Levulan® Photodynamic Therapy



Levulan® Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) using Levulan® Kerastick Topical Solution followed by light activation is FDA approved  for the treatment of minimally to moderately thick Actinic Keratoses (Grade 1 or 2) of the face or scalp.  It is also frequently used to treat acne, but is not yet FDA approved for this condition.

How does Levulan® PDT work?
When Levulan® Kerastick Topical Solution is applied to Grade 1 or 2 AKs, the solution is absorbed by the AK cells where it is converted to a medication that makes the cells extremely sensitive to light. When the AK cells are exposed to light of appropriate wavelength and intensity, the medication is activated causing reactions which destroy the abnormal cells.

  Step 1:  Application of the Levulan® Kerastick Topical Solution
The first step in the Levulan® PDT System is the application of the Levulan® Kerastick Topical Solution, 20% to the individual AKs on your face or scalp.  This solution is an acid that occurs naturally in your body.  It makes the AKs more sensitive to light.  This application prepares the AKs for step 2 in the treatment.  Next, you will be instructed to wait 1 hour to allow the solution to penetrate the abnormal AK.

  Step 2:  Photo-activation:
After your incubation period, you will receive a Cutera LimeLight treatment, which consists of a series of intense pulsed light applications covering the treatment area.  This step usually takes about 20 minutes to complete.


What to expect after treatment:
Following Levulan® Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), you may experience sensations of tingling, stinging, prickling or burning of the treated AKs.  These feelings of discomfort should improve at the end of the treatment and should subside within 24 hours.  Following treatment, the AKs and to some degree the surrounding skin may redden, and swelling and scaling may also occur.  However, these effects are temporary and should completely resolve by 4 weeks after treatment.  Many of the patients participating in the studies experienced 75-100% clearance of Grade 1 or 2 AKs eight weeks after treatment with Levulan® PDT treatment.  Based on the combined results of two medical studies, 94% of patients treated with Levulan® PDT rated the cosmetic response as good to excellent.  Additionally, no scarring was reported during the medical studies.  The most common side effects experienced by patients in these medical studies included scaling/crusting, hypo/hyper-pigmentation, itching, stinging, and/or burning, redness and swelling.  Severe stinging and/or burning at one or more lesions being treated was reported by at least 50% of patients at some time during treatment.

What precautions should be taken?
Patients must avoid exposure of the photosensitive treatment sites to sunlight or bright indoor light prior to and at least 24 hours after this treatment. Exposure may result in a stinging and/or burning sensation and may cause erythema or edema of the lesions. Sunscreens will not protect against photosensitivity reactions caused by visible light.

Levulan® Photodynamic Therapy Aftercare Instructions:
 - You MUST remain out of all direct and indirect sunlight for the next 24 hours.
 - Use > SPF 30 sunscreen for the next 2 days.
 - Skin protection from ultraviolet light is recommended through a combination of avoidance to direct sunlight during the mid-day, tanning bed avoidance, use of protective clothing and consistent use of a sunscreen with SPF > 30 that blocks both UVA and UVB light.
 - Return for a repeat Levulan® Photodynamic Therapy treatment session in 1 month.
 - Please call my office at 704-663-5056 if you have increased pain, drainage, severe redness or fever, increased itching, the appearance of a cold sore, blister or a similar tingling sensation, or if at any time you feel that you are not healing normally.


                       Full Circle Family Medicine
                           435 East Statesville Ave.
                       Mooresville, NC  28115-2598

                          (704) 663-5056 -- Phone
                          (704) 663-5780 -- FAX