Acne Treatment

Definition

At Beautologie we offer the combined Levulan / Photofacial treatment. This method is the newest and most encouraging procedure in the treatment of acne. Levulan (Aminolevulinic acid 20 is a naturally occurring compound in small amounts in the body that is used to treat sun damage and pre-cancerous legions, sebaceous hyperplasia, acne rosacea, together with improving skin texture and pore size.

The Levulan formula is applied on the face 30-90 minutes prior to receiving an IPL treatment which "activates" the Levulan medication. Levulan subsequently inactivates the bacteria that triggers acne, exfoliates the skin, unclog pores, and finally shuts down the sebaceous glands in the skin. This is revolutionary because sebaceous glands are the root cause in the formation of acne so it has a long lasting outcome even on severe acne.

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 with only a little down time.

The Photofacial Levulan treatment will improve acne, sun damage skin, acne rosacea, sebaceous hyperplasia, wrinkles, pore size, skin texture, pigmentation, and potentially prevents the development of certain types of skin cancer. This treatment can be performed one to four times spaced 4-6 weeks apart depending on the client's individual level of improvement.

Side effects include photo sensitivity, redness, and skin exfoliation. Patients should plan this procedure when they can have at lease 48 hours free of sun exposure. After care also includes gentle cleansing of skin, use of a broad spectrum sunscreen, avoidance of direct sunlight for two days, and use of intense hydrating moisturizers thereafter.

The Procedure

  1. Patients who have a history of recurring cold sores (Herpes simplex type I) should start oral Valtrex the morning of your treatment. The prescription for this product will be ordered for you.
  2. Please ensure your skin is clean and free of all make-up, moisturizers, and sunscreens. Bring a hat, sunglasses, and scarf when appropriate to the clinic to protect your skin from sun exposure following treatment.
  3. Photography will be done by the staff before the Levulan is applied.
  4. An acetone scrub is performed. This will enhance the absorption of the Levulan and promote a much more even uptake of the drug.
  5. Levulan is applied topically to the whole area/zone to be treated (for example whole face, back of the hands, extensor part of the forearms, etc.).
  6. The Levulan is left on for 30-60 minutes prior to light treatment.
  7. The Levulan is activated with intense pulsed light. This unique spectrum of light activates the Levulan beginning with low energy levels.
  8. Post-treatment instructions will be given to you for care of your improved skin.

What Is PDT?

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a special treatment, performed with a topical photosensitizing agent called Levulan (5-aminolevulinic acid or ALA) which is activated by the correc wavelength of light. This is also known as "ALA/PDT treatment". These treatments can remove sun damaged pre-cancerous zones and spots called actinic keratoses. Sun damage, fine lines, and blotchy pigmentation can also be improved sue to the positive effect of Levulan and the light treatment on skin condition. ALA/PDT treatments also have the unique ability to minimize pores and reduce oil glands, effectively treating stubborn acne vulgaris, acne rosacea, and improving the appearance of some acne scars.

Results

Patients with severe sun damaged skin manifested by actinic keratosis, texture and tone changes including mottled pigmentation, and skin laxity may see excellent results. You may also see improvement of large pores and pitted acne scars. Active acne can improve dramatically.

How Many Treatments Do I Need?

To achieve maximum improvement of pre-cancerous sun damage (actinic keratosis), skin tone, and texture, a series of one to four treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart is most effective (some patients with just actinic keratosis are happy with one treatment).

What Are the Disadvantages?

Following PDT, the treated areas can appear red with some peeling for 2-7 days. Temporary swelling of the lips and around the 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 depending on how your skin responds to treatment.

After the Procedure

After the application of the Levulan® Kerastick®, you must:

  • Stay out of strong, direct light
  • Stay indoors as much as possible
  • When outdoors, wear protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats to avoid sunlight
  • Avoid beaches, snow, or surfaces where strong light may be reflected