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Blu-U with Levulan

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My first blog

I am usually one to read blogs and forums but never contribute, but I have found the blogs on this site to be especially insightful and helpful and thought I should share my own acne experiences.

First, a little personal acne history: I am 23 years old, and have suffered from moderate acne for over 10 years. Currently I have moderate acne, combo skin - more on the dry side and am at a loss at how I can improve it. I have tried just about any antibiotics you can think of, topical and oral, with little success. I have been on accutane twice during my teenage years, with short-lived improvement but terrible side-effects. I was also on Ortho-Tri Cyclen (not lo!) which showed improvement until the weight-gain and mood swings proved to be too much. Most recently I am undergoing photodynamic light therapy, of which my experiences are yet to be determined.

I was reading other blogs about people's experiences with photodynamic light therapy (also known as blu-u with ALA or blu light therapy with Levulan) and was hoping that anyone with similar experiences can shed some light on this treatment.

I had my first treatment last week monday, and my second treatment two days ago (1 week apart).

First my face was cleaned and I had an acetone wash before the ALA was applied. It was then left on for 1 hour and rinsed off before I went under the light for 15 minutes. The treatment was irritating, but not really painful.

My skin was pink/red the first day, and looked like really bad sunburn. The next morning, I woke up with a tomato read face, which was completely brown on one side (I am fair-skinned!!). the side which was brown as also very swollen and painful - my right-eye could barely open. This lasted 2 days, and I experienced a lot of blistering, crusting, pus, and pimples - both cysts and whiteheads. Needless to say, I was devastated - PDL is my last hurrah before giving up all hope. I had a downtime of about 5 days, but skin was still peeling and irritated even by day 7. I was never able to completely heal, because by day 7 it was time for my second treatment.

It is now 1 1/2 days since my second treatment, and I am not sure whether this treatment was an improvement or not. I had the exact same time with the light and medicine, and it was slightly more painful since my skin was still so sensitive from the first treatment. The good news is, the redness is more uniform on my face, whereas the first time, the right-side dominated. There was also a lot less swelling and brown pigmentation that occurred. However, I did break out horrendously after 24 hours with cysts and white-heads, worse than I ever have (or so it seems). My skin feels rough and leathery. I also had blisters that filled with pus and later crusted over (sooo gross!ew!) I am also starting to peel in some spots, and am hoping that the acne will disappear quickly.

I am going in for a consultation in 3 weeks, and I will keep blogging as any changes occur...

Alright, I think I have shared enough for tonight. I would be grateful to anyone that has information about the PDL treatment, and if they have gone through something similar. I would love to hear if positive results are coming my way!

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