Acne Treatment

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"PDT puts the brakes on acne"



Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT)                     



How is acne treated?


Acne can occur at any age and is caused by the build-up of cells that block the pore openings.  Increased oil production by the sebaceous glands due to hormonal imbalance causes accumulation of oil beneath the blocked pore and creates an anaerobic environment which the acne causing bacteria are able to thrive in. The acne vulgaris bacteria multiple and cause the surrounding tissue to become inflamed resulting in pimples and cysts.


Fortunately acne can be quite successfully treated with Photodynamic Therapy (PDT).

It is a relatively new and effective medical treatment using a photosensitizing solution , Metvix (16%  methyl aminolevulinate). Metvix solution is related to naturally occurring substances in the body.

The photosensitizing solution is activated by illumination from an Aktilite  light source (red light, wavelength of 630  nm.   



             Before                          After                                 Before                           After


                                                   Before                          After


Scars that have resulted from acne can be treated by skin resurfacing with a Profractiona Laser. This procedure encourages the formation of new collagen and improves the skin elasticity, tone and texture of the damaged skin with minimum downtime.



             Before                           After                                 Before                          After

How does it work?

Metvix, (topical photosenitizers) is applied to the treatment area.  After an incubation period of 1-3 hours it is than activated by Aktilite red light source. The Metvix specifically targets and kills the acne causing bacteria. It treats both acne vulgaris and hyperplastic sebacious glands by activating endogenous photosensitizers within the P. Acnes bacteria. This creates a toxic bacteriocidal environment in the sebaceous gland that inhibits the obstruction of the sebaceous follicle and formation of acne lesions.  Sebaceous glands will also be reduced in size.


What to expect during treatment?


A light microdermabrasion prepares the skin for the application of the Metvix. The Metvix incubates in the skin for an 1-3 hours.   After the incubation it is activated by Aktilite for 8-10 minutes.  A BBL (Broad Band Light) treatment may be used before the activation to treat hyperpigmention and vascular damage.  The skin will feel warm and tingle during and after the light activation. 


How much downtime?


Slight redness right after the treatment which will increase to that of a sunburn over the next day.

Sensitivity to light will be increased which will necessitate staying indoors for 20 to 48 hours following PDT therapy.

Redness and peeling/flaking of skin up to 3-4 days after treatment.



What areas can be treated?


Face and back.



How many treatments are required?


Most patients’ acne will go into remission after only 2 treatments.  Treatments are 1 week apart.  A follow up maintenance program using physician grade products containing salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are recommended to help keep the acne under control.  Most results last 1-2 years providing one takes care of their skin.



A consultation with Dr. Andre Kirsten will determine whether PhotoDynamic Therapy –PDT would be best prescribed for your concerns. 


        Phone 250-354-2003 to book your confidential appointment.


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