We women have a tough lot in life. We are judged so much more on how we look with sections of the media expecting us to build successful careers, be the perfect mothers and still look beautiful every minute of the day whilst doing it! If the likes of Brad Pitt step outside with a five o clock shadow and a faded pair of jeans they are classified as rugged. A woman in a similar position just gets labelled as “letting herself go”.
Because of this pressure, you can excuse us for being a little vain sometimes. Just recently I looked in the mirror and in addition to my (growing) list of imperfections I noticed something new that really set the alarm bells ringing. A slight discolouring of my skin that gave the appearance of brown patches around my cheeks and mouth.
Having dealt with acne, pimples and battled hard against wrinkles making themselves comfortable on my face I thought that my facial challenges were over for a little while but clearly trying to keep yourself looking beautiful is a task without respite.
“It’s known as melasma,” Esther Fieldgrass, the founder of EF Mediaspa and the woman who was not sat opposite me casually remarked.
“It sounds like an exotic dish!” I replied. “Is it treatable because these days when I look in the mirror the only thing that jumps out and slaps me in the face is this…melasma!”
With 25 years of experience behind her and a proven track record that has drawn the rich and the famous to her treatment rooms, I knew that if Esther didn’t have an answer then no one would.
“I would suggest a 3 session course in Fraxel.”
Fraxel I later discovered is a non-invasive treatment that is suitable for all skin types and is specifically designed to remove the dark areas of pigmentation brought on by melasma. There’s also a bonus too because it improves the skin tone and texture, reduces wrinkles around the eyes and can improve the appearance of acne and surgical scars, giving you a fresher, smoother looking skin.
As it is a fairly new process, I was initially apprehensive but vanity soon got the better of me and I decided to put the treatment to the test.
Following my initial consultation with Esther, I had a face to face with Dr Grant Hamlet – the aesthetic specialist – and he went a long way towards putting any concerns I might have had to rest. He went over my general skin history with me, asking for information on any past facial treatments, products used, medication taken etc to guarantee the best results possible from the Fraxel treatment I was going to have.
I was then introduced to Mina Lee – the Aesthetic Therapist who was going to take me on this journey of transition. The treatment started with the application of a topical anaesthesia, to numb the skin and help eliminate too much discomfort. This was applied by gently massaging the skin and took effect over the course of an hour.
The technology behind Fraxel treatment is as revolutionary as the results it can deliver. Unlike other laser treatments, Fraxel treatment is able to precisely treat thousands of microscopic areas of skin, using pinpoint laser beams that penetrate beneath the skin’s surface to eliminate old, damaged skin cells. Fraxel treatment stimulates the body’s own natural healing process which replaces damaged skin with fresh, glowing healthy skin.
My first treatment took about 40 minutes. As I lay on the bed Mina continually encouraged and conversed with me. Cold air was used on the treatment area during the procedure to minimize discomfort and at no time did I feel uncomfortable or concerned with my therapist. In fact, I found the whole experience at EF Medispa to be professional, hygienic, friendly and approachable.
Apart from a red, slightly swollen face, when my first session was over it left me with a sensation of having too much sun, which was a normal side effect of Fraxel treatment or so I was told although there were others that followed over the coming weeks. These included minor itching, peeling and flaking skin.
To counter this EF MediSpa recommended the Cosmedix skincare range, which works perfectly after this type of treatment. My precautions were to wear a sunscreen of SPF30 or higher and to avoid direct sun exposure whilst healing for the first 3 months after my final treatment.
Having now finished my 3rd and final session, I feel I have one less thing in life to worry about. The photos show the discolouration of melasma is now minimal, this gives me a more even skin colour with improved tone and texture. Therefore for my particular problem, the treatment was a success.
I felt my confidence return and although the initial financial outlay might not suit everyone’s pocket, if you can afford it you certainly won’t be disappointed.