warning on Levulan

Some good digging from Aurelia, this time on Levulan. Thanks for scouring the archives for us Aurelia. I know it takes quite a bit of effort to find and quote the most helpful posts.

Quote From: Levulan (was IPL resource page).

Hi Eric,

Although there’s nothing about Levulan in the RSRP as yet, there is a lot about it in the RS archives.

When aminolevulinic acid (Levulan) is applied to the skin and it is activated by exposure to blue light or IPL, the treatment is called Photodynamic Therapy (PDT). Basically, it’s an acne treatment that might help some of those suffering from pustular rosacea and/or rhinophyma, but is probably not a good choice for the flushers.

To get an idea of whether or not it is likely to work for your symptoms, I’ll give you a little run through the archives, but please note that I’ve never personally tried Levulan.

Bridget Jones, the English rose who graces us with her presence occasionally, posted an interesting press release about PDT and rosacea a couple of years ago:

RSG Message 57116.

The group had just started to get excited about PDT as a possible wonder cure for fighting pustular rosacea, excessive oil production and rhinophyma when we were informed that one clinic was no longer offering this service because “most clients did not have good results.”

RSG Message 60202.

However, some RS members tried it anyway. A few reported successes, but probably more were dissatisfied. Abe (“ab60472”) said it had made his skin “10x worse with constant red and papules” & “Levulan damaged my skin and it has taken me a year and thousands of dollars to reverse it. Please, don’t anyone go near this stuff. It’s comparable to glycolic acid on rosacea skin, possibly worse, in my opinion. I have been in contact with another member of this board who also had skin damage from it.”

RSG Message 72508.

RSG Message 76099.

Karen (“karenkc101”) “The first set of IPL/Levulan wrecked my skin. Stay away from Levulan – it’s evil!! (at least for rosacea skin).”

RSG Message 76255.

Sue (“cyberpaint04”) was unsure of the initial results: “It’s quite a bit more harsh than ipl alone. My treatment was levulan followed by blue light then ipl, all the same session. I did not have a positive result from using levulan (3x), unless some results show up months later… I have had reduction in burning sensations, but don’t know the exact cause, could have been levulan, the ipl, or temporary reduction in hot flashes. Also you need to be aware that levulan is NOT APPROVED for any use other than actinic keratosis. Anything else is experimental, though many derms are using it, I don’t think definitive studies have been done or at least completed. Also, acne and papules can get worse because of this treatment (hopefully temporarily).”

RSG Message 67726.

It would be helpful to hear back from anyone who has been treated with Levulan, so we can know what you thought of it in the long run.

Kind regards,


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