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Pulsed Dye Laser Experience- with progress and photos

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  • Pulsed Dye Laser Experience- with progress and photos

    Hi all!

    This is my first post on here. I'm a 24 year old nurse. I've suffered from rosacea, the flushing- vascular type, for years and often times turned to this website for advice. I thought I'd pay it forward by sharing with you all my fist PDL experience and what led me to this kind of treatment.

    First I'll give you a little background on myself. As a child I was diagnosed with KP. The bumps and pink color on my cheeks and arms really bothered me. My mom took me to see a dermatologist and they gave me this really thick ammonium lactate based lotion and foam that smelled terrible, took forever to absorb, and got all over everything. So long story short, I stopped using it and dealt with the bumps because at this point thats all they were, bumps, with a little bit of redness. Not a huge deal. As I got older, the bumps improved and the redness/flushing got worse. I mainly dealt with flushing and a little baseline redness. In my late teen years I really didn't have anymore bumps, but I flushed like crazy when it was hot, when I ate spicy foods, was embarrassed, worked out, something brushed my face, etc. And I still to this day deal with that. It's awful. Not to mention the burning sensation that goes along with it. Because of the ridiculous flushing, I developed a social phobia that exacerbated the problem further. I really found myself missing out on things in life and isolating myself out of fear that people noticed my redness. Fitness was a big part of my life at one time. But in order for me to feel comfortable with myself at the gym (and in public in general), I was tanning 2-3 times per week, as well as using self tanner and makeup to conceal my redness. It was an exhausting and unhealthy routine. I was damaging my skin even more. I finally told myself that I was done tanning and I had to find a permanent solution. Two photos are below, one is my face at baseline and the other is after working out (the redder one). I'll be hiding my identity with black squares in my photos, sorry for the weird editing.

    IMG_4600 copy.jpg IMG_4603.jpg

    I know, get on with the story, right? Anyways, about 1 1/2 to 2 years ago, I was researching and found mixed reviews on something called IPL. I made an appointment at a nearby laser and surgery center. I met with an NP and we discussed treatment options. (She diagnosed me with rosacea very quickly, by the way). She told me about IPL and PDL, but also mentioned mirvaso. She said some patients reported rebound redness the next day but nothing major. I was so desperate for a cure to my flushing that it was on my face before I even left the parking lot! I should have known better with how sensitive my skin is. The stuff turned my cheeks to a ghostly white color.. like the color your skin turns when it isn't getting any blood flow. I stopped using it after two applications. Sure enough, the next day I was on FIRE. Darker than I had ever been before and patchy in places where the cream had been applied thicker. I was hysterical. I swear I was icing my cheeks and crying for a week or more. Point of the story, the terrible rebound flushing from the mirvaso left me with a quarter sized area of permanent redness on both cheeks near my nose. I looked worse than I did before going to the office. At this point, I was just wishing to go back to normal and kicking myself for ever putting the stuff on my face. I went back to the office seeking IPL treatment just to get rid of what the cream caused!.The NP was shocked at my reaction to it and reported it to the rep.



    I have spent hundreds on sensitive skin lotions, creams, cleansers, etc.
    Here are a few: Aveeno calming line, Nuetrogena sensitive skin line, Cerave line, prosacea, metrogel, retinol A, liver cod oil cream, coconut oil, ZENMED redness line (I still use and recommend this), Avene spring water spray, and many, many more products. I have concluded that my condition is vascular (other than the permanent areas), and no product is going to work for me.


    Lasers I tried before the PDL bruising treatment:

    Intense pulse light (IPL)- this laser did not help my redness, but it got rid of freckles and sun spots. It didn't leave any scars or side effects. I had a total of 3 treatments before giving up on it. The actual treatment was very painful but tolerable. The redness lasted about an hour.

    Pulsed dye laser (PDL) reddening setting- I had a total of 1 treatment with no improvement at all so the dermatologist recommended going straight to the bruise setting and not wasting money on anything less aggressive. He told me it will "mess me up" (and boy was he right) and that I would need to have a good week off from work.


    For those who don't know, there are TWO settings to the pulse dye laser. At low settings, it produces redness, similar to IPL, but it lasts a little bit longer. It was less painful than the IPL, but did nothing for me. At high settings, this same laser produces bruising. The area treated will produce circular bruises that are each about 5mm in size. The circles should not overlap, but should be close together.



    The day of my PDL bruising treatment:

    Here we go, the part you've all been waiting for.

    A month prior to my treatment I made sure not to have any sun exposure. I scheduled a 10 day vacation from work. I showed up to the office with no makeup on. The NP confirmed with me what we were doing that day, obtained consent and we began. The laser hurt about as bad as the IPL. Ouch! But again, tolerable. Afterwards, I was scared to look at myself. She handed me a mirror and I was indeed bruised and red. My cheeks were pulsating! I mean I could physically feel them beating. She gave me a face mask and told me I could ice my cheeks and take NSAIDs as needed. Ok. So I went on my merry way. The photo below is right after leaving the office.

    IMG_4608-1.jpg

    Scary, right?

    As the hours past, the red skin behind and around the bruises decreased as the effects of the initial insult wore off. My cheeks swelled more and more. It felt (and still feels) like I have 10 marshmellows in my cheeks. They didn't hurt... It's just.. uncomfortable. By the end of the night, I was probably more swollen than I would have been had I iced more. But I had a 45 minute drive home from the office that didn't allow me to ice during the crucial first hour. I took an advil and went to bed feeling fine. Photo below is from the night after the treatment.

