Blue Light PDT
Blu-U Photodynamic Therapy
Living with acne, precancerous sun spots, or scarring due to acne is not a condition that needs to be accepted
- Blu-U Photofacial light therapy is a treatment that is non-invasive and effective
- It is used to treat acne, actinic keratoses (prec-cancerous sun spots) as well as sun-damaged skin
- This procedure is non-invasive and pain free
Almost any area can be treated including:
- The BLU-U acne light works with all skin types (I-VI) (from pale Caucasian to dark African skin types) and it is just fine if you have a suntan!
- Blue light photodynamic therapy acts by killing acne causing bacteria, overactive oil glands and premalignant skin cells and precancers
What is Levulan Photodynamic Therapy?
- Blue Light (Blu U) is combined with a topical medication called Levulan in a procedure known as Levulan Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
- Photodynamic therapy for acne, precancerous sun spots and other uses, involves the application of Levulan ( 5-aminolevulinic acid), a medication which is then activated with blue light
- Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is also known as ‘ALA/PDT treatment’
- ALA/PDT treatment also has the unique ability to reduce oil glands, effectively treating stubborn acne and improving the appearance of some acne scars
What is Blue Light?
- Blue Light or Blu U is a state-of-the-art system and the latest technique in photofacial therapy
- The blue light system delivers painless light of blue colour that greatly enhances the results of your skin rejuvenation
What is Levulan?
- Levulan (5-Amino Levulinic Acid) is a medication that is applied to the skin
- This medication makes acne-causing bacteria and precancerous sun spots more sensitive to the Blu-U (Blue Light) treatments
Can Levulan Photodynamic therapy be used to treat acne?
- This results in significant improvement in mild to moderately-severe acne
- Acne can be treated with topical creams and lotions, birth control pills, antibiotic pills, retinoids, glycolic peels and microdermabrasion
- Now PDT is another safe and effective alternative available for acne treatment
- Blu U Levulan Photodynamic acne treatment involves three mechanisms of action against acne
- Levulan treatment:
- Inactivates the bacteria that trigger acne
- Exfoliates the skin to unclog pores
- Shuts down the oil glands (sebaceous glands) in the skin
- This can produce long-lasting improvement
- Levulan treatment:
- Levulan acne therapy can even work in patients who have failed prescription pills
- Results with Levulan PDT are especially impressive when compared with conventional treatments, such as topical medicines and oral antibiotics
How Blu U treats Acne
Can Levulan Photodynamic Therapy be used for skin rejuvenation, precancerous sun spots, improvement of sun damage and skin cancer prevention?
- Levulan Photodynamic Therapy using Blue Light can be used for non-surgical skin rejuvenation
- This procedure results in significant improvement in precancerous conditions such as:
- Actinic keratoses
- Sun damaged skin
- Superficial skin cancers
- Additionally it potentially prevents the development of skin cancer
- Levulan is revolutionizing how we perform skin rejuvenation and how we treat sun-damaged skin
- Levulan is preferentially absorbed by precancerous cells
- When combined with Blue light the Levulan kills the cancer cells, and leaves the normal skin unharmed
- It is particularly effective for actinic keratoses on the scalp, face, arms and legs
- It has the added benefit of skin cancer prevention
- Killing abnormal cells BEFORE they can become a skin cancer
- Even those people with no obvious sun spots can be treated to prevent skin cancer from developing
What else can Levulan Photodynamic Therapy be used for?
- Removing precancerous skin lesions
- Preventing skin cancer
- Improving skin texture
- Treating sebaceous hyperplasia (enlarged oil glands)
How safe is it? Are there any side-effects?
- The BLU-U treatment is very safe
- The blue-violet light penetrates just deep enough into the tissue to reach the acne target
- It only affects the P. acnes bacteria, not the normal tissue
- It contains NO radiation and does not damage the skin itself
- It has NO risk of causing cancer
- Even though there is no evidence of complications, we will not perform this treatment if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
How Do I select where I should go for Blue Light (Blu-U) treatment?
- Unfortunately there are no government regulations as to who can own or operate a Blu-U machine
- There is no minimal training required by regulatory agencies and virtually anyone who has the capital can purchase a machine and start doing treatments
- For those reasons, you have to be very careful where you go
- There are several questions you should ask:
- Is the clinic a doctor’s office or a spa?
