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About this blog

Photodynamic therapy- bumpy journey

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day 8-11 post PDT

Hey Guys! On day 8 after my second PDT treatment I was...STILL RED! BUT (and that's a big BUT), the redness had substantially faded from the initial point. I was still peeling, but not as heavily as the the first 2 days of peeling. I noticed that my blackheads seem to be clearing up (this was an unexpected perk of the treatment). I still had some post hyperpigmentation, but I feel certain that it will fade in time (it faded after 2 weeks after my first round with the PDT). On day 9, the redness is fading even more (that excited me-not looking like BBQ is always a plus). The peeling was still occurring, however, I decided to pick back up on using my sodium sulfacetamide cleansing cloths twice a day because I was afraid the oil might and acne might return with a vengeance. I also backed off of using lotion--I felt like I was lathering too much on, which in turn could cause more comedones and start the viscous cycle over. I continued to use the vinegar soaks twice a day for 5 minutes and just stayed away from the mirror. Today is day 11 after treatment, and I continue to be hopeful. The redness is GONE (about time and thank goodness) as well as the peeling (Yay, no more looking like cornflakes!). I have about 4 whiteheads around my chin, however, they are different from the acne I had before...I used to get pretty large cystic bumps in this area that were VERY deep. The ones I have now are very superficial (which makes me hopeful) and can literally be scratched off (could NEVER do this before). I would also like to make note that I had some pretty dark pigmentation from old acne scars left over from December that have completely faded (Big YIPPEEE!!!). I was aware that the treatment could diminish the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scars, however, I thought my scars were significantly deeper than the epidermal layer. I am currently using the sodium sulfacetamide cloths twice a day and clean and clear sensitive skin astringent. I use some aveeno moisturizer when my skin is feeling dry (the clear complexion with salicylic acid) and will continue to use the elta MD SPF 50 sunscreen when going outside. I will continue to update as time goes by. My dermatologist stated that it can take 2 weeks to a month to get a clear indication as to how my skin reacted to the treatment and if the interventions were successful/future planning. I am looking forward to this next month to determine if my skin has come around. If anyone has any comments or questions, I would be happy to help/respond. Have a great holiday and best of luck to all!

frillygirl

frillygirl

05/30/2011

 

Day 6 post PDT treatment- a few questions

Hey Guys! So today is the 6th day after my PDT treatment. I am a little discouraged today because I am still significantly red (BUT it has faded slightly), peeling like a snake, and have a few new bumps to add to the picture. I know I am upset because I had to start school back today, and I resembled corn flakes and BBQ (not a good mix, lol), and it didn't help that I tried to cover up with A TON of makeup. But, nonetheless, I have to remind myself to stay positive and that this treatment is doing what it needs to in order to heal. I am still using the vinegar and water soaks twice a day for 10 minutes and will continue to do so up until day 10. I must admit, I am a little skeptical to use copious/moderate amounts of moisturizer in fear of breaking out. I cannot resume using any salicylic products until after day 10 (and I definitely do not want to irritate my already RED skin), and I have always seemed to be very oily and "clogged" using cetaphil even though it is marketed as noncomedogenic. I have been applying clindamycin phosphate 1% lotion to help with my skin's susceptibility to bacteria, and I apply elta MD sunscreen (SPF 50) when I am going outside. However, sunscreens typically tend to make me break out, and I find it wasteful to use sunscreen if I am planning on staying in my room. For anyone out there who has received a PDT Treatment (or photo facial/ chemical peel/ laser treatment), what did you guys find was the best moisturizer? Did you feel that it was helpful on some days not to use moisturizers to let the skin heal naturally? Also, how long did you guys peel for? Did anyone experience redness for more than a week...or longer? I would appreciate the input GREATLY!!! Best of Luck to All!!!

frillygirl

frillygirl

05/24/2011

 

Day 5 post 2nd PDT

Hey guys! So today is the 5th day after my second (really intense) levulan blue light therapy. Today my skin is STILL significantly red, BUT the redness is subsiding (SLOWLY, but surely). I am still peeling significantly, and I am awaiting the forehead to start peeling...I am guessing that it will still be another few days before this happens (it's still taut). I suspect that I am going to peel another layer because the skin under the recently peeled skin is tight already. The area where my lips were burnt is now looking significantly better, and I am happy to report NO NEW BREAKOUTS (knock on wood)! Also, I used to have some pretty bad blackheads around my nose, and I am ecstatic because many of them have cleared up! As far as the oil production goes...I cannot say the impact this treatment has had with it, however, I really didn't have too much trouble with oil production before. I do assume that in the long run it will help. I cannot wait for the healing process to finish! I will continue to update and add photos, and if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask! Best of luck!

frillygirl

frillygirl

05/22/2011

 

