About the Procedure

levulan (1)The procedure is called PhotodynamicTherapy. Whether treating suspected skin cancer, sun spots, or acne, the process is very similar. The treatment utilizes a drug, called Levulan ALA, and a light source. Levulan ALA is applied topically (directly on the skin). The solution is applied directly to the target lesions by dabbing gently with a wet applicator tip of the Levulan Kerastick. A light or laser source is then used to activate the Levulan ALA and the targeted cells are destroyed.

Prior to the procedure, the patient’s skin will be prepped, ensuring skin is clean and free of all makeup, moisturizers and sunscreens.

During the procedure, protective eye wear should be worn. Patients may feel stinging or burning within the targeted lesion when it is exposed to the light or laser source.



There are many types of acne. The most common is called acne vulgaris. Just beneath the surface of the skin lie hundreds of tiny glands called sebaceous glands. Their function is to collect and excrete the oily substance called sebum, to keep the skin healthy. The tiny pathway for the sebum to escape often becomes clogged, and a bacterium called p.acnes grows inside. In a short time, the area swells up, and forms a pimple on the skin.

Controlling Acne

There are many treatments for moderate acne; including creams, washes and medications. If your case of moderate acne is not responding to medications or other conventional treatments, then try Levulan ALA. Combined with a light source, Levulan ALA kills the p.acnes bacteria in your skin.

ACNE blu-u-therapyabsent-acne

Treatments are simple – the patient simply sits with their face close to a light or laser source for a short period at a schedule set by your doctor. The actual treatment is very safe, it’s not hot, and it’s not painful. After some weeks, you will gain control of your acne or it may clear up for a very long period.


Less than 3% of patients discontinued light treatment due to stinging and/or burning 84% of patients said they would use Levulan Kerastick again 81% of patients preferred Levulan ALA to previous treatments.


AKs and Sun Damage

Following the procedure, patients should protect treated lesions from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat or similar head covering of light-opaque material. Sunscreens will not protect against photosensitivity reactions caused by visible light. Due to this sensitivity, patients should stay away from sunlight for 24 hours.

The targeted lesions will scale and crust for a few days before healing.

The treatment is painless. Mild to moderate redness (similar to a mild sunburn) may be experienced for a period of a few days and there may be some mild flaking of the skin.

After treatment, normal follow-up visits are recommended.

What are actinic keratoses?

AKActinic keratoses (AKs) are rough, scaly patches on the skin, caused by excessive exposure to the sun, that can sometimes progress into dangerous skin cancers.

How do AKs become squamous cell carcinomas?

AKs sometimes can become larger and thicker. These enlarged lesions may then progress to squamous cell carcinomas. Patients may notice increased redness, tenderness, itching, and burning. Left untreated, squamous cell carcinomas may become larger, go deeper into the skin, and eventually spread to other parts of the body. This results in thousands of skin cancer deaths each year, many of which could be prevented.

How likely are Aks to become squamous cell carcinomas?

Many doctors believe that AKs and squamous cell carcinomas are really the same condition at different stages of a continuing process. This process begins with minor cell damage and, over time, ultimately results in the cell becoming cancerous. It is also believed that AKs occur in the early stages of the process; squamous cell carcinomas occur in the final stage. A significant percentage of AKs develop into the later. Estimates range from 10% to as high as 20 % over a 10-year period.

Contact Information

Canadian Institute For Laser Surgery
Queen Elizabeth Health Complex
Address: 2100 Marlowe ave, Suite 306 H4A 3L5
Phone: (514) 482-3456
Toll Free: 1-877-90-LASER

Canadian Institute for Laser Surgery

2100 Marlowe, suite 306     1-877 90-LASER