- Blu-U can be potentially dangerous if not used by well trained technicians
- How long have they been doing treatments?
- Is there a doctor?
- Is the doctor someone who is specialized in skin care and Blue Light therapy such as a dermatologist?
- Or is the doctor a family doctor? Dentist? Chiropractor?
- What are the qualifications of the technician who is treating you?
- What type of Blue Light machine are they using?
- Who will manage any complications is they should happen to arise?
- Does the technician do a full and in depth consultation with you to ensure that you understand the pros and cons of treatment, the risks and benefits?
- Do they take photographs to help monitor improvement?
- Does a dermatologist check you first to make sure that you are a good candidate for therapy?
- Is the clinic a doctor’s office or a spa?
How do I prepare for my treatment?
- The face should be cleansed with soap and water and free of any oil
- Makeup cannot be worn during the treatment
- Makeup may be re-applied immediately after the treatment
What is the procedure for Levulan Photodynamic therapy?
- At your first visit a Blue Light PDT technician will provide a free consultation
- During the consultation she will discuss the benefits of Blue Light, explain the procedure and benefits to you and answer any questions that you may have
- Furthermore she will explain how the procedure works and how many treatments you will need, and provide you with a price quote
- She will also ask you a series of questions to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure and to determine your skin type and sensitivity
- After your FREE consultation the technician will call in Dr. Vignjevic
- He will assess your skin type and whether Blue Light would be suitable for you
- In addition, he will answer any further questions that you may have
- You cannot be treated by the technician unless you have been assessed by Dr. Vignjevic first
- If you decide to go ahead with a treatment, photographs will be taken of the treatment area
- These photographs are strictly for your chart and will not be released or used without your permission
- Your privacy is of the utmost importance to us
- You will be asked to wash your face and to remove any makeup
- It is not necessary to remove mascara, lip stick or lip liner
- After this, the Photodynamic Therapy technician will initially cleanse the skin
- She may use microdermabrasion (a fine spray of crystals) to remove dead skin cells and impurities
- Microdermabrasion prior to treatment improves the penetration and effectiveness of the Levulan
- When treating precancerous sun spots on the scalp, chest or back, acetone is used to remove skin oils prior to treatment
- Acetone is not used on the face as it is too irritating for facial skin
- After the skin is cleansed, Levulan, which is a clear solution, is applied with a cotton tipped applicator
- Levulan can be applied to treat any area of the body including the face, scalp, chest, back, arms groins and underarms
- The medication is left to rest on the face and neck for 60 minutes, the chest, back, arms and legs for 180 minutes
- This application time is termed the incubation period
- Short incubation times retain efficacy but diminish discomfort and side effects
- There is normally NO discomfort to the patient with short incubation times and 8-10 minutes of blue light therapy.
- After the incubation period the Levulan will be activated with Blue Light
- You will sit comfortably in a chair or lie on an examination bed while the light is applied to the affected area for a period of 8 minutes
- You can even listen to music while being treated
- No anaesthetic topical cream is needed prior to the light exposure because the treatment is painless
- You will be given special goggles to wear to protect your eyes during the treatment
- During the treatment yout may feel stinging, tingling, prickling, or burning of the lesions, but this should go away after the treatment
- After treatment with the Blue U, the solution will be washed off the skin using soap and water following the light activation
- A healing cream is applied to the skin, and then a layer of sunscreen is applied last prior to leaving the office
- You will be provided with a booklet of after-care instructions and the technician will recommend specific products to take care of your skin after the treatment
- You will be provided with Dr. Vignjevic’s personal cell phone number should you have any questions or concerns that arise after office hours
What should I expect after my treatment?
