I am 41 years old and underwent radiation to my...
25 Feb 2016
Day of treatment
I am 41 years old and underwent radiation to my right cheek/neck region for cancer 2 years ago which caused accelerated aging on the right side. I am high risk for complications from any procedure on my face as a result.
Dr. Cote and his team have expertly and cautiously been guiding me through treatments to help repair the damage (and address the usual aging issues a 41 year old woman has????). He felt Skin PRN with PRP would be gentle enough and low risk for complications.
I had Skin Pen with PRP done today. Dr. Cote also injected PRP under my eyes to address dark under eye circles and into a badly damaged area on my right jowl area.
The process was simple. EMLA (numbing cream) applied all over the face to numb for the procedures. Then one easy blood draw to obtain the PRP.
Next, PRP injections under the eyes and into my right cheek. I have to admit the under eye injections were painful (and I have a high pain tolerance). Then onto skin pen. The PRP is applied on your skin and the skin pen is run over the top of it. The Skin Pen was not painful.
I definitely have swelling under my eyes similar to the swelling I had when I had filler injected under my eyes. A bit of swelling in my right cheek as well. Mild stinging feeling On my face and tight as the PRP has dried on my skin. I left with the PRP drive on my face and instructed to sleep with it and not touch my face or apply anything until morning. Was given a hyaluronic gel to apply in the morning after cleansing.
So far no bruising but I did take Arnica tablets and bromelain tablets five days prior to my procedure.
Definitely glad I did not have to go back to work. If you washed the PRP off right after the procedure and did not have the under eye injections I think you would be fine to go right back to work ( but why would you want to wash off his liquid gold on your face).
18 hours post procedure
So significant swelling under both eyes and on my right check all from the PRP injections. This is typical for me as I have impaired lymphatic drainage from radiation.
My forehead is quite red as she treated it with 2 passes of the Skin Pen. I definitely would not go to work this way but I am an atypical case due to my radiation history.
So far I am relieved that my damaged skin has handled the procedure. Now I just need to ensure all the swelling resolves and I don't get a soft tissue infection (which I am at a much higher risk for because of my damaged lymphatics on the right side of my face).
I am hoping to serve as a "N of 1 study" to show that those of us who have survived cancer and the ravages of treatment can safely undergo these procedures to correct some of the damage.
BTW- I paid $1500 for 3 Skin Pen/PRP treatments.l including the injections.
So went back to work on post- procedure day 4. Only a tiny bit of bruising and swelling remain. Now need to wait 3 weeks to 3 months for final results.
Seeing some results
So today is 9 days post procedure. I definitely see some improvement in my forehead lines, under eye wrinkling and peri-oral wrinkles. Unfortunately, no change in the area of radiation damage yet.
I did some reading in the dermatology literature that recommends avoiding antiinflammatory medications for two weeks after collagen-induction therapy as it may reduce results as it is the inflammatory response that is spurring new collagen production. Dr. Cote didn't mention that to me so not sure how important it is but I did stop my daily curcumin and ginger suppleness as a result and won't take any ibuprofen.
One more thing
I was able to resume retin-A and vitamin C on day three. As long as I use a humidifier every night, my extremely dry skin has been able to handle almost daily application. My skin is also noticeably softer, smoother and my pore size has decreased.
Three week update
So three weeks out now- the earliest I should be seeing any results and I'm not seeing anything yet. The early improvements I appreciated on day 9 were likely related to swelling and have disappeared.
The PRP injected under my eyes was to help diminish dark circles and I'm not seeing results there yet either.
It's still very early in the process and I need 2 more treatment before I can make any final decisions. Scheduled for my second treatment in April.
Second Skin Pen with PRP/Vampire facial
28 Apr 2016
2 months post
Second round today went pretty well. I waited 8 weeks in between treatments. I have only noticed a subtle difference overall after one treatment. I don't notice any difference yet from the PRP injected under my eyes to conceal dark circles. Dr. Cote told me today it may take up to 8 weeks to see improvement in the undereye circles.
The MA had difficulty drawing my blood for the PRP but I am a hard stick.
I have to admit the price of PRP is maddening to me as it is your own serum they are simply drawing, spinning down and applying to your face. It should be cheap!
Regardless, as my radiated skin handled the last treatment so well my esthetician felt comfortable doing a more aggressive treatment. I believe she used 1.5-2mm needles depending on the region. I had less bleeding but still significant redness (like a severe sunburn). I also had mild swelling on the radiated side of my face.
It took about 7 days for the redness to completely fade after my last treatment. People commented that I looked like I had "gotten a little sun". As I did after the first treatment, I worked a half day on Thursday and took Friday off to heal.
I'm optimistic that I'll see more significant improvements after treatments 2 and 3!
Day After my second procedure
29 Apr 2016
2 months post
Still quite red with a bit of swelling (I didn't have the PRP injected this time so no bruising and much less swelling overall). VERY dry. Washed my face and put the hyauronic acid/peptide gel on that was provided followed by Skinmedica TNS moisturizer. Sitting next to my humidifier this morning.
12 weeks after starting skin pen--thrilled with results!!
29 May 2016
3 months post
So I'm now 3 months out from my first treatment and a month out from the second. I have to say I am THRILLED!
The area of wrinkling from radiation damage in my jowl area is about 80% improved. Please note- part of the improvement in this area is due to Restylane silk injections and 6 units of Botox too . (The Botox in the area made an HUGE difference BTW).
The improvement under and around my eyes is all skin pen though.
I am up for my last treatment in 3 weeks.
I am so thankful to Dr. Cote for being willing to experiment on my "risky skin". He's injected PRP, filler and Botox into the damaged area and it has worked!!!
Third skin pen with/PRP 6/9
11 Jun 2016
4 months post
Last treatment done on Thursday. My Aestetician Tina went ahead and did the deepest 2mm treatment on most of my face (except forehead).
She feels the skin on the radiated side of my face is nearly equal in appearance now! My skin tolerated the deepest treatment exceedingly well. I have some very dry/peeling patches in the damaged areas.
I had extra PRP left over this time so applied it every hour or so after the treatment until it was gone.
Will likely just do annual treatments now unless I decide to do some isolated treatments just to the jowel area I am so self-conscious about.
I have to say the Botox to the jowel area made a significant difference in the wrinkling when I pucker or talk. I will definitely be repeating it!
I'll post final pics of this experience in 6-12 weeks.
So far--- expensive process but WORTH IT!????