laser peel recovery update

today it’s been exactly 3 weeks since i had my periorbital resurfacing and laser peel. i’ve waited for time to pass before making any pronouncements about the merits or demerits of the procedure, but as the days go by i’ve come closer to forming an opinion and today i can truly say, i’m pissed!

i’m startled every time i see myself in a mirror when i’m not wearing make-up. my face is hyper-pigmented and marked with dark striations so that it looks like i’ve flown face-first into a grid. when i’m wearing make-up, it’s ok, but i, who am used to going without foundation whenever i’m not working, now do not dare leave the house without what is essentially a mask to hide what feels like disfigurement. i’m beginning to feel really angry and resentful at the doctor who did this. this is not what i expected. it’s not what i signed up for (though i suppose in a way i did. there’s a good reason they get you to sign a waiver before the procedure).

i’ve had the odd spot of hyperpigmentation when i’ve done tca peels before, but this looks like i’ve had lines tattooed all over my face! i’m not against tattoos, but i’m not maori and i wouldn’t choose to mark my face. i mean, my face, and keeping my skin in good condition, is a huge part of how i earn my living!  if you think i’m exaggerating, here are both a before, and an after pic. you tell me if you’d spend a fortune to go from what i looked like before, to what i look like now.

a candid no make-up shot from before the peel. look at the quality of my skin.

a candid no make-up shot from before the peel. look at the quality of my skin.

now this is what i'm left with, 3 weeks post peel

now this is what i'm left with 3 weeks post peel

when i went to see the doctor on friday, he said it looked “fine”, it would go away.  then he gave me a prescription for hydroquinone. when i asked why one side extends so much farther than the other, below my chin, he paused for a moment, then said, i suppose meant facetiously, “because i can’t measure!”. excuse me?!

i’m prepared to give the recovery a little while longer, but right now, i certainly wouldn’t recommend this. maybe i’m being impatient, but i feel  angry and resentful and pretty damned stupid too boot, especially when i’m so ambivalent about whether one ages gracefully or “rages against the dying…”. however, even in my ambivalent inconsistency, i’d say, if one is going to opt for some kind of expensive procedure, it should really be an enhancement, not leave one scarred and disfigured. and i’m certainly feeling scarred – in more ways than one.

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9 thoughts on “laser peel recovery update

  1. Patience, patience, patience! I think it is going to take some time. And I think you must be careful when you go out in the sun (but I suppose the doctor told you all the do’s and dont’s).
    Be strong!

  2. Pingback: day trippers « My Whorl

  3. I admire you for posting and showing this. I found you from Spa MD. I use a Sciton laser and would not have treated you without a lot of discussion. You seem to have a combination of hypo and hyperpigmentation from the post treatment picture. I think you would have felt better if the doc was feeling your pain. I was at a national laser conference in a 4 hour lecture on treatment of patients of color and a doc had peeled a woman with great dark skin and left her very botchy and he thought he did well. I had to leave the room. Please contact me anytime you need. I do feel your pain. You are a lovely girl, and I want to see you 100% better.

    Please let me know how you are doing.
    Dr bruce

  4. Just stumbled upon your blog regarding your laser treatment. I don’t see any other “after” photos of how your face turned out? I had done Smartxide Dot laser treatment 5wks ago and I have a similar hyperpigmentation lines on my face. I am asian, but very tan, so my face has red lines at the moment and they get really lobster red when I get hot..it’s so embarrassing. How’s your skin now?

    • hi fran, i hope your skin has recovered by now. i still have hyper-pigmentation around my eyes. but i guess i have no choice but to live with it.

    • Hi there, I came accross your posting about the brown lines on your face after having a peel done. I have the same thing after a week of having the peel. has your brown pigmentation gotten better? Thanks

      • hi claudia – you’re going to have to be patient. it might take a while, but hopefully it will fade over time. just be religious about wearing sun-screen ALL the time. good luck!

  5. Just came accross this posting. I am experiencing the same brown marks on my face…You said that you still have the brown around your eyes, how about the rest of your face? If they went away, what did you do for the brown to go away? Was it a matter of time? Thank you for sharing with us.

  6. I unfortunately going through this nightmare myself, i was checking randomly and I found what you went through and I feel like Iam the present version of what happened to you in the past. I had the procedure on wed evening and I’ve been in bed since, and as soon as I read your story felt related, I am so depressed thinking that this is the way my face is going to look forever, I contacted the dr. and coincidentally she said the same thing, it will go away, and you need to start an obagi treatment (hydroquinone) Im going to go see her tomorrow but Im so afraid, and when I saw your picture felt even scared, my marks look the same I even had a panic attack lastnight since Iam so stressed, will see what the dr. has to say tomorrow…….

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