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Photodynamic Therapy (or 'PDT' ) is a specially formulated light therapy used to help rid the body of both cancerous and precancerous melanoma. Cosmetically however, PDT can be used to destroy abnormal or damaged cells which have resulted in all sorts of pronounced skin problems.
The remarkable difference a Harley Street Skin Clinic treatment can provide
PDT perfectly treats a multitude of skin conditions such as acne, fungal infection, inflammation, rosacea and large pores - amongst many others. It is fantastically effective as it works not just skin deep, but travels deep into the subdermal tissue to obliterate the stubborn bacteria which often leads to the problem to begin with...
PDT is a highly effective and established treatment for treating select forms of skin cancer. It is also a successful treatment for clearing acne; reducing red, inflamed skin; and completely rejuvenating areas of sun damage. Thanks to PDT, skin texture and tone of the treated area will be markedly improved.
PDT is an ablative treatment - that means it works via a process of erosion. This erosion is caused by exposure to intense light which, when combined with a special photosensitising chemical, begins to break down only the damaged cells in order to make way for new, healthy ones.
PDT works by eradicating microbial cells such as bacteria, fungi and a variety of dermal viruses which may be leading to unsightly skin problems. When exposed to PDT, these cells undergo a chemical reaction which deprives the affected tissue of oxygen, and voila - said damaged tissue falls away.
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Follow two of our celebrity patients on their journey to becoming their better selves
Every step of your journey with Harley Street Skin is handled with the utmost care and diligence. From your very first consultation, right the way through to follow up and aftercare, Harley Street Skin will guide, advise and support you at every given opportunity. We want to make sure that your time with us is as special to you, as you are to us...
The answer to some of the most common questions you may have
It's only natural to have questions if you are considering pursuing a treatment for the first time, and at Harley Street Skin, it's important to us that you feel confident and comfortable at every stage of your journey. To help you find the answers you need, here are a few of the more common quibbles that we find our clients frequently ask...
PDT - sometimes referred to as Photochemotherapy - works by killing damaged skin cells, and prompting the body to produce new ones in their place. It is a 3 step process which consists of: application of an ALA* cream, an incubation period (processing time) and finally, prolonged exposure to intense light at a particular wavelength. The cells that are exposed to this light are starved of oxygen and therefore cannot survive, falling away.
*'ALA' is shorthand for a compound known as 5-Aminolevulinic acid. When topically applied, ALA cream makes the skin especially sensitive to light and serves as something of an activation ointment for the light-triggered chemical response.
PDT works fantastically on areas of skin discolouration therefore makes light work of eradicating things such as rosacea, age spots, and visible sun damage; as well as reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, psoriasis and even acne.
PDT penetrates the skin deeply, but comfortably, targeting the bacteria in the skin which is leading to problems. This means that not only does it treat the complaints on the surface, but does a great deal for the underlying issue and any future flare-ups.
Patients would usually undergo a course of PDT (typically 4-6 sessions, spaced evenly apart). This will usually endeavour to clear up the skin concern indefinitely, although some cases may require more attention.
Acne however, is multifactorial. This means that while PDT will offer incredible improvements, it cannot guarantee permanent ones.
For best results, courses of PDT are recommended.
Session lengths will depend on your particular skin complaint. Certain skin problems - such as acne and rosacea - will not necessarily require application of ALA cream as the light alone will take down redness and inflammation. This means that you will be able to forgo the 'incubation' stage of the process.
On the whole, sessions may take anywhere from 15-45 minutes a piece.
PDT will likely result in some redness, itchiness and slight tingling or burning sensation. You should also not be alarmed if you experience any swelling, scabbing, or peeling.
While there may be a lingering sensation of burning following PDT, it should be noted that light used during PDT is non-thermal, and therefore should not hurt or feel uncomfortable at all during treatment.
It should be also noted that PDT is not recommended if you are pregnant or suffer from Porphyria (a disorder causing particular light-sensitivity.) Some ALA creams may also contain peanut oil, and therefore treatment is generally not suitable for those with severe nut allergies unless authorised beforehand by a doctor.
If treating a large expanse of skin, it is necessary that you remain indoors for the first 24-48 hours while the area preliminarily heals over. This is because skin is particularly sensitive during this time.
It should take around 7-10 days for the skin to heal entirely, although doctors will be able to give you a more accurate representation of your personal recovery time at your consultation.
Skin may remain slightly pink after PDT, but will not prevent you from returning to work - unless you are subject to direct sunlight in your particular role. Patients should refrain from any exposing themself to harmful rays whilst the skin is at its most sensitive. As a precaution, you should continue to wear a high quality, high factor SPF for the duration of your recovery.
The award winning clinic dedicated to helping you be your best self
We understand that deciding to go forward with cosmetic treatment can feel like a huge decision. One that we certainly wouldn't expect you to go ahead with without hearing a little bit about us first. Here is exactly why people around the world are happy to put their trust into Harley Street Skin Clinic.
Since 2004, Harley Street Skin has been on speed dial to some of the world's highest flyers thanks to the expertise of cosmetic tour de force, Dr. Aamer Khan and wife Lesley Reynolds.
With their flagship clinic based on the world’s most famous medical strip, Harley Street Skin quickly became a medical and cosmetic frontrunner, drumming up a pristine professional reputation and impressive roster of celebrity clientele. The clinic was in fact so thriving that it gained the attention of television network SkyOne, becoming the focus of hit documentary series Stitch Me, Lift Me, Tuck Me.
Offering an expansive range of both surgical and non-surgical treatments, Harley Street Skin are renowned worldwide for their cosmetic precision, expertise and minimally invasive techniques. From top of the line body sculpting treatments and cosmetic contouring to breast enhancement and discreet anti-ageing lifts, Harley Street experts offer the A-list experience from consultation through to aftercare.
But that's not all. Harley Street Skin are also pioneering skincare specialists, offering solutions to everything from anti-ageing and resurfacing, to colour correction and hydration.
Carefully formulating the perfect regime for even the most stubborn and unusual of skin complaints, Harley Street Skin boast an acclaimed skin care range frequently making an appearance in beauty mag must-haves, health and lifestyle columns, and celebrity handbags around the world.
With highly skilled practitioners, doctors and surgeons on hand at every turn, Harley Street Skin can help you attain the aesthetic you've been dreaming of - whatever your cosmetology needs.