Red As a Tomato - Phoenix, AZ

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I have had brown aging spots on my face for about...

I have had brown aging spots on my face for about 15 years. I'm 69. Over the past few years they are getting larger and there are more of them. Used lots of concealer under foundation but they still bled through. Most people I talked with about it said they didn't even notice, but it bothered me. I decided laser was the best solution thinking I could have my skin sort of evened out overall. The doctor I went to has done work for me before and he is excellent. He made it very clear before the procedure that the procedure would take only about 1/2 hr but the recovery was rugged. I have no complaints about him at all.

I am now within three days of going into my fifth week. My face is still red as a tomato. Even wearing good cover-up makeup (the Jane Iredale line) redness still shows through after 4 or 5 hours. I did tell the doctor that my face, while not sensitive, does get red quite easily. I don't blush and my skin tans easily although I stopped doing that 30 years ago.

I am writing to ask if anyone else has stayed red a long time. I know that term "long" is relative, but I was reading that people with my skin type can stay red up to a year. I'm signed up to go on a cruise with my husband and another couple in less than two weeks. I could cry when I think of trying to keep this mess of a face adequately covered for the 22 day cruise. I'm so very, very angry at myself for getting into this mess to begin with. The thought of dealing with it for a year almost makes me physically ill. I've noticed that the scales are going up, up, up, too. I worked really hard to lose 40 lbs but now I don't even care about that anymore.

I've tried various creams and lotions, Hydrocortisone 1%, argan oil, Bio-oil, pure aloe from plants in my yard, etc. Nothing seems to make much difference.

Has anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions?

Eight Months from Procedure Update

Just thought I would share my progress in this journey. It's now almost exactly 8 months from my full-face laser. The rash is all but gone. However (yes, there is a "however") I am now going through what I hope will be another phase on the road to the final healing. I had a short bout with acne (whiteheads only) which was getting pretty bad. Treated it with short term use of tetracycline and it took only 5 days for that to go away. Then it was replaced by what I believe to be Keratosis Pilaris. . . . . .at least from everything I have read online it is. Truthfully, whether I wear or don't wear makeup it cannot be seen. It's when I wash my face that it feels like I'm washing a medium grade of sandpaper. Since it's a really pretty minor thing (in my book) I have just read and read about it online. Decided to try coconut oil (all the latest rage apparently). I use a very, very mild exfollant on my face once (sometimes twice) a week. Then each night I put a thin layer of coconut oil on my face. It's only been a week now, but there is a marked reduction in the bumpiness.
All in all, I will say the result so far is closer to a facelift than a resurfacing of the facial skin. I turned 70 last month and I'm finding myself reluctant to tell my age because the face just doesn't match the number. My initial intent with laser was to get rid of dark spots and even out the skin tone. I will get busy and try to get a photo to post here that is realistic. (I'm not at all photogenic and can usually be found taking photos not in them! )

10 Months Since My Last Post

I thought it might be helpful to others to take time and post an update. It has been a long Journey with a capital J. The acne I wrote about in my last post became a full-blown case of acne with red "angry" eruptions on a regular basis. In late November I called a cosmetic dermatologist who is very good with this sort of thing, I was told. She put me on an antibiotic for 8 weeks. My primary care physician came unglued at such long term use of that, but by then I was at the end of the use of it and it definitely cleared up the acne. I also used a cream, Aczone (dapsone) gel, 5%. I believe I am finally where I will be as a result of the laser procedure. My skin is clear, all the swelling is totally gone, the dark spots are also gone and I feel that I look more appropriate for my age. Overall I am better than I would have been without the laser but it was a long time coming.
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