We live in a fast paced world and we all want our acne treated effectively and quickly. So we offer an advance in photo-rejuvenation, photodynamic therapy (PDT) with levulan. The light source activates the medication to start producing results. This combination can result in significant improvement in precancerous skin conditions, sun damaged skin, moderate to severe cystic acne and potentially superficial skin cancers. As an added bonus it improves wrinkles, pore size, skin texture, pigmentation, rosacea, sebaceous hyperplasia (over active oil glands), and potentially prevents the development of skin cancer.
Levulan is used for:
- Treating moderate to severe cystic acne
- Removing precancerous skin lesions
- Improving wrinkles
- Improving pores
- Improving skin texture
- Improving pigmentation
- Treating sebaceous hyperplasia (or overactive oil glands)
What is the procedure?
The first step is to apply Levulan® topical solution to the effected area. After a few minutes the solution makes the lesions more sensitive to light. Then the therapy continues with an IPL Treatment (broad band of light), after leaving the topical solution on the skin for 45-60 minutes. The IPL treatment session can be up to 20 minutes with some minimal discomfort due to the levulan application. The discomfort usually improves immediately after treatment and ends within 48 hours.
After treatment, almost all clients experienced some temporary reddening and some clients experienced minimal swelling of the acne and the surrounding skin. Typically, all reddening disappears within 4 weeks of treatment and swelling is reduced or non-existent after 1-2 days.
Levulan® acne therapy can work in clients who have failed accutane. Accutane also targets the sebaceous gland but accutane has systemic side effects. Levulan® is a safe alternative to accutane treatment.
- The medication will be applied to your skin.
- After 1 hour Levulan® will be activated with IPL (intense pulse light) and/or blue-light.
- An anesthetic topical cream may be applied prior to the light exposure
- You will be given special goggles to wear to protect your eyes during the treatment.
- During treatment you may feel stinging, tingling, prickling, or burning of the lesions, but this should go away after the treatment.
- You must stay out of the sun and bright light as much as possible for the next 48 hours.
- The skin can turn red and swollen in the following 3-7 days.
- Some crusting may be noted.
- There should be some discomfort, but no significant pain.
- After 1 week, there might be some residual redness that will subside after a few days and can be covered with make up.
How Many Treatments will it take to see the “best results”?
A series of three treatments 1-4 weeks apart is the most effective. More treatments can be done at periodic intervals in the future to maintain the rejuvenated appearance of the skin. If there is a flareup, w would treat that immediately.
What are the disadvantages?
Following PDT, the treated areas can appear red with some peeling for 2-7 days. If you don’t avoid the sun inm the first 24h, you may have an exuberant response to PDT, and experience marked redness of their skin. Repeat treatments may be necessary as PDT medicine is not an exact science.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES?
- Easier: the side effects are minimal, rapid healing, and only 2-3 treatments required.
- The ALA/PDT treatment at our clinic is painless.
- Reduced acne scarring and improved cosmetic outcome like smaller pores, improved texture, decreased oilysensation of the skin.
- Levulan improves the whole facial area treated creating all one colour, texture, and tone. Levulan/PDT is great because it’s:
- well tolerated (essentially painless)
- easily performed by a specialty clinic environment
- non-invasive (no needles or surgery required)
- excellent cosmetic outcome (particularly in cosmetic sensitive areas of the face)
Before the Procedure Make Sure:
Patients who have a history of recurring cold sores (Herpes simplex type I) should start oral Valtrex 500 mg tablets, two tablets twice daily for three days – starting this prescription the morning of your PDT treatment. We can give you a prescription If you need one.
Make sure your skin is clean and free of all makeup, moisturizers, and sunscreens. Bring a hat, sunglasses, and scarf when appropriate to the clinic.
- Photography will be done by the staff before the Levulan is applied.
- You must sign a consent form.
- An acetone scrub is performed. This will enhance the absorption of the Levulan and to give much more even uptake. We might even do a microdermabrasion to enhance absorption.
Individual Results may vary and no guarantees can be made.