Why Come to Aesthetic Laser Care for Your Levulan PDT Treatment?

Aesthetic Laser Care has been performing photodynamic therapy with Levulan since 2005 when it first came out. Levulan Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) combines Levulan with our IPL/photorejuvenation treatment and blue light to treat multiple skin maladies. Mostly known as an alternative to Accutane because of its success in the treatment of moderate to severe cystic acne, it also improves actinic keratoses, which are rough, dry, scaly patches on the skin that frequently lead to skin cancer. Additionally, it can help with fine lines, pore size, skin texture, pigmentation, rosacea, sebaceous hyperplasia and textural irregularities.

Treatments cost $500 and most clients need 2 to 3 treatments at 4 to 6 week intervals to achieve satisfactory results.

How Does Levulan PDT Work?

When Levulan (5-amino-Levulinic acid or 5-ALA) is applied to the skin, it is preferentially absorbed by rapidly dividing cells like sebaceous oil glands, bacteria, pre cancerous cells like Actinic Keratoses, etc. Once inside the cells, it undergoes a chemical change that can in turn be activated, by IPL and/or blue light, to produce reactive oxygen molecules that kill the targeted cells while leaving the surrounding tissue relatively unharmed. In this way, it works like a Trojan horse. Levulan PDT kills the bacteria that cause acne and reduces oil production from the sebaceous glands, two important factors in the cause of acne. These effects can be long lasting, even on severe acne patients. For oily skin, Levulan PDT destroys some of the oil producing sebaceous glands and reduces oily skin.

before after
*Individual Results May Vary. See more photos

What Happens During Treatment?

Levulan Photodynamic treatments begin with the application of Levulan (a 20% solution of 5-amino-levulinic acid or 5-ALA). 5-ALA is a natural substance found throughout the body. It acts as a photosensitizing agent and is left on the skin to incubate for 1 to 2 hours. The Levulan is then activated with IPL (intense pulse light) and then blue-light. During this time a patient may feel stinging, tingling and burning.

Patients must avoid all sun exposure for 48 to 72 hours. For this reason, it is best to do the treatment in the evening so that the sun is down when you leave the office. Any exposure to sun light will further activate the Levulan in your skin and cause more tissue damage and down time. Sun screen and a hat are recommended for 4 to 6 weeks after your treatments. There will be some discomfort for 3 to 5 days as the skin turns red, becomes swollen and peels. After 1 week, the patient’s skin is markedly improved. Most clients need 2 to 3 treatments to achieve satisfactory results. Severe cystic acne may require additional treatments.

What Results Can Be Expected?

Levulan PDT helps to reduce cystic acne and is considered a good alternative to Accutane for individuals not wanting to use Accutane because of its many side effects. Additionally, Levulan dramatically reduces actinic keratoses and other pre cancerous lesions. It helps to reduce facial redness, pore size, and oily skin. Skin will appear more smooth and youthful after your Levulan treatment.

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