As told to Elise Minton
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always contemplated doing something about my eyes. Once I got to a certain age, my under-eyes suddenly began to look hollow and the skin became droopy. My skin is naturally very thin, which didn’t help with the creases that started to crop up there—they only became more evident. Even though I moisturize the area daily and use concealer to camouflage my wrinkles, there was no fooling nature.
Four years ago, I had my first laser done (a CO2 laser) around my eyes. I also had fat transferred to the area to help plump it up. It was around this time that I also started getting regular injections of Dysport. The results, at first, were remarkable. I literally looked 10 years younger and was so thrilled. Despite the fact that I kept up with the Dysport and always wore moisturizer under my eyes, the original issues I had slowly returned.
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I wasn’t ready to undergo a facelift, but I knew that I needed to do something, again. So, I consulted with a plastic surgeon (I saw Jupiter, FL, plastic surgeon Dana Goldberg, MD) on having another laser done. She suggested a less-invasive laser treatment this time to help restore a youthful look to my eyes.
Once I decided to have the treatment, I talked through all of my questions with Dr. Goldberg. She made me feel really confident about the particular laser she suggested—the Cutera Pearl fractional laser. I was given explicit directions on what to do (and not do) while my skin healed after the laser—I wasn’t able to work out or go in the sun. And, I had to stop using Retin-A beforehand. But other than that, there was nothing else I really needed to do to prep my skin for the procedure. My only concern was that the recovery time would take longer than expected and I wouldn’t be able to return to work in a reasonable timeframe.
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The day of the laser, my doctor gave me some anti-anxiety medication. Then, she injected my face with some medication to numb it. During the procedure, all I felt was a little bit of pressure—it wasn’t painful in the least bit. But I was relieved when it was all done. I went home with some pain medication, which I only needed to take for two days, and a lot of Aquaphor, which I had to wash off with distilled vinegar and water.
The day after I had the laser done my face was a little raw and there were some areas were it was bleeding. As the days passed, the treated areas become red, scabbed and swollen. It wasn’t easy to look at. But I didn’t touch it, like I was told. By day three, the scabs started to heal and the swelling began to go down. But my face was still red and I looked like I had an extremely bad sunburn. I could also see some of the marks on my skin from the laser itself. About one week later, I could cover up my skin with special post-procedure makeup and return to work. I wish I had the luxury of time to wait another week before I presented my new face to the outside world because it took a good two to three weeks for my skin to fully recover.
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It was after that first week that I started to see a difference. The skin under my eyes was less wrinkled, but it was still red with visible laser markings. I was assured that the marks would go away with time and that my skin would improve over the next six months. I knew I had to be patient and let the laser work its magic. But I have to say that I was ecstatic about the initial result—I looked so young.
After a few months, I decided, after discussing with Dr. Goldberg, to have Botox injected to smooth out some of the more prominent lines that pop up around my eyes when I smile. I’m very expressive so there was no getting around it. A little Botox really helped to erase my crow’s-feet and it even enhanced the results of the laser.
Even after everything that I’ve been through, I continue to be critical about my eyes—that’s just me. But I am thrilled with the final result. There was major improvement that just continues to get better with time. I’m constantly complimented on how young and fresh my skin looks. I finally feel like I look as young as I feel.
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