Finding the best acne solution is constant struggle for many, and that’s why researchers are always on the hunt for a better treatment. One of the treatments we’ve discussed before is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), and new research shows that this treatment can go one step better.
The study combined a photosensitizer, methyl aminolevulinate (MAL), with PDT to test whether it would significantly impact patients with severe acne vulgaris, a chronic skin disease which involves a blockage of hair follicles and sebaceous glands. In this study, patients received topical MAL cream that was applied and covered for 1.5 hours, followed by PDT.
The results showed a 37% reduction in inflammatory lesions at 12 weeks. However, patients in this group did report a mild to moderate burning sensation that lasted an average of three days.
In our practice, we have actually seen how well this treatment works on our patients. They are always pleased with the results, as it entirely changes how the acne appears. Some respond to the treatment, but it is different for others.We have found it to be particularly promising for severe acne, especially for patients who failed common treatments such as Accutane. These patients have few options so they decide to invest in PDT. My personal observation is that the PDT therapy changes their skin in a way that leads to milder acne or acne that is no longer resistant to a topical skin care regimen. While these treatments are unfortunately not covered by insurance, we often see patients turning to this option at the very end as they know it will be one that really does the job.