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Blu-U® & Levulan® Treatment For Actinic Keratosis

Blu-U® & Levulan® Treatment For Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratosis is considered a precancerous skin condition, so it is extremely important to seek diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. It forms on skin damaged by chronic exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or indoor tanning beds. Fortunately, Blu-U® light therapy paired with Levulan® can effectively treat common skin problems such as actinic keratosis, precancerous lesions, and early-stage carcinomas. If you have been diagnosed with actinic keratosis, it can be disconcerting, however, there are many proven treatment options available. One of the most advanced actinic keratosis treatments available is the combination of Levulan® Kerastick with Blu-U® photodynamic therapy. 

What Is Actinic Keratosis?

Actinic keratosis lesions typically appear on body areas that are frequently exposed to sunlight such as the face, scalp, lips, ears, neck, and backs of the hands. It is common to begin to see them appear after age 40. These small lesions are dry, scaly, crusty patches of skin that sting, itch, and sometimes bleed. Your skin may appear rough with red, white, or brown raised bumps. Actinic keratosis patches are often easier to feel rather than see in the early stages of the condition. When combined with Blu-U® light therapy, the application of aminolevulinic acid, Levulan®, is known to successfully treat non-melanoma cancerous, and precancerous growths. Read more about the causes and symptoms of actinic keratosis here.

How Does Blu-U® Light Therapy And Levulan® Treat Actinic Keratosis?
At 2 mm thick, the epidermis is vulnerable to skin lesions, including actinic keratosis, and basal-cell carcinomas. Blu-U® light therapy painlessly penetrates the skin to address the damaged cells. Levulan® Kerastick cream is applied to penetrate the top layer of skin, or epidermis, between one and four hours before activation with the Blu-U® light. Patients sit with the blue UVB light aimed at the affected areas for a series of brief, 15-minute sessions. Exposing skin infused Levulan® to the Blu-U® light stimulates a biochemical reaction between the topically-applied Levulan® and any sun-damaged skin cells. As a result, the body’s healing process increases skin cell production, and amplifies collagen production to restore a healthier appearance to your skin.

What To Expect During Blu-U® and Levulan®® Treatment For Actinic Keratosis
Blu-U® treatments are often brief, only lasting 15-20 minutes. You may experience some mild burning as the aminolevulinic acid is applied to your skin, but other than that, the treatment is relatively painless. During the procedure, you may also experience light to moderate itching or tingling, prickling or stinging sensations in the affected areas. A few patients have reported experiencing a burning sensation after the procedure, however, this will typically fade away within 24 hours. Oral analgesics such as ibuprofen can be used afterward for minor pain. The sun-damaged spots should be eliminated within 8 weeks of treatment.


Take Action Against Actinic Keratosis

At Okanagan Skin Care Centre, we are invested in the health and well-being of all our patients and strive to develop personalized and effective treatments which will give you the healthy, clear skin you deserve. Identifying and treating abnormal skin growths such as actinic keratosis is vital to your health and wellness. If you are concerned about your skin health, book a consultation today with one of our expert skin care specialists by calling (250) 868-9290 or through our contact form.



Q: Will Blu-U® and Levulan® treatment eliminate the actinic keratosis lesions for good?
A: Results vary widely among patients. Some patients may experience a recurrence after six months, and other patients may see years go by without further problems. Each individual case must be evaluated and monitored during regular visits with a board-certified dermatologist.

Q: Is there downtime associated with Blu-U® photodynamic therapy?
A: Blu-U® treatments are painless, non-invasive, effective, and require no downtime. Other than avoiding direct exposure to sunlight such as at the beach or strong indoor lighting, the great majority of patients find it possible to immediately return to their normal activities.

Q: What do I need to do after treatment for actinic keratosis?
A: Your medical practitioner will provide you with specific recovery-promoting instructions following your Blu-U® light and Levulan® therapy. It will be essential to stay out of the sun, or bright lights for at least 24 hours. If you must go outside, cover your skin with appropriate clothing to protect it. For 1-2 weeks after treatment, you should apply a sunblock of at least 30 SPF before sun exposure in any season. Take extra care when bathing, using gentle cleansers and a light touch. Invest in a thick, quality moisturizer to refresh and protect your skin barrier.

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