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KutenaiGirl

My Photodynamic Therapy Log

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So I have actually already had 2 treatments with photodynamic therapy. I meant to start this log earlier but I didn't get around to it.

Anyway, this is a new treatment and although there is lots of information out there on it, there is definitely few reviews from customers who have tried this product. So here I will document my experience with this product and hopefully give some useful info to others who might be interested in trying this treatment.

So here's some back up. I have never had truely flawless skin, I have always struggled a little with hormonal break outs. Nothing crazy. It runs in my family. But my skin overall, used to look great and I would go through periods where it wouldnt break out at all.

When I was 22, I started taking the Diane-35 birth control pill and everything went to shit. I started breaking out in big acne cysts on my cheeks (a place where I never used to get breakouts). My skin started looking pale, thin and dry. It was awful. In photos I see of myself from that time, I look sickly. I stopped taking this pill a few months after but it's been 5 years and my skin has never fully recovered. My acne is probably more on the mild side but it is persistent and whether I pop zits or not, they scar every time. It's like my skin lost it's ability to heal itself.

I have tried everything. Antibiotics seemed to work for a time, but I am not stoked on taking antibiotics long term. Nothing topical has worked, they all just seem to dry out my skin and making it red and inflammed. I have been doing research on accutane but seriously, that shit is scary and will only be a last resort.

Anyway, so I finally decided to bite the bullet and try this photodynamic thing. Yes, it is expensive. ($265/treatment in Canada. 2-6 treatments are needed). But, I have probably spent thousands and thousands of dollars over the years on supplements, face creams, you name it. So, in the end, if it works, I think this will save me money.

Anyway, so I had my first treatment on November 4th. It involved me going down to the clinic and getting levulan applied to my face. I sat in the waiting room for an hour and then they put me under the blue light. Although it was only 8 minutes, it was definitely unconfortable and I was happy to get out of it. My face was a little pink afterwards, but overall didnt feel that bad at all. They told me to stay inside for 36 hours but after 24, I felt and looked normal and I went out with friends. I never experienced any peeling or any real discomfort. They start you out slow so they can see how your skin will react. After about 10 days, my skin started looking really nice. I was still breaking out, but they were small and went away quickly. My skin has this really nice shine to it, and a friend actually told me that my skin was looking great.

Treatment #2

I went for my second treatment on November 23rd. I also decided to pair an IPL treatment with the photodynamic therapy, since it will be equivalent to having 5 IPLs when paired with the PDT. So it was the same deal, levulan and then I hung out for an hour and a half this time. Then they did the IPL, which actually hurt like hell. It felt like needles jabbing into my skin with a bright flash of light that kinda hut too. Then I went under the blue light, which was a little more uncomfortable than last time.

So, I was super red this time. I stayed inside for the full 36 hours. I did peel a little but it was minor, and mostly around my mouth. The treatment made my breakout pretty badly. I actually broke out in big cysts on my cheeks. They have been lingering since which is super annoying. My skin, where is isnt broken out, definitely looks nice but I probably have the worst break out I have had in a while.

The technician said this is normal. Generally with PDT and acne, it will get worse before it gets better. It also means that my skin is reacting to the treatment and the impurities are getting pushed out of my skin.

I have my next treatment on December 20th. So I will post again then and be more detailed. Part of my wants to give up, but I know I have to be patient because it usually takes at least 3 treatments for this to work so I need to push through, even if I have to take it right until the 6th treatment. I am OVER this acne shit. I am sick of thinking about it everyday and being self conscious. I havent been in a real relationship in so long because I cant stand the fact of waking up next to someone and having them look at me. How sad is that?

Anyway, I am also in the process of getting my adrenal glands tested, as this is something that is seriously affected by taking the Diane-35 pill. And my symptoms seem to ring true to adrenal insufficency and yes acne is a symptom!

Also, I have just started a 85% raw food diet and this will include getting regular colonics. So I am hoping, between all these things, something works. And I can get back to being ME!!!!

