This year I tried PDT, photo dynamic therapy. I had 3 rounds of it at Epicenter Medspa in San Francisco. Kelly, the medical esthetician there, is great. I totally recommend her. She was careful to prepare my skin thoroughly for the treatments and give me long incubation times with the Levulan to get the best results.
PDT improved skin texture, pore size, and gave some improvement in my smallest icepick scars. I really love what it did for the over all smoothness of my skin.
My experience with PDT was very much like everyone elses in terms of the pain and downtime. It is extremely painful, expensive, and there is about 5 days of total downtime afterwards.
I have painkillers left over from surgery and took 10mg oxycodone (percocet) and I was still in such bad pain during the light-exposure that I nearly passed out the first time, and had to take a few minutes to turn off the light and breathe in the middle of each treatment. I also took .5mg xanax to keep me calm during the pain. I was using my full pharmaceutical arsenal and still the pain was terrible.
Having a fan on my face under the light and applying topical lidocane 5% which I ordered from Amazon after the treatment were the most helpful things I learned to reduce the pain. It is still pretty damn unbearable though.
Luckily, PDT only hurts the worst during the 10-15 minutes that the blue lights are on. There is pain afterward, but it is bearable and the lido helps.
My results from PDT in terms of oilness:
VERY LITTLE REDUCTION IN OILYNESS!
At the medspa they say that they have never met someone for whom PDT did not reduce oilyness. But my oilyness is extreme. I got minor results from 3 treatments at $600 each. I'm tempted to try 4 treatments or 5 to see if I get anywhere, partly because the texture improvements are so awesome. The fact that I've had so little improvement after 3 treatments is discouraging. I kind of think that if it was going to work I would see more change by this point.
I do have some leftover redness from the treatments. I'm planning to follow up with IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) to reduce the flushing.
I'll let you know how it goes. I might blow another $1200 on pdt just to see if it works. At least I'll have baby smooth skin, even if I'm still oily as hell.
Stay strong, oily friends.