Blue Light (Photodynamic Therapy)
Levulan (Aminolevulinic acid 20%) is a naturally occurring light-sensitizing agent, which has been approved by the FDA to treat pre-cancerous lesions called actinic keratoses (AK’S) on the face and body. Although the treatment of pre-cancerous lesions is the only FDA-approved indication for Blue Light therapy, research has shown that this procedure improves the quality of the skin by promoting collagen production and is thus helpful in treating other conditions as well.
So-called ‘off label’ uses of Blue Light therapy include:
- Improving aging/sun damaged skin
- Improving fine lines and blotchy pigmentation
- Improving acne/rosacea
- Reducing the size facial oil glands (sebaceous hyperplasia)
- Decreasing the oiliness of the skin
- Improving the texture and smoothness of the skin by minimizing pore size.
Tips for post treatment care:
- Daily use of SPF 30 sunscreen is recommended.
- Avoid sunlight or bright indoor lighting for the next 48 hours.
- If you must go outside, wear light-blocking clothing and hats. SPF alone does not provide enough protection for the skin during this time frame.
- Keep skin well moisturized with over the counter emollients as needed for dryness.
- Use over the counter 1% topical hydrocortisone 2-3 times a day for excessive redness or itching.
- Use cool compresses as needed for swelling.
- Use vinegar/ water soaks to help burning and tingling:
-mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to 2 cups of cool water.
-soak washcloth and apply to affected area as needed.
- Tylenol or Advil/Ibuprofen may be taken for tenderness or discomfort.
After treatment, you may experience the following:
- Dark Spots
- Stinging/burning- usually lasts 24 hours
- These effects usually resolve in 5-7 days, and will be completely resolved in 3-4 weeks.
- Peeling or flaking, or crusting of the skin
If you experience the following, please call our office
- Severe pain
- Open, weeping skin