Worst Pain I Have Ever Felt! - Fort Campbell, KY

My dr had me pretreat with retinA for 3 wks prior...

my dr had me pretreat with retinA for 3 wks prior to the treatment.. went in today got the Levulan put on ...went home for 2 hrs and came back for the blue light... the tech got everything set up.. turned the light on and INSTANTLY above my lips felt like it was on fire within 30 seconds my whole face.. by the first minute I had my hands clenched and my legs were bouncing nonstop trying to manage the pain... there was a fan blowing on me, but it was pointless.. by 2 minutes I had tears rolling down my face, she asked if I would be able to continue I said I doubted it... she said lets try and turn the fan up and see if that helps at all.. she turned the fan on as high as it would go.. while the pain was still beyond intense it became bearable. I made it through the entire 16 min 40 seconds.... progressively through the day my face has gotten redder and more swollen... I showered and washed the vaseline off (they put that on when I was leaving the hospital) and a wet washcloth stored in the fridge has now become my best friend.. I have been putting a moisturizer on every hour or so.. it helps for a few minutes.. what it feels like now is. the worst sunburn I have ever had in my life..

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Day 2 had brought about pain.. swelling and crusty...

day 2 had brought about pain.. swelling and crusty spots... now that I am sitting in my very dark room.. I am in a lil less pain... the crusting is def showing up more.... was just the corner of my chin this morning... right now its under my chin.. top of my chin 2 spot son 1 cheek.. 1 spot on my jaw.. 1 spot on my left temple... tmw should be interesting...
DAY3 ok so today my face has crusty spots randomly all over.. and feels like a dried mudd mask.. very tight and plastic-like .. pain is gone ( a weird sting once in a while) and that has now been replaced by ITCHING.. major itching.. can't scratch... so I am constantly poking at it.. the redness is STILL unreal!!
DAY 4 .. starting to peel... my chin is unbelievably red now
...and cracking despite how much moisturizer i put on
DAY5 this is for the birds!!.. my chin has blisters, major peeling going on.. around my nose and my temples are VERY tender... and very red.. my chin still looks like the worst sunburn you can imagine... and NOW my glands under my jaw are swollen and hurting very badly.. calling my dr in the morning... NEVER doing this again I had less pain and an easier time when I had surgery to remove a squamous cell on my cheek.. the scar goes from my ear to my chin....


Well done you! It will be worth it I'm sure. I used RetinA for a 6 months and then stopped six days before treatment. One hour with cream and longer on the face.
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Ouch!!!  Oh my goodness this sounds horrible!   Keep posting the updates with pictures.  I really want to know what your final results turn out to be.

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Wow! I was told to avoid RetinA Before my treatments. If I had to guess that would make the pain a lot worse???
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May 26th

it is now may 26th.... my chin is still healing.. the rest of my face is pretty much normal.. all the ak's are gone except 1 ... my skin is soooo smooth.. I'm updating a few pics so you can see how my chin is now... will post an updated pic of my face as soon as my chin is finally done healing


How are you? The recovery?
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new pictures

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more pics


WOW!! I'd be happy with just a lil reaction.... they want me to do it again.. but .. idk yet.... they said they would do half the prep time so an hour with the levulan rather than 2 hrs.. but yeah.. as of right now I'm stll saying no.... it wouldn't be until jan, so I could change my mind...
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Read the attached after I tell you what happened. I went to the same place that did it last time but Dr Hayden no longer there. Dr Greggs did my skin check and said my face could do with another PDT treatment. 10am they put the ALA on, 12.30 pm the numbing cream, 2pm the lamp. I also put cold sore cream (5% aclivor) on my lips and took 3 paracetamol + codeine 1+ 1/2 hours before lamp. Guess what 15 minutes later no pain or redness. I immediately thought no pain, no gain. Asked the doc if the lamp was too far away. He said makes no difference. It was a different lamp than the one Dr Hayden had used, plus Dr Hayden moved it around the face. Went home to my pre-darkened home, ready to stay away from light for 2-3 days. By Dusk I had to little patches of pink, about the size of 50cents on each side of the tip of my nose. The next morning no difference. I went into the clinic today to see the boss Dr Patrick. I had to wait 1+ 1/2 to see him, but waited because I knew Dr Greggs wasn’t in Wednesdays and I didn’t want to offend him. The doctor looked, and said that he agreed that there was very little reaction. He said that the difference with the last time was not the machine, it was the percent ALA that was used. Last time a 20% mix, this time a 10% mix. I asked “Why”. He answered that some people don’t like the reaction, so they changed the dose. I said that you couldn’t publish the before and after pics if you half the dose. No pain, no gain. He was very nice and suggested they redo it in 2 weeks. For free. He also asked if there was any tingling today when I am in the sun. I said that I had not been in the sun except in the car, and it stung a bit when I was driving towards the sun. He then suggested I go sit in the sun for 15 minutes and the process will continue. He said in the old days they didn’t have the lamps and put the ALA on and sent the patients home to sunbake for half an hour. So I did 20 minutes at my friends place, the 15 minutes each side on my balcony, and we will see what happens with the winter sun. Depending on the result I might wait 3 weeks. Don’t want to have the procedure on sensitive skin, because I’m sure they will fry me next time. hahaha. http://www.thevictoriancosmeticinstitute.com.au/photodynamic-therapy/
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will be taking 3 Panidol with Optizorb (recommended for shingles - extremely painful) and will be getting numbing cream put on.(works for tattoos, I hear)
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July 16th

time for an update I'm told ;) .... my skin looks amazing.... I still have 2 small discolored spots on my chin, from the blisters but my Dr says they should fade..... other than that, my skin is soft and even.. no blothciness no actinic spots (oops i do have 1 right on my forehead, right along my hairline that we missed) I had a few freckles on my cheeks from childhood... those are gone... the ones on my nose are gone.... I have been sunblocking my face for YEARS!!!! (over 10 yrs) so every spot on my face was from being a kid in Florida.... I just went away to Chicago for a girls weekend.. and was told over and over again that there was no way I was a Grandma.. :D so now after all the hell is over with.. it was worth it.... My Dr woould like to do 1 more treatment.. I still don't know if I'm willing to try again... we'll see in January how I feel... just got back from walking so after i cool off I'll post a new pic ;)


I totally agree with you regarding the pain. I consider myself to have a pretty high level of pain tolerance, my dentist comments on that often. I had the treatment yesterday and it was very very brutal. I had it 20 minutes of light on my scalp, 20 minutes on left side of face and 20 on right side. I think it was way too much time under the lamp. I am still burning 24 hours later. Not sure if I'm going to do the recommended 2nd treatment.
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OMJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you did 60 min total????? I can not even imagine.... and I have not done a 2nd treatment.. My Dr offered me a different treatment which I did and had results NOTHING like the blue light.. I feel like it worked almost as well as far as getting rid of the few remaining actinic K's but ZERO pain!
Do you remember the name of the alternative because there is no way in hell that I'm going through that again?
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