Tips & Wisdom
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) treatment is FDA-approved for the treatment of actinic keratoses(AKs), which are rough, scaly precancerous patches of skin caused by chronic and excessive exposure to the sun.
The process is a 2-step treatment: Initially a liquid containing a chemical substance called amino levulinic acid (ALA) is applied to the areas to be treated and left in contact with your skin for one hour. ALA is a “photoreactive drug”, which means that it is transformed and becomes active when exposed to a very specific type of light – in this case, a blue light. The ALA is absorbed exclusively by the diseased tissues while not affecting the surrounding healthy tissue. After the incubation period of one hour, we treat the areas with pulses on intense blue light using the Sciton BBL™ equipment with the 420nm filter.
Since the ALA is taken up by the rough areas of skin, this treatment also causes significant cosmetic improvement by giving you a much smother, more homogeneous appearing skin, therefore this is also a very good treatment for facial rejuvenation.
In addition to treating pre-cancer actinic keratoses and aging skin, this treatment can also be very effective for controlling inflammatory acne. This is done by killing the bacteria that are associated with the disease and by shrinking down the sebaceous glands, which re also associated with the development of acne.
Most patients will feel a stinging and burning sensation during treatment, and it can be as intense as a rubber band snapping on your skin, however this sensation usually improves immediately after treatment and resolves within 24 hours or less. Treated skin must be protected from light for 36 hours following the PDT procedure.Learn More
Chemical Peels are cosmetic procedures in which chemical agents are applied to the skin in order to cause exfoliation of the damaged, more superficial skin cell layers. These old skin cell layers are replaced by new, healthier, more youthful looking skin. This will result in firmer appearance to the skin, homogenization of skin tone, and color smoothening of the texture and reduction of fine lines. Chemical peels are administered in a series of increasing concentrations spaced several weeks apart, in order to achieve the desired amount of correction. Chemical peels are the least aggressive skin rejuvenation treatments available and are also the most affordable. They are usually the treatment of choice by younger patients with minimal damage to be corrected.
The following problems can be corrected or improved by chemical peels:
- Fine wrinkles and lines
- Dull, uneven skin tone
- Rough texture of skin
- Dark skin patches and spots
- Active acne
- Very superficial acne scars
- Chronic sun damage
- Enlarged pores
Chemical peels can be classified, according to their depth of exfoliation as superficial, medium or deep peels. Most of the peels offered nowadays in an office setting are superficial to medium depth peels. Examples are alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) peels (Glycolic acid peels), salicylic acid peels and retinoic acid peels. The procedure is done in the office and it takes from 15 to 30 minutes to be completed.
The majority of patients who undergo chemical peels are very pleased with the immediate results. Some patients may require additional treatments to achieve the desired results and some choose to have a monthly chemical peel to ensure maintenance of fresh, healthy looking skin.
Superficial peels result in mild facial redness and occasional swelling which usually resolve within 48 hours. The peeling is similar to a sunburn and most people can continue their normal activities. Make-up can be applied a few hours after the procedure.
Glycolic Acid Peels- The typical alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peel involves the use of glycolic acid, which is derived from sugar cane, at concentrations of 50% or higher.Learn More
Dr. Ciro Martins has been practicing dermatology since 1987. He is board certified by both the American Board of Dermatology and the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, and he is an Associate Professor of Dermatology and Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he earned his medical degree at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, the most competitive and sought after medical center in South America. After completing his first dermatology residency, still at the University of Sao Paulo, he joined the faculty as an instructor and was invited to come to the Johns Hopkins Hospital for a post-doctoral research fellowship in immunodermatology. Upon finishing his fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin he returned to Baltimore, where he repeated his internship and residency training, a requirement for licensing and board certification in this country. He completed his second dermatology residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in 1998, developing a very successful academic career as a clinician, researcher, and educator. He is currently a part-time Associate Professor, and practices dermatology full-time in his recently established clinic, CRM Dermatology, located at the Village of Cross Keys in Baltimore. His clinical interests include general medical and cosmetic dermatology, infectious diseases of the skin, the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer, and skin conditions associated with HIV infection.
Education & Training
- Residency: Johns Hopkins University
- Internship: Good Samaritan Hospital of Maryland
- Medical School: Universidad de Sao Paulo Faculty of Medicine
1427 Clarkview Rd., Suite 300
Baltimore, Maryland, 21209