Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
What is the Blue Light Acne / Actinic Keratoses Treatment?
The Blue Light Treatment offers effective, non-invasive and pain-free treatment for moderate acne vulgaris (a.k.a. acne), a condition affecting millions of adults, teens and children and also Actinic Keratoses (a.k.a pre-cancer).
The Levulan® Photodynamic Therapy System is a 2-part process that utilizes both the Levulan® Kerastick® topical solution and the Blue Light Treatment.
The Blue Light Treatment is not a laser. It emits safe, cool visible blue light to provide an effective solution for improvement of acne. Blue Light with Levulan is a type of photodynamic therapy (PDT) that consists of the topical application of Levulan (aminolevulinic acid) combined with BLU-U, a specialized blue light treatment. Levulan is a substance that occurs naturally in the body in small amounts. After it is applied and absorbed into the skin it is converted into a potent photosensitizer, protophorphyrin IX. Because Levulan absorbs into actinic keratoses and sebaceous glands it selectively targets them. The blue light then activates these protophorphyrins which leads to shrinkage of these tissues. By shrinking the sebaceous glands, acne is improved.
How does the Levulan® PDT System work?
The first step is to have a Levulan® Kerastick® topical solution applied to the acne and the individual Actinic Keratoses on the skin. This solution makes the acne or Actinic Keratoses more sensitive to light, which prepares the skin for the second step in the process.
After leaving the topical solution on the skin for 60-120 minutes, therapy continues with a Blue Light Treatment. A Blue Light Treatment session lasts 16 minutes and can cause minimal discomfort because of the nature of the Levulan® Kerastick® topical solution. This discomfort usually improves immediately after treatment and ends within 24 hours.
After treatment is completed, almost all patients experience some temporary reddening and some patients experience minimal swelling of the acne, Actinic Keratoses and the surrounding skin. Generally all reddening is gone by 1 week after treatment and swelling is reduced or non-existent after 1-2 days.
Patients should protect treated lesions from the sun by wearing sun-protecting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat. Sunscreens will not protect against sensitivity to light in the area to which Levulan® Kerastick® solution has been applied. Patients should stay out from the sun for 48 hours.
Clinical studies with the Levulan® PDT Blue Light System have shown significantly high success rates in treating AKs, with dramatic improvement or complete clearance within four weeks.