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happygal

My experience with Levulan/Blu-U/IPL

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Hi everyone! I just had Levulan Photodynamic therapy using the Blu-U light, plus some IPL laser on my cheeks. The procedure was preformed on Thursday (today is Saturday). I think I’m experiencing a much more severe reaction than most! However, I also suspect that I received a much more potent “dose†than others as well. The Levulan was allowed to absorb for about 2 hours and I went under the light for 20 min, plus some laser on my cheeks. I need a little advice because I’m freaking out a bit about my reaction to it... I look and feel really awful!

I am keeping a log of my experience to share with others because I know I would have appreciated a day-by-day explanation of what to expect. Sorry in advance because I know it’s long-winded, but I’m trying to keep it thorough and detailed. Hope this helps someone! :)

First off, a little background… I have very mild acne (the kind that mostly consists of clogged up pores in my cheeks that are more noticeable to me than visible to others). However I HATE having that crud in there, so I had the bad habit of messing with it and therefore developed some scarring. I have also always had very oily skin. Thus the reason for my Levulan light therapy decision. Now on to the info…

Thursday -- Day of Procedure – 5 PM

The experience began with the doctor having me wash my face, then he cleaned it with alcohol, and then acetone (yuck). Next he applied the Levulan Kerastick which looks rather like a marker. It felt a bit like one of those roll-on perfume bottles. The Levulan itself didn’t hurt, just a bit of stinging initially and some light itchiness as it dried. Next he shuffled me off to the lounge room (this was done at a spa). There I sat for 1 hr and 45 min while the solution incubated. I was pretty relaxed once the nearly 2 hours were up and had no clue what was in store! I might add that when I asked the doctor how long I would look like crispy toast, he in turn asked me how long I had scheduled for downtime. When I told him a full week, he seemed excited and said “Great! We’ll go a little more intense so you’ll get better results.†This was kind of a red flag… but I still didn’t realize how severe the experience would be.

He stuck me under the Blu-U lamp and set the timer for 20 min. As soon as he flicked the switch on I could feel my face begin to sizzle – INTENSELY! After about a minute I was in so much pain I didn’t think I could take it. I’m not even going to sugar coat it… it was awful. I don’t know why mine hurt so much worse than others have reported. I was sure something was horribly wrong, so I got up and asked the receptionist walking down the hall to get the doctor. He reassured me it was supposed to hurt that much. So I laid back down and writhed in pain for the full 20 min. I had visions of nuclear fallout and began comparing the sensation to every other pain I’d experienced in my life (this almost took the prize). It took all my self-control to keep from calling it off as it felt like I was doing my body a great disservice by intentionally burning my face off! I couldn't imagine how anything that felt like that could possibly be good for my skin. I occasionally had to lift my face out of the cover for a moment. Finally the time was up and I was SO relieved. Then the doctor took me to another room to perform the IPL (which I had forgotten about and was terrified of after all that pain). My face was still ON FIRE, therefore I could barely feel the snap of the laser.

I glanced in the mirror immediately afterward and it didn’t look that bad, but by the time I paid and got to my car I looked like a freak! The swelling under my eyes gave me rings of puffiness. I’m not usually such a baby when it comes to discomfort, but to be honest I was teary on the drive home. And judging by what people have posted about their average time under the light being only about 8 min, I am beginning to understand why my skin looks like I just got back from the surface of the sun.

By the time I got home (about 20 min later) I was quite red and very puffy. Thankfully it was dark for the drive. The burning continued all night. I kept all the indoor lights down, but even the glow from my laptop made it sting more. My eyes looked like raccoon eyes due to the shelves of swelling just beneath them. I applied some aloe and hydrocortisone before going to bed and took a sleeping aid.

Friday -- Day 1 -- 24 Hours

By this morning (about 15 hours later) the pain had subsided, but the swelling and redness became worse and gradually increased as the day progressed. To sum it up, when I walked into the kitchen this morning someone said “Oh my God!†Enough said. I also noticed 3 or 4 very small whiteheads showing up just beneath the now dead layer of skin (gross). My skin is very tight, red, inflamed, swollen, slightly itchy, and unpleasant feeling. Every time I move my face it feels like my skin will crack. Especially around my mouth, which has been the most painful and irritated area of all. I began feeling worried about how this will all turn out. Especially since almost every other person’s reaction that I’ve read seems minimal in comparison. I washed my face morning and evening with a gentle gel cleanser. I applied aloe, sunscreen, and moisturizer in the morning, and aloe, moisturizer, and hydrocortisone in the evening. I’ve been applying aloe throughout the day and my skin seems to soak it up insatiably. I can’t wait for my face to heal!!!

