Non Ablative Laser Ruined my Skin!

In an effort to improve my excessively oily skin...

In an effort to improve my excessively oily skin and a few mild indented scars I opted for Smoothbeam (non ablative) laser treatments. I'm very pale skinned (Northern European Caucasian) and told the dermatologist during the consultation that I tend to scar VERY easily (both hypo as well as hypertrophic scarring) AND that I suffer from photosensitivity (sun 'allergy'- when exposed to the sun for too long, I sometimes get tiny pink itchy hives...). I asked the doctor if any of this was a concern and he said 'no', that he had NEVER seen any adverse effects from the Smoothbeam- so I decided to go for it.

Big mistake. Within days after just ONE treatment, I noticed a negative change in my skin texture that got progressively worse. One week later my pores were already enlarged and the overall texture of my skin got rough and irregular- and it's gotten worse every week since then (I'm now 5 weeks post). I also broke out the first 2 weeks after the procedure, but that cleared up. However- the skin texture changes remained, and actually got worse- my skin looks and feels like 'inflamed' sandpaper- as if I have tiny pink 'hives' surrounding each enlarged pore, giving it an overall rough 'orange peel' look. Even around my eyes there are tiny bumps (hives?) now, but they're a lot smaller than the rest (not sure what they are, but they do NOT look like milia).

Has anyone else experienced this horrible change in skin texture and pore size after Smoothbeam or a similar non-ablative laser ? I am worried sick that this may be permanent. I thought this laser would improve my skin, but it has done the exact opposite !

It goes with out saying that I will NOT be going back for more treatments (I was supposed to have about 4).

Horrible skin reaction after laser treatment - Any input would be greatly appreciated- especially advice on what I should be doing or using (skin creams ?) to fix this mess... Thank you all in advance ! Ivana.
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I feel like they need to pay. We deserve justice not to just be swept under the rug like some nuisances, while our livelihood is in the balance.
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It could be that the laser tip was infected with bacteria due to the doctor not properly cleaning it and you need antibiotics.
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I had a Smooth Beam consult at Pulse Laser in NYC. The tech was very nice and told me that the difference would be hardly noticable and not worth the time and money. My issue is acne like facial scarring from a glass injusry to my right cheek. I am now getting Laser Genesis with the Cutera laser and I already see the results after just one treatment AND the results are progressive. I woke up the other day nearly 3 weeks after the treatment and was amazed at how much my cheek depresssion scarring has cleared up.
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Best of luck for you:). Glad you did some research and feel comfortable. I didn't have any consistant acne, I do have one that will commonly show up during that time of month, but I did it to make my good skin even better...oops. So, truth be told, I'm staying away from any future lightbased treatments. I do wish you get the results you're looking for, and glad I could at least have you read my review and that you've seen the good and the not so good...lol.
Much healing and luck to you;)
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Actually, the joules have different effects for IPL and Smoothbeam. I thought you had both lasers. It took me a half an hour to convince the woman last night, and I had to sign a special waiver, before she agreed to the settings I wanted her to use. She was starting too low. Tomorrow I'm going to try and raise the bar a little and leave it at that for at least 2 full treatments. The Lumenis settings used on me for IPL for freckles was 20 joules. It worked great. I'm assuming you had it with some sort of medication for acne, though. Is this the case? Smoothbeam is a 1450 wavelength. I believe IPL is 1250 or so, and a medication like Levulan is supposedly supposed to make it penetrate deeper. The problem is you can't counteract (for lack of better term) the upper layers like you can with the Smoothbeam and DCD. I'll let you know how it goes, and I'll take pics. If it works for me, I'm willing to bet it will work for you, as long as their isn't operator error. It's $150 a session, just for my chin.
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I'm type 3. I didn't have smoothbeam, I had lumenis for the machine they used. I don't know the joules:(, wish I did, and you may want to ask, just for you, for them to have it write it down on your consent form and make sure you have a copy for yourself. I know every individual is incredibly different, so it might be hard to compare. You may just want to give the office a call, ask them what settings they'll use, and pose a question to the docs that participate here. Give them a run down on your skin, I'm sure some will answer.
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I don't mind at all. Thank you. The more info the better. Any idea the settings used on you and your Fitzpatrick skin type?
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No:(, my review is under the ipl section and cveroleyva. i have pics posted. i hope you need your treatments if your going to go through with him, and i hope it turns out great for your skin:). hope you didn't mind me just trying to caution you, and of course what happened to me may not happen to someone else.
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I'm thinking 5 treatments, 3 weeks apart, then a maybe 1 every 3 months. I'll commit if it works. Did it work for you?
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Just be sure you want to commit with the rest of the sessions. I didn't experience any pain and I don't have a high pain tolerance. It felt like spots being warmed by the sun and I enjoyed it very much, because I thought I was doing something good for my skin. If you plan on committing with following sessions, just make sure you are aware of both sides of the coin.
Best of luck-
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Does anyone who's unhappy with Smoothbeam know what settings were used on them? How many treatments? It should take at least 4 once you find the ones. I started today at 13Joules/35ms DCD with a 6mm test spot and had no visible reaction. It's not even red, and I could barely feel it (no numbing cream used, and I have a high pain tolerance). I have a feeling this is how it should be for everyone, other than maybe a little pain.
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Based on these reviews...are you all highly recommending that there is nothing out there for people with icepick scarring?...I trust the opinions of patients...not websites...so please be honest...I was looking into non-ablative laser or subcision....any advice?
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Head up Han,
I'm really sorry to hear you're going through this, and that you didn't even go through laser..sigh.
You're collagen is still producing though, you have to go to a well reputable derm to have an examination and don't go crazy and quick fix gels or creams, you can make it worse.
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I have the sma problem after repetitive chemical pills my skin from extra oily turned super dry, it seems not producing any oil at all, if some body could give an advice on what to do, how to help my skin to recover
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In the beginning I thought it was just dryness, then I started to notice new wrinkle appiering almost every day, then I realized that collagen production was reduced, I went to a few doctors and they could not figure out what was going on. Then once at night I started getting cramps in my leg which then started getting wors, I decided that I had calcium deficiency and started taking calcium supplements. In several days I noticed that aging process slowed down and skin startet to shed, which was a good sighn. Later I spoke to a good holistik doctor who told me that it was skin atrophy which occurd due to skin abuse by the procedure and probably calcium deficiency that I had developed before the chemical peels(about six months before the peelings I stopped eating dairy products) , so those two things brought to thinning of the skin and sabsiquently its atrophy. Now I keep taking calcium citrate and use cream La mer on my face and keep searching for better solution to get my skin back.

