If you've ever dealt with the skin condition called rosacea, you know that the hard-to-cover skin condition can be slightly embarrassing and sometimes painful. As someone who suffers from mild rosacea, I'm always looking for new treatments for this condition. So when I heard about using laser treatments for rosacea, it piqued my interest. And when I had the opportunity to visit Shafer Plastic Surgery to try out a Vbeam laser treatment, I jumped at it.
Before my treatment, I assumed that laser procedures were going to be part of my beauty regimen way down the line, not when I'm in my early 20s. But according to Graceanne Svendsen, the aesthetician who performed my procedure, lasers are becoming increasingly popular with women in their 20s, particularly those who deal with skin conditions such as rosacea or general unevenness.
The treatment I tried out was the Vbeam Perfecta, a pulsed-dye laser that can be used to treat anything from rosacea to acne scars. Using a series of light pulses that target red, swollen blood vessels, they help get rid of the red spots that are a trademark of rosacea.
My rosacea isn’t too severe, but as soon as Svendsen saw my makeup-free skin, she said I was a perfect candidate for the Vbeam laser.
With my rosacea, slight unevenness, and fair, freckled skin, I had a number of issues that the Vbeam could easily treat in one fell swoop. And the best part? There would be basically no downtime after my treatment. Shafer Plastic Surgery carries Oxygenetix, a foundation initially developed for doctors at the UCLA Hospital Burn and Dermatology Ward for use after burn treatment and injuries. Its healing formula contains aloe vera and ceravitae, which help stop post-laser treatment skin from becoming red and inflamed. At the same time, the foundation helps cover any residual redness from the treatment, which means you can go about your day normally after your procedure is over.
Oxygenetix Foundation, oxygenetix.com (Available at select medical spas and dermatologists)
With the knowledge that my skin would likely be just fine after my treatment, I was game to try out the Vbeam on a Friday right before a weekend packed with activities. Svendsen started out the treatment by cleansing my skin of any makeup, then she had me put on a pair of protective eye goggles. I was slightly nervous about the pain of the treatment, but it was way better than I expected. Every time the laser pulsed on my skin, there was a flash of light and a pulse of cool air, but very little pain. I've read that laser treatments feel a little like a rubber band snapping on your skin, and that's a pretty good comparison. Honestly, the flash of light was the most unsettling part, particularly when Svendsen put the laser closer to my eyes (Vbeam can also help with under eye circles).
The entire process took less than 10 minutes from start to finish, and Svendsen followed it up by applying the Oxygenetix foundation to half of my face. You can see in this image how much more even and clear my face looked with the foundation, but it didn’t feel heavy at all — the light coverage was perfect for my post-treatment face, and the aloe in the formula provided some much-needed coolness.
My face felt perfectly fine with an hour or so of my treatment, and I was treated to smoother, clearer skin in the weeks that came. And the stubborn rosacea from my cheeks? It was reduced and less likely to flare up when I was too hot, too cold or had a glass of red wine (one of the quickest ways for my rosacea to flare). In the weeks that followed, I also experienced less hormonal pimples than normal, which I'm prone to getting on my chin.
Laser treatment does its best work if you're consistent about getting treatments, but even one experience proved to me that laser treatment is a legit solution for rosacea.
Images: Westend61/Westend61/Getty Images; Jessica Thomas (2); Courtesy of Oxygenetix