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How does photodynamic therapy work to treat acne?

Photodynamic therapy involves painting your face with a clear liquid acid (ALA or Levulan) that is absorbed by skin cells, especially damaged ones. After a half hour or so, an intense beam of light is used to activate the acid in the cells, which kills the bacteria responsible for the acne. The procedure, which may need to be repeated, can be incredibly painful both during and afterward, and you may experience redness and peeling for a week or two. However, it quickly clears up acne problems; plus, if there are any actinic keratoses, or precancers, around, it wipes them out too. However, I don’t encourage patients to go this route. It’s painful and costly, and probably won’t be covered by your health insurance plan.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.