38 Year Old Erbium Laser Aka Microlaser Peel -Irvine, CA
So I have been looking into laser resurfacing/...
So - I arrived at the office today and was applied numbing cream by one of the staff members. Dr. Jafari then came in and prepped the machine etc. In all it took about 15 minutes or less for the treatment itself- she asked if I wanted a deep treatment, I told her that I wanted enough but not too much as I need to return to work (I really had no idea as this was my very first laser treatment of any sort). She stated it would be moderate. I could hear the laser and on portions of my face could not feel any discomfort, and then on others, it was painful yet tolerable. I could tell the numbing cream was not consistently applied all over my face - but I guess good enough :) will make sure next time to tell the girls to really get my face good w/ the cream. So here is what the interesting part of the procedure was for me - I could smell something burning (obviously this was penetrating my skin, sounds crazy, but it did not bother me, it validated that the laser was working :).
So right after, I had a burning sensation - it was bearable, but don't let me sugar coat it - it hurt. Comes with the territory and just need to deal (fyi - 1.5 hours after procedure as I am writing this and the burning sensation is slowly getting better).
I could definitely tell where the Dr. had lasered my face as it was a pink color. I did not have a deep procedure and so it was not full blown red like other before after images I have found on the internet (I will post images soon).
What I did notice is that the Dr. definitely concentrated in specific areas more than others. In general, I had the entire face done but one of my main concerns was the areas right under my eye to the top portions of my cheekbones. For some reason she did not laser any of these areas and went around them (laser pattern around my eyes is as if I was wearing really large goggles. Considering that I did not mention prior, I guess I a little responsibility? In any case, I will for sure advise the Dr. when I get the second one done (I am planning to do this erbium 3 times - once every 4 weeks depending how my healing goes).
I am definitely not a Dr., but the only other issue (not really an issue as this is my first time doing this) is that I can tell the overall pink opacity of the laser application is a bit "patchy". My first inkling is to state that the laser pattern definitely was not overlapped and there are "whiter/ definitely non pink" spaces - but then again, maybe there is a possibility that it was "overlapped" and my skin in that area was not affected? Hmmm..... Who knows - will advise the Dr. next time and I am sure she will fix/handle/ explain all of my observations, questions, concerns (she is very kind :).
I of course will update you all with healing progress!
It is now Tuesday and it has been a little more than 3 full days since treatment,
So - here comes my overall opinion thus far and please keep in mind that these are solely based upon my feelings, thoughts and ultimately what my body is telling me and what I can see is happening :).
Let us begin.......My face has definitely changed color in terms that I look like I tanned my face in random patches. I say this because my nose is completely my natural skin color (I remember the Dr. stating that I was done, but quickly stated that she had forgotten my nose, she had then rapidly "lasered" my nose), my nose definitely did not receive enough laser that was deep enough to penetrate and treat the area in lightly. In fact, It is the only area that never changed color and is not at the beginning stages of peeling :(. I am a bit sad about this as I did pay for a full face treatment......in any case, I will definitely mention to the Dr. if I decide to get a second treatment.
In general, on the consistency of the "changing darker appearance" of my skin - it is becoming more clear that the right side of my face definitely got more attention than the left. In fact, there is a good "2 finger" patch/ area that looks as if it did not get treated (please keep in mind that there is a slight possibility that maybe in that area, my skin is responding different? Hmmmmm..... we'll see) and that kind of bummed me out as I wanted a consistent treatment all over my face. Patchiness where I can see "gaps" between the rectangular shaped laser marks are all over my forehead - this may confirm the fact that there was no "overlapping and/ or placement of laser to provide opaque coverage". Lastly and probably my biggest concern/ disappointment thus far is that I had mentioned that it had appeared that the Dr. did not apply the laser under my eyes (I have fine under eye lines and minor sun damage that was one of the main reasons in doing this), well, based upon the skin color changes and different texture that my skin is producing (characteristics of skin getting ready to or will be shedding) my under eye areas were not graced by the laser. The area is completely white and is of original texture and color of original skin.
In all, I would say that my full face (excluding eyelids) did not receive a laser treatment - it was more to the likes of 75% based upon all the areas missed or hit with such a light pass it did not provide any impact.
Now, to the positives ;). I can tell that I am peeling and shedding. Not only is my skin literally coming off in random areas - but the itching sensation is quite annoying but accepted:). I can tell that the skin is very pink and new - so I am keeping those areas heavily moisturized with the Petroleum. I had forgotten to mention that there are several areas, that are still quite red- I only state this because I thought the "red" would turn more brown before peeling. Not the case at all - the skin that was the brightest red, for some reason shed immediately on its own (I figure I have to allow my body to react how it wants to on this) and the skin is really reddish/ pink underneath. I am keeping in mind to really be careful of these areas as I do not want to create or get any type of "post-hyperpigmentation" issues. My forehead, which was one of my more "problem areas" has not shed yet - but just today started to get that "itchy feeling" - so I know that it will start to peel any day :).
In all - I am generally excited for the final outcome and I am glad that I did it- it's still pretty early, so my comments and feeling as my recovery continues can and probably will change. I will try to provide more consistent updates and convey my honest thoughts on this procedure! I will keep in touch :).
The girls in the office are really sweet, The Dr. as well. The office during the times I have personally been there is quite busy - the procedures that they offer apart from laser are really good prices and so it definitely makes sense that they do well. Dr. is kind and patient - but I can tell that she does have a very full schedule ( as most Drs. do) and hops from one room to another (she does ask if there are any more questions before she exits ;).