Saturday -- Day 2 – 48 Hours

Ahhh! Today is by far the worst regarding the discomfort level. The best way I can describe the sensation is that it feels like I’m wearing a hard paper mache mask that will only allow me to blink my eyes. The skin is obviously dead quite a ways down and I’m scared to think of what the peeling is going to be like! Yikes! I’m still SUPER red, but the swelling has finally subsided. I have a few small starkly “white†areas where the doctor missed applying the ALA and it makes the redness all the more obvious. The tight feeling is SO incredibly annoying. I think a better word would be HARD. A hard, shiny, thick layer all over my face. I can barely open my mouth to eat and talk. It’s too thick to even crack or peel under the pressure of facial movement. It’s the most uncomfortable feeling!!! Flakes are starting to show up a little, but nothing significant. At this point I'm looking forward to peeling because I cannot wait to get this layer of grossness off my face! This is not fun. :( I washed morning and night again, applying aloe and some gentle but heavy moisturizer throughout the day. Of course it has little effect on the dead skin, but I have to do something because the dryness is truly miserable. :wall:

I will keep posting as I progress… hoping for the best.

QUESTION: Has anyone else had such a severe reaction or gone under the light for that long? I am getting rather depressed since I need to be looking normal again within about 6 more days and I don’t see how that is possible considering how awful I look right now. Uuuuugh. Also, does anyone know if a more intense session yields greater results? i.e. One intense, longer application equals perhaps 2 shorter, more mild ones? I’m hoping all this discomfort will be worth some added benefit.

Thanks everyone!

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QUESTION: Has anyone else had such a severe reaction or gone under the light for that long? I am getting rather depressed since I need to be looking normal again within about 6 more days and I don’t see how that is possible considering how awful I look right now. Uuuuugh. Also, does anyone know if a more intense session yields greater results? i.e. One intense, longer application equals perhaps 2 shorter, more mild ones? I’m hoping all this discomfort will be worth some added benefit.

Thanks everyone!

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This is just like the experience my daughter had, but she was under the light only 10 minutes, with 2 hours of absorbtion time. She also had microdermabrasion first, which probably made her experience similar to yours in terms of pain and intensity. She had the same identical effects you are having. I have not heard of 20 minute light exposures before, but I guess treatments vary and clearlight machines tend to become weaker, so maybe the doctor knew his light was at it's lifecycle end, and it would take 20 min to match a brand new bulb for 10 min? Our doctor said the max time was 12 min, and he did 10 min. But again, the bulbs are expensive, so maybe they are also concerned with not wearing out bulbs too fast so they limit exposure for that reason too.

She said it was very painful, and I have read many folks who seem to have had very mild reactions. Glad you shared this because folks need to be prepared if they have an intense treatment or reaction. However, no matter how bad it looks, it does peel off and new skin, while pink for a week or so, also fades to normal. THe most important thing is DO NOT pull dead skin off, no matter how bad you want to speed the process up. You must moisturize and let is fall off on its own time! Thanks for sharing this information and helping others.

Don't be worried. It will take a good 6 days for you to be ready to go in public! -Dan

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UPDATE

Sunday -- Day 3 – 72 Hours

UGH. My face still feels really, really hard and nasty. However the redness in the dead areas is fading. I made a big mistake though… I started picking at the skin around my chin area last night. It’s pretty clear that the fresh skin underneath wasn’t ready to be exposed yet. It’s very red and a little puffy. So I’m doing my best to keep my hands off today, although that is difficult when your face feels sooooo crunchy and annoying. It’s still nearly impossible to move my facial muscles and all I want to do is speed up the process! In order to eat I’ve been taking a warm wet washcloth and holding it over my mouth area for a moment so that the skin will absorb the moisture and flex enough to get a bite in. Moisturizer doesn't cut it. It will feel more flexible for a second and the "poof!" it's back to the Sahara. I can tell the dead layer will be coming off on it’s own before too long, but it’s not quite there yet. Just some cracking. (Sorry to gross anyone out. ) I've also put vitamin E on the raw areas, it seems to be helping and is very soothing. I’m not so sure I would ever do this procedure again… but we’ll see what the results yield.

