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Thursday, February 4, 2016

IPL and How to Disguise your Lifelong Bad Habits

She of the High Forehead!

About eighteen months ago, pretty much overnight, I developed a strange bulge on my mouth. I emerged from the shower one morning and spied a purple lump the size of a water droplet on my bottom lip. Naturally, I asked about it next time I was at the doctor (after first spending a few months agonising over whether or not it was a cancerous tumour and attempting to burst it with a needle over and over).

“It’s nothing,” the doctor shrugged. “It’s full of blood. It’s not a mole or anything.”

I relaxed. Not going to die this time.

Then the doctor frowned and screwed up her cute little nose, “It could be a rare thing caused by…” she trailed off looking me up and down. “No, never mind, it’s not that.”

I didn’t ask what the rare thing was because I knew it wouldn’t be nice and I knew I’d go home and google the crap out of it until I convinced myself that it was DEFINITELY the thing.

I did search online though and discovered the purple people-eating monster on my lip was a venous lake, (ugly photo I found on the web).

"A venous lake is a papule which occurs most frequently in the elderly." 

Fudge off.

Anyway, I read about lots of home remedies for venous lakes and tried them all; applying castor oil, apple cider vinegar and more extensive, reckless digging around in the papule with a sewing needle.

Nothing worked as usual.

Eventually I rang my favourite Medispa, Chrysalis (where you enter as a thorny, old grub and emerge as a magnificent, young butterfly) and made an appointment to have the disagreeable protuberant zapped into submission.

The entire procedure took two seconds and my unattractive, purple friend disappeared completely in three days. 

Why do I continue with this futile pattern of fearful procrastination in my life?

While I was there I asked the gorgeous laser technician, Melissa, about the elaborate network of broken capillaries in my cheeks and if she could do anything about them.

Enter, the magical IPL machine.

Melissa the Magic Machine Technician

I don’t know why I have all these broken veins on my face. Some people say it’s from drinking too much alcohol. I know in my heart it can’t be that. God could never be that cruel. I blame it on the hot sauce I splash elaborately over everything I eat. And it’s not just hot sauce, it’s EXTRA BLOODY HOT sauce.

The first time I had the IPL, I was dribbling with fright, but after Melissa assured me that not one of her patients had EVER died from a session of IPL, I felt a bit better.

I had to wear goggles to protect my eyes from the light flash that occurs when the IPL machine is discharged. The light flash experience is similar to what I imagine it must be like in a nuclear explosion. 

During the repetitive flashes I accepted the fact that when Melissa removed the goggles, I’d be blind; forever destined to listen to audiobooks for the rest of my life. Oh well, what price can you put on beauty? At least I’ll get a guide dog, I thought. I do like Labradors.

But when Melissa peeled back the gauze pads covering my eyelids, I was delighted to notice I could still see perfectly. My face was a bit red, but I was alive and visually intact.

The next two days saw my cheeks puff up making me look like I’d just had an organ transplant and was on anti-rejection drugs or something. I looked like a hamster eating marbles and it was obvious I am not a candidate for cheek implants. 

After four weeks I could see some improvement in the appearance of the veins so I went back for my second IPL treatment. Today, (another four weeks later) I went back for a laser tidy up of stray veins on my chin and nose. I can definitely see that my skin is much more even and I no longer look like Gordon Ramsey after a night out drinking eating a lot of extra hot chilli with Charlie Sheen.

Did I pay thousands of dollars for the treatments? No. Each treatment cost less than a facial.

Does it hurt? Well… imagine that someone asks you to hold the end of an octopus strap against your cheek and then as they hold the other end they walk as far away as they can stretch it, then they let go of their end.

It feels like that.

But as I said, what price beauty?

What beauty treatments have you had?

Linking up with Karin from Calm to Conniption for the Ultimate Rabbit Hole!