Photodynamic Therapy: Treatment for Actinic Keratoses, Sun Damage and Acne

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) involves the application of Levulan, a photosensitizing agent, which is then activated with a blue light. This results in significant improvement in conditions such as actinic keratoses, sun damaged skin, and moderate to severe cystic acne.

This treatment also has the unique ability to reduce oil glands, effectively treating stubborn acne vulgarisacne rosacea and improving the appearance of some acne.1

Model(s) shown. Results are not guaranteed and your results may vary.

What are Actinic Keratoses?
Actinic keratoses (AKs) are rough-textured, dry, scaly patches on the skin that caused by excessive exposure to the sun, or other UV light. They occur most often on the face, scalp, ears, neck, hands and arms. They can range in color from skin toned to reddish brown and can be as small as a pinhead or larger than a quarter. They generally appear after the age of 40.

Who is at risk of getting Actinic Keratoses?
Risk factors for the development of AKs are a history of excessive sun exposure, fair skin, blonde or red hair (especially in combination with blue, hazel or green eyes), a tendency to freckle or burn when out in the sun and a weakened immune system.

Actinic Keratoses Treatments

Why should Actinic Keratoses be treated?
AKs are thought to be the first step in the development of many squamous cell carcinoma skin cancers. While most AKs do not become cancerous, some may turn into squamous cell carcinoma. Since there is no way to know which AKs will become cancerous, we recommend having all of them removed.

Actinic Keratoses Laser

How does Levulan PDT work?
Levulan topical solution is applied to the skin and sits on the skin for one to three hours, during which time it is absorbed by abnormal cells, such as actinic keratoses, sun damaged cells and/or inflamed acneic cells. When the abnormal cells are then exposed to blue light, a reaction occurs which destroys them.1 Normal skin cells do not absorb the levulan and are therefore unaffected by the treatment.

What happens after the treatment?
It is very important to avoid sun exposure or other forms of bright light for at least 48 hours after your PDT and Levulan treatment. Sunscreens will not protect against photosensitivity reactions during this time. For approximately one week after the treatment, you can expect your skin to be red and peeling. Some clients experience burning sensations, mild swelling and itching. Make-up may be worn immediately after the treatment.

How many treatments are needed?
The number of treatments depends upon the condition being treated. Many actinic keratoses respond nicely to one treatment.1 Cystic acne clients may need two to three treatments about a month apart.1 The treatment of sun damaged skin with Levulan and PDT depends upon how much damage a client has, but usually takes between one and three treatments.

Photodynamic Therapy Treatments

In order to find out if Levulan and PDT is the right treatment for your skin condition, schedule your free consultation with the skin care specialists at Genesis MedSpa today.