Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: Phototherapy Laser on the Face

This one is for the girls, not to “dis” the guys, I’m just not sure there are as many vain men as there are women interested in reading about lasers and peels.

Sun Damage, let's face it, a lot of us have it and most of us do nothing about it.  After a recommendation from my dermatologist I set out to conquer the effects of sun damage on my face. This is how it went...

One year ago I made the decision to go see a dermatologist at Arizona Dermatologist Group to have a skin check.  I simply had too many years of lathering on Crisco oil, making tin-foil reflectors and climbing up a ladder to the top of our roof and finding the perfect spot to tan with my girlfriends.  After that rage was over, the stand-up tanning booths hit the stage, then the tanning beds.  I hate to admit how many times (years) I went to the tanning salon.  But that’s all over-with for me and now I’m into preserving my skin and attempting to reverse the signs of sun damage.

At the dermatology appointment, they recommended a great skin rejuvenating package that included phototherapy on my face using a laser followed by a chemical peel and a facial, not all in one visit but over time. The first procedure in the series of the package was phototherapy. This type of  procedure is performed with the use of a SCITON Profile laser that gently heats up the upper layers of the skin and targets the damaged and pigmented skin cells causing the skin to generate new collagen.  This helps remove the sun damaged dark spots and fine vein vessels. I opted to go for it and see what happened to my dark spots.

How did it feel you ask? I remember saying as I sat down in the chair, “no pain – no gain.” I was a bit fearful of the unknown. As it turned out, it was basically like a rubber-band snapping you in the face. It really didn’t hurt, it was more annoying than anything.  All in all the pain was not bad and I was pleasantly surprised at how fast it went. I was in the chair about 20 minutes.

What did I look like afterwards? The dark spots on my face looked slightly red but nothing remarkably different. However, the technician explained that the dark spots would eventually look like tiny coffee grounds on my face.  The “coffee grounds” or dead skin began sloughing off after three days and was completely gone by five days on their own and my face looked fresh and spot free for the most part. I did have a few faint dark spots remaining on my forehead that I could still see but that’s why they recommended additional treatments to get everything. It is recommended to have 1-3 treatments depending on the severity of your skin’s sun damage.

How did it work? It worked great! Before, I had small and large sun damaged spots on my nose, cheeks, and forehead.  After, they were almost completely gone when the skin rejuvenated itself.  It took about a week.

Is there downtime? No, I went back to work, kids sports games and lunch with the girls and no one noticed the "coffee grounds" until I pointed it out.

Would I recommend?  Absolutely!

What's Next? The chemical peel on my face and hands. I had the peel yesterday and will update you on the process. Maybe, and that's a big maybe, I will post some pictures of myself with the review. It takes bravery for that!

(Note: I was not asked by the AZ Dermatology Group to post a review on this or any procedure I have had or will have.) Just keeping the "girls" informed on the latest and greatest.

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