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Laser Center of Maryland Laser Center of Maryland

Blue Light and Levulan

Blue Light with Levulan is a type of photodynamic therapy (PDT) that consists of the topical application of Levulan (aminolevulinic acid) combined with BLU-U, a specialized blue light treatment. Levulan is a substance that occurs naturally in the body in small amounts. Blue Light Levulan Photo-dynamic therapy for acne treatment involves three mechanisms of action against acne. 1. Levulan PDT inactivates the bacteria that trigger acne. 2. Exfoliates the skin to unclog pores. 3. The most exciting mechanism is that levulan treatment shuts down the sebaceous glands in the skin. This is exciting because sebaceous glands are the root cause in the formation of acne so it has a long lasting effect even on severe acne.

After it is applied and absorbed into the skin it is converted into a potent photosensitizer, protophorphyrin IX. Because Levulan absorbs into actinic keratoses and sebaceous glands it selectively targets them. The blue light then activates these protophorphyrins which leads to shrinkage of these tissues. By shrinking the sebaceous glands, acne is improved.

Levulan PDT can also be used for:

  • Treating moderate to severe cystic acne
  • Removing precancerous skin lesions
  • Preventing skin cancer
  • Reducing wrinkles
  • Improving pores
  • Improving skin texture
  • Improving pigmentation

The treated lesions are sensitive to light. Consequently, people being treated will need to avoid sunlight and sources of bright light for 48 hours (two days) after LevulanŽ treatment.

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