Photodynamic therapy with low-strength ALA, repeated applications and short contact periods (40-60 minutes) in acne, photoaging and vitiligo

J Drugs Dermatol. 2009 Jun;8(6):562-8.


Topical aminolevulinic acid (ALA) photodynamic therapy (PDT) is currently being used for the treatment of actinic keratosis of the face and scalp. This study reports the results obtained after three to four treatments with ALA-PDT in patients with acne (n=12), photoaging (n=8) and vitiligo (n=6). ALA was applied on large areas (e.g., full face) and at very low strengths (1-2%). Side effects were minimal and self-limited.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aminolevulinic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Aminolevulinic Acid / adverse effects
  • Aminolevulinic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photochemotherapy* / adverse effects
  • Photosensitizing Agents / administration & dosage
  • Photosensitizing Agents / adverse effects
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Vitiligo / drug therapy*


  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Aminolevulinic Acid