Laser Resurfacing

Spring is here, and summer is right around the corner… everyone wants the tight body, with the equally tight face — thus is the everlasting quest to stop time!

I’ve never had cosmetic surgery done before… although, that might vary by what you consider as “surgery” — but I’ve never had anything taken out of my butt and implanted in my face… you know, stuff like that.

My dabble into cosmetic dermatology has been on the relatively mild side. I’ve had chemical peels before… and now I’ve had laser surgery (only on my nose though), and this is just informative reading for those interested in knowing more about it.

Over ten years ago, I had a chemical peel done. I had it done in NYC and it cost $600 (I imagine it probably cost a lot more now in NYC!). Basically, the person put an acid solution on my face. Now, I probably would have liked the experience more if I didn’t think the guy was a quack. His office wasn’t very nice looking. He didn’t have very nice “bedside manners”, and I didn’t really trust his level of expertise — in hindsight, why the flak would I let someone like that put acid on my face, right!?!

He took a cotton ball and put the acid solution on my face. He said, “Is it burning?” I told him no, so then he swab my face with the cotton ball again, and asked, “What about now?” I felt my face getting hot a few seconds after the second swab, and I said, “Yeah, it’s starting to burn now.” He then quickly neutralize the acid by putting water on my face. Afterwards, he slab a coat of ointment on my face (it looked and felt like petroleum jelly), and booted me out of the office.

Only afterwards when I came home did I realize that he had just slab chunks of the ointment on my face without even bothering to make it look somewhat decent! I was riding around the subway and walking around the streets with that crap plaster on my face!

My face didn’t hurt, but it was burnt red! My whole face looked very, very sunburnt. I was given a prescription that I can’t recall… probably some sort of ointment that is similar to triple antibiotic ointment, like a super strength Neosporin. I didn’t have any peeling or flaking, but I do remember thinking that my forehead looked very dry.

I limited my sun exposure during that time, and I used that ointment on my face day and night for about four days. It was kind of terrible going to work with that ointment on my face! I looked very sunburnt and greasy! On the 5th morning, I believe, I stop putting the ointment on my face and wore makeup instead. The makeup definitely helped to cover my lobster red face.

The whole thing wasn’t too horrible. It did even out my skin tone a bit though. However, I was suppose to wear sunscreen and continue my limited sun exposure, which I definitely did not do either (especially the sunscreen).

I hadn’t messed around with my face for ten years after that. Then, in 2013, I started noticing these “sun spots”, especially on my nose, which my vanity found very unsightly. I had fractional laser done on my nose to try to “fix” this… since it was just my nose, it was $50 per session. (I had 3 sessions done with various amount of time in between each session.)

Fractional laser has basically no down-time. Now, if you’re doing your whole entire face, maybe you’ll require a day or two… since it was my nose, there was no down-time required at all. Fractional laser uses beams of energy light to bore tiny holes in the skin, which works to put the body’s natural collagen production into action, but it does this in a way that prevents damage to the top layer of skin or the surrounding area, offering minimal recovery time — however, it’s not as aggressive as traditional laser resurfacing, and multiple sessions would be needed (and even then you might still not be satisfied with the results!).

I did this because I wasn’t ready for the more aggressive treatments yet. It basically just looked like I had a sunburnt nose, and for a few days my nose was very dry. Otherwise, I didn’t really see any improvement or noticed any remarkable difference, but I was told that I would need multiple sessions to get the outcome I was looking for — however, the place I went to was a spa-clinic sort of place in Des Moines, IA, and it was not a licensed dermatologist — it was an esthetician instead. Anyway, after my third session, I figured it was a waste of money.

I also had another skin peel done in 2013. This was very mild, and was done by an esthetician at a dermatologist’s clinic in West Des Moines, IA. This peel was much better than my first one. She washed my face and put a whole bunch of stuff on it. It took about 15-20 minutes. It was very mild, I’m thinking it was some sort of low dose glycolic acid (it’s a form of AHA — alpha hydroxy acid). I didn’t get red or anything, but I did have some peeling of dead skin around my jawline… also, a few days later, it gave me these little pimples around my jawline. They went away after I exfoliated with my St. Ives apricot scrub (one of my must-have products!). I’m not sure if it was worth the $150, I definitely didn’t notice anything different.

Now we are up to the present day — last week, I had a traditional laser resurfacing session done on my nose; this is a much more aggressive procedure than fractional laser. I had this spot on my nose that I was very self-conscious about. I decided to go get it done. I watched a lot of YouTube videos and read a lot of Google articles to prepare myself for it.

I figured since it was just my nose it wouldn’t be too bad; especially since most people in the videos and articles were going for laser resurfacing to fix deep acne scars that had made very indented holes (pockmarks) all over their face. They all looked much better afterwards, so I figured my results would be promising too.

It cost $100 (a one session, full face laser resurfacing cost about $3,900 — or $6,500 for a three-session package, at this clinic). I had it done by a board certified dermatologist that specializes in cosmetic surgery, it was at the same clinic that I had my 2013 skin peel at. First he injected something into the top of my nose to numb the area, and then with the laser he zap the top of my nose a few times. It smelled awful (now I know what burnt skin smells like!), but other than the numbing injection, my nose didn’t hurt at all. His assistant was wiping away the dead skin and blood, and put an ointment on my nose (maybe Neosporin?).

He told me to keep it moist, that it’ll be dry and peel. I said okay. The whole thing took about 15 minutes. The doctor was very nice. When I got to my car, I looked in the mirror to check it out. He had burnt a hole on to my nose where the spot use to be, right into the dermis, and a bit of the surrounding area of the epidermis was burnt off too. It didn’t look too bad.

So for a week, I kept it covered with a bandaid, and the first few days I had Neosporin on it, but then I switch to Aquaphor ointment. The doctor didn’t say I needed it covered, but all the articles I read said that wounds and burns heal better if it’s kept moist and covered. (Besides, I didn’t want to be seen in public with a burnt hole on my nose!) Sometimes it itches, but it’s not very noticeable. Today (a week later), it looks like the skin has healed enough, so I took the bandaid off when I got home. After getting out of the shower, I just used my regular facial moisture.

Ugh, what can I say about how my nose looks right now… it looks like I had a pimple that I kept picking at. Really, that’s the only way I can describe it. It looks terrible, I’m hoping by next week it’ll be completely heal though (I’m tired of going outside with a bandaid on my nose!). Where the spot use to be, there is now a slight hole, so I’m hoping that it fills in and doesn’t scar. I also have tiny blisters around the area. The area where he zapped it looks wrinkled. The doc had said it would peel and to keep it moist, but I haven’t had any peeling at all (although I was very diligent in keeping the area moist, but now I’m not sure if I should have let it dried a bit so it could peel?). Again, the best way I can describe it is having a cystic pimple that looks like it’s been popped! Terrible.

Anyway, I told the mister about it. He thinks I’m crazy for always messing around with my face. My biggest concern about this now is that I gave myself a scar! I’ll update next week on how it looks …

One thought on “Laser Resurfacing

  1. Pingback: Product Reviews ♡ | Lisa Feng ♡

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