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 and 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 a bonus, it improves wrinkles, pore size, skin texture, pigmentation, rosacea, and sebaceous hyperplasia (overactive 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 the Levulan® topical solution to the affected area. After a few minutes, the solution makes the lesions more sensitive to light. Then the therapy continues with an IPL Treatment (broadband 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 before 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 makeup.
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, we 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 in the first 24h, you may have an exuberant response to PDT, and experience marked redness of your skin. Repeat treatments may be necessary as PDT medicine is not an exact science.
What are the advantages of Levulan®?
- Easier: the side effects are minimal, rapid healing, and only 2-3 treatments are required.
- The ALA/PDT treatment at our clinic is painless.
- Reduced acne scarring and an improved cosmetic outcome like smaller pores, improved texture, and decreased oily sensation of the skin.
- Levulan® improves the whole facial area treated creating all one color, texture, and tone. Levulan®/PDT is great because it’s:
- Well-tolerated (essentially painless)
- Easily performed in 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 give a much more even uptake. We might even do microdermabrasion to enhance absorption.
*Individual Results may vary and no guarantees can be made.
**Results may vary. Unless noted otherwise, testimonials provided are patients of Tucson Cosmetics who have undergone completed treatment(s.) Before and after images reflect real results from real patients, although individual results may vary. Statements estimating treatment duration and the amount of treatments required are based on the typical experience of patients of Tucson Cosmetics, however, duration and amount of treatments needed may vary per client. A guarantee is neither provided nor implied.