Last month I finally took the leap and had a full face Profractional laser treatment done. I don’t have bad skin, but like everyone else, when I look into the mirror I see things I don’t like. I have large pores, a few small acne scars, fine lines on my forehead and around my eyes, and at my age I am starting to notice my skin is starting to droop just a little. I have a few small areas of sun damage that have resulted in pigment and I just had two moles removed that could use a little help healing. The Profractional laser can technically help to deal with all of my concerns. Sure, most people don’t see what I see when I look in the mirror, but if I can help to correct these imperfections with minor downtime and minor discomfort, why wouldn’t I?
I also think that by having at least one of every treatment we offer at TDC done on me, I can become better at what I do. I go through what my patients go through and maybe even come up with something that can help minimize downtime or discomfort. Since our Sciton Profractional Laser is probably our most invasive treatment, it was time to book the time to do it, be sure I had a weekend free to stay inside, and mentally prepare myself for whatever pain it may entail.
The Profractional laser is a collagen remodeling laser, which means the wavelength will destroy old collagen cells while stimulating new plump juicy cells to be formed within a 24 hour period. Because it is a fractionated laser, best results will be noticeable after 3-6 treatments, but every treatment creates new collagen. So, one Friday night right after work, and with our dermatologists’ blessing, Emily, one of our medical estheticians, performed my first Profractional laser treatment.
After my face was numbed for about an hour with a medical numbing cream, we decided that since my skin is so light, we would use a setting called Co-ag. This setting adds heat and can only be used on light skin, but it can really enhance collagen production and increase results for lines and wrinkles. It also intensifies the treatment itself, and may add length to the recovery time. But hey, I like to experience the extremes, so again, why not?
I was pleasantly surprised by how little it hurt when the treatment was being done, especially with the added heat. When the treatment was done, I was red with some pinpoint bleeding, which was expected. It stung a little when we applied the occlusive cream, but by the time I got home, I felt nothing at all. My 4 year old daughter was a little concerned when she saw me, but I assured her I felt fine.
During the weekend, I felt a stinging pain only when I applied my occlusive, but it would subside rather quickly. Not one to let it go, I chose to experiment a little and used different occlusive products to see which worked best. I found that by using our Soothing Gel first, the recovery was faster and discomfort was substantially reduced. I discovered that by washing with cold water and gauze (4”x4”), my skin was calmer.
By Monday I was able to use regular moisturizer, SPF, and even makeup if I wanted to. I chose not to wear makeup to work that day. My skin had only a slight pinkish hue to it, and I was very happy with the results. I know I will need a few more treatments to reach the desired look I am hoping to achieve, but not only have I been able to help the look of my skin, I was able to find a few tricks of the trade to help my patients have a more comfortable treatment too.
The following week I performed the Profractional on Emily, one of our Medical Estheticians at TDC, as she had some sun damage and has been battling melasma for a long time. The results were great and although I think she will need a few more treatments, it is very promising that she will finally be rid of the look of melasma for once and for all. Emily used the new ideas I had for recovery and even came up with a few ideas of her own.
Lasers can be a scary idea when it comes to your face. In the hands of a professionally-trained, medical esthetician, a series of Profractional laser treatments can reduce pigment, fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars and add volume and tighten your skin all at the same time. Ongoing education is important in being an “A class” medical esthetician, but hands on training and experience can’t be beat. The way I see it, I have the best of both worlds. I get the opportunity to become better at my job, and in the process, achieve more youthful, glorious skin.
~ Sheri Roselle, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre