UNDERNEATH IT ALL
Appropriate for patients whose damage has already come out of hiding. Katz, however, was still passionately convinced that “even though you can’t see it yet’ ’ the PDT was working beautifully. I had no idea whom to believe.
As the treatment progressed. I noticed subtle signs of improvement. My enlarged pores seemed to be slowly shrinking; the thin red lines on my nose disappeared altogether.
Victory. I Think
After the fifth and final session came my showdown with the N-Scan. By measuring the changes that had occurred under the surface of my skin, Katz was confident he could prove that the PDT had been effective. When those brightly colored blips and blobs floated up the screen, the doubts I’d felt during the last several months became a distant memory. We were looking at a virtual carnival of fat, new, yellow collagen! With my bizarre-looking be-fore-and-after scans (my “old” cheek and my “new” cheek) side by side on the screen, there was no doubt about it: The “after” skin was dramatically thicker and plumper, with more than double the previous amount of collagen.
In the end, there’s no real, definitive way to prove that the skin I’ve burned, shed, and otherwise tortured in the last year will prevent future skin cancers, or cause me to age less dramatically. When I followed up with Goldman, he called my shrunken pores and increased elasticity “fantastic” but remained skeptical about PDT’s application as a skin-cancer prevention tool. “You can’t prove you’ve removed precancerous cells with anything less than a biopsy,” he told me. While the majority of my results, like the damage itself, are utterly invisible to the naked eye to anyone else, I look exactly the same as when I undertook this twisted project the real benefit lies in my restored piece of mind. I take comfort in knowing that I’ve used every tool at my disposal to fight what I know is there. In the meantime, I’m parking my inner beach bunny under an umbrella, with a broad-brimmed hat and Jackie
O shades. Pass me the sunscreen. I’m not taking any more chances. ?