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Lapis lazuli

How V-beam changed the appearance of my scar

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Hi,

Well, I have finally been zapped with the V-beam. :)

The treatment was actually quite interesting. I layed there with my eyes closed, and I saw these flashes of light... It was very cool, really. And it really wasn't painful at all. People have said that it kind of feels like a rubber band being snapped against your face. But I would compare it to having someone prick your face with a fountain pen. There was a slight burning sensation, though. But it wasn't that bad.

My dermatologist increased the power of the V-beam two times, before she said she found the right setting.

Now, my scar is a lot redder than normal and it is swollen. My dermatogolist said beforehand, that if it isn't purple after the treatment, a higher setting should be used. But the day of the treatment, after I had been zapped, I talked to the receptionist who also is knowledgable. And she told me that it wasn't necessarily the case that it would be purple. It could be purple, but not necessarily. Maybe I misunderstood my dermatologist, or maybe she didn't express herself accurately... I don't know.

I use 'after sun cream' to keep the scar cool.

Anyway, my dermatologist said that it will remain this red and swollen for a maximum of ten days. After that, I'll see a gradual improvement over a number of weeks. I'm going to return to the clinic after that and most likely get a second treatment, and possibly a third one after that.

I'll keep you guys and girls posted about how it turns out. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask. :)

Regards,

Idnha

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Hi,

Well, I have finally been zapped with the V-beam. :)

The treatment was actually quite interesting. I layed there with my eyes closed, and I saw these flashes of light... It was very cool, really. And it really wasn't painful at all. People have said that it kind of feels like a rubber band being snapped against your face. But I would compare it to having someone prick your face with a fountain pen. There was a slight burning sensation, though. But it wasn't that bad.

My dermatologist increased the power of the V-beam two times, before she said she found the right setting.

Now, my scar is a lot redder than normal and it is swollen. My dermatogolist said beforehand, that if it isn't purple after the treatment, a higher setting should be used. But the day of the treatment, after I had been zapped, I talked to the receptionist who also is knowledgable. And she told me that it wasn't necessarily the case that it would be purple. It could be purple, but not necessarily. Maybe I misunderstood my dermatologist, or maybe she didn't express herself accurately... I don't know.

I use 'after sun cream' to keep the scar cool.

Anyway, my dermatologist said that it will remain this red and swollen for a maximum of ten days. After that, I'll see a gradual improvement over a number of weeks. I'm going to return to the clinic after that and most likely get a second treatment, and possibly a third one after that.

I'll keep you guys and girls posted about how it turns out. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask. :)

Regards,

Idnha

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Thanks, gigi29. :)

Well, the scar is red and of course if you look hard enough, you can see that the texture of it is different than that of the surrounding skin. The latter property, my derm said, cannot be changed by the V-beam. Nor the fact that it's slightly indented, which is another property.

The only thing that the V-beam is going to do, is eliminate the redness.

But she assured me that when the redness is gone, the scar, as a whole, will become very inconspicuous. Like I said earlier; you see the texture if you look hard enough. But, the texture is very visible under certain lighting conditions. That does bother me, somewhat. So I've been looking into TCA peeling to slightly even out the texture, but many people say it's a treatment which envolves many risks. So I'm still doing research on that. The fact that it's slightly indented doesn't bother me.

So I think I'll be able to get over my scar after these V-beam treatments, and possibly a TCA peel. Which is something I've never been able to do, no matter how hard I tried. So that's why I'm getting it treated now. :)

Idnha

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Thanks, gigi29. :)

Well, the scar is red and of course if you look hard enough, you can see that the texture of it is different than that of the surrounding skin. The latter property, my derm said, cannot be changed by the V-beam. Nor the fact that it's slightly indented, which is another property.

The only thing that the V-beam is going to do, is eliminate the redness.

