A few days ago I underwent my first laser treatment. If you follow my Instagram Stories then you may have heard me talk about it both before and after the session. Due to a few annoying breakouts over the years, I have slowly accumulated a few acne scars on my cheeks. They are decently covered up by makeup, but unless I really want to pile it on they’re still faintly visible. If I’m not wearing makeup they’re noticeable. So after a year of thinking about it I decided to go for a consultation at a medical spa – Reflections Center for Skin & Body – recommended to me by my dermatologist. He had told me last year that laser treatments can be done to get rid of acne scars but that he didn’t do the treatment at his office.
I went for my free consultation back in June and the doctor told me that treatments depend on the issue and your complexion/coloring. The treatment she suggested (and that I got) is the VBeam, which is a gentle laser. The laser breaks up capillaries under the skin that cause the scaring. The VBeam works to get rid of the red/purple scars but if you have brown spots or brown colored scars that’s a different treatment. And then if you have any texture issues that’s also a different treatment. Since most of my scarring is the red/purple kind we did the VBeam. The doctor informed me that it would take more than 1 session to get rid of the scars – probably 3-4 and a month apart.
I decided to make my first appointment for the end of summer because you need to have had limited sun exposure before and during the whole treatment so I didn’t want to go in for my first session and then spend days outside and on the beach etc. In preparation for my first session, I made sure to put on sunscreen whenever I would be out in the sun and reapply. I also wore hats if I knew I’d be outside for a while.
Panama Hat: Vici (here)
I went for my first session the day before I went back to work with the hope that I wouldn’t be swollen or splotchy for work. In my defense I didn’t originally schedule it like that. My original appointment got rescheduled because the doctor wasn’t in on the my original day. I took a quick selfie in the car. This isn’t a true depiction of my scars because I am wearing some powder and a bit of concealer here since I had an eye dr. appointment that morning.
Anyway, I went in and the nurse or technician (not really sure what she is) gave me a makeup wipe to remove anything I had on my face. Then, she wiped my cheeks with an alcohol pad and I sat on the chair/bed to wait for the doctor. She came in just a few minutes later so I wasn’t waiting long. While I waited the few minutes, I got this little glimpse of a selfie. You can see the marks a little better here after the alcohol pads.
The doctor came in and asked if I was ready. I said yes and we started immediately! She said they had to cover my eyes to protect them from the lasers. The nurse/technician had the chair go back to lie down and adjusted the pillow. She put gauze on my eyes and then metal looking little eye covering/goggles over my eyes and strapped around my head. Like the kind you see people wear in movies in tanning beds. The doctor turned my head to one way and started right away! At first I was a little nervous because she didn’t tell me what to expect or anything – we just started and I couldn’t see anything. But, in hindsight this was actually so much better for me because I think if we prolonged it I would’ve been more nervous. So it was better to just start.
She used the laser on all the spots and I could see the light flashing even with my eyes covered. It wasn’t very painful, but you feel the zaps. You know that feeling when something is so hot that you’re actually not sure if it’s burning or freezing? It was that feeling. I did smell a faint burning smell towards the end, so if that really puts you off you’ll have to consider that if this is something you’re thinking of doing. In a minute or less she turned my face to do the other cheek. The whole thing was done in like 2 minutes! The next thing I knew, they were taking my eye coverings off and handing me 2 ice packs for my cheeks and that was it! I even said “That’s it? It was so quick” and the doctor said “That’s it, laser’s are quick!” I asked if I had to do anything special – put any cream on my face, avoid anything. She said no I could go about my normal skin regimen and that she’d see me for session 2 in a month!
They said I might see some increased redness for a day or two but that’s it. I was a little red that first day, but that’s it. The ice packs felt nice on my face and I just alternated using them on each cheek as I drove the few minutes home and for a little bit when I first got home. I was totally fine after that. No soreness or tenderness. No swelling or prolonged redness. I was extremely pleased!
My next appointment is towards the end of September so I will be sure to update you then!
P.S. I linked to my exact Panama Hat above, but below are some similar ones!