Do you experience common skin concerns such as psoriasis or warts? Are you concerned about the best way to treat various skin cancers? Do you want an effective, non-invasive treatment option that can address a variety of concerns, including inflammation, sun damage, and immune concerns? If so, we invite you to learn more about photodynamic therapy, a revolutionary treatment that uses the power of different lasers to target bacteria, viruses, and foreign parasites. At Optimal Health and Wellness in Pasadena, CA, we’re proud to offer this treatment alongside our other top-quality services.
What Is Photodynamic Therapy?
Photodynamic therapy combines a light-activated cream or injectable substance with powerful, multi-colored lasers. It is able to strategically target only the infected areas without causing peripheral damage to the surrounding skin, tissue, bone, or body in general. It can improve your immune system function and provides an excellent alternative to medications which can only treat one infection or concern at a time. With repeated treatment, you can see various conditions improve and experience an overall boost in your health and immunity.
How Does It Work?
First one of our trained doctors applies a special cream to the affected area. The cream contains photo-sensitive agents which, when activated by the lasers, will bond with the bacteria, cancer cells, or other concerns in the skin and break them down. If needed, this photo-sensitive agent can be injected into the skin to address concerns under the surface.
Multicolored lasers are used for different concerns. When the lasers are activated, they immediately activate the photo-sensitive agents and begin the rejuvenation process. While everyone’s experience is different, most patients need a personalized treatment plan to see desired results. Over the course of treatment, the targeted cells are eliminated and your general health can be dramatically improved as a result.
What Are the Benefits of Treatment?
Photodynamic therapy offers a variety of benefits. It is a relatively fast treatment, requires minimal downtime, and can be performed multiple times. The areas targeted are not negatively impacted by treatment thanks to the bonding photo-sensitive agents, which only attach to infected or cancerous cells. There is no negative impact on the immune system, which is actually improved and supported by this treatment.
Which Concerns Can Be Treated?
While this treatment is often used to treat various skin cancers, it is also effective in addressing viral, fungal, bacterial, and parasite infections. Here are some of the most common concerns treated with photodynamic therapy.
This condition causes skin cells to shed more quickly than normal, resulting in skin cell build-up and scaly, itchy patches on the skin. This therapy can help manage the symptoms of psoriasis and improve the condition over time.
Warts caused by viral infections can be both painful and embarrassing. In addition, they are notoriously difficult to treat and eliminate. The bonding agents used during this treatment can attack the virus and affected skin cells to effectively erase this condition.
Because the lasers used during treatment are proven to help stimulate and strengthen the body’s natural immune responses, many immune concerns and conditions can be improved with regular therapy appointments. Your doctor can help you evaluate your unique situation to determine whether this treatment is right for you.
Inflammation and Wounds
When the body is injured, it is more susceptible to infection. Wounds can become inflamed and the healing process can take longer than normal. This treatment can both accelerate the healing process and restore the immune system with therapeutic laser treatment.
Sun damage is estimated to cause over 90% of all common skin concerns, including sunburn, dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and skin cancer. One common concern caused by sun damage is actinic keratosis. This condition can affect the face and scalp, causing dry, flaking skin, a painful lesion, and even skin cancer. This treatment can help remove actinic keratoses and correct many external and internal issues caused by harmful sun exposure.
Perhaps the most popular concern treated by this effective therapy is skin cancer. Skin cancer can affect patients of every age and, while most types of skin cancer can be treated quickly and effectively, they can also worsen if not detected. Some common skin cancers which can be treated are basal cell carcinomas, intraepidermal squamous carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and Kaposi sarcoma. One of our doctors can help you evaluate your unique situation to determine whether this treatment is right for you.
Which Lasers Are Used During Treatment?
This therapy uses a wide range of lasers to treat different concerns. Depending on the conditions you wish to improve, our doctors will recommend the best combination of laser therapy.
This light enables effective detoxification, boosts circulation, and increases hormone production. It also increases oxygen intake in the treated tissues while eliminating viruses, fungi, or bacteria.
This laser penetrates the skin’s layers to treat internal concerns. It can speed healing, treat inflammation and chronic pain, and improve circulation in the area. As a result, many patients experience a significant improvement in their mood thanks to more effective metabolic and circulatory systems.
Red laser light acts as potent a energy source. It boosts the immune system, increases circulation, and encourages healthy cell activity. This accelerates healing and can relieve pain and discomfort.
