In an effort to try to one-up those brave women who allow their “pre-makeover” pictures to be published in magazines, I’ve decided to share post-laser skin resurfacing photographs of myself.
I hope it didn’t make you throw up in your mouth.
It all started a few months ago when I chatted up my nurse-friend who works at the doctor’s office that I frequent. I asked her, “So what’s next?” Mind you, I have not the desire nor the intention to end up looking like Joan Rivers. I was curious, however, to see if there were any non-surgical procedures that could improve the appearance of my skin.
Together we decided that Profractional treatment with a Scion laser (Fraxel) would be a good choice for me.
What is Fraxel, exactly?
“Fraxel is the name of a particular brand of laser that uses fractionated laser therapy. So why it’s called fractionated is the way that it delivers the energy, so it delivers lots of microscopic laser energy into the skin and creates a column of injury and as the body goes through its natural healing process that column is shed. So with that goes excess pigmentation and abnormal cells and because it’s also creating an injury to the skin, it also stimulates the body to lay out new collagen which is one of the main support structures, so you get the filling and smoothing effect with it as well.”
I had the 20 minute procedure on a Friday morning. It wasn’t the most pleasant experience in the world, but I was the one who signed up for this, right? The laser feels like so many tiny rubber bands snapping at your skin, and it also feels like you are getting a pretty decent sunburn. A fan provided a lot of relief during and immediately after the procedure, and within an hour, I felt like I had a moderate sun and wind burn.
Not so bad.
What was a little worse was that fact that I couldn’t wash my face for 24 hours. This particular laser made hundreds of micro-punctures in my skin that bled (but just a little bit). Chris put a thick layer of post-surgical ointment on my face to control the bleeding and soothe my skin, but advised that it couldn’t be washed off until the next day.
It was pretty nasty. But truly, it looks worse than it felt.
I kept my hair pulled back and slept with my torso elevated on pillows to minimize the swelling.
By morning, I couldn’t get into the bath quickly enough. Though my skin was definitely very sensitive and I had some mild swelling, there was no pain, and I looked almost presentable. I lubed up with the cream I was given, threw on a hat and glasses ‘a la Kardashian’, and went out on a lunch date with my husband.
The worst part of the next two days was a very tight, dry feeling, but that was well-managed with the cream I was given. By Monday, I was back at the gym, not much worse for the wear – in fact – no one noticed.
Over the next week or so, the majority of my sunspots peeled right off. Yup, adios, freckles and age spots. Also, my crows feet softened and became much less visible, I’d say by about 50%.
Not bad, huh?
And the best part? Over the next few months, those micro-punctures will continue to heal and fill with collagen, which should give me a tighter, plumper look all over.
Would I do it again? I would, but not anytime soon. For now, I’ll just relish in the fact that my husband – who is not a fan of me messing with my face, btw – looked across the dinner table and said, “you know, your skin does look really, really good”.
Thanks honey, and thanks to the team at Chesapeake Plastic Surgery for taking such good care of me! I highly recommend Fraxel for anyone desiring a little pick-me-up on the ‘natural’ side of things!