Photodynamic Therapy

Cosmetic Dermatologist Serving Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Larchmont & surrounding areas in California

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a special treatment performed with a topical photosensitizing agent called Levulan (5-aminolevulinic acid or ALA) activated with the correct wavelength of light. These treatments remove sun damaged pre-cancerous zones and spots called actinic keratoses. Sun damage and blotchy pigmentation are also improved because of the positive effect of Levulan and the light treatment.

Levulan with the use of medically selective wavelengths of light is revolutionizing how we perform skin rejuvenation to treat damaged skin. Please call (323) 430-9800 today to learn more. 

Photodynamic Therapy with Levulan Is Used For:

  • Removing pre-cancerous skin lesions
  • Preventing skin cancer
  • Improving wrinkles
  • Improving pores
  • Improving skin texture
  • Improving pigmentation
  • Treating sebaceous hyperplasia

Photodynamic Therapy for Actinic Keratosis

How much improvement can I expect?

If you have severely sun damaged skin manifested by Actinic Keratoses, texture, and tone changes including mottled pigmentation and skin laxity, you’ll likely see excellent results. You may also see improvement of large pores and pitted acne scars.

How many treatments will it take to see the “best” results?

To achieve maximum improvement of pre-cancerous (actinic keratoses) sun damage, skin tone and texture, a series of 2-3 treatments 2-4 weeks apart is most effective. Some patients with just actinic keratoses are happy with one treatment. More treatments can be done at periodic intervals in the future to maintain the rejuvenated appearance of your skin.

What are the disadvantages?

Following PDT, the treated areas can appear red and swollen with some peeling for 2-7 days. Some patients have an exuberant response to PDT, and experience marked redness of their skin. Temporary swelling of the lips and tissue around your eyes can occur for a few days. Darker pigmented patches called liver spots can become temporarily darker and then peel off leaving normal skin. (This usually occurs over seven to ten days). Repeat treatments may be necessary. ALA Levulan is active for 24 hours so you must stay inside for a full day following treatment. This is an important consideration in scheduling your treatment.

What are the advantages?

  • Easier for patients than repeated topical liquid nitrogen, Efudex (5-Fu), or Aldara because the side effects are minimal and there is rapid healing.
  • The ALA/PDT treatment is relatively painless versus liquid nitrogen, 5-FU and Aldara.
  • Reduced scarring and improved cosmetic outcome compared with cautery, surgery and Efudex.
  • Liquid nitrogen can leave white spots on skin.
  • Levulan improves your whole facial area treated creating one color, texture and tone rather than just spot treating with liquid nitrogen, cautery and surgery.

In summary, PDT matches the “Ideal treatment” for actinic damage:

  • Well tolerated (essentially painless)
  • Non-Invasive (no needles or surgery required)
  • Excellent cosmetic outcome (particularly in sensitive areas of your face)

PhotoDynamic Therapy for Photo Rejuvenation

Equal to almost 3 IPL treatments. If you are willing to tolerate a short amount of downtime you will experience results very quickly. Most noted side effect is swelling around the eyes and lips. Scheduling needs to take into consideration the 24 hours you will need to stay inside.

Please call (323) 430-9800 or contact Rebecca Fitzgerald using the form on this page to learn more about photodynamic therapy at our Los Angeles office.