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Photodynamic therapy is a revolutionary process to improve the appearance of acne and poorly textured skin. It is used to treat a variety of skin conditions including wrinkles, large pores, actinic keratosis, sun damage, pigments, and rough looking skin. The treatment involves using a medication and a bright light to create a peel. Photodynamic therapy helps to rejuvenate your skin to create a smoother, fresher, and healthier looking appearance.

Photodynamic therapy is an in-office procedure. A rejuvenating substance will be applied to your treatment area. You can relax or run errands while the drug “incubates,” which may be from 30 minutes to several hours depending on your doctor’s recommendations. Next, a pulsed light is applied to your skin. The light activates the rejuvenating substance to cause a peel.
You may need some healing time after your procedure, depending on the intensity of your treatment, the type and amount of sun damage your skin displays. Your skin will peel and flake for up to about 10 days following your procedure. Your skin may appear sunburned during this time. Depending upon your skin condition and type, at least three treatments are recommended for optimal results.
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit