Laser Treatment- The inside scoop
Ever since I was little, people have used words like "delicate, fair, thin, and sensitive" to describe my skin (not my personality). And I have always had a red area under each eye. It has bothered me for as long as I can remember. Rarely will I leave the house without covering my under eye area with a bit of concealer. With the help of Midwest Cosmetic and Laser Surgery Centre I recently decided to look into options to remove these imperfections.
When I went to Midwest Laser for my consultation, I was nervous and unsure of what to expect. I washed my face at the clinic, in order to show Dr. Sabrina Stewart and her staff, what exactly I was looking to fix. It didn't help that I had just had red wine and was feeling anxious, as both of these things intensify my already red complexion. The Midwest girls reassured me my 'problem area' was relatively mild and actually quite common. The red area I was inquiring about was made up of broken capillaries (small blood vessels).
Following the assessment of my skin, the V-Beam Candela Pulsed Dye Laser was the treatment recommended to me. It was explained to me that the laser is designed to effectively treat vascular lesions such as facial and nasal spider veins (like mine) also called telangiectasia, rosacea, red birthmarks, scars, and patchy/discoloured skin. It delivers an intense burst of laser light to the skin, which is absorbed by the blood vessels in the affected area. The body then reabsorbs the blood vessels during the healing process (it sounded pretty legit).
I liked the sounds of the laser suggested and decided to give it a shot! Chantal did my first treatment. It started with a debriefing of what to expect, to ensure I felt comfortable. She then put on safety eye goggles to protect me eyes from the laser light. This was a little strange feeling as I could no longer see a thing! Chantal let me know when she was going to start and made sure I was prepared. She used a small hand piece to deliver the laser to my skin. A coolant spray comes right before each laser pulse, to cool the skin and aid in decreasing discomfort.
The very first laser pulse made me jump, and then laugh. I guess I just wasn't expecting it to feel like it did. It is a difficult feeling to describe but feels similar to laser hair removal, for those of you who have experienced that. It definitely isn't a pleasant feeling, but it is bearable. I would recommend wearing light clothing, such as a tank top, as your body will heat up quickly. Each affected area was went over 2-3 times with the laser. I felt the laser pulses intensified as the session went on. Throughout the treatment, Chantal asked if I was ok and if I needed a break. I took her up on the offer a few times.
Before I knew it, the treatment was over! The entire process took less than 10 minutes. My face was BRIGHT red, as you can see. Chantal applied some much appreciated Aloe Vera Gel. I was then given after care information to avoid any sun exposure and apply sunscreen religiously, as well as avoid scrubbing the area with anything abrasive for the next few days. I booked my next appointment for 3 weeks later, put on my sunglasses, and was on my way! By the time I got home, some of the redness had already gone away. I was red for the next few hours but was completely pain free. By the time I woke up the next morning, the redness was gone. After a few of the treatments, I did notice a very mild, dimply appearance to the treated area; however, this is normal and part of the healing process.
I have now had four laser treatments and the redness continues to improve each time. As some skin types are more prone to redness and broken capillaries (as I am), laser treatments are usually required every few months in order to maintain the results. I plan on keeping up the laser treatments at Midwest as well as diligently applying sunscreen to my face daily, to prevent further damage. If you are considering the treatment, I would recommend going to Midwest for a consultation to find out if laser is right for you!
Thank you to everyone at Midwest Laser for your excellent care and to Jocelyn of de Mo Photography for the lovely photos!