Acne is one of the most common problems faced by young adults. This is a problem that should be treated immediately to prevent the facial skin from getting scarred permanently. Earlier, most dermatologists used to recommend Isotretinoin for acne treatment. However, this is no longer encouraged. A new light treatment called photodynamic light therapy (PDT) is gaining popularity for the treatment of acne. One side effect of the light treatment is that some patients may suffer from rashes and peeling of skin.

Highlights of photodynamic light therapy (PDT)

Endogenous PDT
a. In endogenous PDT, protoporphyrin IX is activated by a light source and the free radicals produced kill the acne causing bacteria.
b. The blue light, green light and pulsed dye laser are sources of light which produce endogenous therapy.
c. A 70 per cent improvement in patients has been noticed after this treatment.
d. However, the results are not long lasting.
e. The therapy is recommended to pregnant women.

Exogenous PDT
a. The exogenous therapy includes application of topical aminolevulinic acid to the skin.
b. The topical aminolevulinic acid when absorbed activates protoporphyrin IX, using a variety of light sources and free radicals produced kill the bacteria.
c. The commercial form of aminolevulinic is manufactured by by Levulan (Dusa Pharmaceuticals)
d. Study has shown that using a combination of microdermabrasion and an acetone scrub has shown better penetration of aminolevulinic acid into the skin.