So, today was my first appointment out of four, and I really had no idea what to expect. I was led to a large room that displayed a variety of funky looking machines and gadgets that might as well been medieval torture devices. And no mirror. No mirror?! But all the rooms in the dermatologist office have mirrors! What are they doing in here that they deliberately left one out? Yes, I admit I was a bit apprehensive and just hoping that I would leave the office with my face still firmly attached.
The assistant (who looked about 15 years-old) gave me a sponge and some mild face wash and told me to wash my face thoroughly and then make myself comfortable in the chair. Comfortable in this room? Not likely. After I washed my face, she came over and wiped my face clean with a COLD cotton ball of acetone to remove all traces of oil so that the "solution" applied would absorb more readily. The doctor then came in and cheerily asked if I had any questions, and whether I would like some music turned on.
- "Yes, some tunes would be lovely, thanks."
- "What will the procedure entail?"
- "Will my face still be attached?"
- "Will my skin be the color of a ripe tomato afterward?" We've all seen the Sex and the City episode where Samantha looks like a burn victim after a chemical peel. I just wanted some assurance that I would be able to show my face in public afterward.
- "What's the pain factor?"
- "Will I come out with looking like Cindy Crawford?" Hey, it didn't hurt to ask!
But alas, there was nothing to be dramatic about. The ALA really didn't sting much at all, and I actually felt relaxed as I laid in the dark room enjoying my music. After the 15 minutes were up, the assistant came back in, gave me some snazzy orange glasses to put on, and instructed me to sit in front of what resembled a mini tanning booth for the face. I sat in front of this device for 8 minutes, finished up with some moisturizer and sunscreen and was free to go. But one more thing - I still needed to look in the mirror. She found me a hand held mirror, and much to my surprise, my skin wasn't red at all. I was slightly pink, but that's about it. All that worrying for nothing!
I do have to make sure I stay out of the sun and that I wear lots of sunscreen for the next several days though. And we'll see if I have any peeling or severe dryness, but so far so good. My next appointment is in three weeks and they will increase the amount of time the solution sits on my face. Wish me luck!