About 5 weeks ago I had my first laser session with the VBeam Laser at Reflections Center for Skin and Body. To recap, when I went for my consultation over the summer the doctor told me that it would probably take 3 or 4 sessions to get rid of the acne scars on my cheeks. The VBeam is a gentle beam (but it still hurts a little!) so they don’t do any numbing or anything and it only gets rid of red scars. So any brown spots, brown-ish scars, and texture issues aren’t taken care of with this treatment.
During this whole treatment you have to have limited sun exposure so if I’m going to be out in the sun for a while I make sure to have a hat or something so I don’t get burned or tan.
My first treatment in August was really easy. The whole procedure took like 2 minutes and the zapping hurt a little bit, but not too much. My face was a bit red afterwards but with some ice I was fine and I was back to normal by the next morning.
I had my second session this past Wednesday and it was different. The doctor said she saw improvements (I have as well) and reiterated that it would take a few sessions. We began right away. The treatment again only took 2 minutes but it stung a little more this time. The doctor upped the intensity a bit this time hence it being a little bit more painful this time. It’s still not horrible – like I wouldn’t cry or anything, but the zaps do sting and I’m sure I look like I’m squeezing my face during it. The nurse this time wasn’t as on top of it as the one I had last time. The nurse last time gave me all the makeup wipes and stuff and was just more friendly. She had ice packs ready for me as soon as I took the eye mask off. The nurse this time was also nice, but just didn’t go above and beyond. She didn’t put gauze on the metal eye mask to cushion my eyes and she didn’t have ice for me! Maybe I was spoiled last time. Anyway, the doctor said she had done a higher level on the laser this time and I should see more of a change. I made my next appointment at the front desk and left blasting the air conditioning on my face.
While on the 15 minute drive home I decided to take a quick look at my face in my visor mirror and I gasped. There was a black mark on my face! I was quietly freaking out until I could get a closer look. Did I get burned? Was it a bruise? What was on my face?!
So, it was a black bruise and it was where I had/have a pimple so she must’ve zapped it or near it. A side effect of the VBeam is bruising because the laser breaks up the capillaries which cause the scarring and sometimes the blood pools under the skin. My face had a few swollen bumps in addition to the ugly bruise and I really questioned whether I had done the right thing with this treatment. I won’t lie – I had a few moments of “What have I done to my face?!” thoughts. But I iced my face and calmed down. I took an allergy pill before bed for the swelling and went to sleep.
When I got up the next morning it was a bit more purple than black so I was relieved that it looked to be healing. I covered it up as much as I could with makeup but I don’t have heavy duty concealer. I tried to cover it most of the day at work with my hair and no one said anything to me.
The next day it was even lighter so I felt a lot better and the swelling was pretty much gone. By yesterday the bruise had gotten smaller and the coloring had turned more red than purple. The only dark black dot is the actual head of the pimple. My cheeks, aside from the bruise, look clearer of the scarring so I’m feeling good about it.
When I go back in a month I’m going to tell the doctor about the bruise and swelling and perhaps she can go back to the less intense level. She may anyway since by then my face, theoretically, should not need as much work anymore. After all this is done, I may look in to the treatment for the few brown spots I have and also a treatment for the texture of my face. Beauty is pain or something like that right? I’ll let you know how treatment #3 goes next month and if I have to continue on!