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As promised on my Facebook page (follow me if you haven’t already!), here is the latest update on my birthmarks removal.
You may read about the progress from the treatments I have undergone thus far here.
I have been trying out the Medlite C6 laser from HOYA ConBio®, the latest in Q-switched laser technology to treat and remove my birthmarks. So far, my 2 smaller birthmarks have been responding to the Medlite C6 laser treatments well enough to have them almost completely removed. There is a risk of having a white indent mark after the treatments but I guess that would be better than having a dark one? However, not to worry because the white indent will slowly fade away with time as seen from the pictures.
Unfortunately, the huge birthmark on my inner thigh has not been responding well to the laser treatments but instead, sort of backfired. You will need to consider this risk if you are looking to remove yours. Stubborn pigmentation that are too dark and deep may not be able to disperse and lighten, and may darken even further. This was what happened to mine.
After the 4th treatment using Medlite C6, my doctors decided to use another alternative to help treat my birthmarks, especially the huge one, which is the Fractional Laser Treatment. I was told that this is stronger than Medlite C6 but surprisingly, it did not hurt as much as Medlite and downtime in terms of swelling and redness but lesser and faster too!
This is the first attempt using the Fractional Laser Treatment.
My doctor mentioned to me that some of the patients who have had their cafe au lait birthmarks treated using Medlite have also encountered the same issue as my huge birthmark. Similarly, they have also been advised to use the Fractional Laser Treatment and some of them had theirs successfully removed.
I am crossing my fingers doubly hard this time round because should this treatment also fail me, then the final and last resort would be to ‘cut’ away the layer….which I really shudder even at the mere thought of it, although I’m not too sure how this would be done since my birthmark is flat and not ‘popping’ out with an ‘extra flesh’.
I know some of you guys might think that it isn’t such a big deal having these birthmarks but all I can say is that I have been living with these for the past 26 years of my life and every single time I wear short skirt, short dress and shorts (not even mini level), I get extremely self-conscious. Without fail.
And to make it worse, this is validated and verified by onlookers’ watchful eyes. Although some of you guys might also say that thankfully the birthmark is not on my face which is a gazillion times worse, but still….
I got this even when I was a child especially when I went swimming as the huge birthmark on my inner thigh would definitely be seen while wearing a swimsuit or during physical exercise lessons in school.
In whatever circumstances, this huge birthmark has somehow or rather but certainly affected my self-esteem. Even having long slim and toned flawless legs (no other blemishes) wouldn’t make me contented if the huge birthmark remains.
I must say that patience is really required should you want to remove your birthmarks, because a few treatment sessions are usually required. One should be realistic with their expectations of the results and time process.
Here are the usual FAQs I have been receiving and should I have missed out any of your queries, I apologise. I hope these FAQs would more or less address your concerns with regards to birthmark removal.
Q1: How many treatment sessions do I need?
A1 : This is one of the most common queries I have received. My answer to this is that it would really depend on the individual’s condition. The number of sessions would depend on how ‘deep’ your pigmentation is, into the layers of your skin. One very obvious method in deciding whether your birthmark pigmentation is deep or not, would be to analyse the shade of the birthmark.
The 2 smaller birthmarks are definitely much lighter than the huge 1 on my inner thigh. And to achieve good results, I have undergone 4 treatment sessions for that to reach this stage.
Another consideration would be the size of the birthmark. Logically, smaller birthmarks would require less number of treatments compared to bigger ones.
Q2 : How much does the treatment cost?
A2 : This is pretty much dependent on the number of treatments required for your condition. From what I know when I inquired with the doc on behalf of my friend, a 50cent coin size scar (not birthmark) costs around $350-$400. But then again, for a more accurate and confirmed quotation, it is best that you check with the doc.
Q3 : How long would a session take?
A3 : Again, depending on the above contributing factors, it may take approx 15mins to 30mins. You will also require numbing cream to be applied before the treatment, and it would require about 10 to 15mins for the numbing effect to take place.
Q4 : Does it hurt?
A4 : I would be lying if I say it doesn’t hurt. Before the process, as mentioned above, numbing cream would be applied to minimize pain. During the treatment, when the laser beams penetrate into your skin, it does hurt but it is more of an ant-bite pain. Personally, the aftermath of the treatment is much more painful as there would be redness and swelling involved. Based on my experience thus far, the pain would usually remain until about 2 hours later, after which it would gradually subside. I tolerate all this pain because it’s really ‘NO PAIN NO GAIN’.
Q5 : Any downtime? What is the recovery period?
A5 : As mentioned above, there would be redness and swelling for approx 2 hours after the treatment. The redness may continue till the next day and will then subside gradually. After about 4 to 5 days, the treated areas would then experience dryness and scabs would form, then shrivel and dry up. This is the period in which you may most probably itch like crazy. It’s best not to scratch or touch the area at all, which can be quite frustrating because it’s just sooooo itchy. But this is the same with any other wounds that are healing.
Q6 : Any medication?
A6 : I was given bleaching/whitening cream and ‘calming cream’ before but logically, I skip applications when the area is still sore and the new layer of skin is still ‘fresh’. Definitely would hurt a gazillion times if you apply something on it then.
I was told not to apply anything onto the birthmarks after my Fractional Laser treatment.
Q7 : Will it be permanently removed?
A7 : This is really anyone’s guess. Even the doctors would not be able to provide a definite answer because it really depends on the individual and one’s luck. Some birthmarks do recur while some don’t.
Q8 : Any scars?
A8 : I am very lucky not to have had any scars from the treatment. There may be some white indents which some of you might call ‘scars’, they are actually areas that are whiter than the surrounding skin. But I guess that looks better than having a brown patch which is more obvious? I was actually afraid that the white indents would remain forever but it seems like they do fade away gradually with time, although not 100% complete.
With the new laser treatment, I am starting to harbour hopes that my birthmarks can be completely removed again.
*fingers crossed doubly tight*
Watch this space for the next update!