V Beam for Rosacea and Diffuse Redness - Ann Arbor, MI
I have had a total of five V-beam treatments over...
- 25 Feb 2012
I have had a total of five V-beam treatments over the past seven years for rosacea and diffuse redness. When I started the treatments in my early 30s, I was having acute, severe flushing that had resulted in persistent diffuse redness and permanently dilated capillaries. I looked at LEAST 10 years older than I was and I was so self-conscious! My first two treatments were at a lower setting and helped some. I had redness for a couple of days after,pretty severe swelling, and some small, minor purpura that faded within 4-5 days. The swelling lasted 3 or 4 days before I looked normal enough to go out in public. On the third try, we really overdid it. I wanted to have bigger improvements that would last for longer, so we went to a much higher setting. Mistake!! I had major purpura, severe swelling (eyes swelled shut) and looked like a total freak for two weeks. Afterwards, several of the darkest purpura turned into hyperpigmentation spots that had to be treated with hydroquinone for a while. It took about four months before those completely faded. My doctor and I have since figured out what works best for me, which seems to be one mid-range setting treatment every year or two. I aggressively ice afterward and sleep sitting up, so I'm usually good to go swelling-wise by day 3. It's a bit of a pain and I wish I didn't have that sort of down time, but my skin is much better off and my rosacea has stayed under control (along with the help of a low glycemic-index diet, avoiding spicy foods, certain kinds of alcohol, etc.). It's a good option and pretty cost-effective, but certainly no panacea. As with most treatments, the likelihood of distressing side effects like hyperpigmentation, swelling, etc. is, I think, often underplayed. I am very self-conscious about going out looking as though I have had "some thing done," so I've found I have to ask a lot of hard questions about side effects. Many doctors, it seems, will talk about "down time" in a much stricter sense - like physical restrictions resulting from procedures. But there's much more to it than that! I recommend V-beam, but ask a lot of questions! One bonus worth mentioning - my skin always feels softer, smoother and more evenly toned as well for a while afterwards! I have heard V beam has some minor collagen-generating properties, so that's a plus. I am now 40 and am frequently complimented on my youthful-looking skin!
Dr. Orringer is wonderful and very knowledgeable. Though I only see him every couple of years now, he has always remembers me and my sensitivity to bruising. He always talks to me about how much time I have to recover and what my goals are for the round, and ensures that we are on the same page. Dr. Orringer works in a teaching hospital, which I fully support, but it's a little embarrassing sometimes to have a student watching. Also his staff tends to want you to come in for an appointment to ask simple questions rather than having him respond via email or phone, which I feel is a lot to ask of busy patients.