After my last entry...I became extremely depressed because my acne got really, really bad...really, really quickly. The month of October was AWFUL. I'm not sure if stress is contributing, but that could have been a problem.
Anyway, I went to a new dermatologist and started a few new treatments. First, I began birth control (I started off with Yaz but it was awful for me, so I switched to Yasmin). She also increased my minocycline to 100 mg twice daily. I began using a 10% Benzoyl Peroxide wash at night. I use the highest strength of Differin at night as well. In addition, I began Levulan Photodynamic Blue light treatments. I am about to have my last treatment (the 4th treatment). I go once every two weeks (on a Friday) and have the treatment. They take off all of my make-up, rub medical grade Acetone (think nail polish remover-yikes!) on my face, then rubbing alcohol, then finally the Levulan goes on. It doesn't sting too badly, but a little burning isn't unusual. I have to sit for 40 minutes and let it activate. I originally left it on for only 30 minutes, but that wasn't working so the doctor increased it to 40. Then I go under the blue light for 12 minutes. Now the fun part begins (note the sarcasm). Since I cannot drive myself home, I have to have someone drive me there and take me home. Once the treatment is finished, I have to stay out of ANY sunlight for 24-36 hours. Literally, I lay the seat down in the car and cover my face with a jacket. The treatment makes your skin SO photosensitive that any sun will give you a severe burn. So I'm stuck inside for the next few days...with a swollen, red, itchy, burning, stingy, peeling face. Sounds horrible (and for 24 hours, it sort of is)...but it seems to be working. It is fairly expensive (not covered by insurance)...but it seems worth it to me.
After the first two treatments, I was disappointed because I didn't think it was working. I have had my third and am going in for my last this week. It seems to FINALLY be working! I even had to wait a week longer because of Thanksgiving. I haven't had any major breakouts in 2 weeks. Sure I've had a few small pimples but nothing in comparison to before. I had been getting big cysts before...none of that anymore. They say the full effects won't be seen for 4-8 weeks after treatments end. So I'm hoping it gets even better!
I also switched to BareMinerals makeup. That seems to be helping tremendously, too. In fact, I had been doing really well until I wore a different brand of blush. I woke up the next morning with a few whiteheads ONLY where I had put the blush (it was even symmetrical). So if you haven't tried BareMinerals yet...try it!
I'll keep you updated on the Levulan treatments!