Thursday, November 3, 2016

Laser Follow-Up

Photos before laser treatments.

On the left, November 2015. On the right, October 2016.

Current age: 36. History: daily sunscreen use since age 20. General sun avoidance because #indoorsy. Retinoid use for past 10 years (?), Botox intermittently for past 5 years (contraindicated while pregnant/nursing or trying to conceive (retinoid)). Skincare regimen: nightly/every-other-night Retin-A plus antioxidant serum + ferulic acid/vitamin C. Genes: my mom has essentially no wrinkles. Thanks, Mom!

Prior to treatment photos and analysis are performed and stored by this computer.

These are photos of the same screen with my camera - I've included two because the exposure is little different.

In November 2015 Quenby administered the BBL (broad band light - technically not a laser) and then Halo laser (hybrid ablative and non ablative laser) - wrote all about it here. With my latest trip to Chicago, I wanted to start an annual regimen of BBL treatments (based on this data) and see this comparison! What I see: decreased freckles; decreased vascularity in my upper cheeks; more even skin tone; more luminous.

BBL, this time

Procedure: My red and brown spots respond to the same filter, decreasing the number of passes (how many times the face is treated) - lucky me! The treatment consists of short, very hot zaps, most uncomfortable on the upper lip and most tolerable on the sides of the face. I find this very uncomfortable but tolerable. I am a huge wimp, remember. Elise received one too and she is much more of a trooper than I am. Quenby used a different filter for the cystic acne that has developed since I got a Mirena (that reminds to me start a new series on the blog called I Hate That F*&%ng Thing, the first five installments of which will be about this IUD). ANYWAY, focused treatment for acne. Out, damned spot.

Time: 20 minutes? Probably less. She treated my face twice plus extra zaps for acne.

Cost: $600.

Downtime/recovery: None. We immediately went shopping next door at Water Tower Place. I didn't have any redness, peeling, flaking, etc. Elise said she had some mild periorbital swelling the next day but I couldn't see it.

Effects: Nothing too dramatic - but I am thinking of the long game here. Definitely the faint freckling on my upper cheeks has faded.


Yearly BBL. Repeat Halo at some point with lighter settings; I didn't mind the cosmetic downtime but the procedure itself was *very* painful (low discomfort threshold) and I'm not eager to do it again. However, the results are there. Daily sunscreen (I have some new favorites). Hats hats hats. Botox. Retin-A. Proactive prevention!

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