I

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40 Days after 1st Treatment and 21 days after 2nd

So far my skin is looking less than awesome. It's still breaking out quite a but, and in smaller hard cysts on my cheeks and chin. These are really hard to cover up so it's super annoying. After the 1st treatment I was only breaking out in these tiny little zits that came to a head quickly and we gone in less than a day.

The good news is that the areas that didn't break out look amazing. The skin is smooth and shiny and I love it. It's pretty much just 2 areas on either side of my face that break out these days. My forehead has been clear since spring. Not sure why it happens like this.

I am doing my best to be patient. I know most people need at least 3 treatments to start noticing results. I have committed to going through with this process till then end., even if that means getting 5 or 6 treatments. My next treatment is next Tuesday so I am looking forward to it!!!

Edited by KutenaiGirl

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41 Days after Treatment #1 and 22 Days after Treatment #2

So it finally is looking like my skin is calming down. The initial breakout I got from the 2nd treatment is finally going down. Any new pimples I had were tiny tiny and disappeared quickly once I put a little fresh lemon on them. I have read that it can take 30-40 days or more after treatments to start seeing a real difference. So I am feeling optimistic (hopefully I didnt just jinx myself!!). My skin is definitely feeling shinier. Hope this continues in the right direction!!!!

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42 Days after Treatment 1 and 23 days after Treatment 2

So I actually have no new pimples on my face for the first time in a long time...not sure how long that will last. Unfortunately I have tons of red marks from old spots so it still looks like I have acne all over my face...sign. I thought the IPL treatment that had paired with treatment #2 was going to help clear some of the old scars that have been there forever. But unfortunately I am not seeing any results on that front. Maybe its too soon, but from what I read on the internet, I thought I would see some fading after a couple weeks.

Anyway, so I am still trying to be optimistic. And I am still looking forward to the third treatment next week. I really hope third time is the charm!

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Hello there I'm having my third laser treatment tomorrow :)

I'm on the same boat as you, first treatment was in Nov1 then my second was in Nov 22. I notices results immediately in the first treatment. The second one wasn't that great I'm hoping that tomorrow after my 3rd laser I notice significant results :)

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That's crazy. We are on the exact same schedule!! Good to know that you are having the same results. I am feeling optimistic about # 3. Keep me posted on your progress and results!

Treatment # 3

So I had my third treatment yesterday. Everything went the same as always, Levulan plus an hour and a half incubation period. This time she put me under the light for 10 minutes instead of 8. As usual I look like a lobster. Just chilling today and watching reality tv. My face is pretty hot and mildly burning but nothing to crazy. I actually haven't had any new major breakout in a couple weeks I realised. But my skin is still pretty red and inflammed from the breakout I had with the 2nd treatment.

The technician said that usually with acne it takes 4 treatments to see complete clearing. But she said I should see a little clearing with this one. So we will see. I am stoked to see what happens when my skin makes it way back to normal. I am hoping to get a little more peeling this time too. Will keep you guys posted!

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So day 1 my face is mildly red it feels a bit crusty I'm hoping to peel like I did with the first laser. Haven't noticed any major breakouts either. Do after today I will be able to wash my face with my daily skin care regimen. I'm hoping this third laser will clear me up a lot . I don't breakout in cysts anymore which is good. I have a few blemishes on both cheeks hoping they'll fade away soon :)

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Just wanted to give you a quick update on day 2 after my treatment. I have four new pimples, which is not good . I really thought the third laser would be helpful I guess not . Darn you acne. My skin is still not peeling, the redness is fading away but my skin still feels a bit crusty (gross) .

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Treatment # 3, Day 3

So my skin is still pretty pinkish but no more burning which is great! My skin is pretty tight and dry feeling. It kinda has that leathery look so I am praying that it will peel soon cause it doesn't take my makeup super well. I had some new blemishes today which is also super annoying. Nothing major, just little ones but SERIOUSLY. Can you zits just f off??

