The V-beam Laser: Looking Puffy, Feeling Angsty

HERE’S WHAT’S UP with me this week: I’m at home hiding inside my house.  This is because I had a V-beam laser treatment at the doctor’s office a few days ago and now my face, as it heals, is a puffy mess.

Yes, I look like a cross between a jack-o-lantern and a piglet.  Well, not orange or pink, but structurally that’s what I look like.  In bright red.  Like I spent the day at the beach without sunblock.

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SO WHY DID I have another V-beam treatment?  Good question.  Glad you asked.

I suffer from rosacea.  This means that my face gets all red and blotchy because of annoying spider veins, blood vessels and broken capillaries which show through my pale skin.  ‘Tis not pretty.

And it is embarrassing because I look like I’m embarrassed even though I know that I’m not.  This, in turn, makes me flush red because I’m embarrassed about how I look embarrassed when I’m not really embarrassed.  [With me here?]

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THE PROPENSITY FOR rosacea occurs within anyone with a northern European heritage.  It’s genetics, people.  And as such you have three options.

  1. Ignore it and pretend that looking like a drunk all the time is exactly the image you want to project;
  2. Avoid certain trigger foods and drinks while taking daily antibiotics to tame the redness;  OR
  3. Have periodic V-beam laser treatments at the doctor’s office to zap those annoying ugly red veins, vessels and capillaries out of existence.

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BUT ROSACEA IS a condition for which there is no cure;  one can only manage the symptoms.  To wit, each round of laser treatments destroys some of the veins, vessels and capillaries, but there are always more just waiting to make their appearance on your face.

Which is why I’m once again at home avoiding the sun, dodging all mirrors and waiting for my face to not feel fat.  If experience holds true, the results will be worth it… but the wait is making me angsty.

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[Not my doctors, but some V-beam laser information if you’re interested.]

University of North Carolina

University of Virginia

YouTube video of doctor doing procedure like the one I had done.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

27 thoughts on “The V-beam Laser: Looking Puffy, Feeling Angsty”

    1. belle, this V-beam is considered a gentle laser. There is no numbing cream during the treatment– and no meds before or after it. That being said, the light pulse feels like a wet rubber band stinging your face.

      My doc is a gentle guy who gives me breathing room between laser jolts and tells me exactly what area he is doing next so the treatment is controlled and bearable.

      From my point of view the short term pain is worth the long term results. No red is good. 🙂

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  1. I’ve never asked my doctor if that is what I have but if it is I’m going with “ignore it and pretend that looking like a drunk all the time is exactly the image I want to project.”

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    1. Mike, you make me smile. I didn’t ask my doctor if I had it, he told me that I had it. While the redness on my face is annoying the real issue is to make sure that it doesn’t spread into my eyes. Which can happen unfortunately. With miserable consequences.

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      1. I have the spider veins on my left cheek. Less so on my right cheek. My dad had them, too. Of course, he actually was a drunk. I’m a former blond who isn’t able to tan so they are quite visible.

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              1. I’ve joked with the kids (or maybe it isn’t a joke) that when I turn 65 later this year I’m going to assume a grumpy old man persona and say outrageous things in public that will embarrass them. If someone asks me about my red face I’ll smile and say, “I drink a lot.”

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  2. A note for all you Bean fans out there – Mrs. T.S. Bean looks neither like a “jack-o-lantern” nor a “piglet.” She looks as beautiful as ever. In a puffy sort of way . . heh-heh . .

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  3. Beautifully puffy is very sweet. We love your Zen-Den!

    I hope you recover quickly. I don’t have rosacea and it sounds like I should be very glad of that. Things that threaten my eyes really freak me out. I’ve considered laser hair removal which I’m sure is an entirely different process, but the whole laser thing sounds more painful than I thought it would be.

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    1. Zazzy, rosacea isn’t all that bad. There are many, far worse, medical problems with which to contend. Overall it doesn’t slow me down very often.

      As for laser hair removal, I don’t know a thing about it. It might be a less painful procedure. Or not. 😉

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  4. Very courageous of you to post about it! I had laser treatments to little strawberry spots that pop just like…well…strawberries! I didn’t find it all that uncomfortable but it’s not as much fun as a glass of wine! It works though. I have a dear friend with lumpy rosacea and I have been trying to get her to try laser treatments for years. I fear that one day she will get the bulbous nose that goes with it too.

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    1. kate, “it works” are the best two words to describe this treatment. I don’t exactly jump for joy anticipating it, but the results speak for themselves. A bit of pain, a week of puffy– then no more red veins for a few years. I can live with this solution.

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  5. This is a very interesting post; I had heard of that condition, but not about its treatments. My dad has skin cancer and has to have periodic “facial” treatments or burning off and he hates scaring all the little kids in the grocery store.

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    1. Margaret, this is a rather stupid thing to suffer from. In no way is it as serious as skin cancer. While I grant that looking red isn’t the end of the world, in our image-obssessed society it is a problem for me. So I do the V-beam treatments every so often. The recovery time is more boring than anything else.

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      1. My dad has had it for a long time. He is fair skinned(of Scottish/English/Irish descent) and worked in the Forest service as a young man–up in the Washington mountains, fighting fires and NOT using sunblock, which was unheard of at the time anyway. Now he’s paying the price.

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    1. philosophermouse, the treatment works to varying degrees forever. It’s just that more redness appears in different places and that in turn has to be zapped. [Or accepted, I guess.] The worse part of it for me is the boredom waiting for the puffy to go away.

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    1. Kristen, I only learned about the laser treatment because my doc told me I needed it. I’d never heard of it, but now that I’ve gone through a few of them I agree with him that it’s a good idea for me.

      And, yes– Zen-Den is a keeper. Sweet guy. Funny + smart, too.

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