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UPDATE

Sunday -- Day 3 â€â€œ 72 Hours

UGH. My face still feels really, really hard and nasty. However the redness in the dead areas is fading. I made a big mistake though… I started picking at the skin around my chin area last night. It’s pretty clear that the fresh skin underneath wasn’t ready to be exposed yet. It’s very red and a little puffy. So I’m doing my best to keep my hands off today, although that is difficult when your face feels sooooo crunchy and annoying. It’s still nearly impossible to move my facial muscles and all I want to do is speed up the process! In order to eat I’ve been taking a warm wet washcloth and holding it over my mouth area for a moment so that the skin will absorb the moisture and flex enough to get a bite in. Moisturizer doesn't cut it. It will feel more flexible for a second and the "poof!" it's back to the Sahara. I can tell the dead layer will be coming off on it’s own before too long, but it’s not quite there yet. Just some cracking. (Sorry to gross anyone out. ) I've also put vitamin E on the raw areas, it seems to be helping and is very soothing. I’m not so sure I would ever do this procedure again… but we’ll see what the results yield.

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She has been through this 3 times, once each year for last three years. She said the same thing, that she would never do it again. We thought the same thing. But it cleared her pretty well for up to 8 months, so when her acne acted up around month 9 or so, we decided to do it again. I dont think she will do it again though, so we are hoping she is close to the end of the acne phase, but no way to know. I still think your light time could be shorter and not have so severe a reaction. However, I have read many times that the worse you look, the better the result, so don't be scared. Bear in mind also that you may continue to get some breakouts for about a month after, you may appear pink in some spots for a few weeks, and you see best clearing at about 2 months after. You are doing fine, but I know exactly how you look right now, and how you feel. You are strong person to do this and you will be fine. REMINDER: DO NOT PULL OFF DEAD SKIN! You will want to, but it's really important you do not. You will likely peel for 3 days at least. Ths skin underneath is very sensitive and not tough. Keep us informed. -Dan
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UPDATE

Monday – Day 4

Wheeeeew! I’m starting to look and feel halfway human again. The peeling is more intense and it’s pretty pink underneath. I’m trying to heed the warnings to leave it alone and let it do it’s own thing (thanks Dan). So far so good. I’m definitely getting a breakout from this though, and I usually I don’t get very bad breakouts per-se, so I know it’s from this. That’s to be expected though. ALSO… (and this may be a premature observation), but it seems like my skin is less oily already. Even if this procedure just reduces my oiliness it will be worth it. Woo hooo!

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UPDATE

Wednesday – Day 6

Wow, I didn’t think it was possible, but I am actually looking pretty normal again! I still haven’t ventured out in public (I’m still pink, a little flaky, and have some bumpy spots), but compared to how awful I looked before, I am feeling WAY more like myself! And I am definitely less oily than I used to be, which I am surprised and THRILLED by!!! :)

QUESTION: I have some bumpy areas… my skin is actually less smooth than it normally is. Is this to be expected? I’m assuming it’s just due to my skin having been plugged up by the dead skin and all the moisturizer I had to use. I know people have said it takes about a month to see results, but I just hope these weird little bumps go away. There aren’t that many, but they’re noticeable. I can’t quite tell if they are zits or not, it’s almost more like irritation or something. Hmmm. AND... as far as the results of lessening scars go... I'm not expecting miracles, but if it does do something, do those results show up later too?

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UPDATE

Wednesday â€â€œ Day 6

Wow, I didn’t think it was possible, but I am actually looking pretty normal again! I still haven’t ventured out in public (I’m still pink, a little flaky, and have some bumpy spots), but compared to how awful I looked before, I am feeling WAY more like myself! And I am definitely less oily than I used to be, which I am surprised and THRILLED by!!! :)

QUESTION: I have some bumpy areas… my skin is actually less smooth than it normally is. Is this to be expected? I’m assuming it’s just due to my skin having been plugged up by the dead skin and all the moisturizer I had to use. I know people have said it takes about a month to see results, but I just hope these weird little bumps go away. There aren’t that many, but they’re noticeable. I can’t quite tell if they are zits or not, it’s almost more like irritation or something. Hmmm. AND... as far as the results of lessening scars go... I'm not expecting miracles, but if it does do something, do those results show up later too?

