Levulan PTD (Photo Dynamic Therapy)

Levulan PDT (Photo Dynamic Therapy)

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Levulan Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT) is a treatment method for certain skin conditions. Patients with Actinic Keratosis (pre-cancerous), diffuse acne, sun damage and textural irregularities may greatly benefit from Levulan.

Prior to undergoing Levulan PDT (or any aggressive facial treatment such as medium peels, IPL or eMatrix) the skin must be prepared by using a custom medical grade skin care program. The foundation of this prep is a topical retinoid, a 4% hydroquinone and sunscreen, all applied daily for 2-4 weeks prior to treatment.

Levulan PDT is performed by applying a topical photo sensitizer called Levulan (20% 5-aminolevulinic acid-ALA) to the skin. After proper penetration to the skin, the treatment area is exposed to intense light of IPL. This activates the Levulan, which selectively targets and destroys damaged skin cells, pre-cancerous skin cells and some early skin cancer cells.

Levulan also improves wrinkles, pore size, skin texture, pigmentation, rosacea, sebaceous hyperplasia (overactive oil glands) and diminishes the appearance of acne scars. Activation with IPL produces more overall facial rejuvenation than when Levulan is activated by a blue light.

Patients must avoid ALL sunlight for 48 hours after treatment. Recovery is variable depending on how much damage was present in the skin before treatment. Most patients experience redness, flaking and significant peeling during the recovery process. Exposure to any sunlight, even coming through windows post treatment, increases the redness and peeling and delays the recovery.

Recent studies have shown most patients rate the cosmetic improvement as good to excellent.

Watch Dr. Bomer Reverse Sun Damage with Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) Levulan with FotoFacial


Read Dr. Bomer’s Levulan PDT Experience


Frequently Asked Questions About Levulan PDT

What is Levulan Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)?

Levulan Photodynamic Therapy is a skin treatment that helps minimize sun damage caused by the sun. It also treats acne, acne scars, rosacea and precancerous cells or actinic keratosis.

This photodynamic therapy uses the light or laser energy to act against skin damage. At Rejuvent, this laser energy comes in the form of intense pulsed light or IPL – Fotofacial.

What does Levulan treat?

  • Sun Damage
  • Acne and Acne Scars
  • Rosacea
  • Actinic keratosis (pre-cancerous cells)
  • Enlarged oil glands
  • Enlarged pores
  • Blotchy pigmentation and brown spots
  • Overall smoothness of skin

What are the advantages of Levulan Photodynamic Therapy?

  • Minimizes wrinkles
  • Fades hyperpigmentation
  • Rapid treatment of acne lesions all over the face
  • Reduces enlarged pores and glands
  • Skin appears refreshed and younger
  • Treats pre-cancerous cells
  • No scarring
  • No surgical excisions
  • No systemic side effects

How do I know if I need Levulan?

This treatment may be right for you if you have sun-damaged skin, rough skin, acne, actinic keratosis, rosacea, hidradenitis suppurativa (severe acne), or skin irregularities.

— Pregnant women or patients taking Accutane during the previous six months are not eligible for this treatment.

Are there risks and side effects to Levulan?

This treatment often results in redness and scaliness, similar to having a sunburn for 1 day to over a week. If there is a lot of sun damage or if you have been in the light during the first 2 days, following treatment you may have some significant burning discomfort in the treated area.

The good news is that even with severe side effects, there has never been any reported scarring with this treatment. So even if you do have a pronounced effect in the short term, you will still get very good results.

We recommend you avoid tanning prior to Levulan, and that you wait for any tanning to fade before being treated.

What should I expect at my Levulan appointment?

During your appointment, the prescription solution knows as Levulan, is applied to the skin, which causes the target cells or glands to be more sensitive to light. After an incubation time (usually 60 minutes), you will be treated with a Fotofacial (IPL), which activates the Levulan. The combination of Levulan and light not only treats the skin cells, it also makes your skin more healthy, smooth, clear and may possibly even prevent skin cancer.

It is very important that you avoid direct or indirect sunlight COMPLETELY for 48 hours after treatment. Wear a hat and sunglasses and lower your visor as you drive home. If you are a passenger, make sure the treated skin is completely covered or turned away from the window. Light can activate Levulan, which remains active in the skin for 36-48 hours.

What to expect after your Levulan session?

Everyone reacts differently to Levulan, but the majority of our patients experience redness, peeling and a little tenderness.

Redness and Peeling: Your skin will be red and you will have some skin peeling (and crusting in some instances) for several days after the treatment. Usually, the first 1-2 days are the worst.

Stay Inside: You must remain indoors 48 hours following your treatment to avoid sun exposure, as you are photosensitive during that time and sun exposure could cause severe burns. Even a quick walk to get the mail can impact your skin, so plan accordingly. We suggest avoiding all light if possible as light causes photosensitivity and lead to burns.

Camouflaging redness: Pressed mineral base powder will hide most of the redness. Rejuvent offers Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics that is gentle, pure and has several shades to help camouflage the redness. We don’t recommend liquid products that may contain oils or waxes.