54 Yo Female, Starlux 1540 Experience, Will Update Regularly - Tucson, AZ

My skin tone is uneven with much sun damage, brown...

My skin tone is uneven with much sun damage, brown spots, red spots, little capillaries, wrinkles, esp. crowsfeet, liplines from smoking; I have thin skin on my bony nose, and the start of jowls on each side of my cheeks at the jawline. I may post photos in the future; right now, I simply wanted to let others know what they may expect after their first experience with this laser. I did a full face, with 2 passes, that is, they went over each area twice. Everyone has a unique level of discomfort or pain toleration, in my case, I had 45 minutes of a "numbing agent" spread over my face prior to the experience. After the first 4 pulses or " snaps" (the sound of the application of the laser) on my lower left near the jaw I stopped the operator. There was absolutely no way I was going to be able to tolerate 500+ pulses if this was the amount of pain; which is like a pulsing, searingly hot needle inserted into your facial skin in a pattern over an area, then they do the area again (this would be 2 passes, some people can take 6 passes, I can assure you I am not one of them). I have always considered my pain-tolerance level rather high. I can now assure you, on my face, it is absolutely NOT high-tolerance. The operator is kind and helpful, after icing down each area for just a few seconds, the laser was totally tolerable. Uncomfortable, yup, the fact is, they must wound the skin in order to get collagen to get activated to repair the skin...hence your nice, new and fresh look! So, my advice so far...you want that fresh new skin, you gotta pay the painful price...put on the big girl panties, use the numbing agent and ice each area to create more numbness, it takes just a few seconds to numb it effectively, then they laser the small area and you move to the next area. In this way, it went pretty quickly; I could hardly believe we did almost 500 pulses, once we found our groove! Operator took off the eyecoverings, put on some moisturizer, and I sat up. Looking in the mirror, I felt MUCH worse than I looked; it felt as though I had two heavy, swollen slabs of cooked meat hanging from my undereye, and it was HOT. But, it mostly looked like I had a serious sunburn, supposedly this was the worst the swelling would get. I had thot I would stop at the store...no downtime, non-invasive, all those minimizing comments had me fooled into thinking "business as usual"...uh, NO. At least, not in my case. I took some icepacks with me, and went on my way, I was not so horribly uncomfortable, I could drive; the sun made it feel hotter, so dont expose your face to hot air and obviously, the sun, I put on sunglasses and my hat, cranked the AC, kept applying the little icepacks, and picked up hubby, who drove me the 1hour+ drive home. I had taken Benedryl to help with swelling, didnt need any pain meds, kept applying icepacks until bed, the heat dissipated out of my face quickly. The redness did not, but that was expected. Went to sleep with head on extra pillow...woke up to a giant head, huge jowls, a tiny little pouty mouth squished by the fat chipmunk cheeks...honey, maybe some people do not swell, but there is no way I could leave the house. I am not a vain person, but it truly looked as tho I weighed 400 lbs, if all you could see was my face. More Benedryl, iced my face all day; there is no way I could have appeared in public, gone to work, and this is just MY experience, and perhaps not usual, and perhaps not what will happen to you, BUT...my cautionary tale is to not expect to leave the house; if you can good for you! But just to be safe, plan NOT TO. It has now been 48 hours since the procedure. I still would NOT be comfortable in public, the swelling has receded to some degree: I look as tho I have a quasimodo forehead, or perhaps a giant spiderbite between my brows. the undereye slabs of cooked meat have turned into gravity-stricken watery jowl-pouches, they actually "swing" if i shake my head back and forth. Pretty I am not. I still look hugely overweight in my face. The skin is bright red. I am not really complaining here, think of it more as reporting the situation, so that you can arrange the downtime and know what to POSSIBLY expect and make arrangements for it! Now, I have a nice and understanding husband, but if it was my choice, I would NEVER have let ANYONE see me, even now, at 48 hours out. I would suggest you do this procedure on a Thursday, take Friday off work to hide and ice your face, dont leave the house over the weekend, more icing, sleeping upright, take antihistamines, and hope to return to work Monday...you arent going to be able to wear foundation until then anyway, probably. I have developed a few "whitehead" bumps on my chin (which can happen, I was warned) which come and go, and my skin now has the texture of a fine grit sandpaper (this is normal, too). In terms of what happened to me, my friends who have gorgeous skin after multiple laser treatments with the 1540 have occasionally had similar swelling reactions at times; other times they have hardly any reactions at all. THEY ALL REPORT IT IS WORTH IT. Their skin is gorgeous. I am using the same laser, office, operator and procedure as they are, and am hoping all this hooplah will be worth it too! My point is that while my experience may not be typical, I am hoping that my report to you will help you to be best prepared. I am planning on returning for 3 more of these full facial laserings, because I have seen the results of people I know well, trust, and I trust the operator to do her best, she is very qualified and attentive, thorough, explains things well, is professional, takes her time, etc. Everyone is different, what works for one person may not be successful for another, but I am hoping to have good results, having done all my homework, research and followup from post-treatment orders. I would not suggest this is a decision to be made on a whim, or done in a spa setting; this is a medical procedure, requiring, in my case, days to recover with ice, medication and not being able to be in public comfortably. It is a choice I made, and I own the responsibility for making it. I am not unhappy with the results, you dont get a free lunch when it comes to medical procedures, and I understood the warnings...you may have an unhappy couple of days, like I have...but now you are truly warned, can take steps, and decide on your own the best time to do it! If I end up with freshened skin, and similar results of the ladies I know, itll be happy days, cos I did my homework, knew what to expect and followed directions. If not, due to my skin being older or more damaged, etc., well, that is nobodys fault but mine for smoking, drinking and laying in the sun for years. I will keep you updated!

