62 Years Old Sun Damage and Wrinkles - Exeter, UK

My lines and wrinkles are making me look older...

My lines and wrinkles are making me look older than I feel. I am considering a facelift but don't have enough down time to do that till the end of the year. So I am going for the fractional laser resurfacing tomorrow. I may have another session after the facelift (if I go ahead with that.)

I am having a full face resurfacing, and now it is imminent I am feeling scared!!

As the lines around my eyes are the deepest ones, my surgeon wants to go deep with the laser here. This involves anaesthetic drops in the eyes and shields put into the eyes (like contact lenses)

I am worried about this, but I have confidence in my surgeon, and have to trust his experience and judgement.

Things worrying me are the pain during treatment, as patient's experiences seem to range from mild discomfort to severe pain! So I am prepared for the worst!!

The procedure is scheduled to take about an hour.

Another worry is how long it will be before I look normal enough to go out, and also gridding lines and spots etc.

I will post daily, good or bad, so hopefully this will inform others considering this treatment.

I think Real Self is a great idea and has helped me to get informed about the risks and benefits. Like everybody contemplating a procedure, I am hoping for a good result....but who knows?


The procedure

I had the laser treatment this morning. It took one hour. The eye shields in the eye were not a problem. As I was dreading this bit, that was a relief. I found the experience more painful than expected, and the hour went VERY slowly. The burning smell was disconcerting, but the nurse assured me this was just little hairs burning off, but it smelt like burning skin to me! Cool air was blown over my face to cool it. This was very soothing, but when blown around the eyes and nose I found it hard not to flinch. Especially as I was blind, due to the eye shields, and didn't know when the puffs of air were coming.

Dr Downs began on the forehead which wasn't too bad, so I was lured into a false sense of security.

The upper eyelid and area around the nostril and lip were the most painful bits. Pain felt like being pressed into with a sharp needle and I felt a sort of pressure/pulling sensation.

Dr Downs moved down the left side of my face, across the lip area (but not on the lips) and then up the right side, leaving my right eye area till last. So I was dreading that. Just tried to concentrate on the thought my wrinkles are (hopefully) going away.

I didn't want to look in the mirror, so I asked my husband what I looked like. He said pretty much the same as before, but my wrinkles were worse!!! He is very honest!!

After 15 mins recovery I was ready to go home. I was quite shaky and cold and surprisingly hungry and thirsty, so accepted the offer of tea and biscuits before I left.

So glad of my husband's support. He not only paid for the procedure, but is sweetly looking after me right now.

I feel like I have a bad case of sunburn, but have taken 400mg of Ibuprofen and 500mg of Paracetamol simultaneously, plus Arnica tablets. I have chilled the Aloe Vera gel given to me by the clinic, and applied this. Also used an ice pack (a bag of frozen peas in a clean pillow case seems to mould itself better than the gel ice pack I tried)

It is now 4 hours on and the pain is manageable. My skin has dark mottled patches all over.

Hope I can get some sleep tonight.

Will post again tomorrow


24 hours after procedure

I am feeling very despondent today. My wrinkles look worse! No sunburn feeling though, just tight, uncomfortable and feeling and a bit sore.

Just using Vaseline to keep the skin hydrated. Slept ok, propped up on 3 pillows.

I am hoping this isn't all a waste of money! Still, the Dr assured me I would look worse today, so I am not stressing too much about it yet.


48 hours

Still very swollen and face feeling tight, esp round the mouth and eyes, but I was told to expect this. Not really sore any more, just a bit tender, and itching under my chin.

Still look monstrous and my wrinkles are visible, so I wonder if this will work or not? Only time will tell now. Dr Downs did say I might need further treatments for the deeper lines.

I was told swelling might take up to 14 days to fully subside with the deeper laser treatment I have had so only then will I be able to get an idea of the results


72 hrs

Still worrying how long it will take to get somewhere back to normal. Still very swollen and grid lines showing where the laser went. Guess I will be in hiding quite a bit longer.
Not too itchy or painful though so that's an improvement.


Day 4

Swelling still causing quite a lot of discomfort. I definitely can't go out yet. 2x500g bags of petits pois in a pair of clean tights (panty hose) work well as an ice pack. I am using aqueous cream gently applied to the skin 4 times a day and rinsed off with cool water using make-up remover type cotton wool pads. This was suggested by the nurse at the clinic. It is very soothing, and helps to gently remove the dead skin, which is like fine granules. I then reapply the Vaseline when the skin is dry.

