So I love RealSelf so much, I decided to document...
Some info about me: I'm 37 years old, divorced, 2 beautiful children, and a full time student. I also have a birthmark which I absolutely hate!! I was born with a port wine stain on my face. The red birthmark covers my right eyelid and extends about an inch over my right eyebrow.
It was 6th grade middle school when someone openly said something mean to me about my birthmark. I've been wearing makeup every single day since then to hide it. I wore bangs from then on also to disguise the fact that I wore gobs of makeup on my forehead. I only stopped wearing bangs a few years ago because after 20 years of putting on makeup, I've learned to art of blending and making it look natural (well at the very least a natural amount if makeup coverage).
I remember when I was about 16, I told my mom that I wanted it removed. She took me to our family doctor. I asked him if there was anything we can do to have it removed. At that time he said there wasn't. I was crushed but what could I do.
It wasn't until I was about 27 that I decided to see if there had been any advancements in the removal of port wine stain birthmarks. I found a plastic surgeon in my area who performed laser treatments to remove port wine stain birthmarks. He also did laser treatments to remove tattoos and I had one I wanted gone. Both procedures combined totaled $150 per session. After 3 sessions, my tattoo was pretty much gone but my birthmark was not. I decided not to go back because the recovery for me was not worth it. The laser used then was the Pulse Dye Laser and it left my forehead all scabby for several weeks. The scabbiness made it difficult to camouflage with makeup. So I went back to just hiding it with make up.
Fast forward 10 years.....
I explained to the young lady on the phone what I was looking to get done and she advised me that they only use the V-Beam at their main location. I asked to schedule a consult. Luckily they had one that day so I drove the hour (yes one full hour!!) to the other office.
I was seen by two aides (one was in training and shadowing the other) who asked me a few questions about what I wanted done and they gave me some information about the procedure to read while I waited for the PA (physician's assistant who performs the laser treatments). The aides returned and asked me to remove my makeup. Thankfully I came prepared with makeup remover wipes and makeup to reapply after. (Remember, I don't leave my house without makeup on my face-EVER!!)
So makeup is off and the PA comes in. We discuss what I want and she tells me due to my skin pigmentation (I'm tan/light brown colored) the laser may leave dark impressions on my skin that may take several weeks or moths to fade. I was surprised. She compared the dark impressions to how a pimple or cut might heal on my skin. I told her that I have none of those issues.
Regardless, she said she would do a test area to see how my skin reacts. I was like great. She came back with my quote ($75 for forehead and $75 for eyelid). I wasn't sure if I wanted to do my eyelids because she said I would need to wear a metal eye shield. (Omg!!! Can you imagine how that would feel?) numbing eye drops would be used to numb the eye so I wouldn't feel any pain. Once the consult was over I thought I was only going to get a test area done.
The two aides returned and said the PA can do the procedure right then. I jumped on it!! I'm so ready to get this thing off of my face!! Can you imagine going to the beach or pool with makeup on and never putting your head in the water?? Yeah.... That's what I've been doing for the last 20 years. I would love to be able to just wake up, wash my face, and be ready.
Anywho, I'm already in the procedure room so the aides recline my chair into the horizontal position and raise it to about chest height (I know this because I jumped down after they left to get my phone and it took at least 5 tries for me to get back on there, I was cracking up). So I'm laying back and 2 drops of numbing stuff are placed in my right eye. When the PA came in she lubricates the metal eye shield before inserting into my eye. It was not painful at all, nor uncomfortable. The other eye was covered with gauze and plastic eye covers (like the kind you wear in a tanning salon).
Then the laser treatment began. The documentation stated it would feel like a rubber and pop and from my recollection, my previous laser treatment was Very painful. So I braced for the pain. She started and it barely hurt. I don't know who was popping rubber bands on whoever wrote the procedure document, but I know what a rubber band pop feels like and it usually hurts. The laser was very mild, no pain at all until she got to the crease in my eyelid and even that pain was slight.
The entire procedure took less than 15 minutes (literally - I checked the click when she came in and was done). I asked again if it would scab and she told me no. She said it would turn dark purple immediately and that would last about two weeks. Before the procedure she said that my eyelid may swell, but immediately after it hadn't, however I did notice the birthmark was darker.
I asked if I can put makeup on and she said yes, I can put it on immediately if I wanted. (Of course I did!) I put my make up on, paid, made a follow up appointment for 8 weeks out (ideally I would've been seen 6 weeks after but I'm going to be unavailable because I'm getting a Brazilian Butt Lift (Double yay!!).
I'm home now and can barely tell that I've had the procedure done. I feel a tinge of something (I wouldn't describe it as pain but that's the only thing I can think of) but that's it. My makeup camouflage covered it when I left the office. I haven't looked to see if the birthmark has gotten darker and can be seen through my makeup but I'll check it later.
I'm hopeful for fabulous results... I'm also hopeful I won't need more laser treatments.... But we'll see. I'll keep you guys updated with my progress :)
Until my next update...
Actual Day After Treatment Update...
I haven't noticed any change at all in the color of my birthmark. The Physician's Assistant said it would turn a deep purple color. It looks exactly the same as yesterday. Hmmmmm......
Did she penetrate my skin deep enough for the laser to cause the blood vessels beneath my skin to explode? It doesn't seem so thus far. I know it's only been a day but the deep purple color indicates bruising which means the blood vessels were destroyed and then be absorbed by my body (which means no more red birthmark). -Phew I had to take a breath from just typing that. Lol
Day 2 update.... Still no deep purple color
Anywho. Enjoy your day peeps :)
Still no change, thus no real update...
For any of you that are interested, I use Revlon products. The 24-hour coverage foundation to cover the birthmark. I apply it over my entire face so the color and coverage are uniform throughout. I wait a few minutes for the foundation to dry (this is when I apply eyeshadow then brush my teeth). Then I apply powder to set the foundation. I brush my eyebrows clean and fill the with a brow pencil to darken them back up.
That's pretty much it. I've been doing this for years so I know to keep several shades of foundation and powder on hand (lighter for winter and darker for summer).
I hope I will be able to see some actual results soon.
Until next time. Take care.
Update ... but still no change (IMO)
Another progress pic....
Anyway here's a pic from dec 5.
Kristine was kind and informative. The Lutz facility was beautiful in design and decor. I'm not certain if I will need another treatment as yet.