Chemical Peel Vs. Photodynamic Therapy?

I have mild acne on my face, and extremely large, VERY oily, and red pores on my nose. My general skin condition is also very patchy, dry and red in places. I have had chemical peels before, and actually use a home salicylic acid peel (15%) every few days to clear my pores, however my skin is still poor. How does PDT differ from a chemical peel, and what is the likelihood that it would improve my skin if the peels to date have not worked for me? Thanks

Doctor Answers 4

Photodynamic therapy works great for Rosacea

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PDT works great for rosacea which you may have and should see a dermatologists to confirm. A photo sensitizer liquid is applied to your skin then a lPL or intense light source is applied which works to shrink oil glands and kill bacteria on the skin.

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

PDT/Blue light vs Chemical peel

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This is like comparing apples to oranges. PDT penetrates much deeper than a garden variety peel. In fact, the ALA which can be used with PDT, has an affinity for oil glands and therefore is great for acne, enlarged oil glands and pores.

Gary Goldenberg, MD
New York Dermatologist

PDT is intense light plus aminolevulinic acid.

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PDT, which means photodynamic therapy, is generally reserved for severe photodamaged skin with precancerous actinic keratoses. It is not a treatment for oily skin. The mild home peels that you are doing are helpful for opening the pores and reducing the production of acne. However, I would recommend that you consider seeing a dermatologist for a professional recommendation based on an actual examination of your facial skin.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Photodynamic therapy for acne

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The medication that is used for PDT, Levulan or Metvix, is absorbed by the oil glands.  Exposure to a red or blue light then activates the medication.  One of the effects of PDT is to shrink the oil glands, causing less oil production.  Chemical peels clean out the pores but do not affect the oil glands.  PDT is a much more effective treatment for acne than chemical peels. 

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.