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Try neoderma bio peeling its all organic
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They only use herbs
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Dear All,

I have the same problem but I didn't do a laser treatment. I had multiple microdermabrasions and several peeling. Especially the peelings made my skin condition worse, and I'm getting depressed at the moment. On every website you read that large pores doens't shrink anymore, which means that the peelings destroyed my skin for the rest of my life. I'm 23 y/o and as todays world is all about beauty I feel I just ruined the rest of my life.... How did you managed to get over it??? Any tips?
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I'm so sorry. I had ipl, unfortunately the same damage you are describing. It's been almost a year, I finally got over the depression of it. My skin was a little oily with a few sun spots, a mark here or there, but fab overall. Now I don't look the same anymore. I'm going to begin microdermabrasion next week and keep going on a monthly basis. At 34, I don't know if my skin will ever bounce back. I'm really sorry to hear you went through this. I feel your pain, now I have a daily reminder that beauty is really skin deep. Still sucks though.
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Saturday, I completely agree with you but never thought to put a name to it, Thermal Aging. That really is what lasers seem to do. I, too, feel that I have ruined my complexion with these devices. (CO2, Smoothbeam, Fraxel). It has been one year since my last treatment... my skin has gotten worse and there are now areas of orange peel. Has your skin gotten better at all in the 3 years since your treatment?
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It's been 3 years since my laser treatment for Rosacea. It destroyed my face and skin. The dermatologist who did the treatment ran away and another dermatologist put me on Retin A therapy to improve my skin. These light devices were not meant to be used in the way they are being used. They introduce heat under your skin and cause irreversible damage...if not right away then eventually. The laser does the same thing that the sun does. It burns your skin, causes discoloration, textural changes (scarring), fat loss, nerve damage, and accelerated skin aging. Has anyone heard of Thermal Skin Aging? Don't let anyone touch your skin with these light devices. They change the cell structure of your skin. You will be out on your own when something goes wrong. No one will help you. I had good skin before the laser touched it....now I have skin that I cannot describe. Please stay away....this is all about money.
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Saturday, I completely agree with you but never thought to put a name to it, Thermal Aging. That really is what lasers seem to do. I, too, feel that I have ruined my complexion with these devices. (CO2, Smoothbeam, Fraxel). It has been one year since my last treatment... my skin has gotten worse and there are now areas of orange peel. Has your skin gotten better at all in the 3 years since your treatment?
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I agree 100%. I pray for change, that is all we have!
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I feel like they need to pay. We deserve justice not to just be swept under the rug like some nuisances, while our livelihood is in the balance.
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I think ALL LASERS CAUSE DAMAGE. I had a laser peel that caused hyperpigmentation. Then I had the Affirm which has caused major damage. Saggy skin and a bronze like color. As well my oil glands are inactive and my face hurts. I am rapidly aging and it has only taken 3 months and it is worse every day. These companies have to be shut down!
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