HomeCosmetic DermatologyAminolevulinic Acid

Aminolevulinic Acid

Aminolevulinic Acid Photodynamic Therapy before and after diagram.

What Can Aminolevulinic Acid Photodynamic Therapy Treat?

Aminolevulinic acid, also known as Levulan, is a topical medication often used to treat actinic keratoses. Actinic keratoses are scaly or rough patches on the skin, often on the face and scalp, that develop from excessive sun exposure. These patches can become cancerous if left untreated, therefore it is imperative to speak with a qualified dermatologist.

At BHSkin Dermatology, we use aminolevulinic acid in combination with photodynamic therapy to treat this problematic condition. ALA is a naturally occurring compound, but when it’s activated by a special blue light, then it can damage the cells of actinic keratosis lesions. ALA also treats acne and skin cancer in some cases.

Aminolevulinic Acid Photodynamic Therapy before and after diagram.

Before Getting Aminolevulinic Acid Photodynamic Therapy

Before undergoing ALA photodynamic therapy, it is important to talk with your dermatologist. During your consultation, your skin care specialist will carefully check your skin and diagnose your actinic keratoses, ensuring that aminolevulinic acid is the right course of treatment for you. During this consultation, we’ll also talk to you about the risks and benefits associated with this procedure and will answer any questions that you may have.

Example of Aminolevulinic Acid Photodynamic Therapy.

During Aminolevulinic Acid Photodynamic Therapy

ALA treatment happens in two stages. In the first stage, your dermatologist will apply the aminolevulinic acid preparation directly to the area of your skin requiring treatment. This should be a painless process. Your skin care specialist will then have you wait in the office for 1-2 hours, giving the applied cream an opportunity to work.

After this incubation time, your dermatologist will direct the blue light at the affected area of your skin. This activates the aminolevulinic acid. There may be slight discomfort during this part of the procedure. Your BHSkin Dermatology skincare expert will have you wear special goggles so that the blue light does not damage your eyes.

Machinery used for Aminolevulinic Acid Photodynamic Therapy

After Aminolevulinic Acid Photodynamic Therapy

As with any dermatological procedure, there may be some slight redness or discomfort following the procedure. However, this should be minor and will quickly fade. If you experience any unusual symptoms after undergoing ALA photodynamic therapy, then be sure to contact your provider.


Location map of the following address: 1505 Wilson Terrace.

1505 Wilson Terrace
Suite 240
Glendale, CA 91206

Don Mehrabi MD in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Encino Tarzana, and Glendale. Same/Next Day / Saturday appt.

Location map of the following address: 16030 Ventura Blvd.

16030 Ventura Blvd.
Suite 140
Encino, CA 91436

Don Mehrabi MD in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Encino Tarzana, and Glendale. Same/Next Day / Saturday appt.

Table with laptop, agenda, cell phone, and some ways representing a person working

Virtual Office Visit
Photo Consultation and Video Consultation

Get seen by a real dermatologist, in a real visit - from the remote comfort and safety of your home.