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Thread: Emotional impact of V-Beam: just how difficult is it?

  1. #1
    Senior Member tompkin's Avatar
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    Default Emotional impact of V-Beam: just how difficult is it?

    I want to try V-Beam but I'm scared.

    I'm coming to realize that topical treatments just won't do a single damn thing for my diffuse redness any more. I've tried Noritate, Metrocream, Rosacea-III disks, topical sulfur, generic Dristan and nothing seems to reduce the pinkness significantly. I've taken photos of myself under identical lighting conditions for several months and I can see no change at all.

    I've had YaG laser therapy twice, but although I appreciate the lack of downtime, I've seen no significant improvements either. Given that I have a fair bit of blonde peachfuzz, I'm reluctant to try IPL in case I'm one of those rare people who sees an increase in hair growth. I'm a woman in my forties: I have enough strikes against me already without being more hirsute than most men I know. :-)

    Finally, I've had a consult at the Baywood Clinic in Toronto, which has received mostly positive reviews here and elsewhere online, and have seen clearance of diffuse pink on before and after shots of some of their patients (and was told, of course, that there was no guarantee that I could get the same results). So logically speaking, V-Beam seems like the best fit for me. I'll willing to invest in 3-4 treatments to see if there's any real change.

    However, the days of redness and swelling so many people report here, and their distress at going through this each time, really concern me. I've had an incredibly crummy year, including a divorce (from a man who repeatedly referred to my skin as "ruddy", no matter how many times I told him that I hated that word), and I'm just starting to put myself together emotionally again. Many of you report that a spouse has been incredibly supportive -- well, I don't have that anchor any more. I know that I could basically hide out for a week or two after a session, but that means I have to either restructure or postpone classes and volunteer work.

    So on the one hand, maybe I should wait until much later in 2008. On the other hand, the sooner I start, the sooner I can get good results (I hope), and the more confident I'll be about getting back out there. Theoretically, I could keep making excuses and putting this off for a long time. But there has to be a good time to take the plunge, right?

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    Moderator Melissa W's Avatar
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    Hi Tompkin,

    I am sorry you had such a crummy year. You've been through a lot of stress to say the least. Let me say that I think you should go ahead and have the treatment sooner than later. Like you said, it will get you on track about feeling better about yourself.

    For me, the worst part about VBeam was not knowing what to expect. When I had my first VBeam last Jan (hard to believe, feels like a lifetime ago) I had no clue what I was going to look like or feel. The doctors said basically no downtime and some redness that would fade in a couple of hours. Absolutely not (for me). It was a shock. I was swollen for a few days (looked like a chipmunk) and my skin got this weird rough texture and I was very red for a few weeks. Having said that I had pretty good results concerning my flushing and burning. I have since had 5 VBeams and sure, after each one I am a bit nervous but nothing like that first VBeam. Now, I know what to expect, more or less, and if there are any surprises I go right to the Forum and usually find help.

    I would recommend finding a good and kind doctor (if you haven't already done so) and having your first VBeam. The results vary of course with the individual but I feel confident that it is unlikely to do any damage. If you have been following along with recent posts there was a concern brought up by me about thinning and pitting of the skin. That fear has been proven unfounded thank goodness. I believe VBeam is actually best for permanent redness (as opposed to flushing) so that should help you. It does take a # of treatments to see results concerning redness I understand but as long as you realize that you should be in good shape.

    I know how scary it is to feel like you're not in control and especially in your situation where you are starting over again in a way. You may not have a supportive spouse but you have friends, family and don't forget us. We are here for you to lean on. I know it's not the same but as long as you have a support system it will help. VBeam will be a walk in the park compared to what you have been through this year! Good luck and don't hesitate to lean on us!

    All the best,
    Melissa

    PS You can PM me anytime and I will give you my email/phone # if you want to talk.

