Terrible Experience That Damaged my Skin

I had deep an pervasive adult acne that was not...

I had deep an pervasive adult acne that was not responding to antibiotics or topical creams, so my doctor suggested this procedure some years ago. I had three or four treatments. The entire procedure was slapdash and not controlled at all, and my skin ended up damaged and more aged than it was when I started. I ended up with those fine crinkle lines everywhere, so who cares whether my acne imporved or not? My face was first abraded with acetone -- splashed on a rough brown paper towel from the office wash sink -- and rubbed **hard** on my skin. The tech who did this managed to get acetone in my eye once! Then the doctor would come in, after a wait, of course, and apply the Levulan, and then I had to wait half an hour or more while the Levulan did its thing. During one treatment the idiot tech forgot about me at this point and everyone in the office went home. I went out into the hall to find out where everyone had gone...someone ran and got the doc out of his car in the parking lot. Very unprofessional. Anyway, after a long wait, the tech would come in and place me in a chair in front of the blue light. There was no head brace or other way to control how close my face was to the light, and I suspect that was what caused the **severe** burning I had with one of the treatments. In fact, the cord for the light was too short so that I had to sort of lean my head out into the arc of light -- this was a truly Mickey Mouse operation at that time. When I called the office to ask whether the burn was normal, I got the incompetent tech, who said something noncommittal and hung up. I was in extreme pain, with huge blisters and weeping skin. All of my skin fell off in sheets. My skin broke out in huge cysts. Another light treatment did almost nothing to my skin -- was I seated too far from the light? All together, I'd say this was a mistake for me, and I have never gone into that dermatology clinic since. There are better treatments available now. It did help clear the areas of deep acne that were continuously erupting around my mouth and chin, but the cost to my skin's overall health and appearance was too great.
Santa Cruz Medical Foundation, Dermatology Clinic

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I had photo dynamic light therapy and it completely ruined my skin tone and texture. My skin broke out with cysts after the procedure, which left scars, AND now my skin looks weathered and "grainy" instead of a normally smooth texture i once had. I do not recommend this procedure to ANYONE. The ultraviolet light RUINS your skin.
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sometime it's really based on patient. diff people respond differently to treatment. my friend responded well to smoothbeam, but I dont, I respond well to PDT. so the doctor was not out of line to say 'this could have been your problem'. moreover he was just trying to help and not trying to shift blame. maybe he sounded a little harsh, chill man. and if this don't work, maybe smoothbeam might help. my friend got good result from it. medicine or therapy isn't miracle pills. it always works on some and not for some. keep trying and keep faith high. there'll be one treatment that works for you. and thank you for your contribution. all contribution either positve or negative should be reported. good luck!
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Butter the only reason to post here is to share information with others. I posted on this light treatment as a warning to others. I have posted positively on other treatments that I have found helpful. That's what this site is for.
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Cali-Cr/teeth, I can relate to what UR trying to get across. I too, had a bad experience with a facial procedure. It can have long lasting effects,in all areas!! But, fortunately, unlike your experience, after it appeared to have gone wrong, I was treated with respect and true care. It made the difference! To have a dr./profess. firstly suggest such a horrible turnout was at your hand, can feel like ..."adding insult to injury"! Truth is, there are some incompetent prof. unwilling to accept responsibility! This site is for sharing/help, easy for others to say "chill", didn't happen to them! You're advice may help others avoid same sit., thanks!
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Goodness, you're taking every comment so personally. I wasn't attacking you and neither was Dr. Weiner. I'm sorry you had a bad experience but that is not our faults.

You never mentioned sunscreen in your review and it seemed like that'd be an obv. cause (not being told to wear it indoors, I know I woudln't think to do it). Obv. you have now corrected us on that but never did I blame you or your knowledge of the procedure. Why are you allowed to blame your doctor but when we blame him you come down on us? Sorry, I don't get it. You have a captive audience here and you've snapped at every single one of us. Oh well, live and learn. You aren't interested in our input so I won't bother you again.

Again, I am sorry this happened to you. I am not here to be evil to ppl and I wish you nothing ubt the best and hope you recover soon.

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Butter, he did tell me to stay out of the sun. And I did stay out of it and wore sunscreen indoors. And I read up on the treatment before I had it, so I knew how Levulan works (do you?). And I still had a burn, blisters and pain (from the PROCEDURE -- caps for emphasis, not shouting), not from the sun. Read the review, Butter: "srsly". I believe that I was placed too close to the light the time I was burned.
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Srsly? "This could have been your problem" means "this could have been your problem WITH THE PROCEDURE". Its miscommunication. All caps is also for emphasis, like I did. I'm not yelling at you. If your doc didn't follow the basics and tell you to stay out of the sun, it's oyur doc's problem, not yours.
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Nicms, he writes, "This could have been your problem", after an all caps (the equivalent of shouting, in forums) admonition that one must avoid all sun for 36-48 hours (and my doctor advised longer than that, by the way). That is "blame". This procedure harmed me, and I wrote this review to share my experience. Don't tell me to "lighten up".
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@crooked teeth - Dr. Weiner wasn't blaming you at all. All I think he was saying was that if your incompetent derm didn't tell you to avoid bright light and wear zinc sunscreen, that may have caused the problem. Lighten up.
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I was just trying to be helpful. I thought my response was appropriate. It is a generally accepted procedure. Any procedure has potential risks. Sorry if you felt offended.
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Dr. Weiner, don't you dare blame the patient in this case! You are completely out of line. Integrity and competence among physicians (and their assistants) varies just as much as it does among car salesmen, building contractors and hair stylists. I am not stupid, and I did follow directions regarding sunscreen and staying indoors. The medical office where I received this procedure was completely unprofessional. I thought I was safe going there, as it is part of the largest medical group in my area. I was wrong. I posted this as a warning to others, that no matter how established the procedure, and no matter how safe an office and a physician might appear, you can still be harmed by these optional, cosmetic treatments. I let a dishonest and incompetent doctor talk me into something that harmed me, and I know now that I should have done more research -- both on the procedure and pn the doctor. To let you know just how unprofessional this doctor was (and is...he is still practicing with the same group), he had me pay an off-the-books amount, up front, above what was billed to insurance for my treatment (he reported the acne treatment as precancer treatment). So he was playing the insurance system as well. Great guy.
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I'm sorry you had a bad experience. Typically Levulan treatments are used for acne, actinic keratosis (pre cancers), and for photorejuvenation. A new way of activating the Levulan is using the IPL. Usually the Levulan is placed on the skin after acetone, and microdermabrasion. After waiting about 45 minutes, an IPL procedure is performed. A very important part of the care is NOT EXPOSING YOUR FACE TO SUNLIGHT OR ANY LIGHT FOR THE NEXT 36-48 HOURS. This could have been your problem. You must wear sunscreen in the house, a heavy zinc and titanium type during this period. You should see some mild swelling and skin peeling, that all should subside in less than a week. I hope this helps. Steve Weiner, MD
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