PDT shows promise for rosacea treatment

Written by on February 22, 2006 in PDT with 1 Comment

A recent Rosacea News item titled `be careful with Levulan (aminolevulinic acid)‘ urged care with this new form of photodynamic therapy. Hot off the press are these 2 articles that offer some promise for the use of Photodynamic Therapy in treating rosacea. The warning is still worth considering given that this is a relatively new treatment. Note that the first paper is a study of only one patient.


Photodynamic therapy for the treatment of erythema, papules, pustules, and severe flushing consistent with rosacea.

Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, 2006 Feb;5(2 Suppl):6-8

Authors: Katz B, Patel V

We report a case of a 45-year-old woman who presented with facial erythema, papules, pustules, and severe flushing consistent with rosacea. The patient had failed standard pharmacologic treatments. The patient’s flushing was so severe that she had undergone an elective sympathectomy. She received 6 sessions of photodynamic therapy (PDT) with 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA as Levulan Kerastick, Dusa Pharmaceuticals) given at 2-week intervals. Improvement was evident after the second treatment and was considered “excellent” after the sixth treatment. Improvement continued and no flares were observed 1 month after the final treatment.


The use of photodynamic therapy in dermatology: results of a consensus conference.

Nestor MS, Gold MH, Kauvar AN, Taub AF, Geronemus RG, Ritvo EC, Goldman MP, Gilbert DJ, Richey DF, Alster TS, Anderson RR, Bank DE, Carruthers A, Carruthers J, Goldberg DJ, Hanke CW, Lowe NJ, Pariser DM, Rigel DS, Robins P, Spencer JM, Zelickson BD.

Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, 2006 Feb;5(2):140-54

Authors: Nestor MS, Gold MH, Kauvar AN, Taub AF, Geronemus RG, Ritvo EC, Goldman MP, Gilbert DJ, Richey DF, Alster TS, Anderson RR, Bank DE, Carruthers A, Carruthers J, Goldberg DJ, Hanke CW, Lowe NJ, Pariser DM, Rigel DS, Robins P, Spencer JM, Zelickson BD

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has significant promise in improving outcomes of patients with a variety of cutaneous conditions. A group of experts met to review the principles, indications, and clinical benefits of PDT with 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA). They also reviewed PDT with methyl aminolevulinate. The experts established consensus statements for pretreatment, posttreatment, ALA contact time, light sources, and numbers of sessions associated with ALA PDT for actinic keratosis and superficial basal cell carcinoma, photorejuvenation and cosmetic enhancement, acne, sebaceous skin, rosacea, and rhinophyma. They based consensus recommendations on their clinical experience and the medical literature. They also suggested future applications of ALA PDT. Experts concluded that ALA PDT is a safe and effective modality for the treatment of conditions commonly encountered in dermatology. Since downtime is minimal, the technique is suitable for patients of all ages and lifestyles. Appropriate light sources are available in many dermatology offices. The expanding clinical and financial benefits of PDT justify the purchase of an appropriate light source.

Read more about: PDT

About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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1 Reader Comment

  1. Nick says:

    I have been suffering with cystic acne all my life, nothing worked at all. Years ago I started ALA treatments activated by candela V -Beam Laser.
    2 months after my 3rd treatment my skin was completely cleared, I mean completely. People who knew me did not recognize me, and If I tried telling someone that just met me recently That I suffered from severe acne they looked at me with disbelief.
    Seems I have developed Rosacea and sebhorric dermatitus and laser just flares up the rosacea and makes it worse. I wont go near laser now and need to.
    any comments?????????

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