Beautyknot ~ My Skin Care Diary

Beautyknot ~ GentleYAG Diary

Posted on: November 12, 2010

 

In order to age gracefully, importance of daily skin care is unquestionable. As a skin care junkie, I cannot resist trying clinical treatment but restricted only to non-ablative treatment. After weighting the pros and cons over a year, I was ready to take the risk of laser treatment.

 

Potential Risks: Bear in mind any medical procedure comes with risk. Millions info of medical treatments are available online, including risk assessments, realistic outcome, both positive and negative testimonials. Depending on your chosen laser treatment, potential side effects are including redness, swelling, bruising, blistering, discoloration with minimal or no recovery time. Additionally, malpractice (which can accelerate aging) by inexperienced/unskillful/irresponsible practitioner.

My Lifestyle: A workaholic until 27 years-old. Adopting discipline and healthy lifestyle since five years ago. Never smoked, rarely drink. 

Sun Damage History: Having two sunburns in my puberty. A relatively mild one in 20s.   

Sun Protection: Only wear sunblock/suncreen after 30 year-old.

Previous Treatment: None. This is my very first medical facial treatment. Always home care, go for spa facial once in a bluemoon. 

My expectation: Minimized pore size. More defined and lifted facial contours.

GentleYAG Laser : 1064nm wavelength with Candela patented cryogen cooling system (DCD™). It is non-ablative treatment that targets the lower layers of skin (dermis), while leaving the skin’s surface (epidermis) unharmed and intact. There are two sessions of this treatment. According to my dermatologist, first session is for skin tightening that heating dermis to trigger new collagen production. The second session treats epidermis for skin rejuvenation. It has limited benefit for pigmentation and spider vein in my case. GentleYAG is also used for hair removal.

Treatment performed by: Dermatologist and assisted by one of the clinic assistant.

Clinic:  A clinic in BKK city with basic ambience.

Procedure:

  1. Removed makeup/sunscreen on treating areas.
  2. Placed an ice pack on both cheeks for about a minute prior to treatment. (optional if you’re more tolerant with pain)
  3. Eyes were covered tightly by a towel by the assistant during the treatment.
  4. The dermatologist used the laser handpiece to shot the whole face except eye area and lips. No pain but slight heaty on cheeks (feel like strong gas shot). A little bit of burning smell sometimes. Quite painful (like ant bite, but tolerable) for forehead and slightly for chin. According to the dermatologist, the skin on forehead is thiner and more attached to bone, thus more pain. Around 100+ shots for whole face each treatment. Skin looked reddening, slightly blotchy but felt tighter right after the treatment.
  5. Take 1-3 minutes break to disperse the skin heat.
  6. The dermatologist re-inputs the program setting and using optical light beam for treated area. Skin would be feeling comfortably warm like facial steaming. This is for rejuvenation, skin looked brighter and even toned right after this.
  7. Done. Approximately 10-20 minutes for each complete laser treatment.

Time & Cost: THB2500 per treatment. Each treatment is about one month apart. Recommend 3~5 treatments for optimal result.

Skin care routine: According to my dermatologist, no after-care is needed because this is non-ablative treatment that people can put on makeup and go to work immediately right after the treatment. But, I do used anti-aging products consistently in order to accelerate the positive improvements. My daily staplers during the period are Kiehl’s 10.5% Vitamin C, Estee Lauder ANR Synchronized Complex, Rojukiss Protox Serum and mineral sunscreens, together with non-irritating lotion and moisturizer. In addition, I also try to minimize direct sun exposure, wear sufficient sunblock under sun and stop exfoliating few days before and after each treatment.

 

1st treatment (291109):

This was my very first time, so I was actually very nervous in the beginning. Right after the treatment, skin was evened up and brightened up with subtle redness and swelling on few spots. Besides, skin was feeling warm and slightly tighter gradually. The feeling continued for few hours.

During the 1st week, my skin obviously felt more hydrated, depth of dry line slightly improved, freckles had been slightly lighten and broken capillaries also slightly faded (temporary). Although the skin was returned to previous stage since the 2nd week, but the skin surely suffered  less dehydration than before.

There was one thing that actually got me terrified. While I don’t have nasolabial line, I felt like the line has become more visible. (Fortunately that returned to normal/invisible again since the second treatment).

 

2nd treatment (030110):

I had a post-treatment consultation with my dermatologist to evaluate my satisfaction level, skin improvement, expectation, concern, realistic goal…etc. She decided to increase the energy for 2nd treatment (Energy level:38) because she was actually using milder setting (Energy level:36) for 1st treatment since I was too nervous and worried about the pain.

With the experience of 1st treatment, I was more psychological ready. Skin was more tolerant and redness subsidized within 2 hours. Perhaps I got the 2nd treatment done in evening, thus no sun exposure after treatment.

Again, skin obviously felt firmer and smoother texture as I mentioned in 1st treatment. For unknown reason, the immediate result was not as fantastic as the first time, yet the improvement retained until the 3rd treatment. Sounds like the improvement was accumulating through multiple treatments.

 

3rd treatment (310110):

I was an obedient patient to follow proper guideline, so I continued with 3rd treatment although the actual result wasn’t as fantastic as I expected but I believed the pore size had became slightly smaller, with very small margin.

As usual, I had one-to-one consultation with my dermatologist first. I asked her about Frexel laser since she mentioned it previously for more dramatic result, but meantime I had done a little survey about Fraxel and I couldn’t afford the risk of hyper-pigmentation, and of course the extra digit of each treatment cost was also part of hesitation. She showed me the Fraxel laser (Reliant) device confidently and encouraged me to survey around with other clinics before making any decision. That was why I was happy with her, she always patient and friendly to answer all my queries until I asked enough. In addition, she never being pushy yet encouraged me to study around for best option. Virtually that was what I did but I appreciated her advise still. However I don’t think Fraxel is what I really want, it mainly targets enlarged pores and pitted holes (resulted from acne).

