A New Way To Boost The Power Of Lasers

Topical skin-care creams that claim to enhance the appearance and function of the skin are a dime a dozen, but Allumera, applied in-office, is used in tandem with light and lasers to really up the ante and fight aging.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has routinely been used as a way to treat precancers and skin cancers. Allumera cream works similarly to PDT, but without the harsh side effects of Levulan (the topical cream required for PDT). “One of the positive effects of PDT is better-looking skin since it boosts the strength of light and laser treatments. But Levulan, and Metvix, which is similar, are reserved for serious skin conditions, because of its strength-effects include redness, peeling and, in some patients, pain,” says New York dermatologist Ann Chapas, MD. “We always knew there was the potential for cosmetic use, but PDT was never used in that manner.” Over the course of three treatments with Allumera, skin is revitalized. “The results are cumulative, but some patients notice dramatic results after just one treatment,” says Dr. Chapas, who compares the effects to something a bit more aggressive than a chemical peel. According to the company, after full treatment, pores, crow's-feet, fine lines and dark circles are all minimized.

Generally, the combination treatment is regarded as one that could become an in-office staple. “I love PDT for cosmetic indications for several reasons: The active ingredient penetrates the skin, the degree of reaction can be controlled and it can be used on precancerous growths as well,” says West Palm Beach, FL, dermatologist Kenneth R. Beer, MD. “Allumera will help the skin become more even in tone with fewer age spots. And, since it's only intended for cosmetic use, it will really help with sun damage and make the skin look more youthful.”