Burn, baby, burn!

Posse!  It’s your idiot Musette here.  So… I was going to tell you about this charming exchange with a local lady about Perfume People, etc… but that’ll have to wait until another time.

Because Idiot.

‘What’djaDO, honeydoodle?’  Welp!  Glad you asked (you did ask, didn’t you?  of course you did!).  As some of you know, I am supremely focused on skin care and as ALL of you know, I can be a bit obsessive about The Stuffs.  Skincare is no exception.  A few years ago I started a red light therapy regimen – and it was surprisingly effective, tightening the jowls and minimizing the marionette lines, etc.  Directions say to use it in a sweeping motion for 5-10 minutes, daily.  Which I did – sort of.  Okay – maybe 20 minutes – okay!  And it was fine. The vitamin E and collagen concoction worked wonders – it didn’t turn it into a 25 yr old face but I wasn’t looking for that, anyway – just a bit of uplift.  Which I got.  Happy Joy!Joy!

But!  I wasn’t happy with the actual texture of my aging skin, so I started retinol therapy.  There’s not a huge issue with the texture, just wanted it smoothed out a bit – ya know?  And it was working. Yay, retinol!


Except… I did NOT discontinue my red light therapy because I’m AN IDIOT!  It’s not like I don’t know all about contraindications, et al.   But during the extremely cold temps I would zone out in the rocker, sweeping the red light wand over my jaw and marionette lines….. completely forgetting that I am also in the throes of retinol!

I did this, so you don’t, okay???

It started slowly, with this weird, puffy alligator-looking skin (which I didn’t realize I’d burned so… I kept sweeping Salicylic acid on it) … then built up to a solid first-degree burn.  The pain, the swelling – and the alligator skin.  I’m just lucky it was a first-degree burn.  I’ve got some hyperpigmentation but that will fade over time (fingers crossed) – we’re into week 3.5, I’m now doing a super-gentle debriding to finish getting all the icky dead skin off (first week of debriding was done with Betadine to keep infection at bay  and OMG!  ow!)    Betadine is extremely effective.  But it’s very drying.  Omg.  the ITCHing!  I have 3 scratches across my chest (from a sleepy swipe, apparently) … looks like I got mauled by a Siberian Tiger!

I should’ve kept those mittens!

The burn extends from right below my cheekbones to the middle of my cleavage.   Still obvious to me, like you can see it from the moon, but most earthlings don’t seem to notice it.  Or else they’re being very, very polite.

Post-burn, mid-heal, my skin is parched.  And tight.  My dermatologist (now retired and a friend) called me an idiot and told me to be grateful that my foolishness didn’t cause even more damage. He gave me the protocol for for burn/heal but since he’s retired he couldn’t write me a scrip for Sulfadine – so I went to Chewy!!  Same stuff, about 25% less expensive.  Still need a scrip, though. My vet … sighed.  Said ‘you’re an idiot.  But I’ll okay the scrip

Apparently I’m an idiot.

Skin is still peeling – but it’s revealing mostly healthy, intact skin now so I’m a happy idiot.  Still some minor pain – but nothing like Week One, when .. well, I have a renewed respect for actual burn victims.  Seriously.  This hurt like FIRE! so I can’t even imagine how people survive truly serious burns – and my skin seems to be returning to health (those who know burn therapy know there are sloughing sequences until the final slough that reveals healthy, intact skin.


DO NOT DO THIS, OKAY?  I’m all about red light therapy.  And I’m all about retinol (in minute doses) – but not in tandem.  Ever.  Ev.er.


And don’t be even MORE of an idiot by considering, just as your face is beginning to heal, perhaps doing just a tad (JUST A TAD!) of exfoliation!  Luckily I was shock-laughed out of that notion by my sister and also my bestie, the vaunted Missy March (WTF is WRONG with you!!! Leave. It. ALONE!)

My skin, shrieking in horror, had the biggest NO! in that.

Last thing:  perfume.  On a burned neck.  I’ll leave you with that.  That shriek you heard down in TX?  Yeah.  That was me.

Photos:  me, at 12 hrs old.  Apparently even then they knew of my propensity for mayhem

Pexels: Magda Ehlers (how did she get into my bedroom?)


  • Jennifer S says:

    Oh yikes that’s.….no bueno…but glad it’s getting better. I’m not big into all that skincare stuff, too confusing with so many products out there, so it’s just water, soap and moisturizer for me.
    I did get one of those red light masks for me and my daughter to use, opened it and discovered it wouldn’t charge. Sending that one back and probs looking for a different brand. Anything that pricey should work right out of the box.

  • March says:

    I love that baby pic of you SO much, it looks like adult you! And all that hair! Ava was born with a full head of hair, the nurses couldn’t get over it. This face situation is not what you needed, now or ever, but hey it’s healing. <3

  • Dina C. says:

    Owie! That sounds ridiculously painful. Yikes! Sorry it happened to you. I have yet to enter Device World, and am still back here in Ten Step Skin Care Land. Thanks for the warning. I hope you’re well past the worst of it now and can soon put this episode behind you. Gentle hugs!

  • alityke says:

    Ouch! That must have hurt like a barsteward! Wishing you an uneventful healing.
    I’ve used prescription tretinoin in the past. I got face dandruff & at times my skin came off like a snake shedding its skin. I can’t imagine how bad it would be with red light applied as well.

  • cinnamon says:

    Oh, my, that’s awful. I hope it continues to resolve. I stopped using retinol when something much less intense happened to my face. I moved from the level 1 to the level 3 of intensity in the brand I was using and my skin just went berserk. Compromised skin barrier, all kinds of little bumps popping up. Ok now after several months of oatmeal-based face cream. But, am wary.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    This is why I am hesitant about any kind of skin care routine outside of soap, water and plain old face cream. My mother said that I should start thinking about retinol and using a night cream as well to keep my skin looking as good as it does. I hope you get better soon!

  • Kathleen says:

    Aren’t you the cutest at 12 hours of age! You were blessed with gorgeous hair right from the start! Not me, I was bald until about 3 years. I’m sorry for your facial trauma. Thank you for the warning, I wouldn’t have thought of that either. I’ve used prescription tretinoin for years and was interested in the red light. Your skin will be back to beautiful soon.

  • Maya says:

    Oh Musette! Let your poor face heal all the way and then wait a while longer before doing anything. Just reading about what happened makes me shudder.
    Weren’t you a cutie-pie! I love babies with a head of dark hair.
    And you did get me very interested in red light therapy. I will check it out.

  • Maggiecat says:

    Oh ouch! I use retinol regularly and could see myself trying the red light wand without even thinking twice, so, thank you. And also, on behalf of those of us in Texas, for letting us know the source of the shriek. We were Concerned.
    Wishing you a very speedy recovery.

  • Pam says:

    What A Story! I can see combining the two. Thanks for the Warning! And I hope you heal quickly.

  • Michelle says:

    Ohhhhhh I can feel your pain. I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing because I have one of those red light things too..( I like the results so far) but wowee.. sending healing juju!

  • MMKinPA says:

    Oh wow! I used to use retinol, got out of the habit and haven’t tried red light therapy. Not sure I want to, now! Heal quickly!

  • Tom says:

    Oh dear Dearie! Heal soon!

    And thanks for the PSA- honestly it would never occur to me not to combine the two. And I’m so thrilled that the red light thingy gets the Musette seal of approval I may need to get one. Any other contraindications? Wait 24 hours between the two things or longer?

  • Portia says:

    OMG! Musette! Heal up quick and luminously.
    Portia xxx