Sunday, July 3, 2011

My experiences with laser hair removal

Almost a year ago, there was a Groupon for 3 visits of Laser Hair Removal for a decent price. I checked out the doctor offering this and she had a good rep so I bought it. I've been annoyed by my chin hair for years. It actually seems better since I lost all that weight, but not enough better than I can stop shaving every day. I knew that it typically takes 6-8 visits to get rid of hair in an area, not three, but I figured my only goal was to cut down on hair in the area and also I could always sign up for more at the full price, if I felt it necessary.

Fast forward to June... still haven't gotten around to using the groupon and there is no way I'm paying for additional treatments without a job. But it's about to expire and I did pay for, so I make my appointment.

A few days prior, they call me to tell me to shave the area the night before  or morning of and to give me some sort of prescription that I am to start taking two days before. I have been shaving instead of plucking ever since I read that this makes the treatment more effective so that part is fine. The prescription becomes an issue because I still haven't straightened out my COBRA.

As an aside, my company is driving me crazy when it comes to COBRA and they still haven't told my medical carriers that I am getting it so I still can't get any prescriptions filled or make any medical appointments. I hope to finally get everything straightened out on Tuesday, but I am not hopeful. In the meantime, I'm busily researching other options.

Back to the laser hair removal... after paying over $65 for this prescription, which turned out to be some sort of anti-viral pill and not the cream I was envisioning, I started taking it, twice a day as directed. I dutifully shaved both the night before and the morning of and drove down to Los Gatos.

They told me to be early to fill out paperwork, which I was, and then I had to wait an addition 30 minutes after my appointment time to be seen. The actual appointment took about 10 minutes, tops. They put that same goo on my face as is used for an ultrasound and then zapped me in the "goatee" area. OHMYGOD that sucker HURT! It hurt much worse than I was expecting.

Then I got told to make an appointment 4-6 weeks in the future. Really? I can only get this done once a month? It's going to take forever to finish this process!

The next morning, I swear there was a visible difference in my chin hair. I didn't expect it to work so well so fast. Heck, I could never go back and I'd be happy at this point. However, I get two more treatments. I am anticipating that  the lip area will be completely clear and the chin area will be significantly reduced just with three treatments, which makes me very happy.

Spending four weeks dreading the pain of being zapped is a less happy thought. The technician told me to put ice on the area for 30 minutes prior. I had a vision of driving down to Los Gatos with a big ice bag on my face. Hopefully I won't get a ticket for doing it but there is no way I'm going back without some way to deal with the pain.

I forgot to take the rest of the anti-viral medicine too. I also have been out in the sun a lot. You are supposed to go nuts with the sunscreen for three weeks after to avoid "hyper-pigmentation." I've been trying to be a good girl about the sunscreen but two days after the treatment, I went on a 10 hour bike ride in the blazing sun and didn't reapply every hour. But I did reapply and so far I haven't seen any skin coloration issues.

My only complaint at this point is that my treatment was for only one "area" so there are two spots on my check and some sparse areas on my neck that won't get treated. I guess the "face" isn't an area. If I can stand the pain and I get to the point where I can afford it again, I may go back to get the neck done some day. Then again.... that sucker hurt!
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