Anyway, so still feeling optimistic. Hoping the redness will go down a bit cause I look a little crazy being so colored in winter time.

Anyway, will keep yas posted.

AbyBar - feels good to know there is someone out there going through the same thing. Seems like our symptoms are pretty similar. Keep posting!!!

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I hope that you get better results then I :)

Woke up today with another new zit on my right cheekbone it looks hideous :(

I'm really upset with this third laser treatment. My skin is no longer red but it still feels a bit rough or crusty it's not soft at all. I really thought I would stop breaking out by now but I guess not, so I have a total of 5 inflamed pimples at the moment which is not good.

Anyways keep me updated on your treatment I hope you get better results.

It's really great to know that there's someone else going through the same treatment as I am ;D

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Treatment # 3 - Day 4

Peeling! I woke up today and I am finally peeling. This is awesome cause my face was so f-ing tight. I was peeling in huge flakes, mostly on my chin and around my mouth. But all of the pimples I had from the treatment #2 breakout peeled off too. My skin looks pretty nice now. I did have a few new pimpled but they were small and look like they are not long for this world.

But overall my skin looks shiny and smooth and I am starting to feel pretty optimistic. I know it is too soon to tell but things seems like they are starting to look up.

AbyBar - Sucks that your skin isn't going the way you had hoped. But I think you need to push through it. I know it takes sometimes 30-40 days before you can see results. My technician said those with acne usually need 4 treatments. Even if my skin clears up after #3, I think I will still go for the full 4 or ever 5 treatments just cause I really want to kick this thing in the ass! These treatments aren't easy and sometimes it gets a lot worse before it gets better. Stay positive!!!!

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Treatment #4 - Day 5

I wish I would never gush about my skin looking good. As soon as I feel it starts looking good, it goes to shit. I know I am only on day 5...and my skin has no recovered yet but today I think I look gross. My skin looks pale and has this kinda sickly grayish tone to it. Peeling and more zits. It probably didnt help that I had no sleep last night cause my friend was in a car accident and this morning we had to get up at 6am to go get all her gear outta there so it didn't get looted. Maybe a slightly stressful day and I didn't really have time to take care of it the way I would normally. I know I need to push through it...just push through it. I have all faith that this treatment will work in the long run. Just need to get there....

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I think I just need to remember that my skin is a ton improved from after treatment # 2. Treatment # 3 really dealt with all the issues from treatment one. The breakouts have been small...not large cysts. This is POSITIVE....So stay on that train!!!!

I may need up to 5 or 6 treatments....so I might be only halfway there! Stay positive stay positive stay positive!!!

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Alright today is day number 5 I have a huge cyst on my right cheek with 6 other inflamed pimples. Gross. My skin looks hideous it must be because I got a cold and I've been sick so that's why I'm breaking out. I still feel a tad bit optimistic about this third laser . Hopefully it starts getting better soon , I wanna go to Disneyland on new years day and I wanna have ravishing skin by then :)

Kutena Girl : I'm sorry to hear about your friend I hope all is well .

Like you said have a little faith on the treatments, I'm sure it suppose to get whose before it gets better :)

Your body is just getting rid of all the impurities underneath your skin . I'll continue reading on your progress ;D

*worse

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Treatment # 3 - Day 6

Amazing what a little sleep will do. Skin is looking much better today. Still not clear and still red marks from previous breakouts, but overall its on the right track I htink. The third treatment definitely hit me the hardest. My skin is still flaky. Today the skin right underneath my eyes was all peeling off which is strange since I did not have any levulan applied there. Must be just exposure to the blue light. I think I am headed in the right direction, although I have no doubt in my mind that I will still need at least one more treatment after this. I feel like I am making progress and that feels good!

AbyBar - Thanks, my friend is ok. She barely has a scratch which is amazing after flipping her car 3 times! Anyway, hope you have a Merry Christmas and look forward to keep hearing about your progress!

