Three Years Later After a Deep Phenol Peel (65 at the Time) - Portland OR

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I had a rough time because I didn't expect to be...

I had a rough time because I didn't expect to be struggling with my face for so long. It took 4 months to look decent. I am just guessing at this, but I think I was one of his first patients at his new location.

At the time of the procedure they hadn't yet gotten their after-peel products, and I wish they would have suggested getting it beforehand. I was still a mess and outside running around trying to find the stuff, when I should have been out of the sun. He literally told me walking was OK and I believed him, until friends that had had certain procedures told me to definitely stop taking those walks. Maybe that's why it took so long to heal.

In retrospect, I felt like I was a "bad patient". Part of this was that I did not get along with his assistant. Also I was truly scared because I had been told it wouldn't take so long; I requested we talk one-on-one and he was quite supportive even though by then, I was expressing anger. Dr Bensimon seemed to care when he saw how disappointed I was about the whole thing.

After about 5 months I looked great. I never felt better in my life. Smooth, beautiful skin where wrinkles used to be.

Now, three years later, my skin is reacting to the sun. This is what happened this summer:

First of all I admit I was outside more than usual on sunny days, I was gardening. But I was always wearing a hat and using strong sunscreen. My face is starting to look spotty. There are two swaths of "frosting" - totally white areas - above my lip on either side. This is the area where I had the most wrinkles and the area where he went the deepest.

Along the side of my face is there is a patch of slightly darker skin which will be troublesome if it keeps developing. It is barely discernable but it's there. I can cover it with makeup.

On my cheeks, my skin is very red, I had blood vessels like varicose veins appearing everywhere on my cheeks, plus red bumps. I got that to tone down by staying indoors for several days and applying a lot of Cetaphil lotion, something my primary care physician suggested.

My physician also referred me to a dermatologist and I'm looking forward to the appointment but it's a few weeks out. Meanwhile, it's summer and unless it's really cloudy out, I'm inside.

So here's the question I'm asking myself in the wee hours: If I can't be outside in the sun in a hat with sunscreen on, was it worth it? Am I going to have to "miss" the summer for the rest of my life?

Maybe I was being idealistic thinking I could just get this done and then business as usual. No, it changes you. You have to deal with your skin much differently. You might miss the summers you used to have.

I'll provide an update after I see my dermatologist. Take care, People.

Update from "Lilly"

I finally went to Dr Bensimon to talk about the undesirable aspects of his peel.
Our first course of action was to use Bensimon's special facial cleanser, DHA lotion, Hydrate lotion and, in the evening, a cream that contains a combination of hydroquinone and Retin A, at a strength formulated specifically for me. In the morning I add a moisturizing sunscreen. I reapply the sunscreen during the day; every hour when I'm outside. If it feels dry I apply more Hydrate cream.

After two weeks of this, I could almost detect a change but today the redness is back! I know skin doesn't rejuvenate overnight so I am being patient.

I took the pictures today under stark light without makeup and did not image-edit them. You can see the demarcation line separating the philtrum (upper lip area) from the rest of my face. I have two distinct almost pure white areas on either side of the philtrum. Dr Bensimon told me that wasn't called "frosting", but those were the areas of my face that needed a deeper peel due to wrinkles.
Portland Plastic Surgeon

He is a very charismatic individual and highly passionate about his work.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
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