12 days later and haven't washed my face a day since. I am happy to report my acne issue as apparently been resolved. The only thing left over is scars and red marks from healing blemishes. Tiny zits come from time to time but they are gone as fast as they appear.
My skin is mildly oily but not very noticeable. I am make-up free and not embarrassed in the slightest. Even classmates at school have noticed my skin clearing up!
I fully intend on going back for another levulan treatment at the end of this month. My Dr. Says that it will help clean up the damage done to my skin and hopefully one day I will be totally healed. A lot of damage occurred over the last two years, I can only expect a significant amount of time will be needed to fix this entirely.
All in all I am thrilled and would absolutely recommend this method. If you're interested in trying the caveman regimen, have a little extra money and a little time to dedicate to darkness- I suggest trying out what I have done. The levulan treatment seems to expedite the caveman process.
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me.
Whew! So excited when I woke up this morning! My complexion is really starting to clear up. I had only a few itty bitty zits that I would never had noticed had I not been looking so closely. The redness is less, the flakey is less noticable and I am happy to report that I have no new breakouts. The beast under my left eye is definitely healing fast, it doesn't hurt at all anymore and I can feel all the nasty stuff is at the top. I am really willing myself not to pick at it and allow it a few more days to heal itself.
The left side of my face looks pretty bad, but it is all healing blemishes. And my right side looks fantastic! There is still a little more healing over-all to be done but I am pretty confident that this treatment has accomplished a job well done.
So, I'll admit right here and right now that the first two days I was not really thrilled about the burning. I thought that I probably would never do this Levulan treatment again, too much hassle trying to keep myself away from lights, shielding my face from strangers and small children and, having to explain to friends and family why I looked like a Leper. But the benefit I am seeing now has certainly made it worth it so far and I can honestly say that I can't wait for my next appointment. My only regret is not having a before picture posted to use as comparison.
Today is the 4th day after my first Levulan treatment and I have a face full of flake... Sorta gross but I am still seeing improvment! The blemishes I mentioned in yesterday's post have since surfaced, relieved themselves and scabbed already. One of them felt like it was going to be one of those big stubborn pimples, not cystic but large and inflammed anyway. I believe it probably would have turned out that way had I not gone through with the treatment in the first place. It only lasted a day and is healing up very quickly.
The majority of dead skin has freed itself from my chin and my cheeks are totally masked in it. Pretty promising stuff! The redness in the pics below are from what I think is my new skin and not the Levulan.
I have not had a cystic pimple in a long while but the one seen under my left eye started to come in on the second day after the treatment. It seems to be progressing must faster than usual and I cross my fingers hoping that I am right.
In the photos below, the blemishes I was referring to in beginning of this post can be found in the center of my left cheek. The cystic one is pretty obvious.
But to sum it all up, I feel like it is doing a good job of correcting my complexion so far!
Day 3 and the redness has subsided. I woke up this morning with the majority of my skin a flakey, itchey mess. In the pictures from yesterday you can see on my left side that I had some bright red blemishes on my chin and along my jaw bone. But today, those have all mostly dried up and are just scabs now. I am fighting a serious urge to not pick at everything or grab a wet towel to scrub my face.
I know this is doing wonders, I can feel it. But I can also feel that it hasn't necessarily 'cured' me either. I can still feel new blemishes coming up to the surface. I know that some people experienced a day of purging skin but, this doesn't feel like that. It feels like I still have pimples that may have been too deep for the Levulan or laser to reach.
No burning and also the light sensitivity is gone. Really the only iritating sensation left is the itchy-ness.
Here are more pictures from today.
27 years old and still struggling with acne. I thought I had been saved, rescued by the Mirena IUD for two years. Not a spot on my face but then the IUD had to go and when it did the acne came back with a vengence. I feel as though I have attempted everything from washes to antibiotics, even quit washing my face for a week- not because I was making an attempt at 'the caveman regimen' but because I had given up. Fraught with apathy for a week until the acne became so out of control I couldn't stand by anymore.
My brother has been around for the whole battle, arms crossed, head shaking, totally confused while he watched me run around like a lunatic applying every lotion, cream, mask and ointment to my face only to be left utterly disappointed. He struggled with acne for a while but now lives free and clear. He has always swore that if I quit fighting it and stopped washing my face it would all go away and I thought that was a rediculous claim. When I did quit my face looked awful. I had to keep going until I found a cure. I was willing to swallow every poison, send myself to the poor house and would even go as far as practically lighting my face on fire to rid myself of acne.
I finally saved enough money to see a dermatologist (not covered by my insurance until I pay $2500 deductible first) and set up an appoinment. I had this feeling she was going to put me straight onto accutane and my suspicions were correct. We set everything up, I took my tests, provided proof of my 2 (TWO!) birth control methods and set up my next appointment 1 month out. Something bothered me about this, and it continued to really bug me through out my month of waiting... My derm seemed really nonchalant about this whole accutane business.
Tuesday, 4 days ago, was to be my first day on accutane. I went into my derms office and we sat and chatted for a while. I really wanted to ask her why she wasn't more concerned about the accutane, why she seemed like it was no big deal. She was very convincing and again, I agreed. Let's do this. Then, at the last second, she mentions this thing called Levulan and blue light therapy. She says it's expensive but non invasive. $300 a pop, 4 to 6 treatments, once a month and it could potentially cure me from acne as well as treat all of my scars and dents.
I want to exhaust all options before we destroy my liver. So I arranged to start a treatment that same Thursday (yesterday).
My face is burnt to hell, but I feel like it is actually making a difference. And I swear, if you do this Levulan treatment, listen to your doctor and STAY OUT OF THE LIGHT! Even room lighting will burn your skin.
Yesterday, I was in some mild pain after the treatment. And while I was at work I thought to myself how silly this is that I would go as far as to burn my face to solve my acne dilemma. Thinking maybe there's something behind not cleaning, I researched it and found 'the caveman regimen' and read about all the success everyone else has had with it. The people who have gone out of their way to describe the science behind it, whether bullshit or not, made a lot of sense.
I think maybe the Levulan treatment would be a great way to start the caveman regimen seeing as the chemical and the lights and lasers work to clean and shrink the glands in the skin. It also strips the top layers of skin that are damaged and part of the healing process is the crusty dead cell mask anyway.
I am curious and feel like contributing to this forum which so many others have contributed to in thier plight of seeking a cure. Seeing as I have already spent the money and have no other plan, I may as well write a journal.
Here's my plan:
It takes about 7 days on average to mostly recover from the Levulan. In this time, I can't wear make-up or wash my face anyway. SO- I'll just continue on doing just that. That's all. Pretty simple plan.
Depending on the first months results, I may or may not do the second treatment.
We'll see how it goes.