What about IPL with Levulan for sun damage, aging and/or oil?

What do you think about IPL with levulan for face for oil and scaly skin. I've read some horror stories online from people who got severely burned after. My question is how safe is this procedure and do you recommend it to your patients. Also, I have read a lot about platelet-rich plasma therapy lately and how it can be used for anti aging. Is any of that true? Thank you.

I am not a fan of this combination which has been around now and sometimes in the press for about 5 years now.  Here’s why:

  1. It can produce severe facial burns if not done well or there is too much natural light exposure for the first 2-3 days after it;
  2. Those severe facial burns, if they occur, can cause scarring that is permanent;
  3. IPL systems are all very different and for that reason unpredictable….unless you have a nurse, doctor or PA-C doing it who does it all the time and is very skilled;
  4. The Levulan is applied as a liquid and then allowed to soak in for a certain number of minutes.   The exact time matters and the exact amount absorbed is not possible to measure accurately;
  5. There are plenty of more predictable and safe ways to solve the same problem!

I’ll do PRP (platelet rich plasma) in another post soon. 🙂

Hope this helps,  Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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