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UPDATE

Wednesday ��“ Day 6

Wow, I didn’t think it was possible, but I am actually looking pretty normal again! I still haven’t ventured out in public (I’m still pink, a little flaky, and have some bumpy spots), but compared to how awful I looked before, I am feeling WAY more like myself! And I am definitely less oily than I used to be, which I am surprised and THRILLED by!!! :)

QUESTION: I have some bumpy areas… my skin is actually less smooth than it normally is. Is this to be expected? I’m assuming it’s just due to my skin having been plugged up by the dead skin and all the moisturizer I had to use. I know people have said it takes about a month to see results, but I just hope these weird little bumps go away. There aren’t that many, but they’re noticeable. I can’t quite tell if they are zits or not, it’s almost more like irritation or something. Hmmm. AND... as far as the results of lessening scars go... I'm not expecting miracles, but if it does do something, do those results show up later too?

As for not pulling the skin off, I have read that it could cause some scarring, if for example, the skin underneath was pulled off with the old stuff, so to be safe, I always say not to do it. Nature knows when the bad skin is supposed to fall off! As to less oil, yes, the treatment shrinks the oil glands, and they just cant produce oil as well. As to the bumps, yes again, you will temporarily have some unveveness, which can last a month till the skin fully begins to surface anew, and you will break out a while, but it will calm down. May take up to 6 weeks. You then will have occasional breakouts, but usually nothing like what you used to have, and it can usually be well handled by topicals. You can also consider a blue light treatment, which also helps with cystic acne. I cant recommend a particular treatment, but my daughter seems to be getting results from the Ebay lamp I speak about in my other thread on Internet ALternatives to Expensive CLearlight Treatments, and we have few other members on that thread who I provided bulbs to to also test and report. I hope to have some of their results in Jan (it takes bout 4 weeks to see results from light therapy). SO, watch that thread and maybe we will have some good news on that product.

As to scarring, I do not believe this type of treatment does wonders, but I do believe it has softened some pit scars (after 4 months beyond treatment) and it definitely reduced red marks from acne, that I have seen. -Dan

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Meso2,

Let me tell you, I am totally freaked out by your experience!! I have an appointment for the same treatment on the 27th, and I am due back at work on the 7th, which seemed like enough time at first, now I am starting to wonder.....

My acne history seems to be similar to yours: very clogged pores, not being able to live with the black heads, picking at it and breaking out as a result. Although i know I would still have pimples even if i didnt touch my face, maybe not as bad...

I have created a lot of scarring though. I am so sensitive that a slight pinch creates a red mark that stays on my face for years!!! How do you treat your scars? Did they tell you that the blu-u would help? The lady that will be performing the procedure told me that we first needed to treat the acne and then the scars, so I signed up for the ride...now im scared :(

I purchased a package of 3 treatments with levulan.

Well I really hope your face starts feeling and looking better soon!!! Keep us posted on your progress, I will do the same once I start mine.

Thank you!!! hang in there!!

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Meso2,

Let me tell you, I am totally freaked out by your experience!! I have an appointment for the same treatment on the 27th, and I am due back at work on the 7th, which seemed like enough time at first, now I am starting to wonder.....

My acne history seems to be similar to yours: very clogged pores, not being able to live with the black heads, picking at it and breaking out as a result. Although i know I would still have pimples even if i didnt touch my face, maybe not as bad...

I have created a lot of scarring though. I am so sensitive that a slight pinch creates a red mark that stays on my face for years!!! How do you treat your scars? Did they tell you that the blu-u would help? The lady that will be performing the procedure told me that we first needed to treat the acne and then the scars, so I signed up for the ride...now im scared :(

I purchased a package of 3 treatments with levulan.

Well I really hope your face starts feeling and looking better soon!!! Keep us posted on your progress, I will do the same once I start mine.

Thank you!!! hang in there!!