- There will be redness, and occasionally, mild blistering or bruising of the treated areas lasting from several hours to 3-14 days
- This will depend on the sensitivity of your skin and the severity of your sun damage
- The treated area might “crust”, “flake”, or look like a “cat scratch”
- Any areas that become crusted are pre-cancerous areas that have been successfully treated
- Some crusting and scabbing is considered a good result
- This should resolve within 3-14 days
- Most people are completely healed within 7 days
- Your skin will be more sensitive for a few days up to a couple of weeks after your treatment
- There should be some discomfort, but no significant pain
- After 1 week, there might be some residual redness that will subside after a few days and can be covered with make up
Special precautions for 1 week after your treatment:
- Keep the treated area out of the sun and bright lights for 48 hours
- Exposure to the sun within this time period can lead to a severe blistering burn in the areas that were treated
- If outdoor exposure sun is unavoidable, wear a hat with a brim, cover your face with a scarf, wear large sunglasses and use sunscreen
- Sunscreen alone is NOT ENOUGH PROTECTION to prevent a burn in the first 48 hours after treatment
- You should continue to use sunscreen daily for at least 4 weeks following treatment regardless of the time of year or if it is overcast or cloudy
- Sun exposure may lead to the production of blotchy dark pigmentation which may take several months to fade
- Avoid excessive heat exposure such as saunas, steam rooms, hot showers or baths, and strenuous exercising for 24 hours
- This prevents the risk of blistering
- You can return to normal activities immediately after treatment, as long as you avoid bright light and sunlight for 48 hours
- Avoid any aggressive skin care products such as scrubs, exfoliants, alpha or beta hydroxy acid products
- Keep clothing from rubbing the treated area and avoid other irritation to the area
- Do not get hairspray on the treated area
- Notify the office should you have any prolonged redness, excessive puffiness, or other unusual side effects
Skin Care Regimen – immediately after treatment and between your treatments
- Specific instructions regarding cleansers, moisturizers and sunscreen use will be provided to you on the day of your treatment
What should a person do if they get significant redness, swelling, or pain after a treatment?
- Avoid the sun or bright lights as much as possible
- Call the office where you had your treatment
- If you are concerned that you have had an abnormal reaction, have a cold sore, or an infection – call your doctor’s office immediately
Who should not have PDT (Levulan Photodynamic Therapy) treatments?
- You should not be treated if you have:
- Skin sensitivity to blue light
- Porphyria (a disorder of the blood that can lead to sensitivity to light)
- Allergies to chemicals called porphyrins
Is the cost of Levulan PDT covered by drug insurance?
- Treatment of acne and actinic keratoses (precancerous sun spots) MAY be PARTIALLY covered if you have PRIVATE drug insurance
- OHIP and regular provincial drug plans do NOT cover the cost of Levulan PDT therapy
- To see if your private drug insurance will cover a portion of the cost of the treatment , call your insurance company and provide them with the Drug Identification Number (D.I.N.) for Levulan – 02243933
- They can tell you if it is covered and how to get coverage
How many treatments are required?
- Typically, treatment sessions are approximately 1 to 2 hours long, once per month
- Precancerous sun spots (actinic keratoses) require one to 4 treamtents with annual maintenace
- Acne usually requires 4 to 8 treatments, with maintenance every 4 to 6 months
- It is important to keep the treatment appointments recommended
- By following the treatment plan, you’ll see maximum results and enjoy clearer skin
Which aesthetic products or procedures can be combined with Blu-U PDT Treatments?
- Medical Facials, Microdermabrasion, Chemical Peels, and Mineral Makeup, can be successfully combined with Blu U Photodynamic Therapy
- Medical Facials
- This is a clinical facial, using pharmaceutical grade products by our qualified staff
- This is a relaxing, enjoyable treatment which leaves the skin silky and hydrated
- Recommended for:
- Photodamage (sun damage)
- Aging Skin
- Dull Skin
- Skin that needs rejuvenation
- To learn more about medical facials, please click here
- Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels (Lactic and Lactic with Retinoic Boost) help to:
- Unclog pores
- Improve skin tone
- Remove devitalized and dead skin cell
- Give the skin a fresh glow
- To learn more about Chemical Peels, please click here
- To learn more about Microdermabrasion, please click here
- Mineral Makeup Consultations and Colour Matching
- I am pleased to offer high quality makeup in my office which includes:
- Sheer to Flawless coverage foundation (cream, liquid and powder)
- Eye shadows
- Eye liners
- Lip sticks
- Lip glosses
- Professional makeup tools (natural bristle brushes, lash curlers)
- To learn more about our Hypoallergenic Mineral Makeup, please click here
- I am pleased to offer high quality makeup in my office which includes:
What if you are interested to learn more?
- Please click on the blue-coloured links above
- E-Mail Us
- Or call our aesthetic centre directly at 905-549-7873 to book a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable technicians
- To see a short video clip in which Dr. V discusses Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy, please click here