Hello again! It’s time for yet another update!
I just had my FIFTH treatment using the LightSheer laser today (August 25, 2003).
If you want specific information about my first four treatments you can see my old posts:
First LightSheer Treatment: MALE FACIAL HAIR from Dec 24, 2002
Second LightSheer Treatment: MALE FACIAL HAIR from Feb 24, 2003
Third LightSheer Treatment: MALE FACIAL HAIR from Apr 23, 2003.
Fourth LightSheer Treatment: MALE FACIAL HAIR from June 23, 2003.
My member number is #1466. You can use this number to make it easy to find the previous messages. I think that the search function only goes back so far, so you may have to find the messages “by hand”. I promise they’re there (I just found them myself).
Once again, if you guys haven’t read the previous messages, I recommend reading them to understand the big picture of how my treatments have been going. This way I won’t have to repeat stuff and take up too much unnecessary space.
Anyway, it has been two months since my last treatment.
About two weeks after the fourth treatment (the one before this one), I noticed a few tiny patches of hair that were missed (didn’t get zapped) around my face. Definitely much less than the last treatment, and most of them were around my chin and upper lip, with a few tiny ones behind my ear on my neck (the area a lot of guys miss when shaving!). But all in all a great job! The results get better every time!
At that time, I drew a picture of a face and marked all of the missed spots for the doctor. I showed it to him before this treatment I also reminded him it was a mirror image (this is why premeds have to take organic chemistry as undergrads!).
The doc kept the settings the same this time (33J, 30ms, 1.0 Hz repetition rate). On my last post I made a mistake and said it was 1.5Hz for the fourth treatment, but I checked with the doc and it was 1.0Hz!
Also, the chin and upper lips areas didn’t seem as affected by the laser as the cheeks and neck. Just like all the other times, the lower neck area had the best results, while the cheeks were somewhere in between. There was more “minatured” hair on the cheeks than on the other parts, but interspersed with the regular “thick” facial hair. Some of the miniaturized hair had also been growing back on the neck, which is a little bit scary, but I still think that the amount of reduction and removal is better than last time. But there were patches on my chin and upper lip this time where there was NO hair whatsoever. All in all there was less hair (fine and thick) than the other treatments. PROGRESS!
I used generic 5% lidocaine this time, about 10-15g, and waited about 2.5 hours before the treatment. It REALLY helped.
The pain was less than last time, and I think it was a combination of hair being less and the fact that I waited long enough to let the anesthetic take effect!
The doc used 33J this time, and 30ms pulse width. Same as last time. He said that because of the (mild, but still present) scabbing he would not go up anymore until the remaining patches of hair got a lot finer during later treatments:
1st Treatment (Dec 24, 2002): 23J, 30ms
2nd Treatment (Feb 24, 2003): 27J, 30ms
3rd Treatment (April 21, 2003): 30J, 30ms (repetition rate slowed down to 1.5 pulses/second)
4th Treatment (June 23, 2003): 33J, 30ms (repetition rate slowed down to 1.0 pulses/second)
5th Treatment (August 25, 2003): 33J, 30ms, 1Hz
6th Treatment (not done yet): 33J, 30ms, 1Hz
7th Treatment (not done yet): 33J, 30ms, 1Hz
8th Treatment (not done yet): 33-34J, 30ms, 1Hz
9th Treatment (not done yet): 33-34J, 30ms, 1Hz
10th Treatment (not done yet): 33-34J, 30ms, 1Hz
11th Treatment (not done yet): 33-35J, 30ms, 1Hz
12th Treatment (not done yet): 33-35J, 30ms, 1Hz
13th Treatment (not done yet):33-35J, 30ms, 1Hz
14th Treatment (not done yet):33-36J, 30ms, 1Hz
15th Treatment (not done yet):33-36J, 30ms, 1Hz
16th Treatment (not done yet): 33-36J, 30ms, 1Hz
About the chart that I made above (the one with the fluences): I also don’t think he would go up in any bigger increments, because now we’re definitely above the “threshold” that some have talked about for ‘permanent’ reduction for my type IV skin type, while also getting into the kinds of fluences that can cause scabbing and other nasty side effects (hypo/hyper pigmentation). So I assumed that the max he would go up is 1J every three treatments or so. It is very likely I have reached my max threshold at 33J and that if I do go any higher it may be only by 1J when about 95% or more of the coarse hairs are gone.
In either case, it won’t go that much higher until only fine hairs are left to be zapped. At that point (which I think I will reach at treatment 12 or so), I might be able to go a max of 3J higher, bringing the potential max fluence to 36J. So much for my dream of reaching 45J!
Also I found out that I was slightly wrong about the repetition rate on my last post (I thought it was lowered to 1.5Hz @ treatment 4, but it was actually lowered to 1.5Hz @ treatment 3 and 1.0Hz @ treatment 4, and it will stay at 1.0Hz until I’m finished).
I asked the doctor once again what he thought the touchups would cost and revised my predictions about costs for touchups (see my last post for a detailed description of the pricing and my predictions about what the whole procedure would cost) . . . I’ve paid for the package of 5 treatments (this treatment was the last one in the package) and touchups are $50 for every 15 minutes after that . . . I’m guessing a touchup will run about 30 minutes or so . . . So every touch up is $100 for the actual laser treatment. But I revised and realized that worst case, each touch up may last 45 minutes, so it would cost $150 a touchup max.
I think that every touchup will require about $25-$50 of topical anesthetic max, so that means the total maximum cost of touchup will be $200 if you include laser treatment and anesthetic.
If the touchups are every two months, the cost will be $100 absolute max per month including the numbing cream until I’m done. Realistically, I’ll probably pay anywhere from $65 to $75 because I’ll only use about half a tube of anesthetic, and the treatment may or may not exceed 30 minutes. But it may be a little higher depending on anesthetic use and treatment time (as time goes on, I may start using less and less anesthetic).
My face looked the best this time after the treatment (compared to all other previous treatments), and there was less pain than after any of the other treatments.
I was able to wash off practically ALL of the burnt up hair on my face at the office. A FIRST! I actually look pretty normal and would not be afraid to go outside today or tomorrow if I had to (although I would WEAR SUNBLOCK!).
I think the redness will be gone by the end of the day, perhaps tomorrow at the latest. The “recovery” period gets less and less every time.
Be careful out there and WEAR SUNBLOCK!!
RAISING THE FLUENCE IN 2003
[ September 06, 2003, 12:00 AM: Message edited by: Zap ]