forgot to mention the waffle pattern! 54 hours after laser.

so, my face is covered with a very fine mesh screen waffling pattern...this has been reported elsewhere by everyone who has this done, supposedly it will fade in a few days. i am now at 54 hours out and in just the last few hours, the redness has really dissipated. i still have the fat and swollen gravity-stricken jowls which make my lil mouth look like a fish mouth, very small in my fat lower face, lol. and the "spider-bite" swollen area between my brows. i dont have any weekend plans, so im easily able to continue to ice and take antihistamines (which make me sleepy, nice to nap, but have to sit in recliner to do it!) its all good. honestly, i hope people understand that i do not have one complaint about this, you gotta pay the piper if ya wanna dance! i must have put clinique moisturizer on my face 20 times today. reminder: no exercise, no sweating, and in my humble opinion, there isnt much point in doing this if you smoke and drink, either. thatll make you look 10 years older all on its own!

okay, its been 4 days, and here is what is new!

well, the swelling has almost resolved. i can sleep in my usual way, without extra elevation. my face is dry and itchy and no wonder! if i look closely and my husband verified this, i have nearly 500 holes in my face, each with its very own teeny scab! so this is what makes the rough, sandpaper, grit feeling. it is also dry, itchy, etc., but honestly nothing so terrible that i cant deal with it. put on moisturizer probably every few hours, have to remind myself not to scratch my face. my skin color is now more uneven than it has ever been. i seem to have developed a freckling, with more brown spots (which is part of why i was getting lasered, to lessen the appearance of the brown spots from overdoing the sun, etc.), but im pretty sure they are not permanent; im not freaking out yet! all the "acne" or whitehead things around my mouth are gone, there was a pretty big red spot on my right cheek which is gone...all in all, id have to say that things are going according to the way my friends have described. i did not need any ice today, or have any "heat" flushes or feelings, my skin doesnt feel hot to the touch anymore. the most striking thing today is the micro-scabbing in a very regular screening pattern, all over my face, the itchy feeling, the sandpapery feeling...i just put on moisturizer and move right along. now, tomorrow is monday, and i am going to see if my usual foundation will work over the microscabs for covering this up, and not making me more itchy. i get to stay home tomorrow, so it will just be an experiment, and ill be back to report. so far, id say plan on at least 4 days after the full-face starlux to go out in public, just to be safe. and be patient waiting for results...dont freak out over each little change...and stay moist!

Today is day 8 post-laser!

Day 5 - 8 has been rather unremarkable, but I wanted to check in. Certainly it is no problem to be in public, with or without foundation makeup. There is two items of note: the waffle patter remains obvious if you look closely, but fades a bit more everyday, and certainly, my face is ITCHY! the sandpaper feeling is nearly gone. i have notice no change whatsoever of my brown pigmented spots and large freckle-looking sunspots, but didnt expect a dramatic change from only one lasering. there was temporary hyperpigmentation which has totally resolved, that is, a few places on my forehead had a darkened area of skin, about 1/4" in diamaeter; those are gone. one change that is quite incredible is the fine wrinkle improvements near my lips and crowfoot area. i have a nice "pink" look too, over my cheekapples, and havent felt the need for blush or the foundation, although i do wear mascara regularly. at any rate...back to the usual skin regimen at night with retin a, etc, and of course, sunscreen anytime i even walk out the door. ill be going back for another lasering in mid-may and will check in again!

Getting ready for round 2 with starlux 1540!

In spite of any reservations I have expressed, and the pain-in-the-a** reactions, I have such incredible results from last time that I am doing it again. I have a very faint waffle pattern on one brown spot on my cheek, but outside of this, the only other thing worth mentioning is that I have much reduction of wrinkles, fine lines and my skin tone is more even. I will be having another session in two days...more info then!

Had my third Starlux 1540

Continuing to enjoy the benefits. I am careful to take arnica for a few days before the procedure. I hold ice packs on my face as each area is prepped for the laser, and then immediately after the laser application, as she works on a different section. I am only able to tolerate three passes. I really do have to breathe and relax, it is easy to get cranked up with the feeling of hot needles poking and burning your flesh! But, ya just grit your teeth and get over it. The numbing agent helps HUGELY, i wouldnt do the treatment without it, it takes about 45 minutes for that to be applied, and become effective, then the TX itself is about 1/2 hour, maybe a little more. I had a large amount of swelling again this time, like I did the first time, but amazing NOT the second time. I think I should have been more diligent about keeping the ice on, all evening. But since the heat was out of the skin, I quit using the ice, and that wasnt smart. I blew up overnight with watery jowls again. Now you will think from reading this that I wouldnt do it again, nothing is further from the truth. I will show you a totally unretouched straight-out-of-the-camera selfie i took. You tell me if i look 54. I dont do anything but the laser (three times) and basic skin care with professional products.

Oh, another fun model photo for an art project.

I took some photos of me and my husband. Here is a few of them; nothing has been edited, not even cropped.
Dermatology Clinic

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