Bye Bye Blotchiness


I wish I met Dr. Z. earlier in life than I did.  All those years spent being single, I was waiting to fall in love and have my happily ever after.  If we had only met 5 or even 10 years before, we could have started our life together earlier.  How blissful that would have been.

Let’s get real. Of course, I wish we met earlier so we could share our bliss, but we are discussing wrinkles here.  The truth is that if I met him earlier I would have not gotten all that sun damage from going to the beach!  Alas, we can’t turn back the hands of time, but we can get lasered.

Our skin ages in two ways.  Intrinsic aging refers to our natural aging process, while extrinsic aging relates to the added aging as a result of environmental damage on our skin.  Ultraviolet light is the big cultprt in extrinsic aging.  It causes oxygen free radicals (aka, the enemy) that damages our collagen, harms our skin cells, and leads to dark spots and broken capillaries.  

Boy are those broken capillaries are annoying.  They are even worse when you are looking at them in a magnifying mirror.  (Maybe it is the mirror that is the enemy?  But I just can’t help staring.)  

The technical term is “angiogenesis,” which means “growth of new blood vessels.”  From a distance, the skin can appear rosy or red, but up close you can see those tiny red lines that may be particularly prominent around the nose.  If I just didn’t sit out in the sun, there would not be so many of them.

Enter: the V-Beam Laser.  Every 6 months or so I have my face and chest treated.  It works by heating up those tiny blood vessels so that our bodies can get rid of them.  You don’t even realize how blotchy you look until it is gone.

Here’s the deal…

1. It hurts.  Not terrible.  Sort of like a quick staple into the skin.  On the face, it is more unnerving than anything else.  Despite having your eyes closed and protected, you still experience a bright flash.

2. You end up red and swollen.  Let’s just say you should not plan a date night the evening after this is done.  The laser beam is round, and you end up with these circular swollen hives that are prominent for several hours.  Honestly, you can still see them a little the next day although nobody else will really notice it.  Some of the blood vessels actually look worse at first, but over the next week or two they disappear.

After the treatment my chest feels pretty red and warm. It is a little swollen.

Cooling pads help calm the skin after the treatment

3. Bruising.  The laser blasts away the blood vessels, and sometimes you can get a bruise.  The doc can set the laser to minimize the risk of bruising, but sometimes it still happens every once in a while.  Apparently, the lower, non-bruising setting works, but you just need more treatments to get the same effect as if you had a higher, bruising setting.

In the end, I feel like I turned back time and undid one of those sun “baking” sessions I did on the beach long ago.  Thank goodness for Dr. Z.  #CoriConfesses