Levulan PhotoDynamic Therapy (PDT)

Levulan PhotoDynamic Therapy (PDT)

Planning Your PhotoDynamic Acne Therapy (PDT)

Acne is a complicated skin condition which requires a personalized treatment protocol which may include topical and internal medications, microdermabrasion, peels, extractions, acne injections and other modalities. Another treatment which has become a popular choice for patients seeking to reduce acne breakouts is Levulan PhotoDynamic Therapy (PDT).* Acne breakouts are expected to resolve for approximately one year and future breakouts are significantly reduced.* Skin texture and tone are also dramatically improved contributing to the success of PDT.* This treatment is used for moderate to severe acne patients. The mechanism of action from PDT treatment is similar to Accutane without the possible side effects often associated with Accutane.* Specifically, it selectively reduces the acne producing cells in the skin.* Active, inflammatory acne may need to be controlled by topical or systemic medications before beginning PDT treatments.* Systemic medications and at-home treatment regimens prescribed to you will also need to be followed throughout the treatment process and to help maintain your results.

How does PDT work?

An agent called Levulan® Kerastick® (aminolevulinic acid HCI) for Topical Solution is used in combination with various lasers. ALA is a substance that occurs naturally in your body.* It is selectively absorbed into acne producing glands as well as other abnormal skin tissue such as actinic keratoses (pre-cancerous skin lesions) and makes those cells more sensitive to light.* The laser light activates the active ingredients in Levulan.* In the case of acne, the sebaceous glands which are responsible for producing acne are shrunk or completely destroyed by the laser light.* Different lasers are used depending on the condition being treated: acne, red acne scars or brown acne scars.*

What happens during the treatment?

Your skin will first be cleansed using special solutions to remove oils. Levulan is then applied to your skin using a special applicator in which it is packaged. The solution remains on your skin for approximately one hour for the face.* If the back or chest is treated your incubation time may vary from 5 hours to overnight depending on the recommendation for your individual situation.* The Levulan is then activated by laser light using Blu-U, Intense Pulsed Light, V-Beam or a combination of lasers depending on your individual condition.*

What should I bring to my treatment?

  • A book or something to help occupy your time since you will be incubating for at least one hour.
  • A hat, scarf or other covering for your face, especially on warm sunny days or if you live far from the office. Any immediate exposure to light will increase the reaction on your skin. Even though this is not particularly dangerous to the skin, it may increase your recovery time significantly.
  • Payment for the procedure. Medical Insurance does not cover this treatment. All PDT treatments must be prepaid prior to your starting the procedure.

The Next 40 Hours

You are restricted from exposure to sunlight for 40 hours following the treatment. We recommend that you go home immediately after treatment and remain indoors the remainder of the day and the entire next day until sundown. Extended exposure to the computer screen or other visible light is not recommended in the first 40 hours.

The Next Few Days

Peeling, redness and dryness may be experienced for up to one week after the treatment.* The first three days are most affected.* You will receive instruction for caring for your skin at the time of your procedure.* You may apply make-up three days after the procedure in most cases.*

How Many Treatments do I need?

The treatment is repeated three to five times about one month apart, depending on the severity of the acne and the recommendation for your individual situation.*

The Complete Program in Los Angeles

In addition to PDT, Dr. Rubinstein has designed a program to increase the effectiveness.*

       The Three Month Program to Acne Recovery

  • Three PDT Treatments 4 weeks apart (or as recommended for your individual situation)*
  • Three Blue-U sessions two weeks after each PDT treatment*
  • Two visits with our aesthetician about two weeks after the first two PDT treatments*
  • At-home skin care regimen as recommended for you
  • Injections for active acne may also be required throughout the treatment process*

      Services Included in Your PRE-PAID PDT Treatment Package

  • Three PDT Treatments 4 weeks apart (or as recommended for your individual situation)*
  • Blue-U sessions 10-14 days after each PDT treatment throughout the treatment process and one month after your last treatment*
  • Injections for active acne which may be required throughout the treatment process and one month after your last treatment*
  • Follow –up visits throughout the treatment process and one month after your last treatment*
  • Services NOT INCLUDED – Initial consultation, skin care products, aesthetician visits, future treatments*

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Our results: before and after photos

Before PDT treatments


After PDT treatments

12 weeks after treatment

*Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.

Maintenance and Future Treatment

In order to maintain your results, you may require to continue with oral and/or topical medications or may require some in the future.* PDT may not work for everyone or may only work on deep lesions, leaving you with periodic superficial breakouts. Periodic breakouts are common in many people, not only those prone to acne and should be treated both preventatively and early on to control more severe breakouts.  In some cases, additional treatment like Accutane may still become necessary especially to address severe cystic acne in some patients.* Further PDT treatments may also be recommended in the future to maintain or improve results.*

Photos courtesy of DUSA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.®

*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.

Levulan PhotoDynamic Therapy (PDT) is Used to Treat:

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We're happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to call us at
(818) 505-9300