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Following Treatment After Photodynamic Therapy - Hawaii

I've been a past user of Efudex on my face,...

I've been a past user of Efudex on my face, and now many years later I've been advised by my dermatologist to try PDT. He feels it's the best course of action to pinpoint my preskin cancerous cells laying under the surface of my skin. He also said it's to avoid future cancer cells from springing up, and future surgery's. It's taken me about six month to wrap my mind around the idea, and to get over the fear of the unknown.

I arrived in office with a hat and scarf in hand. My Dr. steamed my face, cleaned it with an alcohol swab, and then applied one stick of Levulan. It tingled and has an alcolhol base. It is not painful. I sat with it on my face for 3 hours. My Dr. suggested and perscribed one Vallium and one pain pill one half hour before I sat under the lights for 16 minutes. It may have been the meds but 16 minutes flew by, and I was so busy talking to her it only felt like 3 minutes had gone by. I've been sunburned plenty of times in my life, and this is all it feels like now. I have been applying pure Aloe spears (cold from the fridge), and Vasaline about four times a day. Cold Aloe feels the best! It's day 4 and my face is still really red, tight, and is not peeling. My sunspots seem to be very dark, and I hope these go away too. Time will tell. The Dr. said I may need one or two more treatments.

DAY 2 - My face feels more sunburnt today compared...

DAY 2 - My face feels more sunburnt today compared to the first day which was just yesterday. I can't figure out how all this new skin is going to look so nice and new after I finish taking a look of myself in the mirror, so I am just going by blind faith for now. My face feels stingy in certain places and when it gets too painful I apply a cold, slice of aloe, and slather on more Vasoline. Cold aloe wins hand down for burn relief, and it stays cold for awhile.

DAY 3 - Still staying indoors, out of the light....

DAY 3 - Still staying indoors, out of the light. Today my face is red, tight, and starting to itch. It actually looks worse than it feels. These pictures show a progress of day to day change. Applying Aloe, and Vasoline when needed , which is almost every few hours. I've also noticed that I want to take long naps during the day, but of course I did take a two week vacation from work, so this may or may not be needed bed rest due to this PDT Therapy. Still no sign of peeling skin.

DAY 4 - Please don't pay attention to my post...

DAY 4 - Please don't pay attention to my post dates, I am catching up by using my journal because it's been an amazing week, and it doesn't involve my face. Face however is itchy, and first signs of peeling skin is starting on my chin, around my lip area, nose area, and on top of my nose. Using aloe spears, and my Vaseline. Not such a fried look to my skin anymore. Not much stingy areas, but forehead area has more sensitivity than any other place right now.

DAY 5 - My sun spots are very visual now, more...

DAY 5 - My sun spots are very visual now, more dark than before treatment, but my face is not as red as it was. The dark spots could also be the areas that have had more sun damage, then the rest of my face. Peeling around my chin area, a little more around my my nose. Tried coconut oil today, thinking that it would feel great but instead it seemed to cause more stinging. I went back to my Aloe spears, letting my face dry, and then apply a nice layer Vaseline. Keeping the fresh Aloe spears cold and whole in a baggy in my fridge. When I need to use one, I skin it, and then wipe it over my entire face. The cold slime is a welcoming relief. I haven't posted this past week due to the amazing event I will get into on the my next post, Day 5 actually happened on Nov. 5. Sorry my dates are messed up.

DAY 6 - Right when I'm planning to stay inside due...

DAY 6 - Right when I'm planning to stay inside due to my face cracking, peeling, itching life begins to happen. My husband gets the call! He has been on the Kidney Transplant list for six years, surviving on a dialysis machine, and now the Medical Center is calling because they have one kidney for him. This is the kind of call you get once in a lifetime if you are fortunate, you drop everything, pack your suitcase and go! We were on the plane flying to Oahu in three hours. My face had little pieces a skin hanging off it everywhere, it's cracked, and tight. I covered it with makeup, but I probably looked like I was a tourist who layed out in the blister sun all week, and felt like the Locknest monster! Oh well, I figured who cares at my age, my husband's life out rules my appearance. Needless to say, not one person asked any questions about my face, and since I was in a hospital for 5 days, no one really mentioned all the peeling that was going on. I just slathered on my new tube of Aloe Vaseline about five times a day, and within about three or four days most of the dark spots, and dark skin had peeled away. My skin looks a lot better, and has more of an even tone, except for the sides of my face. I have a few age spots that didn't cook away, but my dermatologist said my skin will need one more PDT. Maybe not right away, but within one year I will sign up for that appointment now that I know what to expect. As for my husband he was in the hospital only five days, and came out having a second chance at life. Please make sure you have a current drivers license with "Organ Donar" listed on it. There are 2,900 patients waiting in Hawaii that need a kidney, not to mention the folks who need livers, and hearts. Good news all around! Please live healthy and long! P.S. I have pictures, but not my cord for my camera. I will post pictures soon.
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Comments (10)

You look beautiful. I am sorry for all you suffered. I begin the Efudex treatment in a month after 5 MOH surgeries. But I am older 67 and had radiation treatments for acne 30plus years ago. Now lots of skin cancer.... My best to you. Thank you for sharing.
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I just had this treatment done 3 days ago. Since today is Saturday the doctors office is closed. I got on line to see if the "things" happening with my face is normal. I am so pleased to see that you posted pictures. I also look the same. I am REALLY going crazy with the itching. My face is very red with alot of it being blotchy. I haven't started peeling yet. Thank you for posting your daily process along with the pictures. Congrats to you & your husband. You both have a "new" life to begin to live.
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Yes, after all is said and done, I would do it again. Possibly on my next two week vacation next year. My Dr. said I would need at least one if not two more treatments. Thank you agray96, I hope you like your results. Most of my friends and family say it's an improvement, and they say my face looks better.
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Hi agray, 

How are things feeling today? 

-Britt

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I’m so Happy for you and your husband Kasey :.) I hope he has a good recovery wow what a gift!
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Thank you Jennifer, all is going well. I still don't see a place to post pics using my IPhone, and my pic are on it, but I am working on it. Take Care.
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First time here how do I see the pics?
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Thank you Britt. Are you planning a treatment, or still thinking on it? Oh I see you are the Community Manager. How do I post pictures, can you point me in the right direction? Thank You!
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Thank you Britt. Are you planning a treatment, or still thinking on it?
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Hi Kasey, 

Well, yay on having an amazing week, that's great. I'm glad too you are writing about your face in journal and then  posting it back for the community. Your posts are incredibly useful and informative. Can't wait to hear how the peeling goes. 

Thanks,

-Britt

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