But she assured me that when the redness is gone, the scar, as a whole, will become very inconspicuous. Like I said earlier; you see the texture if you look hard enough. But, the texture is very visible under certain lighting conditions. That does bother me, somewhat. So I've been looking into TCA peeling to slightly even out the texture, but many people say it's a treatment which envolves many risks. So I'm still doing research on that. The fact that it's slightly indented doesn't bother me.

So I think I'll be able to get over my scar after these V-beam treatments, and possibly a TCA peel. Which is something I've never been able to do, no matter how hard I tried. So that's why I'm getting it treated now. :)

Idnha

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Ok, so, I think I have a small blister on the treated area. Do you guys think I should use some kind of ointment for that? Or should I leave it alone?

I've read somewhere that older lasers are more likely to cause blisters. The Vbeam unit I was treated with was green, and the ones you see on Candela's website are purple. So it may have been an older model, indeed.

Idnha

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Btw, a portion of the scar has gone from red to light pink! It's amazing to see! I can't wait to see what it looks like after a few months. :)

Idnha

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Ok, so, I think I have a small blister on the treated area. Do you guys think I should use some kind of ointment for that? Or should I leave it alone?

I've read somewhere that older lasers are more likely to cause blisters. The Vbeam unit I was treated with was green, and the ones you see on Candela's website are purple. So it may have been an older model, indeed.

Idnha

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Update: The swelling has pretty much gone away. It's still red, though. But, like I said earlier, there is a part where the redness seems to have lessened a litte. Also, the texture of the scar seems to look better now in lighting conditions where it didn't look so good earlier. Maybe it has something to do with the swelling that remains... I don't know.

Idnha

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Update: I've read on this site that redness from laser treatments can last up to two weeks. My derm said that it can last up to ten days. Well, I think that that redness has gone. Just as the swelling has. And the redness I see now, is the scar's own redness. My derm said that I'll gradually see an improvement in the next three weeks or so. She also said that most likely only two treatments will be necessary. This, to me, would mean that I would have to see a 50% reduction, regarding the redness by then. I'm skeptical about that, really. It's not that I'm impatient, I would just be surprised if that actually happened. Now, if I would finally end up having to get three treatments, I'd have to see a 33,3% reduction by then. This, I guess, would sooner be likely. But, I don't know.. :s

Idnha

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oblviously by your username you do not have acne.

How did you come to get this scar? And where is it located.

As far as using the laser until the skin is purple(which is known as purpuric) it does work beter than if the skin is just lasered until it is red. I have read a couple of studies on it and the purpuric treatments always showed better results than the non-purpuric treatments.

Make sure you get the purpuric treatment next time.

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Hi. Thanks for your reply. :)

My scar is because of a traffic accident a decade ago. It's located in my temple area.

The first time I saw my derm, she said that if it wasn't purple after the treatment a higher setting would have to be used on the laser.

Then I got treated and she said it could be purple, which implied that it wouldn't necessarily be the case. So that got me kind of confused. And then the receptionist said, that it becoming purple is not necessarily an indication of an effective treatment. So I just assumed everything was OK.

I talked to my derm the other day and they've scheduled more time for my next appointment, so she and I can talk more. I'll ask her about the purpuric.

Thanks again.

Idnha

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Hi. Thanks for your reply. :)

My scar is because of a traffic accident a decade ago. It's located in my temple area.

The first time I saw my derm, she said that if it wasn't purple after the treatment a higher setting would have to be used on the laser.

Then I got treated and she said it could be purple, which implied that it wouldn't necessarily be the case. So that got me kind of confused. And then the receptionist said, that it becoming purple is not necessarily an indication of an effective treatment. So I just assumed everything was OK.

I talked to my derm the other day and they've scheduled more time for my next appointment, so she and I can talk more. I'll ask her about the purpuric.

Thanks again.