I will post again in a weeks time


I don't think this treatment will make much difference to my crows feet (laughter lines as I prefer to say) as they are still very visible. At this point there is a big improvement in vertical frown lines mid forehead, between my eyebrows (lines of compassion someone told me once..I prefer that!!) Also my upper lip lines are hardly visible now. This may change when the swelling goes down of course.

2 weeks post treatment

Well, a bit disappointed with the results at present. My crows feet look pretty much as they did before even though I had quite a deep treatment, and the vertical lines mid forehead have re appeared, though not as deep as before.

Areas which do look better though, are vertical lines I had above my top lip, which have almost vanished, my upper eyelids are much smoother, and with make -up applied, look much better.. Also, my age spots are much less visible, as are the lines I had between my inner eye to nose, and the naso labial lines.

My skin feels smoother and softer overall, but maybe that is due to copious amounts of moisturiser I have been applying, as without it my skin is itchy and dry.

What has really annoyed me, is that the Dr went so deep with the laser on the left corner of my lip, it caused what felt like a paper cut. It wasn't healing well, and a big pus filled scab formed a few days post treatment. The scab started to spread, so I went back to the clinic. On the first occasion I saw a nurse, who cleaned it and took a swab for analysis, in case I needed antibiotics, but she said it didn't look infected, and was healing normally.

I went back the following day to see Dr Downs. He also said it looked ok, and just told me to keep putting Vaseline on it. I was told the test would be back in 2 or 3 days, and if it showed anything which needed treatment, the clinic would contact me. I heard nothing, so assumed all was ok. Today, 11 days later!!! The clinic called to say the results were back, and I had a skin bug, which needed antibiotics!!

They blamed the lab for the delay, but I think they should have chased them up when the results hadn't come back. I was left to believe everything was normal.

Now I have been told Dr Downs is away next week, but the clinic will send the results of the swab to my GP, and he can prescribe antibiotics if he feels it necessary. I feel I have been fobbed off by the clinic.

The scab does finally seem to be healing without antibiotics, but I am worried I will be left with a scar. Also, because of the swelling around the scab, I now have some lines on my left cheek, above the scab area. I didn't have lines there before, so it seems I have actually gained some new lines, post treatment!!

After a week of Vaseline treatment, I tried my own treatment, and applied some tea tree oil, and I think this is what has helped to start things clearing up.

I will be patient before passing judgement on this treatment. Some areas are better, and it's only been two weeks.

I will post again next week


One month post procedure

One month in now. Can't say I am happy with the results. I still have noticeable grid lines on my chin. Also grey patches on my left cheek which seem to be getting bigger. Now the swelling has gone down, most of my lines have reappeared which is very disappointing. My upper lip and eyelids are better, and my right cheek, but my left cheek has the grey marks on it, and looks flatter too. I have read from another post, that this procedure can damage the fatty tissue if it goes too deep, so I am hoping this hasn't happened to me, and I have actually lost volume in my left cheek.

I am in contact with the clinic, and have sent them these photos for comment. I will let you know what happens....

5 weeks post procedure

Feeling a bit happier now the marks on my face are fading. Some areas of my skin are definitely better than before the treatment. I had a few brown age spots from sun damage, and these have gone. My upper lip lines, upper eyelid crinkles, and the lines I had from my inner eye to nose have all gone. My skin feels plumper and looks finer. My scar by my lip has faded a lot, and I can now easily cover it with make up. Will keep posting weekly, as it can take 3 months to get the final result of the new collagen. Susie

Valentines Day

Managed to look ok for Valentines Day....with make-up. Wouldn't do this again. It takes too long to get over it, it's painful, and not a massive difference after. I'll give it one month before my final opinion, as it takes 3 months for full collagen to develop. Susie

10 weeks post procedure

I still have marks on my face, some like bruises and some red grid lines. They just don't seem to be fading so I am going back for a consult on 26th March. I am very self conscious, as it looks like someone has been knocking me around...not good for my husband either!! I have to weat make up when I go out, and even then , the marks are difficult to cover and start showing through after a while.

My skin is a nicer texture though, and if I didn't have these marks I would be fairly happy, but don't think the results are really worth the pain, time out, worry, or the money at this point.
Dr Downs

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