Helllooooo everyone :)
So today is the start of a very special series. It's not a series you see very often and of course I don't expect it to be everyone's typically loved post but its a sensitive subject and judging by the comments and hits my previous post on it got, Suffice to say, I'm not alone in trying to deal with this.
Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have come across my Facial Hair, Laser Hair & other Hair Removal and Make up Routine to cover Facial hair, Lumps & Bumps post. It was a post where I explained my troubles and everyday struggles with my facial hair. I spoke about the tools I use to help get rid of my unwanted hair, along with my foundation routine on how I get a flawless face. Towards the end of the post I spoke about how I had been speaking with my GP about potentially getting funding on the NHS to get laser Surgery and I'm delighted to tell you, I got it!
I wanted to document the experience in a series, tell you about my consultation, How I got to where I am now, what to expect and the results as I go! I can only hope those who have already shown their support, Will continue to support me and my hairiness while I undergo these treatments! Your comments always mean so much and In my last facial hair post I was blown away just by how many of you left some love! I appreciate this isn't your traditional beauty post but I hope you all keep positive with me and remember to respect any comments below and to realise this is a sensitive topic to talk about :)
What you need to knows - I have POS and yes it effects my hairiness. I have been waxing my upper lip since I was 16, along with shaving my chin for the past 5 or so years. I generally have been shaving daily as any longer then a day, I get a 5'oclock shadow, any longer then 2 days.. and well.. You will see the pictures below..
The Chat with the GP
In December I had noticed that my chin area was getting extra sensitive. I would find I would do my normal morning routine of shaving, moisturising etc and when I would leave for work, after my face feels that cold icy air, my chin would suddenly feel all hot and I'd break out in hives across the area I shave. It was causing me quite alot of discomfort and it looked horrible! We spoke about my shaving routine and she mentioned one the other GP's getting funding on one of his patients and that given my situation I might be a candidate. She asked for me to take pictures of the hives, and If I could, let my hairs grow and take pictures so I can show them as evidence and present a case.
Here are the pictures of the hives I was getting
Here are the pictures of my chin on my way to my consultation appointment where they wanted to see the hair. This is after 3 days of growth with no shaving.
Yeah, Not too pretty aye! I have the beard of a man! I'm sure there are people with much worse cases then me, but of course, this series is about myself and I can only apologise if you are in a similar situation and are trying to get funding on the NHS.
So my consultation was with the Skin Clinic In Sutton, They have 38 clinics nation wide, You can find all the details on their site, it gives you prices, and you can even see if laser hair removal would work on you depending on your skin tone and hair colour. I spoke with Dr Chris Harland and we went through all the standard questions, Talking about how I currently maintain my hair, how it effects me day to day, I explained about the current hives and he asked if he could see and I of course had been leaving it to grow for 3 days which is hands down, one of the hardest things I have had to do. I was still going to work and god I could just feel people staring at my chin! He took some pictures and told me there and then I had been accepted and they could book me in to have a patch test. I then filled in a form about my skin tone, and the hairs, the hair colour, the areas it grows and is more thicker and finer etc, Lastly I had to fill in this sheet of paper which gave me a score at the end, It was based around the severity of the hair growth and how it effects me, answering 1 - 5 ( 1 being really bad and 5 being not at all ) type questions.
So 2 days went past and I was back in to get my patch test! I had a lovely lady called Danielle who is now going to be with me the whole way through as I've requested to keep her. I had shaved the morning prior and left it the day of my appointment so there was stubble growing, we went over my form and spoke about the skin, about wearing sun cream on the areas and aloe vera to take down any swelling and cool the area. We spoke about how I tan, or if I burn, and assessed my skin and its tone, Danielle explained how important it was if I caught the sun to come back in for another patch test and match. The machine itself works better on dark hairs but of course if the skin is dark it needs to go on a different setting or its going to just burn everything haha, So it's important to not go sunbathing or go on a sunbed while I undergo this treatment.
We found my setting and admitted the patch test on my chin, and it literally felt like a tiny warm jolt. That was it. I applied my factor 50 and my aloe vera and went home excited about my first session!
The First Appointment
So I didn't want to go mad and take loads of pictures on my first one, I wasn't sure what to expect and if I was even allowed to take pics so I quickly snapped them and got on the bed :P
The machine they use is called a Cynosure it projects a small red dot over the area its working on and there is built in air that blows cool over the area while the laser is going.
Prep wise, I shaved my chin the evening before my appointment as ideally they want as close a shave a possible with no irritation so for me I shaved the night before and made sure I put my aveeno for sensitive skin on and really moisturise the area. I made sure I had no makeup or anything on the area and I was ready!
Danielle outlined the area with a white pencil and placed some gel on the area, she then began using the laser over the area, it didn't hurt that much, over certain area's where the hair is darker and thicker it did hurt a bit but nothing I or anyone couldn't handle :) I could smell burning but nothing too strong. along the tip of my chin and my upper lip area was the most uncomfortable as I say, they are the area's my hair grows rather thick. It was over rather quickly which was great!
Pain wise, Id say a 3/10 and then maybe a 6/10 on the thicker haired area but of course its all quite quick so it only hurts a few seconds and they are off lasering the next area, That ice cool air was a GODSEND! haha.
Danielle said the skin going red was a great sign, and that all the little lumps that had appeared, that was a good sign too!
I apologise for the slight blur, I was using my phone and was trying to do it quickly before she came back in haha. The lighting was terrible in the customer toilet so couldn't get a great picture, I did however see a couple of black dots on my chin, upon further inspection, noticed that a couple of hairs were poking out, i literally with my nails just pulled at it and the hairs just came straight out. Obviously I manged to catch some of the hairs at the right time in their cycle.
My chin stayed red for about an hour, I put on the aloe vera gel and sunscreen before leaving and left to go up London, I got home in the evening and it was a bit tender and warm to touch so applied my aloe vera again, it was nice and cool as I had kept it in the fridge! When I woke up, it was still pretty sensitive and there is still alot of heat coming from the area so am making a note of this, as I wouldn't be able to shave while it feels like this, that might mean my skin isn't as " I never burn " as I said it was and they may need to adjust the light on the laser :)
Soooo this is the first post in my laser surgery series. I hope if you have read this far you will leave a lil comment below and show your support not only to me, but to any other ladies reading this who suffer with unwanted hair! You may just be encouraging someone without realising!
If you have any questions please do pop them below, I can try my best to answer them OR ask at my next appointment in 4 weeks :) x
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