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Photodynamic Facial

Cape Dermatology - Skin Concerns
Cape Dermatology - Photodynamic Facial

Discover Photodynamic Facial

Photodynamic Facial is a non-surgical, less invasive treatment for pre-cancerous skin lesions, actinic keratoses and sun-damaged skin. It combines photo-modulation with a Photofacial, without the harsh downtime of traditional photo-modulation.

This treatment entails a 2-step process


Application of a light-sensitive substance (ALA): A thin layer of ALA cream is applied for 15 minutes. The active ingredient is selectively absorbed by sun-damaged cells, making them more sensitive to visible light.


Illumination of the treatment area: A light source needs to be applied after the ALA cream to active it, causing cell death of sun-damaged and pre-cancerous cells, while the healthy surrounding cells are unaffected. We use our Photofacials to activate the cream, while simultaneously strengthening the skin by boosting collagen production.

Pre-treatment for OPTIMAL results

  1. Plan to avoid sunlight for 48 hours after the treatment. UVA and visible light may sensitize the skin and reactivate the residual ALA cream, even when you are driving!!!
  2. Inform your therapist if you are prone to cold sores so that a prophylactic medication can be prescribed and taken 2 days before your treatment.
  3. Gentlemen are asked to shave prior to their treatment to minimize sensitivity during the Photofacial. There is a risk of the beard falling out after a Photofacial – if you wish to avoid this, inform your therapist so that the area can be avoided.
  4. Stop any active skin care at least 1 week before your treatment. This includes Retinol, RetinA/Retacnyl, AHA’s/Glycolic Acid and Hydroquinone.
  5. No selftan may be on the skin! Advise your therapist if you are using ANY light-sensitizing medication or topical creams. This includes cortisone, essential oils (especially St. John’s Wort), Roaccutane, prescription acne treatment, hormonal treatment, antidepressants, antibiotics and antihistamines.
  6. Migraines and epilepsy can be triggered by the treatment. Please discuss other treatment options with your therapist/Dermatologist if you are concerned.
  7. Make sure you have a hat and a clean mask/scarf to apply around your face after the treatment.
  8. You will be given explicit post-treatment care by your therapist. This includes a treatment moisturizer for the next week and a high UVA-protection sunscreen. Please check that your sunscreen has UVA-protection. If you are unsure, please bring your sunscreen with for the therapist to assess.

During and after the treatment

  1. Your skin will feel tingly during the ALA cream application. The ALA cream is applied for 15 minutes, after which the skin is cleansed thoroughly to remove any traces of ALA cream from the skin surface.
  2. Your eyes will be covered with safety goggles prior to the Photofacial. During a Photofacial you may find that your skin is slightly more sensitive than usual.
  3. The skin might appear flushed and slightly swollen after the treatment. After a day or two the skin will start to flake and feel dry. Please apply only the treatment cream given to you and apply more frequently if your skin feels very dry.
  4. If you experience crusting or oozing, apply Bactroban ointment twice per day until the area has healed and inform your therapist. DO NOT pick at the skin, as this can cause scarring.
  5. It is VITALLY IMPORTANT that you protect yourself against sun exposure in the next 48 hours! Remember that UVA-radiation penetrates through glass and windows and are the same during the year, irrespective of the seasons. Take care to cover your skin while driving home.
  6. Your skin may take up to a week to recover completely from the treatment, although redness and swelling will only be evident for 24-48 hours

If you would like to receive more information or book a consultation, please contact us on 021 552 7220.