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By now im sure your skin looks a lot better, I had the same experience, I receive the same treatment from my uncle who is a plastic surgeon, I have found that the ipl works better than the blu light, I am way too sensitive to the blu light, and I have found the ipl to be more effective. Only let the levulan sit for 1 hour, then the ipl, then sit in front of the blue light for 4 minutes, I have been receiving this treatment for 1 year and this I think is the best way. I noticed after I did the blu light for 10 minutes one of my first times my skin reacted very bad like what happened to you, then my face was crystal clear for about 2 weeks but then it started breaking out again, I really think the Ipl is better.
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Hey!

Just had my first PDT today and all I can say is that it wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting (my face only looks mildly toasted, and seriosly, I've had much more serious burns just because of the sun exposure) But then again, I am thinking that there was a huge error in the procedure.

The thing is that the levulan that was applied into my face was left there to incubate for 30 min. and then it was removed with a cotton and a cleaning lotion. Right after that the blue light was finally applied for about 17 minutes.

Now, I am almost completely secure that the levulan shouldn't have been taken off but at the moment I did not even think about it.

Anyway, I don't know whether to go for a second session or not. I am probably going to talk with my doctor as ask her directly whether it was okay to remove the levulan from off my face (she didn't do it by the way, the nurse did) and then I'll see...

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Thanks for posting and plz keep us updated! I'm getting Levulan with V-Beam on Friday (1st time) and I am VERY NERVOUS. I have never done anything before that will require this much downtime. My skin type is light olive skinned Asian and thus I tend to hyperpigment from my old acne and acne scars easily. Well...we shall see what happens come Friday...

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I had the Levulan with the blue light done for the first time on December 15. My face was already washed and they did microderm and an acetone wash before putting on the Levulan. They let it incubate for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Everything was fine until I was put in front of the blue light (for 15 min 40 sec). I felt like there were flames coming off of my face. Luckily they gave me a fan and I'm glad I didn't refuse it! I was pretty sensitive that weekend but went to work on Monday. I had to wear sunscreen and a hood to cover my face because the lights bothered me just a bit. I was red and peeled but nothing too horrible. I then had the blue light alone twice a week for 4 weeks after that. I was scared the first time, expecting the horrible burning, but there was none. After my final blue light the doctor suggested I have another treatment.

I just had this second treatment this past Friday, January 25. Apparently I was much more sensitive to it because all pain and discomfort was amplified. Everything was the same except they increased my incubation to 1 hour and 30 minutes. I was already dreading the blue light but nothing could have prepared me for what I felt. It was so much worse than the first time and I had to have them reassure me that flames were not coming off of my face as I felt like they were. I didn't think I could handle it but managed to stick it out for the full 15 min and 40 sec. I was much more red this time and my face burned until about 2am (the treatment was finished around 4pm). I had a fan in front of my face and soaked a cloth in ice water to also put on. Neither helped that much but I tolerated it. Pain was gone Saturday morning but the discomfort started. I started peeling today, Monday, and despite warnings I have peeled off practically the entire lower half of my face. The new skin doesn't seem to be too sensitive so hopefully I haven't screwed anything up. I couldn't handle the tightness at all!

Both times they suggested that I put Cortizone (WITHOUT aloe) on as soon as I got home (after washing my face again). Moisturizer does absolutely nothing to alleviate the dryness so the Cortizone is a godsend. I just hate that itchy/sticky feeling from the ointment itself. I had to put it on constantly at work today. I also received many funny looks and had to explain what happened to my face numerous times. I work in a factory so it's mostly men and they just don't understand what we do for clear skin!

I'm hoping this second treatment works because I do not want to pay another $300 for a third treatment. It sounds like I'm getting a great deal though compared to other prices I've seen for this.

Good luck to anyone getting this procedure! Don't be scared about the pain because it doesn't last long and just remember that there are people with horrible diseases that go through pain everyday and this pain only lasts for 3-12 hours. That's the only thought that got me through the blue light!

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I had the Levulan with the blue light done for the first time on December 15. My face was already washed and they did microderm and an acetone wash before putting on the Levulan. They let it incubate for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Everything was fine until I was put in front of the blue light (for 15 min 40 sec). I felt like there were flames coming off of my face. Luckily they gave me a fan and I'm glad I didn't refuse it! I was pretty sensitive that weekend but went to work on Monday. I had to wear sunscreen and a hood to cover my face because the lights bothered me just a bit. I was red and peeled but nothing too horrible. I then had the blue light alone twice a week for 4 weeks after that. I was scared the first time, expecting the horrible burning, but there was none. After my final blue light the doctor suggested I have another treatment.

