I didn’t even know how to name today’s post. Skin TMI? The ugly truth about sun damage..? Something along those lines. And I also struggled with whether I should write it or not as well. I mentioned in my post on Monday that I was going to talk about something personal, so here it is and be prepared for some not so pretty photos and no make-up. The very personal part is at the end.
Last October I decided to do something for my skin. If you’ve been a follower for a while then you might remember that I had a horrible cold sore breakout on my nose (and lip as you can see below) at the beach this summer. That’s not the first time either. It was that bad that I kept the red skin an a scar.
My kids had made me a mud mask out of ocean mud 🙂 but their efforts weren’t that helpful.
Besides my sun glasses imprint in the photo below you can see the red scar on my nose. And also all the sun damage and spots on my skin.
So I decided to have an IPL laser treatment done on my face to remove all the sun damage and improve the allover appearance while also trying to prevent skin cancer forming on my face.
I’m obviously not a medical professional so I don’t want to get into details because I don’t want to misinform you about it which is the reason I will only tell you what I did and give you some broader info.
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and is used to perform various skin treatments including hair removal, photo rejuvenation for example the treatment of skin pigmentation, sun damage and veins.
I’m not wearing any makeup in any of the photos because you can’t and the photos were taken with my iPhone.
The next photo is right after the treatment still in the doctor’s office. During the treatment I was wearing a numbing gel. It hurt a little, similar to a rubber band snapping on your face. And I ended up looking like someone slapped me in the face though at the end.
You could see all the spots darkening already right after.
And more and more later on.
The plan is for the spots to raise to the surface and eventually fall off which, to my surprise, they actually did. Look at them all! Isn’t that crazy?
After about a week they flake off . It was like having dirt in my hands when I brushed over my face.
The two photos below are about 4 days after the treatment.
The skin takes about a month to completely heal.
And the photo below was taken yesterday. I did take it with my good camera but that should usually only help to show more detail and less blur. You can see how much better my skin and discoloration looks. Isn’t it amazing? I still have some spots which are certain moles that don’t disappear and of course the wrinkles that remain.
Here is one with make-up that was taken right before Christmas but it’s slightly blurry:
IPL treatment before and after
A lot of women spend a ton of money on lotions, potions and make-up to get rid off or cover these spots up. I think if you add that money up then it comes up to the price of one of these treatments and you get the added part of skin cancer prevention. So for me it’s worth it.
Well… that was the very good part of the story… lets get to the rest of the story…
Right before Christmas I went to the dermatologist because I had noticed a spot on the middle of my breast which I found out after Christmas was skin cancer. Yeah that darn awful word!
I’m so beyond thankful that it is Basal Cell Carcinoma, the easiest treatable form of skin cancer. So much for keeping my boobs out of the sun though, right? It’s such an odd spot. I have always loved the sun but have used sun tan lotion and only once went topless in the south of France in my late teens. It certainly scares me to think where else I could get it if skin cancer shows up in an area where the sun barely touched.
I don’t want the area to get butchered so I decided to see a plastic surgeon on Monday to discuss having him remove it. Symmetry will be an issue.
What I didn’t know is that besides a plastic surgeon having better skills to prevent the skin from scaring, he also does the procedure at a hospital where there is a pathologist present who will look at the cutout flesh to determine whether more needs to be cut out right away. It still gets sent to a lab but the majority of the time they get it all this way. I don’t want to have to go back again and again to get more cut out like a friend of mine had to do.
If this is the worst I will ever have, I can certainly live with that. I’m scared however to get more and am praying that that won’t happen.
After all that I’m now considering to get an IPL treatment on my chest which is why I decided to write this post. It is considered cosmetic but to me it’s worth it to try to prevent other cells from forming, especially in an area that is so visible. I’d love to do my arms too because there are so many spots but I just can’t afford it.
I was lucky to have found a doctor’s office where the price was really great (click HERE). It was the doctor that did my c-section scar revision.
The plastic surgeon I’m going to this time has a dermatologist in the office who I will switch to now to be my regular dermatologist.
This certainly puts a damper on our yearly beach vacation. It’s my favorite thing in the world to just sit on the beach, feel the sun and listen to the ocean. Overly exposing my breast to the sun was certainly not the case here for me, so I don’t even know what to do or believe anymore and I also have never been someone who burnt easily either.
I know it’s an odd ending for this post but all I can say is that I will keep you guys updated and and I hope that this was maybe somewhat helpful or informative for some of you.