It's a three part treatment that uses an acid, a laser, and a blue light to help turn back time, and prevent skin cancer.
The Levulan Kerastick, or PPIX, was FDA approved in 1999 for the treatment of Actinic Keratoses, those pre-cancerous thick, scaly patches on the skin we also call age spots. It's been used off label by physicians for years to treat acne, and over the past few years, it has grown in popularity as an anti- aging treatment to reduce pore size, fine lines, splotchy skin, and discoloration, according to Northshore physician Dr. Kelly Burkenstock.
The procedure starts by applying the Levulan Stick (aminolevulinic acid HCI) to the skin. The acid sits on the skin for about 90 minutes, then the patient sits in front of a BLU-U Light treatment for 15-20 minutes. Dr. Kelly Burkenstock prefers to finish the treatment with a laser (red light therapy) on some patients for an added anti-aging benefits.
Side effects and downtime? Yes! This treatment is not for you if you don't have a week where you can hide out and heal. Patients say the procedure itself can sting and burn a little, but it's the first few days after the treatment that is the worst, according to Dr. Burkenstock. 48 hours after treatment, you can expect peeling, burning, redness, and some itching. By day 7, Dr. Burkenstock says most of her patients are thrilled with the results, but it does take those 7 days of healing and staying completely away from the sun. After healing from the treatment, Dr. B says it's imperative that patients wear sunscreen!
The cost? $350-$550 per treatment (includes Levulan Kerastick, BLU-U light treatment, and laser)
3 treatments (must wait at least 1 month between treatments) are recommended.
The entire procedure takes about 3 hours, including the 90 minute wait time for the Levulan to absorb before the BLU-U light treatment.
For more info on tonight's story:
Dr. Kelly Burkenstock
Levulan: Anti-Age & Prevent Skin Cancer with a Little Stick?
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