2 months later – reeling and dealing.

today - playing with ways to hide the scars...

today - playing with ways to hide the scars...

i’ve been on hiatus from shooting this week – the second of the 1-week breaks we get per year –  but unlike most of the rest of the cast and crew who have left town, flown to paris, or cape town or mozambique or some exotic locale, i have been right here in johannesburg, basically doing admin. and i’m almost anxious at the thought of getting back to the grind on monday. urgh!

the end of last week saw me with the start of a rather painful infection in my gum, so i was forced to stop procrastinating and get to the dentist – post haste. i had a fantastic dentist in l.a. – devoree prepsky in woodland hills. i would actually sometimes look forward to going to the dentist- fancy that! she could give an injection with the least amount of discomfort i’ve yet experienced from anyone wielding sharp implements in my mouth. i actually on occasion fell asleep in her chair!  so if you’re in l.a. and in need of superb dentistry, give her a call.

anyway, to get back off tangent – so this week entailed long days of what i can only call “dealing”. dealing with the many things i don’t usually get to when i’m in studio every day. all in all about 5 (torturous) hours at the dentist over 2 different days. printing and faxing forms to l.a., gathering tax forms for the local  accountant to get my taxes done so my american accountant can get those taxes done, taking the dogs to the vet for their recurring kennel cough, at least one extended lunch with shirley, one of my favorite people, taxiing the s.o. to and from work (on the other side of town!) while he waits for his car and yes, another check-up with dr CENSORED to assess how my face is recovering.

it’s 2 months today since my laser peel and i still cannot go out without make-up and 50 spf sunblock. the irony is that the hydro-quinone-aqueous cream solution he prescribed, is generally lightening my face, but the tic-tac-toe striations from the hyper-pigmentation refuse to budge. ok, to be honest, they’re sloooooowly fading, but they’re still very much there and still visible even with make-up on.

i can’t say i was too happy about the half hour i was kept waiting beyond my appointment time, but at least this time round, he finally said that he would “fix it”. at last an acknowledgement that there is a problem. i don’t get being made to wait in doctor’s rooms – why is my time any the less important, or costly, than theirs? maybe i should bill them for making me wait…

anyway, the idea is that after i’ve run my 10k next week, i will go in for (i think he called it) fractal-laser treatment which supposedly will lift the hyper-pigmentation. i’m a little apprehensive to have the laser near my face again, but i’m desperate to be able to go without make-up once again.

wish me luck folks.

today - playing with ways to hide the scars...

today - playing with ways to hide the scars...

4 thoughts on “2 months later – reeling and dealing.

  1. Just stumbled onto this website. I’m a doctor and you should be informed by your treating physician that you should NEVER have had a microlaserpeel. It’s an ablative procedure and meant for people with lighter skin types as people with darker pigment tend to hyperpigment. Do you know how deep he went (how many microns?) — that would tell me how long this will take to clear up.

    PS. I would stay away from any more lasers right now if I were you as it will likely make the problem worse. Your doc should be shot for trying to make money off you in this state because he definately knows better. Stick with the hydroquinone and let it resolve on its own. Slow and safe wins the race.

  2. thanks for your comment. i vaguely recall us having a conversation about the fact that this particular (sciton) laser procedure is suitable for people with darker skins. obviously not.
    i’m realizing over the last few days that the rest of my face is actually really bleaching out, and the lines are fading, but not enough to stop showing through the make-up yet.
    i’ll wait a few more weeks before i decide about the laser “fix”, but he’s certainly not getting a penny more out of me. i refuse to pay for him to fix something he screwed up in the first place.
    i’m going to take your advice and keep to the hydro-quinone for now.

  3. The laser used for your peel was the Sciton Contour. It is and ablative erbium laser and with this laser there is a high chance of hyperpigmentation in your skin type. Ablative means that the entire surface of your skin is ablated off and this raises the already high chance of hyperpigmentation in your skin type. The Fraxel laser (or profractional) laser that your doc offered to use on you to treat the hyperpigmentation is also an erbium laser, but it is fractional — meaning the laser shoots scattered dots of laser energy on your skin without ablating the entire surface of your skin. This laser can also cause hyperpigmentation, though not to the same extent because the entire surface of your skin is not being treated. It is especially dangerous in your case because you already have pre-existing hyperpigmentation. I have seen people with type V skin who look like they have a dark dotted pattern covering their face after this treatment. It will do nothing to help resolve your problem. If I were to treat a patient who wants their hyperpigmentation more speedily resolved, I wouldn’t even consider fraxel as option as their are much better lasers available to do the job, but even then, the best and safest bet is not to treat at all. The fact that your hyperpigmentation is obviously becoming lighter is a good sign and means that it is transient and will indefinatley clear up — faster with the help of hydroquinone. You may not be so fortunate if you have the Fraxel treatment. I’m not sure if you are using 2% hydroquinone or 4%, but if you are using the 2% you might want to consider shopping around on an online pharmacy where you can find the 4%. Should speed things up.

    Hope this helps,
    Happy healing!

  4. thanks so much for this info. you’re right the sciton contour is the laser which was used on me. i just don’t understand why he would use it on me when the risk of hyperpigmentation is so great. he really is considered a very reputable doctor and he knows i’m in the public eye. i don’t get it.
    i was using a 4% solution of hydroquinone, but he upped it to 6% after this last visit.
    i think i’m going to take your advice and hold off on any further laser treatment. i’ve probably been impatient, wanting to have my skin back to what it looked like before, but i think it’s definitely beginning to improve. for now i’ll wait.
    thanks again.

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