Second time around for PDT

Hey guys! Thanks for checking out my blog-I started this blog to let others know about my experience with PDT and some expectations that can come along with the treatment. First, a little history. I am in my 20s and have suffered with acne since my early teens. I have tried various antibiotics (including monocyline, doxycycline), various creams (Retin A, epiduo, duac, aczone), and accutane in 2008. The accutane definitely worked, however it took 6 months of me taking 40mg BID. This is quite a large amount for my tiny frame, and the side effects were a bit frightening. I started nursing school, and my breakouts were almost instantaneous from the stress and ragging hormones (lol). I went to the dermatologist where I was prescribed aldactone (150 mg) and doxycycline (200 mg) (both of which I am taking now). It has taken a full 6 months for me to see the therapeutic effects. I still have persistent acne/plugs around my chin and scaring, so I wanted to address this with my dermatologist (BUT those big hormonal cysts are a rarity). I am VERY (I mean VERY) fair skinned, so she recommended a round of the photodynamic treatments to get rid of my persistent acne. Now onto the journey... I had my first PDT treatment 2 weeks ago, and I was TERRIFIED. I had done my research as well as looked at reviews (some of which were not so promising) so I thought I was prepared for the worst. My first treatment, I had the levulan applied to my face and incubated for an hour in the waiting room. Then I was placed under the blue light for 18 minutes. There was some stinging and feelings of warmth, however, it was NOT painful at all (I actually started dozing off). I was instructed to remain out of the sunlight for at least 2 days and use 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water soaks. On the first day, my face was hardly red, and there was a slight burning but nothing unbearable (I expected much worse because I never go in the sun or tan). On the second day, a little more red, but the burning had subsided. On the third day, I was still red, but my skin felt tight around my lips. By the fourth day, I was expecting peeling...this did not happen. I had some flaking around my lips (which really wasn't a "problem area") and that was all. By the fifth day, I started to become frightened because I had hyperpigmentation of my acne scars as well as some brown pigmentation above my lip. I knew this treatment was meant for precancerous lesions and would draw out the scars and pigments, however, I was not peeling so I was afraid they would not peel off. I made an appointment with the dermatologist because my acne showed no signs of improvement, and I was now concerned with the hyperpigmentation since PDT was supposed to help with this. When I saw my dermatologist, she stated that there was no way to tell the results only a week after the treatment and insisted that I continue with my treatments (up to 3). I asked about the pigmentation and if this would get worse-she stated that she was unsure until treatment was completed but that there was always bleaching creams. My nerves were still on edge after I had spoken with her, so I called 6 other institutions that also offered the PDT asking if they had ever had patients that had no reaction to the treatments and had an increase in pigmentation. I also asked what their opinion was on continuing with the treatment. ALL of them stated that the therapy was meant to draw out the impurities and would make some scars more noticeable, but that I should continue with therapy to judge the full effects. Well I had my second PDT procedure 3 days ago, and this one is not pretty (I will post a picture-forewarning, it's scary). The levulan was placed on my face for 2 hours and I saw under the light for 10 minutes. This was totally different from the first time- as soon as the light came on, instantaneous stinging and burning-almost to the point of tears (YIKES). I had to sit there and count to 60 ten times to try and distract myself. When the nurse came in she exclaimed "oh! you're going to peel!" (surprisingly this made me feel hopeful that the tx would work this time). The pain was so bad that night, that I had to take acetaminophen every 4 hours and keep ice packs and cool vinegar soaks on my face the entire night (I had the procedure at 8:30 am-so yeah, it was a pain). By day 2, VERY VERY red-it even burned my lips. The pain had definitely subsided and just felt like I had been out in the sun all day. That night, I looked in the mirror....and horror struck. There were probably about 15 whiteheads around my nose. I was surprised because I generally break out around my chin (those big whoopers) and I don't typically get whiteheads. I know it's bad to pick, but I could literally scratch the surface of them and they would pop, so very superficial. I also expected this because I had read of others having this procedure as well as the fact that I just burned a layer of my skin, so the impurities are now much closer to the surface. Well Today is day 3- for some reason what I like to call my raccoon eyes are more pronounced, and I am still very red. However, my face is much tighter today, and I am hopeful that I will peel by tomorrow (fingers crossed). I had more whiteheads, but i am leaving them alone hoping that they will peel off. I start school in 5 days, so I am hoping that the redness will be gone and that I can cover this up with makeup. If anyone has any questions about the treatments so far, PLEASE don't hesitate to ask, and I will be happy to help - Scary! I can't believe I am posting, but I hope it helps. P.S. If the link doesn't work, open a new tab and copy the link beginning with https and ending with inline&zx then paste it into the URL box in the new window Toodles and best of luck to all!

frillygirl

frillygirl

05/20/2011

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