Idnha

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Hi, gigi. :)

Well, the scar overall looks a bit more matte. Before the treatment it was shiny and rough looking... These properties seem to have lessened, to a degree. Now, don't get me wrong; it still looks horrid in the wrong lighting. It looks even worse in reflections in mirrorish surfaces, which aren't actual mirrors. But the latter doesn't bother me so much, personally. I'm mostly concerned with how it looks, in general, when I'm outside and inside, when someone just sees me. Not in reflections so much. But like I said; there has been an improvement in it's overall appearence in what I'd call the wrong lighting.

But I'm still looking into TCA peeling and I've actually talked to a good clinic, that says it has had good results with the treatment. So even when the end result regarding the texture after the V-beam is something I'd like to have improved, there's perhaps still the option of the TCA peel.

The filling in is minimal, if there has been any. Maybe I'm seeing things, but it does seem to have been raised a little since the treatment, which hasn't been done long ago. And I've only had one, too, so it might raise more.

How are you doing with your treatment, gigi? :)

EDIT: Also, just after the treatment the scar kind of seemed to have been flaking. Kind of like flaky skin after a sunburn, you know? So maybe the reason for the improvements is that a super thin layer of tissue has been peeled of, perhaps? It could be possible.

Idnha

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As far as using the laser until the skin is purple(which is known as purpuric) it does work beter than if the skin is just lasered until it is red. I have read a couple of studies on it and the purpuric treatments always showed better results than the non-purpuric treatments.

Make sure you get the purpuric treatment next time.

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Ok, so, it hasn't been so long since I've been V-beamed, but the number of days my derm said it would remain red prior to it starting to diminish have passed. Strangely, it looks perhaps a bit more pinkish now. Or maybe I'm seeing things. :s Anyway, it's still too soon to see the results of the first treatment.

In any case, I'm probably going to switch derms. I'm likely going to another clinic, which is closer to my home. Now, I'm travelling halfway across the country in order to see my derm, which obviously takes a long time. With this other clinic I can just hop on the train and be there in a flash.

Btw, this new clinic doesn't have V-beam. They have the Cynosure V-star. But that laser has also been designed to eliminate redness, so it'll work out, hopefully.

I'll keep you posted, dear readers. :)

Idnha

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Update: I talked to that clinic that offers TCA peels as a treatment. I asked them what they thought of V-beam and at first they said they never heard of it. They asked their plastic surgeon about it and he said that he wasn't too thrilled about V-beam.

Now, of course this is just one person's opinion. I've read plenty of good things about V-beam on this site and my current derm says she's thrilled about it, too.

Also, that clinic with the TCA peels, appears to use a 'ruby laser' for treatments. I've looked into that one and it appears to be kind of ancient. Also, I've read many places that when you're treated with that one, it envolves many risks.

Anyway, I'm still looking into that other clinic, which uses the Cynosure V-star. There are no new developments regarding that, yet.

The current status of my scar? Well, it appears to be going a bit more pinkish. Really. But, it's still very much noticable, due to the redness/pinkness that remains. Also, that tingling sensation I mentioned earlier... Those are getting more and more intense. It kind of feels like there's an electrical current going through the scar. It's really amazing. I'm still very excited to see what it will look like in two months, or so. I still feel I'm on the right track.

Idnha

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This treatment sounds more promising than IPL; at least in the threads I've read. I'm going to see if I can get this done.

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I believe it's worth a shot. And I don't think it will cost you an arm and a leg.

However.. It has been recently brought to my attention, that it apparently isn't guaranteed to help in every case. There's someone else on this forum, called SkiSweden. He/she has had five treatments with no results. You can read about that here.

I'm currently looking into this whole thing. I'm looking at other derms/lasers... I'll post my findings here. So if the results of your treatment aren't satisfactory (should you choose to continue) you could check back here, in any case.

Idnha

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Update: I've obtained some information which I thought I'd just pass along here. Who knows, there might be something of use to you, dear readers. :)

In my search for a clinic closer to my home, I talked to one who doesn't offer laser treatments such as V-beam, but instead offers 'light treatment'. I found out later, that with this they were referring to IPL.

