As of today, 8 days since my first treatment, the verdict is still out on how happy I am with the experience, or if it achieved any if at all results I was looking for.
I purchased a package of four 1540's, five micro peels and 5 photo facials. I received first the mircro peel and it was wonderful. My skin felt great, and I had no adverse reactions to the treatment. Two weeks after the peel, I went in for the 1540 laser treatment. I had been advised that the fine lines I had in my cheeks and around eye area could be smoothed out, and of course looking for anything that lessened the pains of growing older, I was eager to have it done.
I am 55 years old and caucasian. Lighter skinned but tanned easily and never had severe acne nor large pores, but do have sun damage from years of tanning bed abuse.
The process was very painful. I've had CoolTouch and laser hair removal in the past, but this process was very much more painful than either of those treatments. During the process, once, around my lower jaw area, I even exclaimed that "this really hurts". But of course, hung in through the entire treatment of my face, to hopefully achieve the desired results.
I had tried to do homework before, and probably not searching correctly on the internet about maybe horror stories that could happen undergoing a laser, I found that this treatment should only leave me red and maybe swollen for a couple - three days. I also read that most people who have this done return to work right afterwards, and so I did.
When I got back to work, my face already had 4 water blisters on my cheeks. My face was becoming red and splotchy and swelling. I immediately put on cool compresses which I did for the remainder of the evening.
The next day when I woke up, my eyes had huge bags under them and I looked like I had a bad case of either measles or a severe case of poison oak. I didn't recognize myself. This lasted for 4 days. It looked hideous. I had the treatment on Wednesday, and on Friday my Doctor wanted me to come in to evaluate it, but after discussing what others have gone through with this treatment, and lasers in general, I decided that time would tell, and maybe I was just being a baby, so I made an appointment the following Monday to come in and let him evaluate me.
Meanwhile, I constantly used cold compresses, as my face felt sunburned. Every morning during the weekend, I woke up with a swollen head but it would calm down during the afternoon. By Sunday I was beginning to recognize me through the swelling and red blotches.
After the weekend, I looked more like I had a waffle print stamped all over my face. The swelling in most of my face was gone.
My Doctor put me on antibiotic cream for the blisters which had ruptured, scabbed, but were not infected. He also gave me a five day supply of Desonide Cream to put on twice a day.
It is now Thursday, a week and a day past my treatment. I still look waffled. The blotches are lighter, but still there and noticible. The scabs from the blisters are coming along, but they could leave scars, but not big ones. I will finish the Desonide treatment on Friday and I have another appointment on Monday of next week to see how I'm doing.
So until I know if I'm stuck with this new waffle print look all over my face, I'm not sure if I'd recommend this to anyone, nor feel that it is worth it.
I do realize though, that we are all different. Each of us react in different ways to the same treatments, and there is no "rule of thumb" on what the outcome is going to be. When going in for laser surgery, I know that I'm taking a gamble. And when something like this happens, it's the would of, could of, should of's, but all in all, it is a gamble.
I would just advise if your planning laser treatments, which do in the most part obtain wonderful results, that you have sufficent time for recovery if something goes haywire, or not exactly as you'd hoped.
I was foolish in this case, as in 5 days I am leaving on a Transatlantic Cruise for 3 weeks. I will hopefully recover on the ship, and be able to come out of my suite sometime to enjoy my vacation.