Guinea Pig: The STELLAR Team Try Laser Eye Surgery, Mole Mapping, And Facial Peels

Bringing you the info you need about all the treatments out there.

Linda tried… laser eye surgery at Optilase

I’ve spent as long as I can remember strolling around in a haze-like blur, but I still thought that I didn’t need to wear glasses all the time. Well, I was wrong. Seeing is important, and the whole being a stylist thing kinda requires decent vision.

If you were to ask any close friend or family member, they would tell you I’m a wimp when it comes to eyes. My stomach turned the first time I saw eye drops being put in and only last year did I put eyeliner on my upper waterline. I hated eyes and anything being near them so I never thought I’d get laser eye surgery. But Optilase reached out a few months ago and curiosity got the better of me; what harm was a consultation, sure?

It was all pretty straight forward and I was in and out within the hour, armed with a booklet of information on what to expect. We put a provisional date in the diary and I said I would have a good hard think. Before I knew it, D-Day was next week and I decided it was now or never.

On the day, the only thing that made me twitch was the no caffeine rule. The place is run seamlessly, so I felt in safe hands. It’s clean, bright and welcoming and doesn’t have that feeling of medical environment. You have tests to ensure your eyesight hasn’t changed, and then it’s on to meet the surgeon and nurses. Before I knew it I was in the chair. I won’t lie, the nerves kicked in. What the fudge am I doing?! I must be out of my tree. The nurses were chill and chatty and the surgeon had a confidence that reassured me I’d walk out alive. I felt as comfortable as one can be in that situation.

At this point let’s call a spade a spade. I was getting a surgical procedure, it’s never going to be this joyous experience but I had anticipated it to be more invasive. The worst bit was when I got home. Your vision is blurry and there’s a pain which you’re advised to try and sleep through. I have boundless energy so I couldn’t nap, and I did experience about 20 minutes of pretty intense pain, like a strong pressure. I took some pain killers and by that evening, even though it was still a little blurry, I could see. The next morning on the way to the check-up, I could see a distant sign.

It seemed unbelievable and any discomfort I had experienced was totally worth it. Here I am, four months later. My eyesight is 20/20. I can see everything and still can’t believe it. So if you have poor eyesight, and even if you’re a nervous wreck, go for a consultation and explore your options, it’s the best decision I’ve made.

Prices start from €795 per eye with a lifetime care guarantee. Interest-free finance options available. For more information, check out optilase.com

Vicki tried… mole mapping at Adare Clinic

I have always been a bit of a hypochondriac, but more in a hyper-aware way than just plain hyper. However, I have roasted my skin in the past while on holidays, so I’ve been worried about my moles. I’ve noticed more popping up, so I thought I’d just go and get them checked to put my mind at ease. After all, Ireland has a high rate of skin cancer for somewhere with little sunshine!

Off I trotted to the Adare Clinic to see Dr Naomi Mackle. I was nervous, because I didn’t know what to expect – would I be in the nip, would it be a full body scan?! Naomi is a very straight talker, and said she sees a lot of people who are the “worried well”, but that there’s no harm in getting checked out if you’re at all concerned.

First she took a look at my moles on my face and neck under her special camera, far too close a shot for my liking, but needs must. I saw under what was essentially a microscope what they looked like magnified. She took a shot of each of them, and thankfully saw nothing suspicious. I’ve an awful lot of skin tags, something else Naomi says comes with age, and even more so when women have children.

Then it was time to take the top off to do my arms, chest, back and belly. The one I was really worried about is inside my elbow, and Naomi didn’t like the look of it right away. However, on closer inspection it seems that I just have one mole on top of the other, neither dangerous.

She tells me to keep an eye on it for three months, and to monitor it using the ABCD guidelines – a for asymmetry (is it even on both sides?), B for border (is it irregular all the way around, or fairly even?), C for colour (anything very dark or blueish should be checked out) and diameter (is it bigger than 1cm?). She also told me to monitor it for any changes, and to come back if it (or any of my moles) bled.

I could have had my bottom half checked, but I’ve few moles there – just a couple on
my feet that were pronounced fine. I left the appointment feeling more knowledgable and totally relieved. Naomi says that avoiding sunbeds is the main way to avoid melanoma – one use ups your chances of getting skin cancer by 100%, astoundingly. She also says wearing SPF30 on your face, neck and the back of your hands every day is a must, and that if you introduce a Vitamin C serum into your morning skincare routine, this brings you up to 100% protection.

If you’re worried about some moles, want peace of mind, have a family history of skin cancer or you’ve spent time abroad working outdoors, it’s no harm going to get checked. I’m glad I did.

From €80. See adarecosmetics.ie

Vicki tried… facial peels at Renew Clinic

I’ve been having peels for a while now, since I turned 30 a couple of years ago, but more than anything for ageing and general skin health than for any particular reason. I woke up one day and suddenly looked a bit old and haggard, so I wanted to try and combat it without resorting to injectables just yet (although Botox is definitely in this gal’s future!)

However, last year, I came off the Pill and had the coil inserted, which meant no more synthetic oestrogen in my system. That hormone actually suppresses oil production (which is why a lot of people take the Pill for their skin), so when it was gone, I was suddenly incredibly oily to the point of greasiness, and my skin was breaking out in spots for the first time in ages.

So back to Renew Clinic I trotted, begging for help. First things first, nurse Nicola Lynch adjusted my skincare routine, making sure there was absolutely no oil in any of my products, and adding some calming and refining ones too. Then she gave me a medium level Image Skincare Acne Peel – the ones I’d been having before were mild.

Post-peel, I was more red and blotchy than normal, but she assured me this was par for the course. I could cover it with make-up, and after three days and a bit of minor skin-shedding (just a little flaking) I was definitely less oily. Two weeks later, I had another peel and things were much better right away. I was meant to go back for a third but life got in the way, however I will be returning soon! My skin is in far better shape thanks to the peels and ardent home care. Believe me, peels are nothing to be scared of!

From €65 per session, see renewclinic.ie

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