Ok so I finally had this procedure done! Initially I was prepared to pay $750 to have it done, but I found out that my insurance covered it because I have Actinic Keratosis, so after insurance my out of pocket was only $38.50! After reading all these reviews and talking with a few people that have had this done, I am convinced that everyone is different,no skin is the same, tolerance for pain & sensitivity, perhaps diet and attitude also contributes to the overall experience, all the same here is my experience thus so far.
The nurse used an Acetone soaked cotton swab to clean my face with, she used a fan near my face to help with the smell and burn, this felt a little rough but no big deal, next she used one stick of Levulan all over my face, felt like she was using a wet gel pen to draw all over my face, the Levulan tingled a tad but no pain. I then sat in the waiting room for 2 hours to let the Levulan set in.
Next she had me come back in the room, sat me down in a chair, gave me some protective eye wear and placed the Blu light shield around my face, think tanning bed for your head! She turned it on and within seconds I knew it was going to be intense. This might sound weird but I brought a rose quartz crystal to squeeze on to in my hand just in case the pain was unbearable. It was NOT unbearable, it was uncomfortable.It felt like staring into the hot sun while your face is already sun burn. It felt like a concentrated dose of wind-chap and sunburn. After the first 6 minutes it was less intense. For some reason my lips burned the most, we think I might have smeared Levulan in my lips while waiting in the waiting room after I applied chapstick.
I had this procedure done in the morning so as the day went on and into the evening my face just turned bright red like a sun burn, I did not have problems sleeping at all, this morning I woke up face feeling burned and dry. I applied aloe, hydrocortozone for moisturizer. I am hanging in there, on a scale of 1-10 for discomfort I give it MAYBE a 3.
I will keep you posted on days to follow, but so far not bad, just bummed I can't go out and play