Levulan photodynamic therapy improves the texture and color uniformity of skin affected by certain conditions and diseases, such as acne, hidradenitis suppurativa and inflammatory rosacea, according to Advanced Dermatology. It can also improve sun-damaged skin and treat precancerous cells, known as actinic keratosis, before they develop into cancer.
Photodynamic therapy does not have any long-term side effects, notes the American Cancer Society. Doctors can repeat treatment on the same site as many times as necessary. There is also minimal to no scarring involved, which is beneficial because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Levulan photodynamic therapy for use on actinic keratosis on the face and scalp only.
After each photodynamic therapy treatment, actinic keratosis improves by 80 to 90 percent, reports Advanced Dermatology. After treatment, skin appears red and scaly, but this only lasts a few days, which is significantly less recovery time than needed for topical creams. Photodynamic therapy also does not leave the faint white scars that liquid nitrogen treatments can cause.
Unlike other skin rejuvenation treatments, doctors can combine photodynamic therapy with chemical peels, traditional photorejuvenation techniques and other therapies, states Advanced Dermatology. Patients can also combine photodynamic therapy with other cosmetic treatments, such as fillers, Botox and skin tightening treatments.