I just had this second treatment this past Friday, January 25. Apparently I was much more sensitive to it because all pain and discomfort was amplified. Everything was the same except they increased my incubation to 1 hour and 30 minutes. I was already dreading the blue light but nothing could have prepared me for what I felt. It was so much worse than the first time and I had to have them reassure me that flames were not coming off of my face as I felt like they were. I didn't think I could handle it but managed to stick it out for the full 15 min and 40 sec. I was much more red this time and my face burned until about 2am (the treatment was finished around 4pm). I had a fan in front of my face and soaked a cloth in ice water to also put on. Neither helped that much but I tolerated it. Pain was gone Saturday morning but the discomfort started. I started peeling today, Monday, and despite warnings I have peeled off practically the entire lower half of my face. The new skin doesn't seem to be too sensitive so hopefully I haven't screwed anything up. I couldn't handle the tightness at all!

Both times they suggested that I put Cortizone (WITHOUT aloe) on as soon as I got home (after washing my face again). Moisturizer does absolutely nothing to alleviate the dryness so the Cortizone is a godsend. I just hate that itchy/sticky feeling from the ointment itself. I had to put it on constantly at work today. I also received many funny looks and had to explain what happened to my face numerous times. I work in a factory so it's mostly men and they just don't understand what we do for clear skin!

I'm hoping this second treatment works because I do not want to pay another $300 for a third treatment. It sounds like I'm getting a great deal though compared to other prices I've seen for this.

Good luck to anyone getting this procedure! Don't be scared about the pain because it doesn't last long and just remember that there are people with horrible diseases that go through pain everyday and this pain only lasts for 3-12 hours. That's the only thought that got me through the blue light!

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UPDATE

Sunday -- Day 3 – 72 Hours

UGH. My face still feels really, really hard and nasty. However the redness in the dead areas is fading. I made a big mistake though… I started picking at the skin around my chin area last night. It’s pretty clear that the fresh skin underneath wasn’t ready to be exposed yet. It’s very red and a little puffy. So I’m doing my best to keep my hands off today, although that is difficult when your face feels sooooo crunchy and annoying. It’s still nearly impossible to move my facial muscles and all I want to do is speed up the process! In order to eat I’ve been taking a warm wet washcloth and holding it over my mouth area for a moment so that the skin will absorb the moisture and flex enough to get a bite in. Moisturizer doesn't cut it. It will feel more flexible for a second and the "poof!" it's back to the Sahara. I can tell the dead layer will be coming off on it’s own before too long, but it’s not quite there yet. Just some cracking. (Sorry to gross anyone out. ) I've also put vitamin E on the raw areas, it seems to be helping and is very soothing. I’m not so sure I would ever do this procedure again… but we’ll see what the results yield.

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Wow... Your experience with the Levulan/blu-U sounds just like mine. I've been trying to find more info. online because I wasn't expecting such dramatic side effects. My skin turned crusty and brown and I peeled like a snake. I could hardly move my face because I thought it was going to crack and fall off. Anyway, I am on day 12 now and my skin is finally done peeling. However, it still has a "tanned" look to it. So I hope that goes away because my face is now a shade darker than my neck and it looks kind of weird. Also I have been breaking out a lot! around my mouth and chin. I have at least 25 pimples in that erea, and they hurt and itch. So I'm hoping this isn't going to last forever. Right now I think that my skin looks a little worse than it did before I got the treatment. I'm hoping that my skin will start to clear and brighten up soon. I would like to do a couple more treatments, but won't be able to do the next one for at least 6 weeks. I have to have at least a week of down time (I look really scary after it's done!) But I would love to know how things go for you if you have more treatments done. Thanx!