She decided to increase the energy level again to 40 since I was willing to give it a try. When I asked her what was the maximum level, she told me the level adjusted to skin color, for me the maximum level should be 42.

This time, the only painful part was my forehead (thinner and more attached to bone). The first round of shooting was still tolerable, but second round was really painful like biting by bee. I managed to bare the pain until the treatment done. My dermatologist told me that was because the heat of the first round yet to be dispersed hence the heat was accumulated to second round. Anyway, they gave me the ice pack to cool down the heat for a minute, feeling fine later. Right after treatment, my skin texture obviously much smoother than previous two treatments, but my forehead seemed bitten by many mosquitoes that left many temporary red blotches. (“b) The redness faded off completely within 3 hours.

I was happy that I didn’t quit in half way. Although all expression fine lines are still visible exist, pores appears a little smaller but my skin was bouncy soft (some people called that baby-butt soft) everyday! By the way, the intense bouncy softness lasted for 3 weeks only. Sad.

 

4th treatment (280210):

As usual, I reviewed the result with my dermatologist. She commented my skin looked better and the mild melasma faded slightly. However, she also told me the parameter setting wasn’t for brightening, hence limited improvement.

This 4th treatment had done with energy level-40, but reduced for forehead because the pain was really challenging my maximum tolerance. The skin refining and firmness were normally more noticeable on the 2nd or 3th day and again, first two week is fabulous then slowly degraded a little bit. As a whole the smaller pore is more obvious and the intense bouncy skin maintained for more than 4weeks this time. By the way, I hardly suffer skin irritation in nowadays, the treatments is truly helpful that improved the moisture in skin deep.

 

Conclusion:

I have summarized all above noticeable improvements here:

  • Improved skin sensitivity – my skin was rarely stinging nowadays, eventhough nearly 9 months now since the last treatment.
  • Hydration – The result in first few weeks was remarkably good (work synergically with skin care routine) although dehydration still occurs occasionally due to my naturally thin skin. 
  • More balanced skin – my skin type is combination (in very humid weather) and normal (in drier weather, even in rainy season). Previously I think have oily-dry skin (oily but dehydrated).
  • Firmness – I was told by two skin analysis devices (Kanebo & SK-II) that my skin dermis strength was strong but I saw no appreciable change of my skin texture. Apparently pores and dry lines neither vanish optically nor become noticeable smaller despite the skin should continue building new collagen in 1~3 months even the treatment stopped. 

 

In fact my dermatologist commented I don’t need skin tightening when she first saw me, instead she recommended Vbeam laser for my redness and pigmentation. After 4 treatments and now more than 8 months passed since the last treatment, I do believe there was some tightening in my skin deep. With untrained eyes, that was actually hard and very hard to tell if any improvement. My SO who had been seeing me everyday said he didn’t notice any difference of my face before and after. Hey! May I say I have maintained my skin fairly well?

Overall I think the GentleYAG treatment is more like a Skin Rejuvenation treatment instead of real Skin Tightening treatment that can lift face contour more dramatically. Eventhough a Skin Tightening technique such as Thermage (normally required one treatment only, more painful and costly, long recovery time) can only improve 20~30% in skin lifting. Finally I realized only costly and risky cosmetic surgery can really kick the age 10 years away, hence prevention is definitely better than cure.

If you are interested in laser skin treatment, I suggest you to read here for some basic knowledge of both ablative and non-ablative lasers.

 

Why no Before-and-After pictures

Frankly, that was difficult for me to do that. First, I’ve no wrinkle to give better insight of improvement. Second, I don’t have visibly saggy skin. The oval of my face looked almost identical before and after although I’m very certain that was increment of firmness, thus a tad more well-defined contour, but again picture can’t really show that precisely (at least with my photo-shooting skill). Third, basically the size of aging pores can tell the result better since they are the only visible sign on my face (well, don’t count the eye bags and fine lines in, the laser didn’t treat the area), but as I mentioned, they are still visible and very difficult to be differentiated in Before-and-After Pictures.

 

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4 Responses to "Beautyknot ~ GentleYAG Diary"

Thanks for your detailed review. I was looking into getting the Yag laser resurfacing done. There is an online “Groupon” to a center near Baltimore offering a significant discount for 3 treatments. But now I think I’ll pass. I’ve have “Fractional” laser treatments before and had a terrible reaction and “NO” results. The Yag sounds about the same. I don’t want to go through that again, especially since there is no visible improvement. I am saving my pennies for the knife!!! ;-D

Hello gigi,
Thanks for sharing your experience and I feel like the benefits of laser have been exaggerated somewhat by dermatologist. The laser treatment would help only when doing a right treatment for right candidate, at least plastic surgery promises appreciable result (“only” with higher cost and risk). (“v)

may i ask do you still remember the name of the clinic and the doctor? your result to this treatment makes me wanna go see a doctor here.
thank you

Hi Skycafe,

Right now I don’t recall the Clinic name but it was located at Siam square. There are several beauty clinics in Siam Square, you can walk in and make an inquiry about their product and services.

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My apology

Hi, many things have been keeping my mind and time occupied these days, thus I need more time to response to all comments. Please bear with me, thank you.

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Sensitive, combination skin type, visible blood vessels, freckles, easily dehydrated, dry and having fine line undereye, occasional breakout, visible aging pores.

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