The Levulan, which is a clear painless solution, is applied to your skin and left on for 15-60 minutes. The Levulan is absorbed by active cells like acne sebaceous gland, making the targeted acne cells more sensitive to the light. This combined interaction of the solution and the light is what gives rise to the term "photodynamic therapy."
The treatment, also known as "ALA/PDT treatment" removes sun damaged pre-cancerous zones and spots called actinic keratoses (precancerous growths that develop from prolonged, cumulative sun damage over the course of your lifetime). Sun damage, fine lines, and blotchy pigmentation are also improved because of the positive effect of Levulan and the light treatment. ALA/PDT treatments also have the ability to minimize pores and reduce oil glands, effectively treating stubborn acne vulgaris, acne rosacea, and improve the appearance of some acne scars.
Common Questions About Photodynamic Therapy With Levulan
What conditions can be treated with ALA/PDT Therapy?Photodynamic Therapy with Levulan is indicated for:
- Removing pre-cancerous actininc keratoses (AK)
- Preventing skin cancer
- Improving wrinkles
- Reducing pore size
- Improving skin texture
- Improving pigmentation
- Treating moderate to severe cystic acne
- Treating sebaceous hyperplasia
How many treatments will it I need?To achieve maximum improvement of pre-cancerous (actinic keratoses) sun damage, skin tone and texture, a series may be needed. Some patients with only actinic keratoses are happy with just one treatment. More treatments can be done at periodic intervals in the future to maintain the rejuvenated appearance of the skin.
What are treatments like?The Levulan, which is a clear painless solution, is applied to your skin and left on for 15-60 minutes. It is then activated with a specific wavelength of light called BLU-U or Clear-Light. This takes about 8-10 minutes.
Following ALA/PDT, the treated areas can appear red with some peeling for 2-7 days. Some patients have an exuberant response to PDT, and experience marked redness of their skin. Temporary swelling of the lips and around your eyes can occur for a few days. Darker pigmented patches called liver spots can become temporarily darker and then peel off leaving normal skin. (This usually occurs over seven to ten days.)