Facial plast Surg 2005; 21(2): 110-116
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-872411
Copyright © 2005 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001 USA.

Applications of Aminolevulinic Acid-Based Photodynamic Therapy in Cosmetic Facial Plastic Practices

Kristina Zakhary1 ,2 , David A. F. Ellis1 ,2
  • 1University of Toronto, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
28 July 2005 (online)


Photodynamic therapy (PDT) using aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is a promising new technique that is being studied extensively and used in a variety of cosmetic facial plastic arenas. These applications include U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment of premalignant and malignant skin conditions, as well as off-label uses for photorejuvenation, and the treatment of acne vulgaris, sebaceous gland hyperplasia, rosacea, and hirsutism. This article reviews the interplay of factors that contribute to the appearance of actinically damaged or photoaged skin, also known as dermatoheliosis. This is followed by a brief review of the mechanisms of action of ALA-based PDT and some of its cosmetic facial plastic uses.