What Kind of Anti-aging Benefits Does PDT Have if IPL is Used Instead of Blue Light?

My dermatologist suggested PDT using IPL instead of Blue light to get rid of sun damage in my face and chest. Will that make my sun spots go away? Will it improve my skin texture? What other benefits does the treatment have? I have broken capilarities and my skin is pretty rough and dry. Thank you so much!!!!

Doctor Answers 4

IPL-PDT works deeper than blue light

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IPL or red light PDT has deeper effects than blue light. In my experience IPL works better than red light PDT. It is also much faster.

Mainz Dermatologic Surgeon

PDT Treatments with Sciton laser

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Photodynamic Therapy ( PDT ) is an excellent treatment that can rid the skin of decades of sun-damage on the face, neck and decollate.  The treatment can  improve skin texture and uneven skin color --such as the presentation of broken capillaries and  brown spots from sun or aging.    
The treatment  uses a photo-sensitizing agent that is applied to the affected areas being treated which is  then exposed to  specific wavelengths of light to activate the drug as well as treating redness, broken capillaries and skin discolorations.   The Sciton ( Broadband Light laser)  is also highly effective in treating acne in the same manner.  

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

IPL and levulan for pre-cancers, acne

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We often use IPL (intense pulsed light) with levulan to treat pre-cancers on the face and for acne treatment.  Typically, patients sit with the levulan for one hour.  The IPL is then performed.  It feels like a rubber band snap.  The treatment "lights up" precancerous areas, which turn red and peel for 1-2 weeks.  Using an IPL has the added benefit of treating broken capillaries and brown spots.   

Donna Bilu Martin, MD
Aventura Dermatologist

IPL can activate PDT similarly to Blue Light

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Dear Gabb, Blue light is typically used for photodynamic therapy because the chemical used in PDT has the highest activation in that wavelength. However, an IPL can be used to activate the chemical also. It will have similar effects in that it will cause pre-cancers and superficial skin cancers that have taken the chemical up to "light up" - i.e. the abnormal skin cells die. IPL has separate effects on red spots and dark spots but that effect is different than activating the cream for PDT.  Good luck, Dr. Mariwalla

Kavita Mariwalla, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

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.