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Wow... Your experience with the Levulan/blu-U sounds just like mine. I've been trying to find more info. online because I wasn't expecting such dramatic side effects. My skin turned crusty and brown and I peeled like a snake. I could hardly move my face because I thought it was going to crack and fall off. Anyway, I am on day 12 now and my skin is finally done peeling. However, it still has a "tanned" look to it. So I hope that goes away because my face is now a shade darker than my neck and it looks kind of weird. Also I have been breaking out a lot! around my mouth and chin. I have at least 25 pimples in that erea, and they hurt and itch. So I'm hoping this isn't going to last forever. Right now I think that my skin looks a little worse than it did before I got the treatment. I'm hoping that my skin will start to clear and brighten up soon. I would like to do a couple more treatments, but won't be able to do the next one for at least 6 weeks. I have to have at least a week of down time (I look really scary after it's done!) But I would love to know how things go for you if you have more treatments done. Thanx!
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Wow... Your experience with the Levulan/blu-U sounds just like mine. I've been trying to find more info. online because I wasn't expecting such dramatic side effects. My skin turned crusty and brown and I peeled like a snake. I could hardly move my face because I thought it was going to crack and fall off. Anyway, I am on day 12 now and my skin is finally done peeling. However, it still has a "tanned" look to it. So I hope that goes away because my face is now a shade darker than my neck and it looks kind of weird. Also I have been breaking out a lot! around my mouth and chin. I have at least 25 pimples in that erea, and they hurt and itch. So I'm hoping this isn't going to last forever. Right now I think that my skin looks a little worse than it did before I got the treatment. I'm hoping that my skin will start to clear and brighten up soon. I would like to do a couple more treatments, but won't be able to do the next one for at least 6 weeks. I have to have at least a week of down time (I look really scary after it's done!) But I would love to know how things go for you if you have more treatments done. Thanx!

Don't worry. The "tanning" effect will fade with time, and it can take a month or two before you feel like things are really back to normal. You also need to protect against sun damage for a while, and that helps fade any redness quicker. Breakouts might continue for a month or two more, but hopefully far fewer and less severe. Best of luck! -Dan

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Thanks, happygal, for posting about your experience - and everyone else for sharing their experiences as well. It helps so much to hear what other people have been through.

I just had my 2nd treatment with Levulan and blue light therapy. The first time I had only minor redness, but the oiliness definitely decreased for a couple of weeks afterwards. This time, the doctor increased the incubation time of the medicine to 1 hr. 10 min. and the light to 16 minutes. I was worried this was a lot, but not compared to happygal's experience!

I just had this done yesterday and today (24 hours later) I definitely have more redness and itchiness than last time. I'm hoping it doesn't get much worse than this. I mean, I want the treatment to be effective, but the side effects so far just aren't that extreme for me as what some of you have described! The doctor says I have "tough skin" - great. Background: I am 39 female and have extreme sebaceous hyperplasia all over my face - look it up - it's not just acne, but enlarged pores and bumpiness and redness all over. Nothing topical has ever or will ever (according to my doc) work. So if this blue light therapy works I will consider doing it every year if needed. If it doesn't work, I'll just have to go back to accepting myself as I am! ;) Truly, I have always had "bad" skin, but, even though it bothers me on some level (especially when little kids ask me why I have bumpy skin - aargh), I have never let it define me. I hope you all feel the same and know that you're beautiful inside and out!

Anyway, I will try to post again with an update in the next few days, whether better or worse.

T.W. (aka successby40)

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p.s. I meant to ask... what is the best thing to use on your face for after-treatment care? My doctor didn't really give me an guidance (to be fair, I forgot to ask) - so I'm just treating it like a sunburn and slathering myself with 100% aloe gel. Any other recommendations?

Tiffany (aka successby40)

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Wow... Your experience with the Levulan/blu-U sounds just like mine. I've been trying to find more info. online because I wasn't expecting such dramatic side effects. My skin turned crusty and brown and I peeled like a snake. I could hardly move my face because I thought it was going to crack and fall off. Anyway, I am on day 12 now and my skin is finally done peeling. However, it still has a "tanned" look to it. So I hope that goes away because my face is now a shade darker than my neck and it looks kind of weird. Also I have been breaking out a lot! around my mouth and chin. I have at least 25 pimples in that erea, and they hurt and itch. So I'm hoping this isn't going to last forever. Right now I think that my skin looks a little worse than it did before I got the treatment. I'm hoping that my skin will start to clear and brighten up soon. I would like to do a couple more treatments, but won't be able to do the next one for at least 6 weeks. I have to have at least a week of down time (I look really scary after it's done!) But I would love to know how things go for you if you have more treatments done. Thanx!
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