PCOS and Hair Removal update (2 years on…)

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 1 - 2012

Nggggggghhhhhhh.

That’s the sound of me procrastinating over the writing of this post.  I am one of those annoying oversharers by nature, but there are some things in life that are easier to share than others right?  I’ll show you my pretty nails, you show me your hairy chins?  Or maybe not.  But… it’s been a year since my last update.

OK, I’ll show you my hairy chin and scare off any poor site visitor who doesn’t know the back story.

You see, I have PCOS – which stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.  It’s quite a common thing to have and affects around 1in10 women in the UK.  To over-simplify it a bit (a lot), it means that your hormones are whack… which brings about all sorts of rubbish symptoms including: infertility, acne, weight gain, hirsutism (excess hair).  Those are the playful symptoms, some of the more serious ones (heart disease & diabetes being two of them) are yet to be fully understood as the syndrome was only officially recognised as affecting more than just a woman’s ability to procreate a mere 30 years ago.

Not everyone gets every symptom.  Personally, I experience: infertility *looks at Leila with wonder etc. etc.*, weight-gain (well, I might aswell blame it on something?), hirsutism, and insulin resistance (which is where your body fails to react to the release of insulin in a normal manner – may or may not be a precursor to diabetes).

Still being fairly young and vain, my biggest hatred of the syndrome when I was first diagnosed was directed toward the hirsutism.  No girl in their teens wants to wake up and see a member of ZZ Top looking back at them in the mirror.

This was the extent of my hirsutism a couple of years ago, prior to undergoing laser hair removal.

Devastating is the most accurate word I can use to describe how something like this can make you feel.  Masculine would be the other.

This is how my chin looks today.  Take note that this is almost TWO weeks of hair growth, not two days as shown above.

Two freakin’ weeks people.

I’m actually inclined to believe that the top lip is generic old-lady (getting there) moustache growth rather than hormone related.  It’s fine and downy (which you can probably see), my old hair-growth in this area was coarse and stubbly.  Which basically means that I’ve just shown you my ‘tache and I have no “hormonal” excuse for it.  Cringe.

To say that my life has been changed by laser hair removal is an understatement.  You only need to look at the pictures to understand the daily struggle I had with excess hair.

Let me clarify exactly what I’ve had done…

In the summer of 2010 – I had 6 laser sessions at my local sk:n clinic in Southampton (I received this treatment gratis, so that I could review the service).  It was fantastic and I can’t recommend them enough – I vlogged about most of my sessions, you can find the posts by reading my laser hair removal adventures tag.  I followed this up in the Summer of 2011 with 5 IPL (intense pulsed light) sessions that I purchased via Groupon at another local salon.  This ‘topped up’ my original treatment and kept things gradually improving.

We’re now approaching Summer 2012 and I’ve just booked in for 6 IPL sessions at another local salon, again via Groupon.  The cost for the 6 sessions is in the region of £100.  A small yearly price to pay in order to remain almost completely hair-free.

There’s a common misconception about laser hair removal and IPL.  It’s not permanent hair removal and if you ever see it advertised as such, call bullshit on the provider.  It’s permanent hair reduction and salons are not actually legally entitled to use any other words to describe it.  As you can see from my experiences, it’s pretty full-on (fan-frickin-tastic) permanent hair reduction.  I would say that my hair growth has been reduced by at least 70% and shaving only once a week (once a fortnight sometimes) instead of twice a day has ensured that I will forever advocate the use of laser hair removal for PCOS sufferers.

Feel free to email me if you have any more sensitive questions you think I might be able to help with about the process.  Let me know how you guys are doing with the PCOS crap, I know that many of you have it (and it’s how you found the blog in the first place!)

OK, you can all stop looking at my chin now.


It’s not all glamour…

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 6 - 2010

Soooooooooo The Boots Smooth Skin by iPulse IPL System…

Armpit or Leg…

Arm. Pit. or. Leg.

I tossed a coin.  You get to see my hairy legs.  Or, leg even.  Just below the knee… to the right of the 2nd thread vein from the left.

I dunno why I watermarked it, it’s not like I wanna claim it as mine.

Random Internet User:  “Hey, lady… is this your photo of your pasty white leg with dry skin and multiple hairs protruding from one follicle (you freak)”.

Me: “Um, nope… no, doesn’t look like one of mine”.

Random Internet User:  “But it says here… Lipglossiping.com”

Me: “…”

On the positive side… we’re kinda meant to have hairy legs.  I feel normal posting this in comparison to the hairy chin pics.

Until I can put the The Boots Smooth Skin to work on maintaining my facial in-clinic laser hair removal, I thought I’d best put it to good use on some other hirsute part of my anatomy.  Stop making gagging noises and be bloody grateful you were spared the bikini line bitches.

So this is the benchmark, here we are. Day One.  Well, not day one… this photo shows about 4 days worth of growth actually.  I’ve done my test patch and I’m good to go…. raring even.

I’m a little bit sad that I can’t fake tan my legs whilst I’m zapping but in the grand scheme of things, I’d rather be white than hairy.

Wish me luck, I’m going in!

Boots Smooth Skin by iPulse IPL System

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 10 - 2010

They say that tattoos are addictive… I don’t have any of those but I’m here to tell you that you can add hair-removal and Foxes Coconut Crinkles to the list of things that “Lipglossiping got herself addicted to” in 2010.

The question is, will I have a single hair left on my body come Christmas?  Will I get carried away with it’s fabulosity and start chasing the neighbour’s Persian moggy round the block once I’m done with Mr. L’s hairy back?

