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Levulan Photodynamic Therapy for Acne unclog pores, and the most exciting mechanism is that Levulan treatment shuts down the sebaceous glands in the skin. This is exciting because sebaceous glands are the root cause in the formation of acne so it has a long lasting effect even on severe acne.
Resistant and Cystic Acne frequently fails to respond to typical measures of control. A safe topical two-step treatment which chemically coats and then destroys acne bacteria offers a new solution.
PhotoDynamic Therapy is one of those rare acne treatments delivering what it promises, often more. Used for resistant acne, PDT offers life-altering improvements. Cystic acne, the kind that creates painful inflamed lumps deep in the skin, is a harsh reality for thousands of teens. The psychosocial impact of this type of acne can be overwhelming leading to depression, shyness and loss of confidence.
By the time our physicians recommend Levulan/Photodynamic Treatment (L-PDT), topical and systemic (oral) antibiotics have failed. Although they are helpful in the treatment of cystic acne, they are not usually sufficient to provide adequate control. Left under treated or untreated, cystic acne will almost always leave permanent scars on the face or other affected areas such as the chest and back. An acne sufferer, therefore, suffers twice once with the active acne and then with embarrassing and sometimes with disfiguring scars. Proper treatment brings great relief on both levels by minimizing the acne and thus preventing the scarring that would otherwise come from it. The positive emotional impact of controlling acne is immeasurable.
Our doctors apply light-activated Amino-Levulinic Acid (Levulan, the liquid agent that penetrates the offending acne cells) and then chooses Blu-U light or laser to turn on the action. The activated Levulan selectively destroys acne bacteria and shrinks overactive oil glands which supply nutrition for acne bacteria.
We suggest two Levulan treatments, two weeks apart for initial treatment. Subsequent maintenance treatments are usually required. The impact on acne is immediate and long-lasting. Levulan- PDT is the "big gun" in the war against acne and if used appropriately, will improve acne conditions faster and more completely (with the least side effects) than any other treatment available.
What is the procedure?
Post-treatment instructions It is extremely important that you stay out of the sun for 48 hours after your treatment! Your skin will be sensitized to the sun and you can get severely sunburned. Use a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30 even when indoors. 1. You may be red following the treatment for several hours to several days. You may have a sun-burned look for 1-7 days. Light peeling can occasionally occur. Swelling may occasionally occur, especially around the eyes. Blisters and scabbing can occur if you do not follow directions. 2. If your skin stings indoors, stay away from bright lights and windows. 3. If your skin feels uncomfortable or if swelling develops, apply cold compresses or ice packs as needed. Take Tylenol® or Advil® if needed. Hydrocortisone 1% cream, preferably with Aloe (non-prescription) can be applied if skin is puffy and inflamed. Most of the time, pure aloe vera gel is also soothing and speeds healing without the use of any actual medications. 4. Continue to wear sunscreens and a hat while outdoors for 2 weeks after each treatment. 5. Call our office if you experience any extreme pain or unusual circumstances.
Does it hurt?
Patients don't mind the temporary discomfort and redness or the peeling because they see the improvement in their skin and in their lives very quickly. Is PDT the cure? No. There is no "cure" for acne, but there is control. Levulan-PhotoDynamic Therapy offers acne sufferers the improvement needed to improve their quality of life! Levulan acne therapy can even work in patients who have failed Accutane. Accutane also targets the sebaceous gland but Accutane has fairly toxic side effects. Levulan is a very safe alternative to Accutane treatment.