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    Moderator phlika29's Avatar
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    You need to be clear with your doctor/technician whether you are going for a purpuric treatment or a sub purpuric treatment.

    If you want the full on bruising then down time will be increased as it can take a few weeks for the marks to disappear.

    If you are going for the lower levels then downtime will be reduced.

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    Senior Member tompkin's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the advice and the support. After my scare over eyebrow waxing, where my skin was swollen for a day and red for two days, I suspect I may be highly reactive to VBeam, even though I've walked out after YAG looking no worse for wear on the treated spots.

    I think the only "permanent" bad result may be the punch out effect (perhaps more visible upon flushing than at the neutral state), but Dr. Chan seems to think this is rare and easily fixed.

    My January and early February are hectic, and I have to be in the public eye a lot, but it looks as if I get a breather in mid-February. So I'm penciling in that date.

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    Tompkin,
    If I may chime in late that I have found Phlika and Melissa's advice always to be excellent and without peer. So, I would definitely go sooner rather than later.
    I have never reacted to any of the lasers I tried particularly badly except for most recently when I had v-beam to my jawline/upper neck. The jawline was fine but the neck area left what appeared to be welts for about two days- which I attribute to location not application. (Melissa and Phlika correctly predicted it would abate quickly.) The vast majority of my sub-pupuric v-beam treatments left no indication of having had it done by the next morning when I awoke.
    You may be like Mellisa as the missing member of Alvin and the Chipmunks, or you may be like many people with vitually no indication of having had the procedure in a very short time.
    I hope I am not out of line, but regarding your ex-husband, good riddance. The Marlboro man had a ruddy complexion, we have what I like to refer to as a lovely pinkish hue!
    Obviously a supportive spouse/significant other is great but that is why we all come to this site. No matter how supportive someone is at home, there is nothing like people that are in the same boat as you that empathize as well as sympathize. As Melissa wrote, you have the support and combined resources of people on this site at any time.
    Yours,
    Rob

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    Senior Member tompkin's Avatar
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    Thanks, Rob. Nice to hear from a guy with a "lovely pinkish hue" as well. :-) I hope I don't pass my audition to be the missing Chipmunk, but I'm prepared for it if it happens.

    One issue: I've searched old reports on VBeam and it's rare to see any permanent ill effects, but one or two people mentioned p&ps getting worse afterwards. I get those very rarely, but I guess it's good that I have a stock of Noritate on hand just in case. (Too bad I can't use sulfur!)

  7. #7
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    Tomkin

    Dr Chan has treated me 5 times with the vbeam.Their machine is the newer one so there will be no bruising.You will be red and swelled up for a few days but in a week you should be pretty much normal in color but you will have some bad days for the first couple of weeks.Don't expect immediate results and go for at least 3 or 4 treatments.My 5 treatments started in late Mar and the 5th was early Sept.They say that best results are 3 months or more after your treatments and i have to agree.In my opinion you have nothing to lose except the dent in the pocket book as you even live in Toronto.I had to drive 3 hours both ways 5 times to do it and with no regrets.Just remember the important fact...IT IS NOT A CURE !!!! It "IMPROVES" your quality of life.............

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    Senior Member tompkin's Avatar
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    Thanks, mick! It's especially good to hear from someone who's been at the same clinic. I'm definitely up for an improvement and don't expect a cure, and I know that I'll have to watch my food afterwards and be ready to come back for maintenance.

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    I was treated by Dr. Chan too. She's really nice, and the treatments helped quite a bit. Just remember that the results aren't permanent and that you'll have to go back for follow up treatments.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tompkin's Avatar
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    So is this now the official Dr. Chan fan thread? :-) I'm glad to hear another recommendation of her and the clinic. Yes, I'll budget for touch-ups. She told me at my consult that no matter how careful people were with diet or suncreen, a fall visit was the usual maintenance routine as most people found that summer did a number on them.

    thatguy, what kind of reaction and downtime did you have? Redness? Swelling?

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