Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Do you know what it's like to have your face burnt off?

I do. 
I spent the afternoon at the doctor's office 
having my face burnt off.
Today was my first photodynamic therapy (PDT) treatment for acne. I've been dealing with ("suffering from" sounds a little melodramatic, but there has been a bit of suffering) acne for a long time now. Eight whole years; more than one third of my life.
 Acne and I have been together longer than Ryan and I have (ha). 
Over the years, I've tried essentially everything. Retin-A, Pro-Activ, Benzoyl Peroxide, Apple Cider Vinegar, Airborne (see the limb I was going out on with these interesting wive's tale treatments?) and more, all with varying degrees of success. Sometimes my face is completely clear, sometimes it breaks out like crazy. Sometimes I can cover it up with skilled makeup application, 
sometimes that doesn't work. 
Since we've moved, my face has gone into a downward spiral and at this point, the only options I felt I had left were Accutane or PDT. Accutane is supposed to have fantastic results, but the potential side effects really made me nervous. Acne isn't fun, but I'd rather have a painful, polka-dotted face than potentially suffer from depression or serious damage to my organs.
The downside to PDT is the price. Insurance considers it cosmetic, so they won't cover it. But after we talked it over, we decided we'd rather fork over the extra money than risk me having more serious health problems if I took Accutane.
So. Today, it began. 
As I understand it (and my knowledge of medical stuff is preeeetty limited), the way PDT works is they put light-activating stuff on your face, let it sink in, then expose you to a light source. What this ends up doing is shrinking your oil glands. 
As I experienced it, the way PDT feels is like someone torched your face off. First, I had to wait in a room for three looooonnnnng hours with the activating stuff on my face. To warm up my skin and get the solution to sink in better, I had the pleasure of wearing this lovely face mask thingy.

This is what I wore today. Pretty, no?

I look like Nacho Libre, right?
After that, I got to sit in front of a blue light and feel like my face was being set on fire for 20 minutes.
Good thing I have a high tolerance for pain.
Now, my grill looks like a tomato and I'm not allowed to go outside for 48 hours.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I get to do this two more times.
Geez, I hope this works.  

1 comment:

  1. you crack me up! but it hope it works for you!


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