laser peel disaster: 9 months later

on sunday night carte blanche (for non saffers, a long running tv magazine program) did an expose of beauty salons doing treatments they’re not legally qualified to do and instead of getting the enhancements for which clients are paying top-dollar, they  are instead being scarred and put through agony.

having undergone something very similar, blogging and posting photos of the disaster from day one,  i thought i’d do an update post.

just over nine months since i decided to undergo a laser peel, my face is still slightly hyper-pigmented and scarred. though admittedly dr CENSORED of the CENSORED who did the procedure,  has left me messages  a number of times and after some phone tag we finally spoke. he’s asked me to come in so that he can see what we can do to remedy this. so far i’ve not had the time, but as long as it does not involve more lasers, i’m willing to go and meet with him. though unbelievably, this morning the make-up artist at the studio was again complaining about how dark the “zorro mask” around my eyes still is and was struggling to cover it.

i think now is a good time to reiterate what i wrote  shortly after getting the procedure done and in the interests of science and saving anyone else the horror, even though they actually don’t show how dark and obvious the marks still are,  i will publish some more very candid (read, unflattering) pictures of me. (be kind).

based on my experience, here’s what i can advise anyone else thinking of getting a micro-laser peel or periorbital laser resurfacing:

  • 1. be absolutely certain you know what you’re letting yourself in for.
  • 2. ask as many questions as you can think of.
  • 3. be prepared for anything.
  • 4. a laser peel is different from a tca peel. it’s deeper, and takes more recovery time.
  • 5. it’s going to hurt more than you think it will.
  • 6. you’ll get over it…
  • 7. … if you give yourself enough time to recover. i’d suggest at least a full week.
  • 8. if your job, as does mine, entails being under studio lights, know that every little irregularity will be magnified. give yourself twice as much recovery time.
  • 9. have someone who can drive you to and from the procedure, to post-op visits, pick up prescriptions and just generally take care of you.
  • 10. do not do this procedure unless you’re 100% healthy. the recovery places huge stress on your immune system, so make sure it’s entirely up to par.
  • 11. don’t pick! do not touch your face unless it’s absolutely necessary and then only as little as possible.
  • 12. did i mention it before? DO NOT PICK  AT YOUR FACE! if you do, you will regret it.
  • 13. if you’re bi-racial, or have an olive skin-tone, think seriously before doing this procedure and ask your doctor if it’s advisable. i’m beginning to think it’s not.
  • 9 MONTHS POST-PEEL, i’d say that it’s definitely not a good idea. i still have the traces of a zorro mask around my eyes and the striations on my jaw-line have not entirely gone away as i’d hoped they would with time.
  • 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.

    lilizela mlilizela – mahlathini and the mahotella queens
    dance me to the end of love – madeleine peyroux
    collide – rachael yamagata (off her EP) love, love, love this woman!
    wicked little girls – esthero
    cannot contain this – moloko
    ramalama (bang bang) – roisin murphy
    Die Gedanken Sind Frei (Thoughts Are Free) – brazilian girls
    bitter – meshelll ndegeocello
    history repeating – propellerheads with shirley bassey
    montserrat – bajofondo tango club
    don’t forget to breathe – bitter:sweet
    stiff jazz – dzihan & kamien
    flawless (shapeshifter’s remix) – george michael
    the novel sound – llorca
    all is full of love – bjork
    big in japan – tom waits
    know how – kings of convenience
    pink moon- nick drake
    the rain don’t last forever – hope shorter (
    now this is what i'm left with, 3 weeks post peel

    3 weeks post peel


    9 months post peel. still hyper-pigmented.













    9 months later. faint, but still signs of zorro mask and striations.

    it might not seem so bad, but though freckled, i used to have clear, creamy, smooth skin before the laser treatment. i was advised that the procedure would help the bags under my eyes which were becoming very prominent on the monitor at work. that was the main reason i did it. instead, i went through agony and wound up wounded and scarred. i think it can work really well on the right skin type, but i obviously was not a good candidate and i don’t think this treatment should have been done on me.

    so, if you’re  bi-racial or olive-skinned, PLEASE think twice. you really don’t want to  end up looking like this. and in case i didn’t make myself clear: JUST DON’T DO IT!

