29 Yrs Old Moderate Acne Since Forever - Glendale, CA

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I've had bad skin since I was 13 years old. I've...

I've had bad skin since I was 13 years old. I've gone through all kinds of routes to address it- dietary changes, ProActiv regimens, oral antibiotics, photodynamic light therapy. The last gave me the best outcome by far, but it was way too expensive for me to keep up the treatments. Recently, I went on Lo Loestrin, hoping it would address the hormonal source of my acne. I take very good care of my skin, so the constant eruptions of blemishes are very clearly hormonally driven. I'm hoping that's true, but I'm also doubling up because I'm sick and tired of having new blemishes every day. Sometimes cystic, sometimes not; sometimes painful, sometimes not. I've never had very many blackheads, nothing more than the usual clogging of pores around my nose and chin, certainly nothing highly visible. But I have constantly appearing blemishes that are, or would become, if I let them get that far, whiteheads. As such, there's a long history of scarring and a perpetual smattering of red spots on my face. It's exhausting and makes me feel terrible about myself, all the time. A friend of mine recommended I go to New Look Skin Center in Glendale, CA. So I have. Today was my first treatment, and I couldn't take an additional hour off of work to get there early, buy numbing cream, and use it, so I went in with a fully sensate face. YIPES. My face has no soreness or noticeable redness now, but during the procedure... owie. It made my eyes sting, I'll say that. The individual pulses of the laser aren't that bad- but after the lower half of your face is done, when it's time to move up to the forehead, it can be a little much to bear. Still, overall, not that painful. I'm going to ask how much he numbing cream costs, and let that be the determining factor if I use it next time. The procedure took about seven minutes, and then I went into a little powder room to slather on the 50 SPF before leaving. Now, we wait and we see. My next appointment is 3 weeks away.

1 Week Out

For the first four days or so I noticed a definite reduction in inflammation if not actual blemishes. Now we're a week out and it may be hormone-cycle related more so than treatment related, but I've got some cystic acne around my chin (thankfully not visible, unfortunately painful), and the sort of usual cheek-acne that I get during my period.

My skin is noticeably drier, however. Not to the point of flaking or itching/discomfort, but I do think I'm noticing a reduction in oil production.

My next treatment is November 19th, so if my skin experiences any noticeable changes before then I'll post an additional update.

2nd Treatment

My skin has been pretty bad the last few days, some new blemishes showing up around my mouth that really hurt, so I was anticipating some sensitivity. Went in, again, no numbing cream- because of the time it takes for it to sink in, and the fact that the treatment is only available Mondays and Wednesdays until 2, so I have to leave work to have it done, I have so far been unable to get the numbing cream and apply it before a session.

That is going to change.

The power setting on the laser was increased for my second session. I could get through half of my lower face- the jaw, cheek, cheekbone, and chin of one side- before the pain became too much and I had to take a break. We still did two full passes, although I was so close to falling apart in tears toward the end of the second pass that, when she tried to do my nose and I did a really not-graceful full-body-flinch, she stopped. I hope she actually finished everything, as I still paid for the full treatment, and I think she did, but I was pretty much done.

If you are getting this treatment and your acne is moderate-severe, I cannot strongly enough emphasise that you need to use the numbing cream. I won't do this again without it.

Now we're moving into the phase where I really hope to see results. Clear, quantifiable results. I'll give it a few days, maybe in a week take some pics to compare. Fingers crossed harder than ever, because if I'm gonna cry at an esthetician's office, I better see some results!
Smoothbeam Specialist

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