40 Year Old on Her Ninth Day After - Strong Reaction! - Colorado, CO
I wanted to write this to let people know what...
- 16 Feb 2011
I wanted to write this to let people know what it's like when you have a really strong reaction to this - probably the only mistake my doctors made was not telling me the absolute extreames - which apparently, happen when you've had alot of sun damage. Hang in there! This procedure is way worth it! Don't get scared!
Just a bit of a back ground on what I've done to my face over the years - grew up in El Paso, TX (dry desert), where I was a swimmer - never used sun screen. Now live in Colorado and am pretty active outside (skiing, swimming, hiking, golfing, etc.). I work on the ocean. Lots of extreams.
I decided to use Photodynamic Therapy with Levulin as a result of seeing lots of age spots sprouting up, uneven skin, just aging faster then I thought I would. When I went to the dermatologist office, they said alot of what was going on with my face was precancerous - and this was a good option for me (my insurance covered part of it, the $450 was what I opted for, for the procedure over and above for my whole face, and not just the spots)
Went in, they cleaned my face with acetone - not pleasant but not bad. Put the Levulin on for about two hours. More cleaning my face with acetone. Used pulsed light in predesignated spots as well as concentrated places where the spots were the worst. Under the blue light for about 12 mins. Nothing too painful - the pulsed laser felt a bit like a snap on your face - the blue light got a big hot, and felt a bit like my face was being lightly sand blasted.
First day - my face was ALARMINLY red. Did what the doctors told me and washed my face with a gentle cleanser and used some pretty gentle moisturizor. Seriously, my face was maroon colored, very scary looking. Medium amount of swelling.
Second day = still ALARMINGLY red, swollen, and all kinds of nasty, dark spots coming to the surface. My face was a little sore and itchy.
Third day - tight, tight skin, still very red, itchy, very uncomfortable. Here I used what amounts to the Hydropore ointment and some burgemont oil. The only thing that gave me real relief from being just real uncomfortable was this really nice spring water the doctor's office gave me - I kept my face wet almost constantly after a while.
Fourth day - pealing in earnest. Probably took four showers just sloughing the skin off (as that was instant relief). Tried all kinds of greasy ointments and, really, the only relief for me was spraying that spring water on my face constantly. (don't force the skin to come off!)
Fifth day - Most of old skin had peeled off - I got all happy, seeing some pretty good results (but skin was still REALLY red) - until All the new skin broke out in to hundreds of realy small, nasty, white heads. This is where I freaked out a little and called my doctor, who told me to get in to the office the next day just in case.
Sixth day - white heads still there, but my skin wasn't as sore, put on heavy zink based sun screen before driving to the doctor's office and everything kind of settled down and started pealing again. Doctor's reassured me that I didn't have an infection - they were very reassuring and told me that I probably had a whole lot of photo-damage and was throwing off alot of bad stuff (this sounds patronizing - it really wasn't - it makes alot of sense. Levulin attaches to damaged cells, and then is activated - the stronger the reaction, the more nasty stuff your skin probably needed to get rid of with this procedure.)
Seventh day - continued improvement, skin not so red, still pealing pealing pealing. After ANOTHER layer pealed off, still had more white heads show up, but not anywhere near as many as the first time. Still using some pretty heavy moisturizer, but no ointment.
Same the Eighth day and today - a WHOLE LOT of improvement. Still have a few white heads. I am probably on my fifth skin pealing episode on my cheeks, and am back to my normal skin regiment but with really good sun screen. Face looks lightly sunburned now.
The skin that is emerging is extraordinary. Truely, much better results then I dreamed of. A bit of repair on my crow's feet and under my eyes, as well. I've never had skin look this beautiful, not even when I was 18. Now, I still have some healing to do, and I think I'm still going to peal for a couple more days.
STAY OUT OF THE SUN THAT FIRST WEEK (7 days)! Stay away from the windows, even if the blinds are down, stay away from bright lights. It will hurt anyway if you don't. I will be wearing some heavy duty sun screen all day long, no matter where I am, for a while, and never go out in to the sun again with out it. Don't pick at your face if you aren't in the shower - don't force that skin off your face until it's ready to come off. Don't worry about the white heads, if they show up - that just more bad stuff being thrown off your skin.
Don't worry! If you are freaked out (I definitely was), call your doctors/cosmetic therapists. If they won't talk to you, find some where/some one else and call them! It's going to clear up. I had a pretty dark spot just under my left nostral - not pretty - and it's gone - all gone, along with alot of others. HUGE improvement and I'm not even finished healing.
Hope this helps
This place went out of their way to make sure I had good moisturizers, face products/etc. when I left. They were very reassuring when I was a bit scared. There are doctors as well as cosmetic therapists, and everyone in that office is very well informed. They did give me alot of information on this procedure, and how to care for it while I was healing - the only critisism I had was what happens in all cases. Please ask your doctors/therapist for the worst case scenario, and plan for it.