I Spent Thousands Battling Hormonal Acne, and a $20 Regimen Cured It
Through a four-year trial-and-error method, I finally found what keeps my acne under control
I got the Black Doll carbon blast laser, a non-ablative 1064 nm Nd-YAG laser popular in South Korea and Taiwan and known for its pore-shrinking and dark spot lightening capabilities.
Even though my dermatologist used numbing cream, it still felt like the laser was melting my skin off. The whole process, from cream to zapping, only took about 15 minutes. They put on a cooling mask and sent me on my way.
When my mom picked me up from the dermatologist's office, she took one look at me and freaked out, because my face was so red. My skin looked like it'd been colored in with a permanent red marker, and that I had been trying to wash it off for days.
I was told that all of my current acne would just dry up, fall off and heal very quickly. That wasn't the case. First, I broke out in little red dots around my eyes and the bridge of my nose, which eventually went away. Then I started breaking out with little whiteheads all over my face -- I had five the morning after my laser treatment, and 10 more popped up before I went to bed.
One week post-laser, my skin was much, much worse. I was broken out in painful pimples all over my cheeks and whiteheads all over my forehead and I looked like a red bobble head. It was the absolute worst my acne has ever been.
I went back to the dermatologist for my post-laser follow-up visit and she told me that the breakout was very normal (even though she had assured me that I wouldn't "purge" and that the laser was a lunchtime procedure) and that the pimples would go away with another laser procedure. She also suggested that I get a lemon peel to help "dry up" my acne.
Yeah, okay. I was definitely not going to put my skin through another laser procedure when it still so red and broken out. Three weeks after my laser treatment, my face still looked like a ripe tomato covered in acne. You could actually tell where I got the laser on my face because there were rings around my eyes and lips where the laser didn't touch.
My laser experience was really frustrating, and also a little heart-breaking. I had spent so much money on it because I was at the end of my rope, treatment-wise. I trusted the dermatologist when he said it would be good for my skin, and I was so angry that it didn't work. I was also angry with myself, for not doing the research about the procedure beforehand.
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