Photodynamic Therapy

For the millions of people who suffer from acne, sun damage or even worse, skin cancer, there is a light of hope - photodynamic therapy or PDT.

Photodynamic therapy uses the sophistication of the light-sensitive agent, Levulan Kerastick (5-aminolevulinic acid or 5-ALA) and light energy. Omnilux PDT is a remarkable new way to treat many skin conditions including resistant and cystic type acne, Actinic Keratoses, Bowen's disease, superficial Basal and squamous cell carcinomas. PDT also leaves the patient with excellent cosmetic results in very little recovery time. 5-ALA-PDT helped decrease redness, reduce sun spots and freckles and it improved the overall appearance of skin including fine lines and rough skin.

PDT - Photodynamic Therapy

Patient before, during and after ALA-PDT therapy with red light application.
Improvement is 75% to 100%in extensive Actinic Keratosis and photo-aged skin

How does it work?

Omnilux ALA - PDT is a two-step process requiring application of a medicine and then exposure to a certain type of light.

Step 1: The first step is the application of the photosensitizing agent Levulan. This topical solution is left on your skin for 30 -90 minutes for treatment of acne, 3 hours for AKs & Bowem's disease, and 6 hours for sBBC's. The absorption of the Levulan essentially turns the acne and oil glands into "targets" for the next step - light. The photosensitizer in the neoplastic tissue is stimulated producing cytotoxic species, such as singlet oxygen, resulting in photo-oxidation, cell death and tumor destruction.

Step 2: The excess of Levulan is removed from the skin. Depending on the site, the patient is then made comfortable by either sitting or lying down and special light treatment is initiated for 20 minutes. The light is penetrated to the "targets", oxygen radicals are formed and the bacteria responsible for the acne are killed. By utilizing clinically proven core technology, Omnilux spares normal tissue, leaving the skin surrounding the lesion intact and functional.

Post-treatment: Following the treatment PDT-treated skin is very sensitive and may be inflamed. Hydrocortisone 1% may alleviate inflammation without side effects. Thin application of nonirritating moisturizers such as Aquaphor or Cetaphil would help to alleviate dry skin. Patients should avoid use of Vitamin E, high potency corticosteroids, aloe vera, herbal agents and most moisturizers that may contain potentially irritating and sensitizing preservatives and perfumes.

The patient is advised to protect themselves from both direct and reflected sunlight for 48 hours. In fact, it is best that patients stay indoors during this period. If this is not possible, outdoors exposure should be limited and at least SPF 30 should be applied along with wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and physical barrier such as a scarf



The Levulan Kerastick for Topical Solution plus Omnilux Light Photodynamic Therapy is indicated for the treatment of severe acne, minimally to moderately thick actinic keratoses (Grade 1 or 2) of the face or scalp, Bowen's disease, superficial Basal cell carcinomas. Who should NOT use Levulan?

Levulan Kerastick should not be used by patients who have cutaneous photosensitivity at wavelengths at 400-450 nm, porphyria, or known allergies to porphyrins. Levulan Kerastick has not been tested on patients with inherited or acquired coagulation defects. There have been no formal studies of the interaction of Levulan Kerastick for Topical Solution with any other drugs and no drug-specific interactions were noted during any of the controlled clinical trials. It is possible that concomitant use of other known photosensitizing agents might increase the photosensitivity reaction of actinic keratoses treated with the Levulan Kerastick. It is important to tell your physician if you are taking any oral medications or using any topical prescription or non-prescription products on your face or scalp. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing.


The most common side effects include scaling/crusting, hypo/hyper-pigmentation, itching, stinging, and/or burning, redness and edema. Severe stinging and/or burning at one or more lesions being treated was reported by at least 50% of patients at some time during the treatment.


Patients should avoid exposure of the photosensitive treatment sites to sunlight or bright indoor light prior to and at least 48 hours after blue/red light 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.


Aminolevulinic acid topical solution will make you sensitive to the sun. This effect may be increased by other medicines that also cause sensitivity to the sun such as:

  • Griseofulvin
  • Medicines including sulfa or tetracycline antibiotics
  • Medicines for mental problems or psychotic disturbances
  • Some types of water pills (diuretics)
  • Vitamin A and vitamin A-like medicines and creams (examples: Accutane®, Solage®, Retin-A®, or Differin®)
  • Vitamin E


The number of treatments will depend upon your skin type. Your doctor will advise you on the best course of treatments for you. However, you will see a change in your skin texture and fine lines and wrinkles and pigmentation with just one treatment.

Price: Will vary depending on treatment plan. Call 570-748-6445 to schedule your complimentary consultation to find out if you are a good candidate for this procedure.

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