I'm a 44yr old female. I suffered with moderate to severe adult acne (inflammatory papular - not cystic - no whiteheads or blackheads, just a profusion of red bumps) for almost ten years beginning in my early 20s. Nothing worked ;( I saw numerous dermatologists and we tried everything (including multiple, escalating doses of Accutane). Finally, my doctor decided to try Aldactone and we got results ;) I was clear for almost 13 years (my skin was best during and after my four pregnancies, which is not normal!). About 12 months ago my acne inexplicably (maybe peri-menopause?) returned. I went back on Aldactone immediately but with no results. My acne has gotten progressively worse and so today I had v-beam (PDL - pulsed dye laser spot treatment) followed by PDT as a last ditch effort.
The procedure was not painful - it was mildly uncomfortable. The vbeam treatment was a non event, just little bursts of fluid against the skin. Then my face was prepped with an acetone wash and the levulan was applied under my eyes and down to my chin - I have never had a zit on my forehead, ever, so they left that area alone. The doctor had prescribed a two hour incubation period and so I sat in a dimly lit room and relaxed, no discomfort at all ;) When the incubation period was done I donned sexy goggles and sat in front of a u-shaped blue light machine for 16mins and 40secs. It was not really hot, it was tingly and burned slightly, but I was expecting pain. My cheeks throbbed every so often, but it felt productive and so I kind of liked it. That being said, I have always hated the sun (I am very pale) and I am an avid hat wearer so I have no sun damage or age spots. Based on the reviews I have read, it seems that AK patients suffer more under the light than acne patients.
I am home now, eight hours have passed, and my face is very, very red almost fuschia and my cheeks are quite swollen, but still no real discomfort. My skin is tight and tingly and my cheeks throb every so often, but I'm not too bothered by that. I can still see all my acne spots beneath the red, the spots are even more red than the surrounding skin - I had hoped for a uniform redness so that I could begin to forget that I have acne, but no luck ;( I washed my face with dove white soap and applied glaxal base (a barrier cream i've used for years). I'm going to bed now happy to have begun a process that I hope will give results. I donot expect perfection - I'm too mature to wish for, or even want, that - but some improvement would be very nice...I will update this post in a few days. I expect things to get worse before they get any better ;)