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Hi, I first posted this in the big ALA thread but I then decided to start a new topic so we can talk about Levulan + IPL more specifically, since people are getting all kinds of different treatments.

Here's what I posted before:

"Hi Everyone, just wanted to share some info and my experience with light therapy thus far:

First off - ALA and Levulan are the same thing. It does several things that help with acne treatment - Most importantly, it makes your skin really photosensitive so light treatments can penetrate deeper. It also exfoliates and is somewhat effective in killing bacteria.

Levulan/ALA can be used with Clearlight/Bluelight OR with IPL/photofacial. "Photodynamic" light therapy can refer to either of these. Some places also refer to it as "Activated" light treatments. Clearlight is used specifically to kill p.acnes bacteria whereas IPL has the added benefit of stimulating collagen production - which is why it's also used to correct sun damage, fine lines, pigmentation probs, etc. IPL is more expensive. (Clearlight and IPL are also often done without levulan.)

At the end of April I had an IPL treatment with Levulan. I chose the IPL because it's considered stronger - I wanted the added collagen stimulating effects and some help with redness/marks from past breakouts.

I got really red afterwards and then I peeled. This varies from person to person but my advice would be to expect some down time. During and especially after peeling I had a horrible horrible purging breakout which my doc helped aleviate with some extrations, shots, and a complimentary 15 minute clearlight treatment (without levulan.) I was also given complimentary "gentle waves" treatments during the 1st few days after treatment to calm down the redness. All in all that 1st week was pretty rough though, I tried to stay home.

It has now been almost 3 wks since my treatment. I've been using topicals for 1 wk. (klaron and evoclin - I have super sensitive skin.) Things are looking great! My doctor wants to see how well I can maintain on the topicals before deciding how to proceed. I may need another levulan/IPL treatment, or he thinks we may be able to proceed with just light (either blue or IPL) and maybe some microdermabrasion or something. We're gonna re-examine the situation/progress in another 2 weeks.

My advice to those interested in light treatments:

GO TO A Dermatologist - preferably one who specializes in lasers. I know there are bargains out there at spas and salons but a good doctor really makes a difference. (My doctor has had me come in 4 times since my treatment to check up on me an see how everything was doing - I went back the day after, day 3, then once a week the last two weeks.)

DON'T BUY A PACKAGE of treatments - packages are recommended by places/doctors whose main focus is making MONEY off you. A doctor whose real focus is on clearing your skin will want to see how you react and take it one step at a time.

My treatment set me back $750. Super pricey I know but it's been worth it so far and my doctor has thrown in lots of extras. I live in San Francisco where prices for everything are higher also.

GOOD LUCK to anyone else trying this out there - I'll post again down the line with my results.

Some background to answer questions people might have:

I'm 26, female. I've had acne since I was 12. Been on accutane twice. Also tried Adoxa, tetracycline, cleocin T, retin A micro, avita, differin, bp, sal ac, resorcinol, and all kinds of home remedies and over the counter stuff."

I'd love to here feedback from others getting levulan +IPL.

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Hi, I first posted this in the big ALA thread but I then decided to start a new topic so we can talk about Levulan + IPL more specifically, since people are getting all kinds of different treatments.

Here's what I posted before:

"Hi Everyone, just wanted to share some info and my experience with light therapy thus far:

First off - ALA and Levulan are the same thing. It does several things that help with acne treatment - Most importantly, it makes your skin really photosensitive so light treatments can penetrate deeper. It also exfoliates and is somewhat effective in killing bacteria.

Levulan/ALA can be used with Clearlight/Bluelight OR with IPL/photofacial. "Photodynamic" light therapy can refer to either of these. Some places also refer to it as "Activated" light treatments. Clearlight is used specifically to kill p.acnes bacteria whereas IPL has the added benefit of stimulating collagen production - which is why it's also used to correct sun damage, fine lines, pigmentation probs, etc. IPL is more expensive. (Clearlight and IPL are also often done without levulan.)

At the end of April I had an IPL treatment with Levulan. I chose the IPL because it's considered stronger - I wanted the added collagen stimulating effects and some help with redness/marks from past breakouts.

I got really red afterwards and then I peeled. This varies from person to person but my advice would be to expect some down time. During and especially after peeling I had a horrible horrible purging breakout which my doc helped aleviate with some extrations, shots, and a complimentary 15 minute clearlight treatment (without levulan.) I was also given complimentary "gentle waves" treatments during the 1st few days after treatment to calm down the redness. All in all that 1st week was pretty rough though, I tried to stay home.

It has now been almost 3 wks since my treatment. I've been using topicals for 1 wk. (klaron and evoclin - I have super sensitive skin.) Things are looking great! My doctor wants to see how well I can maintain on the topicals before deciding how to proceed. I may need another levulan/IPL treatment, or he thinks we may be able to proceed with just light (either blue or IPL) and maybe some microdermabrasion or something. We're gonna re-examine the situation/progress in another 2 weeks.

My advice to those interested in light treatments:

GO TO A Dermatologist - preferably one who specializes in lasers. I know there are bargains out there at spas and salons but a good doctor really makes a difference. (My doctor has had me come in 4 times since my treatment to check up on me an see how everything was doing - I went back the day after, day 3, then once a week the last two weeks.)

DON'T BUY A PACKAGE of treatments - packages are recommended by places/doctors whose main focus is making MONEY off you. A doctor whose real focus is on clearing your skin will want to see how you react and take it one step at a time.

My treatment set me back $750. Super pricey I know but it's been worth it so far and my doctor has thrown in lots of extras. I live in San Francisco where prices for everything are higher also.

GOOD LUCK to anyone else trying this out there - I'll post again down the line with my results.

Some background to answer questions people might have:

I'm 26, female. I've had acne since I was 12. Been on accutane twice. Also tried Adoxa, tetracycline, cleocin T, retin A micro, avita, differin, bp, sal ac, resorcinol, and all kinds of home remedies and over the counter stuff."

I'd love to here feedback from others getting levulan +IPL.

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hi I am going for my third on Fri. I am disappointed right now. i had my first microderm today. Before I went I was blessed with 3 cysts which i have been avoiding so I don't know what is happening. I hope my skin is going thru a coming out party. My skin is the worse it has ever been. I would like to have your email if I could because not too many have had the ipl and levulan. thanks

How come there aren't 9 pages to the thread with levulan that i started? do the moderators cut off topics and responses after some time?

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