13 thoughts on “laser peel disaster: 9 months later

    • @jenty yes, it’s rather scary looking isn’t it? @po i’d hoped that it would have healed entirely by now, but unfortunately not. 😦

  1. I know how brave you have to be to expose yourself to criticism: I got a rash when I was about one, and for some rare medical reason, it became scars- imagine the worst chicken pox scars/measles scars. I had spotty red scars all over my body until I was about 18 years old, and had to endure stares and comments.
    I’ve given up the maths of trying to figure out how old you are, but you still look great for xx age!- striking, even.
    I think plastic surgeons/the medical profession should be made more accountable for what they put people through.
    And blemishes are just as magnified, if not more, when we look in mirrors as they are under studio lights- I’m sure nobody notices, normally.

    • @scott – thanks for the compliments. and you’re right – i agree that the medical profession needs to be made more accountable. i wouldn’t wish what i went through on anyone.

  2. Hugs girl. You’re still beautiful!!! Inside and out 😉

    If you ever make it back to the states… there’s this incredible dermatologist in Bev Hills Armand Newman, whose specialty is skin for peoples of color (that being olive tones, asian, black and of course he does everything else). I’ve had light laser peels with him and i’m a tad bit darker than you 😉 but honestly I think of him when it comes to the areas that are still uneven in your make-up artist’s eyes… hmp (did not like that comment at all and I’m looking at you thinking there is makeup that can easily cover it and not look too heavy) because he deals with discoloration correction as well. He has all the top notch equipment and medicine. Normally I wouldn’t promote someone but I’ve seen lots of work he does including color corrections, etc and he’s pretty good.


    • oh angel thank you. i might be heading stateside shortly, so thanks. i’ll go and see this guy here and see what comes of it. i’m just very leery right now of any more lasers. i’d do a tca peel with my lady in l.a., but i think i’m swearing off lasers. are you still in australia girl? is that guy of yours treating you well? xxx

  3. I think the doctor also has alternatives to lasers to, to get skin back to “the normal shade”. He just seems to have a market on the newer procedures. Maybe he could offer a cream or some advice on what can be done (in his office or abroad) and if it can be done. His office also does peels. So might want to just have a talk with him and see what he says.

    I am back in LA for the moment but terribly missing Sydney and my fella (who’s in Singapore for work lucky him!!). We’re trying to figure out what country we should live in. Both of us wanting to live in each other’s country as we’re both crave change! So it’s proving to be a amusing challenge.

    huge hugs!

  4. I can only imagine the emotional trauma though. I used to work in a pharmacy and a lady came in that had breast implants and a tummy tuck and both procedured went horribly wrong. She was a wreck.

    You’re still absolutely beautiful though. In my opinion. 🙂

  5. Sorry to hear about this, but thank you for sharing it! A friend of mine mentioned wanting to do this procedure so I’ve sent her your link. The more info, the better.

    You are beautiful either way! xx

  6. My skin is very fair, and thanx to the sun I’m developing dark patches on my cheeks… but I think I’ll give the laser thing a miss..

  7. I have pigmentation marks on my skin that make me look like a sport a moustache and beard (it also looks like I had lipliner tattooed on my lips).. And it distressed me so much that i went around looking for a solution..

    Laser Peel was one of the options.I chickened out at the last minute for the laser peel that I had scheduled.. I am soo namsy pamsy about everything..

    I am sorry that you had such an unfortunate experience.. I still think you look fabulous! 🙂

  8. I had very bad acne on my back especially. Toward the end of 2003 I had a laser peel on my back and for 18 months I had the most beautiful skin ever! Unfortunately that only treated the symptom and not the cause so the acne returned, but less severe on the part that had been lasered.

    A year ago I finally sucked it up and scrapped enough money together to complete a six month course of Roacutane – it was my 30th birthday present to myself: flawless skin. I don’t regret doing either.
    That said, I do have a very fair skin. And you’re right, it hurts like hell. I had someone drive me there and back, and couldn’t sleep on my sides even for the first week.

    I’m considering some kind of resurfacing on my back, face and decollete as soon as I kind, and will go back to the same Dermatologist I saw last time. But I am happy to say my skin (particularly my face) has never looked as good as it does these days.

    Good luck with your ordeal. I know it’s not easy – physically or mentally, but you’re a great person 😉

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