Blue lights are proven to be powerful anti-bacterial agents. In addition, they can improve inflammation, provide relief from pain caused by wounds, and even offer regenerative, anti-aging benefits.
Green lasers are the best option for increasing oxygen volume in the treated tissue. This helps relieve swollen or inflamed tissue and promote healing skin rejuvenation.
Yellow lights stimulate more production of antidepressants serotonin and vitamin D, which can improve your mood. Therapy with yellow light can also fight bacterial infections and improve your metabolism.
What Should I Expect?
While every patient’s experience and results are unique, here is a general idea of what you can expect from treatment at our professional office:
To begin, you will meet with one of our doctors for an initial consultation. This appointment is designed to let us examine your areas of concern, learn about your medical history and conditions, and evaluate your candidacy for treatment. Your doctor will explain what you can expect during the treatment process. In addition, they will recommend a general treatment plan to address your concerns. Once you are approved for treatment, you will receive specific instructions for how you can prepare for your first appointment.
On the day of your appointment, we recommend that you avoid wearing any makeup or skincare products in the target areas. Your doctor will cleanse your skin and apply a numbing agent or injection to ensure your comfort. Then, they will apply the photo-sensitive agent to the target area. They may need to remove some of the outer layers of skin with a curette to allow the agent to permeate the skin more effectively. Next, the area must be allowed to sit for 3-6 hours as the agent becomes concentrated around the foreign cells. Most patients rest, read, or relax during this time.
Next, the laser your doctor recommended for your unique situation is turned onto your skin for 5-45 minutes. Once the treatment is complete, your doctor will dress the treated area to protect your skin as it heals. You will be able to return home immediately after treatment to recover. Depending on the area treated, you can expect 4-8 weeks of recovery before your skin completely heals. You may wish to avoid scheduling your appointment 1-2 weeks before important social events.
You should protect your skin from light by keeping the dressing on the skin until your doctor tells you that you can remove it. This usually occurs at least 24 hours after your appointment. You will notice that the treated skin may develop blisters and redness similar to sunburn as the targeted cells die and the body clears them away. If needed, you may have another treatment 7-10 days after your first appointment to enhance the results of treatment.
Your skin should steadily improve for the next 4-8 weeks. After this point, your doctor may recommend additional treatment. However, some patients need just one appointment to effectively address a variety of skin-related concerns. Patients who are seeking to treat chronic pain, inflammation, or immune system concerns may need a continuing treatment plan to achieve their ideal results.
Since this treatment is able to treat a diverse number of concerns, results vary widely. In general, you should expect to see your concern greatly improve. Visible skin conditions should be minimized or erased, and internal inflammation or pain should be relieved. In some cases, results can be permanent since the lasers eliminate bacteria, viruses, fungi, and cancer. For patients with chronic conditions, repeated treatments are often helpful to help manage their symptoms and improve their immune system.
If you choose to use this treatment to address your skin cancer, your doctor will examine the skin and perform necessary tests to ensure that treatment was successful. You should plan to protect your skin from further damage by always wearing sunscreen and limiting your time in the sun. In addition, regular skin examinations are encouraged to identify any new concerns that can be treated.
Am I an Ideal Candidate?
If you have a skin condition like cancer, psoriasis, inflammation, or sun damage, you may benefit from this unique treatment option. In general, you should be healthy and free from some diseases which may interact negatively with this type of therapy. You may not be an ideal candidate if you have a concern that is not able to be reached by the light. If you have cancer, you may not be an ideal candidate if your cancer is larger, has spread, affects the lower layers of your skin, or affects your organs.
In addition, if you take the intravenous photo-sensitive agent during treatment, you should be able to avoid direct sun and light exposure for several weeks while your skin heals. Because of this, those without outdoor jobs or responsibilities may want to consider the cream agent to address their concerns, if possible. If you have any questions about your candidacy for treatment, one of our doctors would be happy to help you evaluate your concerns during an initial consultation.
Contact Us to Learn More!
You don’t need to live with common irritating skin conditions or let concerning skin cancers cause you to worry. Discover the transformative power of photodynamic therapy and achieve your skin and health goals in one simple treatment! To learn more about this treatment option, contact our team of experts at Optimal Health and Wellness in Pasadena, CA to schedule an initial consultation today! We look forward to serving you.