. Worst of all, precancerous or cancerous cells may form. Using photodynamic therapy photorejuvenation to repair sun damage of all types may be an effective treatment worth considering.
Photodynamic Therapy – What Is It?
Also known as PDT or blue light therapy, photodynamic therapy is an ingenious way to treat specific areas of the skin’s surface using a photosensitizing agent and a specialized light source. The therapy is a three-step process that involves:
- Applying a cream, liquid or injected photosensitizer to the damaged skin area. As its name implies, the photosensitizer will increase the treated area’s sensitivity to light.
- Allowing an incubation period for the photosensitizer to act. Incubation periods range from minutes to days, depending on the agent used and the type of damage being treated.
- Applying a specific wavelength of light. The photosensitized cells react to the light, producing a form of oxygen that destroys selected tissue.
Aesthetic and Medical Applications
Certified aesthetic professionals have been using a photodynamic therapy photorejuventation treatment to reverse sun damage and other skin imperfections for decades. It’s a safe, minimally invasive way of eliminating wrinkles, spots and undesirable textures from skin surfaces. It’s also an effective way of preventing and treating precancerous and cancerous skin lesions as well as many other conditions.
Photodynamic Therapy for Sun Damage
The most frequently cited drawbacks of sun exposure are wrinkles, fine or not-so-fine lines and wrinkles, and other blemishes that mar facial skin. However, sun damage can also include conditions like hyperpigmentation, melasma, freckles and actinic keratosis. Here’s a brief breakdown of each condition:
Photodynamic Therapy for Hyperpigmentation: Hyperpigmentation, or discolored patches of skin, can be the result of sun damage or other medical conditions. It can also result from inflammation. Overstimulated melanin production can result in brown patches, age or liver spots, sun spots, or other uneven splotches of color that are typically darker than the surrounding tissue. Hyperpigmentation can occur on any part of the body.
Photodynamic Therapy for Melasma: While not the result of sun damage, per se, melasma, known as the mask of pregnancy, resembles hyperpigmentation and is the result of hormonal changes that can leave brown splotchy patches on facial skin. Discolored patches most often appear on the cheeks, around the eyes and above the lip. It can be especially noticeable in fair-skinned women.
Photodynamic Therapy for Freckles: Freckles are actually another form of hyperpigmentation. However, because they are often so small and scattered, they qualify in a league of their own. Freckles come in two types: ephelides and lentigines. Ephelides appear instead of a tan and usually disappear in the absence of sun exposure. However, lentigines tend to be darker than the common freckle and do not fade even when protected from sun exposure.
Photodynamic Therapy for Actinic Keratosis: Often appearing as little more than a rough, scaly patch or small, wart-like bump, actinic keratosis is considered a precancerous skin condition. Also called solar keratoses, the growths tend to appear on areas frequently exposed to sun, such as the face, scalp, neck, ears, lips and backs of hands. Most become red, but many remain pink, tan or flesh-colored. About 10 percent will develop into squamous cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer.
Safe, Effective and Pain-Free
A variety of safe, effective photosensitizing applications, light options and treatment regimens are readily available, each tailored to your specific application needs. The use of light allows photodynamic therapy treatments to be quick, convenient and minimally invasive. Results are rapid, with little to no side effects. Damage from sunlight doesn’t have to mar your appearance. Instead, let the photodynamic therapy light perfect it.
If you’re looking for a provider for photodynamic therapy in Beverly Hills, contact us for a consultation.« Back to Articles & Tips