WHAT IS LASER DYNAMIC THERAPY?
Laser Dynamic Therapy (LDT)is used in dermatology for the treatment of sun-damage and acne. Similar to photodynamic therapy, LDT uses a light-sensitive medication in conjunction with VBeam laser to improve the health of the skin. The medication is applied topically and allowed to “incubate” on the skin for a specific time period, then activated by the laser. LDT can be used on the face, scalp, neck, chest or anywhere that has sun-damage or acne. This is a popular preventative treatment recommended for patients with a history of excessive sun exposure including pre-cancerous spots or previous skin cancer like basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma.
Good candidates for are concerned about past sun exposure and the negative effects on the skin. It is common that visible signs of damage like pigmentation, actinic keratosis indicate sun damage but not always. Skin cancer screening often reveals isolated spots you may not be aware of or even skin cancer but with otherwise healthy-looking skin. In this case, we might recommend LDT to improve the health of your skin or as a preventative treatment.
LDT FOR THE TREATMENT OF ACNE
For patients with acne, LDT can be an alternative therapy for isotretinoin or used in combination with acne medications. Some patients just don’t respond well to traditional acne medications and become frustrated so LDT can help to get skin under control faster. It’s the same process as treatment for sun damage. Patients will have less oil production, and improvement in acne because this process kills P.acnes bacteria in the skin.
HOW IS LDT SIMILAR TO PHOTODYNAMIC THERAPY?
The main difference is that photodynamic therapy (PDT) uses blue light for activation of the topical medication vs. LDT uses the VBeam Pulsed Dye Laser. The VBeam has some additional benefits for patients with redness in the skin from sun damage, rosacea or spider veins. The laser absorbs redness in the skin, breaking down small blood vessels that get reabsorbed back into your body. Another benefit is VBeam tends to have fewer side effects like blistering or discomfort caused by sitting under the blue light.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LASER DYNAMIC THERAPY?
Patients can expect to see some of the following benefits from this treatment:
- Healthier looking skin
- Reduction in pre-cancerous skin cells
- Reduced skin cancer risk
- Reduction in facial redness
- Smaller pores
- Improvement in acne/rosacea
- More even skin tone
WHAT IS THE RECOVERY LIKE?
Most patients take a long weekend to recover and look like they have had a sunburn. Redness and some swelling are the most common side effects in the first few days. Either can be prolonged if you have a longer incubation time and this will be explained to you before your treatment, so you know what to expect. The light-sensitive medication stays in the skin for a period of 24 to 48 hours after the treatment so you will be asked to avoid contact with daylight during this time. The redness will fade quickly over the following days and you will need to wear a sunscreen with a higher SPF with a moisturizer.
LDT AND THULIUM LASER COMBINATION
Some patients benefit by having LDT and Fraxel Thulium laser combined, especially when there is a history of skin cancer and excessive sun exposure. Both create healthier skin by working at different depths within the skin’s layers making this an ideal treatment. Thulium works in the upper layer of skin targeting pigment, LDT works deeper creating healthier skin cells. This two step process is done on different days starting with Thulium the patients return two weeks later for LDT. The light-sensitive medication gets deeper into the skin while it’s still healing from Fraxel Thulium.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Scheduling an office visit is the best way to begin so you can discuss your skin concerns with a medical provider. They will evaluate your skin, determining what the right treatment plan is for you.