IPL differs from things like V-beam in that the latter place a solitary bundle of light on, say, a square centimetre of the area which one wants to have treated. The IPL, however, is a flash of spreaded light, which is placed on the entire area, or at least a large portion of it. V-beam and such were made to prevent the skin surrounding the scar/red mark, from being damaged.

The skin therapist I talked to, also said that the deeper the red blood vessels are, the harder it is to get rid of them. For instance, when a scar is situated on a person's leg, they are in general deeper than when it is situated in the face, because the skin is less thick in the face. The results, which are achieved with IPL are basically similar to those achieved with V-beam. But, she thought that with V-beam one can possibly go deeper, because the bundle is more concentrated. She also has a Nd: YAG laser, which is a laser that can go very deep, but she said that, contrary to IPL she didn't have such good results with the Nd: YAG. She uses the Nd: YAG mostly on people's legs.

The clinic is also able to use coagulation in the cases that IPL doesn't work, or doesn't have the desired results. But I haven't asked them about this. I'm only aware of the existence of this approach.

Regarding purpura (meaning purple discoloration after treatment) she said that that is, in her opinion, indeed an indication of a proper treatment because it means that the red blood vessels have been destroyed, which is pretty much the whole point of getting lasered. But she said (as I mentioned before) she doesn't use things like V-beam, so she advised me to ask this question to an experienced laser user, as well.

Then she stressed a couple of times very clearly, that she advised me to check out 'Scarban'. Which is a silicone strip that has achieved many good results, even with old scars like mine, which is ten years old. Scarban, as far as I know, only eliminates/reduces the redness in scars.

Also, she said to me that it is simply too early to say if the V-beam treatment I had, has had any effect, or if more treatments will have any effect in time. She pointed out the fact that my scar is old and that it varies from case to case and person to person, how many treatments are needed and how soon one sees the first improvements.

I know for a fact that the people I talked to aren't frauds/quacks/swindlers/corrupted. You see, I called an organisation here in The Netherlands, which checks the quality of clinics, with approval of the government. And they advised the clinic I mention in this thread.

I'm going to check out Scarban and continue to have laser treatments. I'm going to another clinic than the one where I've had the V-beam treatment, though. This new one uses the Cynosure V-star, which basically has the same technical properties as the V-beam.

Of course, I'll keep you posted on how it all turns out. :)

Idnha

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How long have you had the redness? Or is it hyperpigmentation? (it's important to distinguish).

I wouldn't spend money to treat redness, they go away in time. Hyperpigmentation also tends to fade with age and there are topicals to treat it as well.

But it's good that you know before going in a treatment like V-Beam probably won't help raise hypotrophic scars

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How long have you had the redness? Or is it hyperpigmentation? (it's important to distinguish).

I wouldn't spend money to treat redness, they go away in time. Hyperpigmentation also tends to fade with age and there are topicals to treat it as well.

But it's good that you know before going in a treatment like V-Beam probably won't help raise hypotrophic scars

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Update: There's still no significant improvement, regarding the erythema. I'd say maybe somewhere between 2% and 5%. But what I thought earlier, that the scar looks a bit more matte? Well, that is indeed the case. I'm very happy with that.

I'm going in for another laser treatment soon, at the new clinic with the new laser. I'll ask my derm about his views on the need for purpura after treatments.

I'm also getting Scarban, soon. I found out that it also improves the flexibility of the scar tissue, as well as it reduces pain and itching sensations. Fortunately for me, I only need the redness to be taken out. But I can imagine how one would like the other things improved/reduced, so I thought I'd mention that. I kind of have high hopes, regarding Scarban, seeing that that skin therapist I talked to was so enthusiastic about it. As well as the fact that it also works for old scars.

I hope the combination of laser treatments and the use of Scarban will achieve the results I desire. From the looks of things, I don't think I'll have a TCA peel done, eventually, but you never know. I'll keep you posted on developments.

Idnha

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