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Treatment # 3 - Day 7

Still peeling....My skin is pretty dry and flaking off a little bit. I haven't had any new pimpled in a few days which is good news. But my skin is still recovering from that awful breakout so it's hard to look at my skin and think it looks good. I was feeling it was looking decent but then I decided to go shopping and I saw myself in those awful bright lights they have in stores and it kinda made me feel down again. Even if I can control the acne, it's gonna take my skin a long time to recover. I dont have any permanent scarring but I have a lot of PIH. Last night I started using a moisturizer with AHA and I am hoping this will help to exfoliate away some of the dry skin and fade some of the red and brown marks. I have ordered Dan's regimen products in the mail a few weeks ago, so I think I will start using those in between treatments. I will probably stay away from the BP until I have recovered from the final treatment. The light treatments are hard enough on my skin so I dont want to put too much stress on it. I am hoping the cleanser and AHA lotion will help get me on the right track here. My fingers are still crossed and I am trying to be positive. I have faith that this will work!!!!

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Day 6 is almost over and a quick update, the pimples I had after the laser are fastly healing away yay :)

I feel a bit optimistic my skin feels baby soft I love touching it . Still have some blemishes and maybe 4 active zits including that monstrous cyst. Still hoping to see more improvements by the end of this week.

Kutenaigirl: I'm so happy that your getting good results. Keep me updated on your treatment and your regimen ;D

It's a good feeling when someone else is going through the same treatment as I am. Makes me have more hope .

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Day 8

So still more improvement I think. My skin is still dry and it's flaking in places, especially around my eyes but overall I think things are looking up. No new active pimples on my cheeks, this is awesome since these ones tend to get the most inflammed and leave the PIH. I have one new one on my chin but I dont care do much about the chin ones since they don't scar. So still feeling positive. This makes me think treatment # 4 is gonna really kick this acne thing in the ass. But don't want to say too much and jinx myself!!! Anyway, not really that eventful but I will keep posting in hopes that this is helping someone out there!!

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Day 19

So I have to say that things are looking really good on the skin front. I still have lots of red marks and I am still breaking out a little. But mostly around my temples and on my lower chin. My skin feels soft and I am feeling optimistic!

I have my 4th treatment on Wednesday. So I really hope this is the treatment is the kicker! I'll keep yas posted!

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Treatment # 4

So I had my 4th treatment yesterday. My skin was looking really good I thought until yesterday morning I broke out a little. The technician was actually really surprised that I was still breaking out after 3 treatments. But she also said that a lot of times you have to wait a few months to see real results. So overall I am still feeling optimistic. This treatment was not as bad as the others. I am red and tingly but not nearly as much as the 2nd or 3rd treatment. I am kind over these treatments now. Having to hide indoors for a day is a huge bummer. I would much rather be out skiing with my friends. But I know this is needed. I am sick of dealing with the acne. I would just love to not think about it for one day! But I know this procedure is not a cure, it is only a treatment. And how long it works for is dependent on how your skin reacts. So I am hoping these treatments will deal with the symptoms and on top of that I am looking into the underlying cause of my acne. I am trying the holistic route. I have another little blog on this site about what I am doing holistically to end my acne.

Check it out if your interested. There is some good info and links if your thinking of treating your acne in a holistic way.

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/308888-getting-clear-the-natural-way-my-holistic-health-journey/page__fromsearch__1

Anyway, so I have decided to cap the treatments at 5. I think that is reasonable considering that people usually need 3-5. So hopefully my money will not be wasted. I'll keep yas posted!

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Treatment # 4 - Day 5

So this treatment has definitely been easier than the 2nd and 3rd treatment, I was red for a day and then looked normal. My skin is a little dry and peely but not really too bad. I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing....So as usual I broked out with the treatment. One big cyst and a couple of smaller ones on my chin. My skin is actually doing ok I guess. It's hard to feel like you're clearing up though when you have so many red marks from previous breakouts. But I really do think my skin is looking nicer. It's shiner and makeup goes on a lot better than usual. But the acne never stays away for long. Anyway, will keep posting.

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