    IMG_4615-1.jpg

    Day two: I woke up that morning and I could feel how swollen my face was before I even got out of bed. I went and looked in the mirror and my right eye was half swollen shut and my cheeks had doubled in size. Awesome. Still didn't hurt but I looked like a monster. I also noticed blisters on my right cheek (she must've hit this side heavier). Tiny fluid filled blisters lined this cheek. One was draining, the rest intact. Wasn't sure what to think about this. I just made sure not to disrupt them or touch my face too much. On the right side, I had also developing somewhat of a black eye. Photo below.

    IMG_4606-1.jpg


    Day 3: Looking a million times better than yesterday! The majority of the swelling has resolved and no more under eye bruising. The blisters absorbed and are nonexistent. My face actually feels pretty soft considering what it's been through. No pain whatsoever. I actually went to dinner at my parents tonight (they knew about the treatment). It was nice to get out of the house.


    Day 4: Today the color of the circles looks lighter. I took a photo and compared it to day 1 & 2 and they definitely appear to be healing.

    Day 5: The color of the circles is considerably lighter today. Still just hanging out at home with my pup! I'll continue to update on here. This site only allows 5 photos per post so i'll try to upload a couple under a comment.
    Last edited by redandburning4; 19 February 2018, 08:17 PM. Reason: update

  • #2
    You mentioned "bumps". I do not know what exactly that means in medical term but I called them also likewise and my doc gave me tetracycline which removed any bumps in very short time.
    Later I had done few IPLs then did Cutera laser which made me very good. In meantime I use LLLT for few minutes a day and have no bumps while redness is knocked down.
    To be honest, I don't think you've had big issue on face. Surely the rosacea means not a silky skin, but in your case it was quite good.
    I am sure that me, as a man, would find you an attractive woman despite of redness on face which don't get your beauty too much or at all.
    Lasers can be destructive - percentage of failed treatments because of bad settings or intolerable skin is quite low but sometimes it is not worth to pursue 100% ideal face because just the next laser session can destroy what you've already achieved. ^^

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Red,

      Just wondering how your healing is progressing?

      I hope you are doing well, being gentle to yourself and just taking things one day at a time.

      Blessings,
      Bluedog

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for creating this thread! I hope the tx helps kick your rosacea to the curb!

        Maybe put some aquaphor or vaseline on the blisters (or contact your derm)? I had a blister after a vbeam tx underneath my eye where the skin is pretty delicate, and I didn't do anything special to it and it left sort of a mark

        Comment


        • #5
          PDL tx

          Hi Guys!

          Thanks for taking interest in my thread and wishing me the best. I just updated days 3, 4, 5.

          Laser_cat: The blister just kind of absorbed by the third day.. I may still put some vaseline on my cheeks though to keep them hydrated. Thanks for the advice!

          Day 5 photo below:
          IMG_4682.jpg


          Forsberg: The "bumps" I was referring to were keratosis pilaris bumps. I do not have many of these anymore. The treatment was done for baseline redness and flushing which I have battled for years, especially from the mirvaso reaction. This is something I put a lot of thought into before scheduling. I am not seeking a perfect face by any means, but if there's something that can make me feel better about myself and reverse damage than I'll give it a try.
          Last edited by redandburning4; 19 February 2018, 08:56 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey, just wanted to ask how things are going. Did you recover well from the treatment?

            Comment


            • #7
              i suffer from the same redness.please keep us informed on progress...

              Comment


              • #8
                at me the friend to be treated by the same method. I would like to know whether it helps you?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi, I have had two VBeam PDL sessions and in both cases bruised really bad. I believe that the PDL reduced the overall redness but due to downtime to heal I didn't look at any more. I have just had my first BBL treatment, with two more to follow in the following 2 months. I am yet to confirm how it has helped with the redness but the good thing is that it has not bruised my skin like the PDL. One thing I wondered when I saw your post is that is mention KP on your arms - did these 'bumps' appear on the top of your arms at about the same time the redness appear on your cheeks?
                  PS: I don't have Rosacea but another condition that causes redness known as KPAF for short.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey,

                    Would be interested to hear an update on this if possible?

                    Thanks,

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Did you get any hyperpigmentation from this?

                      I too used Mirvaso which caused quite bad permanent redness.

                      I had PDL similar to yours and am almost three weeks into recovery. The bruising has faded but there's still redness and hyperpigmented (orange) marks where the lasers hit.
                      I'm recovering from Mirvaso-induced skin damage. Ask me about it if you are too.


                      T-Shirt: "Laser skin treatment. That's what it is if you're wondering. Yes, it hurt."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'd love to see an update on this! I plan on doing PDL soon!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by redandburning4 View Post
                          Hi Guys!

                          Thanks for taking interest in my thread and wishing me the best. I just updated days 3, 4, 5.

                          Laser_cat: The blister just kind of absorbed by the third day.. I may still put some vaseline on my cheeks though to keep them hydrated. Thanks for the advice!

                          Day 5 photo below:
                          [ATTACH=CONFIG]5204[/ATTACH]


                          Forsberg: The "bumps" I was referring to were keratosis pilaris bumps. I do not have many of these anymore. The treatment was done for baseline redness and flushing which I have battled for years, especially from the mirvaso reaction. This is something I put a lot of thought into before scheduling. I am not seeking a perfect face by any means, but if there's something that can make me feel better about myself and reverse damage than I'll give it a try.

                          any update on how this healed???

                          Comment

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