The Boots Smooth Skin by iPulse IPL System arrived last week for me to try and report back on, and being the hairy Mary that I am… I honestly couldn’t think of a better candidate.

Until I read this:

I was all of an “OHMYGOD, I CAN’T USE IT!”  I may even have squeezed out a couple of tears…  and then a few more for the benefit of Mr. L (who missed them the first time round) after he looked up from Micro Mart to determine whether the wailing was coming from me or the baby.

After some email to-ing and fro-ing with the people behind the device, I learned that they’re actually in the process RIGHT NOW of updating the UK manual for the machine.  Infact, here it is in black and white from the rep:

…I have managed to get you the most up to date info on the suitability of Boots Smooth Skin for PCOS sufferers.

As you know, in the UK manual, it states that Boots Smooth Skin is not suitable for PCOS sufferers.

We are in the process of updating the UK manual with Boots to give a better explanation of the considerations when using Smooth Skin with PCOS.  We know many PCOS sufferers have found good results with Smooth Skin and some have posted their positive reviews on boots.com.

As you will know, in essence, PCOS is related to a hormonal imbalance.  Hormone changes may cause dormant hair stem cells to grow into new hair follicles.  So it is likely to take longer to be hair-free and require you to top up.

But we also know and understand what a huge comfort it is to PCOS sufferers not to have the extra hair that the condition causes to be so visible…

…We want to do the right thing by our consumers, and while we go through the final rounds of approvals with Boots we would love to give you the chance to get ahead of the UK change.

So there you go.  You heard it here first (maybe).

In all honesty as a PCOS lady, this device wouldn’t be my first stop for hair removal.  Not for my face anyway, which is precisely why I don’t already own one.

I’ve looked at this particular device many times in the past (it’s one of the few that claim PERMANENT results) and I’ve never been confident enough in it’s claims to go to Boots and lay my debit card down on the counter.   I think it’s important that you know this, and that I tell you why.

Regardless of whether there’s any substance to my opinion, as someone with a “proper” problem with excess hair, I knew that I was always going to opt for something that I perceive to be stronger.  I want FULL ON peeow peeow laser beams blasting my face yano?  I want someone with a clipboard to be operating a machine that takes up at least 10sq foot of floor space and puts a minor dent in the national grid everytime it’s fired up.

I won’t be using this on my face or my chest.  I don’t want it to interfere with the results that I may or may not get from the SK:N treatment that I’m currently undergoing.

Instead, you get to see my gorgeous hairy pins.  You lucked out.  Don’t worry though… I’m not showing them today, your appetite is safe for now.

Check out this instead:

It’s all very neat and compact… slotting into it’s own little vanity case that has been discretely designed without the words LASER HAIR REMOVAL emblazoned all over it.  In other words, you can totally leave the IPL stuff behind and take the case on a dirty weekend filled with furry handcuffs and the like.  Or if you’re me, Minstrels.

So, the plan is to do one leg.  Just the one.  Don’t worry, I’m still gonna shave the other one… but I think that doing it this way will leave me under no illusions by the end of 12 weeks whether I’m actually seeing concrete results from the Boots Smooth Skin.  I’m also going to pin down Mr. L (he really does have a hairy back and this is the only home IPL system suitable for men) – he’s gonna. love. it.

Much, much later on… god knows if you’ll still be here with me or even care, but I’ll put phase two of the hair-blasting attack into action.  I’ll use the Boots Smooth Skin on my face to maintain whatever results I achieve from my SK:N treatment once it’s finished.

For the purposes of the trial and for you ladies with PCOS, I wish I could do that bit NOW – but bad timing forces my hand and I simply can’t.  It’s pretty common for hirsute women with a hormonal imbalance to need extra professional laser sessions.  Sometimes as many as a couple of times a year to maintain completely smooth skin.  I’ve made peace with that, but for me… that would mean £220 for each topup session.  The Boots Smooth Skin currently retails at £274.99.  It makes economical sense for me to purchase one of these for maintenance and I would (despite my cautious attitude towards it’s claims) be confident enough in the device’s abilities to lay down my cash in an effort to maintain an area that’s already been treated.

Anyway, I’ll introduce you to the more technical aspects of the machine next week when I’m confident that my tan has completely faded (you can’t use the device on fake-tanned skin).

*glances up* Jesus, I can’t half go on.

An invitation for you

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 30 - 2010

I’ve been chatting to some of the people behind the “We Can Face It” campaign and I’d like to invite any interested parties to attend the launch event for the campaign.

So I’m sure you’re wondering what the “We Can Face It” campaign is…

The campaign aims to raise awareness of unwanted facial hair, show sufferers that they are not alone and encourage them to find the treatment regime that works for them.  It’s the first of its kind for the country and hopes to make important steps forward in raising awareness and understanding of a common but under-recognised and isolating condition.

The campaign is being headed up by TV personalities Dr Dawn Harper (Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies), Mica Paris (soul singer and TV presenter) and Jason Gardiner (style guru from ITV’s This Morning) and will include the launch of a newly published report highlighting the results of a survey into the impact of the condition on 1,000 women from across the UK.

Please click the image above to view the PDF file containing further campain and launch event details.

Event Details:

ON: Wednesday 2nd June 2010
AT: 6.30pm
IN: Sunbeam Studios, Ladbroke Hall, 79 Barlby Road, London, W10 6AZ

To register for this free event, please email us at wecanfaceit@packerforbes.com stating your name, phone number and email address. You will then receive an email confirmation.

.

Obviously, this event will only appeal to a small number of my readers… but it’s an issue close to my heart and judging from the correspondence I’ve had with some of you since my hair removal exploits…. close to yours too.

RANDOM

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