ALA and skin splitting

Photodynamic Therapy, or PDT for short, is a combination of a topical agent like aminolevulinic acid and a light-based therapy to activate the treatment. Originally an acne treatment, PDT has also been used to treat rosacea.
Hopeful
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ALA and skin splitting

Post by Hopeful »

Hi everyone

Not been on the site for a while but I thought I would give you an update on my IPL treatment.

As you know I have paid a little extra for my treatments becasue of the coverage and severity of my condition and I ahve veryu recently had my 4th treatment.
Oh my god does it hurt!!!!!

Obviously the light intensity has been increasing over the last 4 treatments and on the last two I ahve also had ALA treatment with it. So after this treatment on its strongest intensity yet, my face has swelled, looks redder than I thought possible and now the skin is cracking and peeling. (thankfully this has not happened on any of the other treatments - in fact not much has happened in the first three)
The swelling has gone down after 2 days but it is very uncomfortable with the cracking skin so these treatments are not for the fainthearted.
The doc is confident this will be the last treatment but for the next few days I am avoiding going out whill the skin repairs itself.
I'll let you all know in a couple of days how well it has healed.

Hopeful
:-(
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Aurelia
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ALA and skin splitting

Post by Aurelia »

Hi Hopeful,

Nice to hear from you again.

Sad to think that your skin is cracking and peeling, which is a recognised problem of ALA treatment, irrespective of the light source used. (As you say, it didn't happen with any of the plain IPL treatments.)

For other members not familiar with the abbreviation ALA, it stands for 5-amino-levulinic acid, which is painted on the skin before the patient is exposed to one of many possible forms of light source. The process is known as Photodynamic Therapy (PDT).

It is used to destroy things like actinic keratoses, but also to treat severe acne and sebaceous gland hyperplasia. Some doctors also feel that it is good against pustular rosacea, while others regard it as far too harsh, not wanting to subject delicate rosacea skin to anything that makes it crack, bleed, peel, etc.

You'll find a whole lot of messages about ALA and PDT at our email board, the Rosacea Support Group, mostly from people who were very unhappy with the results. Here's an article from our files:

http://rosacea-support.org/be-careful-w ... linic.html

At the foot of the page you'll find links to related articles.

However, there have definitely been satisfied users:

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/ro ... sage/95857
(please scroll down to read all the messages)

In case it helps, here's a comment from this RSG member, who generously shared her experience as well as her advice:

"... you can not go into outdoor light for the first 48 hours (can cause a severe burn) and your skin goes through many changes over about 3 weeks including redness, flaking, peeling, irritation, bumps and dryness. Vinegar soaks help tremendously!!"

I hope that will help, Hopeful. Please let us know how you get on!

Kind regards,

Aurelia


PS David P: I wonder if this reply, and Hopeful's post, might be better split off into a separate thread titled ALA & PDT? What do you think?
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Re: ALA and skin splitting

Post by ranger »

Hi Hopeful,
I was thinking about having PDT also,so i spoke to my Dr.He told me a lot of Dr's use the wrong light for PDT.He explained to me that there are 3 lights.The blue that is the strongest,the red which is mid strength ( sounds like a beer ) & a white light which is the least strongest.He believes that the white should only be used as the others are too damaging.I hope all turns out well for you.Take care.
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Re: ALA and skin splitting

Post by Aurelia »

Well, I never heard that before! Thanks so much, Ranger.

So, are you still "thinking about having PDT", or did your doctor discourage you? What is his opinion of PDT generally?

Kind regards,

Aurelia
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Re: ALA and skin splitting

Post by ranger »

Hi Aurelia,
No,i have made up my mind.Im having PDT this week.I have been going to this Dr for years & i trust his advice.He says,dont get too carried away as the redness will still be there but it wont be as bad but the PDT will help with other problems i have like oily skin & cystic acne.Still nothing comes with a 100% guarantee but he is very confident it will help my complexion.Like i say i trust him as he knows my skin very well as he treated me for skin cancer's etc.I have all the info on PDT & intend to take as much time off work as i need to make sure its a success.
I will let you all know how it goes.
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Re: ALA and skin splitting

Post by Aurelia »

Thanks, Ranger.

Sounds like you've got an excellent doctor: caring, grounded, giving realistic assessments.

We'll all be rooting for you and hoping to hear of good results.

Kind regards,

Aurelia
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Re: ALA and skin splitting

Post by ranger »

Hi Aurelia,
Thanks for your support.It has been 5 days since i had PDT & i must say i think it has made a slight difference in the redness around my nose but as i have been using lots of Vitamin E on the affected area i guess i will not have good gauge untill my routine is back to normal.The recovery time is supposed to be 7-10 days so i will let you know the full outcome then.
Must say though the laser itself was Ok to bear but i can understand if people find it a bit of a horror.Uncomfortable might be the word to use.I found the next day was the worst but after that it gets much better.So its just a time thing.You are really red for a few days & you feel the burning,like sunburn.But like i said,just keep the Vitamin E on the skin to keep it moist.But you will peel & i had heaps of little white head blisters but the Dr gave me a script for some cream that worked wonders for that.I will let you know in about a week what i think of the final outcome but the Dr did say i will need another treatment & im back to see him in 3 weeks for a checkup.Take care.
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Re: ALA and skin splitting

Post by ranger »

Hi,
Its been 2 weeks today since i had my PDT treatment & i must say im very happy.Still some redness but not as much & i do have to have another treatment so im really looking forward to seeing that result.I have to see the Dr next week & im sure he will be as happy as i am.
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Re: ALA and skin splitting

Post by Lisamouries »

Hi Ranger.
That's really good news. Let us know how your next treatment goes.
All the best.
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Re: ALA and skin splitting

Post by ranger »

Hi all,
Had my second treatment yesterday.Knew what i was in for this time.Its a time thing so still pretty red & stinging at the moment so will let you know later next week how it is when it settles down.
Hope everyone is well.
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