I Just Got It Done! - The Woodlands, TX

I'll update with more pics as the days progress. I...

I'll update with more pics as the days progress. I wanted to say, when it was fresh in my mind, what it was like while it was happening (spoiler: not bad).

First, my history. I'm a few days shy of my 32nd birthday! I have very fair skin (Celtic blood), and have always gotten easily pink-cheeked - embarrassment, hot, etc. I tan easily and well, but I also will start to burn without sunscreen on, after about 30 minutes in the full, Southern sun. I have never been a "sun worshipper," but I did have a nice tan in my early 20s living in Fla (go Gators!). I've had any sort of sun burn maybe 3 times in my life.

I had beautiful skin (thank you, oral birth control!) until I developed slight rosacea when I was in my mid-20s. I had 3 IPL treatments done winter 2012, and my skin was so beautiful that I didn't have to wear any face makeup to have even, glowing skin. Then I switched to the Mirena in July 2013, and my face was like it was someone else's. In November 2013, I developed hormonal, cystic acne that would not go away - until I finally removed the mirena in December 2015. Prior to removing it, I tried: the nuvaring (which I had been on for a few years before the mirena), 0.05% retinol (which helped but didn't stop the cystic acne), spironolactone, and cutting out dairy.

Immediately after I removed the mirena, my cystic acne was gone. In January 2016, I had a round of Isolaz just to make sure my skin stayed clear. I went back on retinol for age-related purposes in April 2016, and started looking for another IPL provider; I've moved since my last treatment. After my skin cleared up, I had redness back on my cheeks and chin in a rosacea-like way, my pores were large when they were invisible before my adult-onset acne, and I have fine lines. I found my current plastic surgeon (Dr Lind) through a Google search for local BBL. He offers BBL and the halo, among other lasers and treatments.

So. DISCLAIMER: according to various medical professionals, I have a "high pain tolerance." Today I had my first BBL, with halo immediately after. The laser professional placed tetracaine+lidocaine on my face for about an hour before the treatments. BBL feels like IPL did: like a tiny tiny TINY needle was inserted just enough for me to feel it, but not to hurt, with every pulse of the light.

Halo: it feels like two little (maybe 1/2 inch wide) rollers, side-by-side, are rubbed over my skin while a more intense, more-needles BBL-type feeling comes from between the rollers. BBL is one-pass, with more passes on the more affected, pigmented areas. The halo is multiple passes, horizontal and vertical, for a few minutes on each area of the face. My treatment was one cheek + that half of my chin and upper lip, the other cheek + that half of my chin and upper lip, my forehead, then my nose. The laser makes a beeping noise when it's been run over that area enough (I don't know how it determines that). It was uncomfortable, just shy of painful.

My laser therapist was AMAZING - she even had halo done last week so she knew what it felt like, and what the recovery was like. She sprayed cold mist on my face between each area, put a cold towel on my cheeks right after she was done with them, and then handed me the "fan" that's on the halo laser module when we were all done. I developed MENDS immediately.

I'm 2 hours after the treatment was done; I feel like I have peppermint oil on my face. It's a little tingly, but not painful. After 20 minutes of the fan, I haven't put anything else on my face.

Day 2 = "orangutan"/puffy Minnie Driver

I slept in a recliner at about 45 degrees from midnight until 0600, then slept in my bed on pillows at about 20 degrees from 0600-0930. I started swelling last night right below my eyes.

Later on day 1

My swelling has gone down. I don't know how much the BBL has already lessened what redness I may have had if I didn't have BBL first.

End of day 1

About 30 hours post-procedure, in different lighting. I put moisturizer on right before. I drank 2 liters of water today, had a full mug of coffee, and ate the same amount of salt I usually do.

Day 2

I started sleeping last night on pillows, at about 20 degrees, in my bed. I woke up randomly in the middle of the night and felt my eyes - the bags were practically gone! When I woke up at about 8, my bags were bag with a vengeance! I had flattened myself out after I woke up in a few hours before... So I'll probably be sleeping in a recliner tonight so that I can venture out of the house tomorrow!

I included pics of my chin and cheeks so it'd be easier to see the MENDs I have; I've taken all these pictures with my iPhone 6S Plus.

Later on day 2...

This is from the side so the swelling is easier to see. I know it has to do with angles and lighting, so I tried to take one that's as real-life as possible.

Beginning of day 3

Swelling is better, and the MENDs are falling off. I'm about to shower to wash my face twice a day as recommended, then I'll put on my moisturizing cicalfate. Yay!

Day 3 after cleansing and moisturizing

The MENDs are coming off by themselves, and also when I rub the moisturizer in. I'm trying to not scratch them off; my face is a little bit itchy, so I'm tapping with my fingers where it's itchy instead of scratching.

Beginning of day 4

My MENDs are almost all gone! I can feel them in my nose, but I can't see them as well as I could the ones on my cheeks. I've been washing my face twice a day and moisturizing with the cicalfate I was given, whenever my face feels dry (which has been at least four times/day). I'm still swollen, but I'm not avoiding going out of the house anymore!

Day 5

MENDs are mostly gone! Every time I wash and moisturize, more come off. I still have some swelling. My pores are almost invisible!

Day 7

I forgot to post yesterday! Lizzy called to check on me and told me to cut back on the cicalfate (thick moisturizer); I asked because on day 5 I started developing a blemish on my chin and a deep one under my nose. :( I've continued with the cicalfate on my cheeks, temples, and forehead because my skin is still flaky and rough there. I'm looking forward to continuing to see how my skin improves!

19 days later

I'm looking forward to my pores being smaller. Otherwise, I'm happy with the results; I'm happiest with how my skin feels. It feels more plump. I do still have rough spots, mostly on my cheeks and nose. I started using retinol again last week; I'm assuming that's what has made my skin flake and peel.
Lizzy at The Lind Institute of Plastic Surgery

Fantastic! They're both very professional. They didn't push any treatments; they advocated for BBL because I told them I wanted the redness to be decreased. I then asked about halo, but they never pushed or encouraged me to have anything done. Lizzy has 15 years of laser experience!

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