The Enemy of Good is Better. Virginia, VA

I am a 41 year old woman--I was a late bloomer and...

I am a 41 year old woman--I was a late bloomer and never really caught up--I've always looked young for my age and have really tried to take care of my skin. I was extremely happy with my lack of wrinkles and youthful glow. All of the wrinkles I had were the dynamic kind and were always treatable with botox. I am thin, however, so most of my face issues had to do with sagging. My experience with thermismooth came about because I had one upper eyelid that would occasionally sag leaving a light fold. I visited my regular dermatologist to ask for the very small amount of botox that can lift the eyebrow and eliminate it for a couple of months. I usually always had to talk him into it though because he tended to think it gave an unnatural look. (He's a very conservative doctor, which I like.) But on this occasion he told me about thermismooth and how it would tighten that area. I didn't need to be talked into it--it sounded perfect. When I came for the appointment, I had hesitation since I hadn't even looked into what radio frequency was. I started asking questions at the point I had to sign the release and looked at all the possible side effects. I just felt ill at ease which was probably my intuition telling me that I needed to slow down. I had been so happy with my skin and my lack of wrinkles but on that particular day, I had just had my first microdermabrasion a few days before. I don't think I even needed it but vanity is a strong thing in an aging woman. Since the microdermabrasion I had had excessive peeling everywhere, including under my eyes, even though I hadn't been exfoliated there. I've always used obscene amounts of moisturizer but even so, on the day I went in for thermismooth, my skin was looking worse than usual and was very dry from the microdermabrasion. I brought this up when they asked if I had changed from my normal skin routine lately as a precaution to avoid any side effects of the thermismooth. I told about the microdermabrasion and how it had made all of my skin so dry and I felt it had made the skin under my eyes worse than before I had had it done--like more fine lines were visible when I smiled. That was when we decided to do the thermismooth on the upper AND lower lids since supposedly the treatment would tighten that area and make the fine lines better. The important thing was that they assured me that the microdermabrasion would not cause any conflict with the thermismooth.
During the procedure, the upper lids felt warm but not horribly so. It was when the technician did the lower area that the wand that they use felt extremely hot, like it was burning my skin. I should have said something because I just felt like it was more than what I was told it would be. It definitely didn't feel like a warm massage--I could feel it burning me. Sadly, I have a strong pain threshold and I didn't want to act like I was being high-maintenance. I just kept trying to tell myself in my head, that this must be what it's supposed to be like.
Well, in the days afterward, the skin around my eyes got very pink and swollen. The thing that alarmed me though was how bad the condition of my skin looked. There were SO many more lines and cross-hatched looking sections. On one side of the lower orbit of my eye there was a raised section of dead skin that looked like a burn (because it was). Once the pink wore off, the skin around my eyes turned an odd gray color, almost like fish scales because it had an opaque look to it and underneath my eyes it had almost like a jell-o consistency. My eyes now have a sunk in look to them and even a few months later you can see the path of the wand and how different my skin looks in comparison to that below it. The veins along the top sides of my nose now constantly stick out, maybe because the skin next to it has sunk in along the orbit of my eyes. I can see that I am slowly developing eye bags because the laxity of my skin has so diminished.
What seems clear is that these procedures are like spinning a roulette wheel and many different things can come into play that doctors don't consider. More than likely, my skin was thinner than it might be because of the microdermabrasion and all of the peeling I was experiencing. Or maybe because I have so little fat in my face to begin with, I'm not a candidate for these kind of heat treatments. My upper eyelids have recovered somewhat except for the cross hatched look in some of the thinnest areas of my skin, but my bottom eyes have aged at least five years--and who knows if I would ever have started to develop eye bags if I hadn't done this. I never even had an inkling of them before but now the skin directly around my eyes is so sunken in with deep static wrinkles, that I can see the skin slipping little by little and creating those lovely little festoons.
I went through a few weeks of really bad depression over doing this voluntarily to myself, especially when I was so happy with how I had been aging. I let my pursuit of perfection and my vanity take away my peace and joy. What a lesson it's been for me to look at where my heart was. I feel so strongly for all the women who have experienced trauma through elective things like this.
Would rather not say

I don't blame the doctor, I blame myself.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
3 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
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