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IPL Photofacial. Is This Normal Results or Burn? - Anchorage, AK

I've had IPL photofacials done in the past and...

I've had IPL photofacials done in the past and never had this type of reaction. I saw this esthetician last year for an IPL and micoderm and results were good. I had an appointment with this individual on Tuesday and was shocked at the results! My face felt like it was on fire after IPL was over. She gave me 2 ice packs and samples of hydrocortisone to apply on my face. My husband and kids thought I had burns all over my face. My face was red with brown scabs all over. The next day my friend saw my face and was/is convinced I was burned and this isn't normal reaction. I'll admit esthetician was to aggressive for my liking. I ended up calling her with my concerns and text her pictures of my face. Of course she reassured me my face wasn't burned and this was a normal reaction to my skin tone. Day 4 the scabs are slowly starting to flake (not much) I'm keeping face clean, not scrubbing or picking and using ointment. Would like an outside opinion if this is normal reaction or was I burned? No blistering at all. A little itchy now but that's it for discomfort. Any input is appreciated!
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I had an IPL on Tuesday and my forehead looks way worse than yours. I am freaking out. Please tell me there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I thought it was just suppose to bring up little spots, not an entire patch of skin?!
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So sorry to hear of another victim fallen to IPL damage. I'm afraid the only "light" at the end of the tunnel will be in the form of stark white rectangles left on your forehead...if you heal anything like I did. I am a little over 2 months post-IPL and I looked worse than stac1919 too with burned purple rectangles ALL over my face. After the "coffee grounds" and patches flaked off (fully after about a week) I was left with WHITE stripes all over my face where they had treated my skin. Most have faded except the ones on my forehead where I still have the whitest of white streaks...I look like a freak. The doctor told me that since there's not much fat on the forehead, it tends to absorb the most light. I thought for sure they would have faded by now but I'm afraid the IPL may have caused hypopigmentation and there's not much that can be done about it. The plastic surgeon who botched the first IPL wanted me back in for another session saying it would even out those white streaks but I will NEVER have another light or laser procedure again. I feel the IPL permanently damaged and aged my skin. About a month post-IPL my skin started to take on an orange peel texture, my pores got huge, and I look old/dry/wrinkled. I just started putting 4% Hydroquinone and .025% Tretinoin on my skin every other night to help even out my skintone but it's going to be a long process and I don't know if my skin will ever be the same :(. I'd suggest babying your skin for a month or two with gentle, natural products...then try repairing the damage with more serious remedies like peels and rx.
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My thoughts are with you amberbmore. I'm noticing the patch is breaking up more this evening. I just pray they will flake off. I will take white discoloration over big dark splotch. If I recover from this I will never do anything to try to alter what I was born with.
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About the texture - I think some of that is to be expected and full or final results not known for months. That's not communicated well. So, yes, baby and pamper for a couple of months. Calming serums are good. So's the hydraquinone/retin A combo when your skin's ready for it.
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slantyeyedgirl - they will flake off for sure but don't force it. My forehead marks were pink after flaking off and I really protected and moisturized them so the skin did not break or blister. I think my problem was that I had a tan/been in the sun the days and weeks before the procedure, hence the contrast between treated and untreated skin. The doctor assured me my tan and olive/italian skin was 'perfect' for the IPL and now I'm finding out what a big mistake that was. I TOTALLY agree with you in that I will never try to fix something about me that's not necessarily broken. I was beating myself up over doing this to myself but I have to move on and learn from this mistake that's literally staring me in the face.
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And I think they usually ask whether the area has been exposed to sun in the past two weeks. Or they should.
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this is normal. I too have had the same results as you, but be patient as these results were due to a more aggressive approach which I appreciate and allow for one downtime and no multiple visits. You will love the results as I did however I did look awful and the areas blackend for about a week. But baby skin thereafter and not a mark to be seen!!
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I've also read suggestions to see a dermatologist. In reality I should make that appointment and ask them about further treatment & Obaji Nu Derm but thought I'd ask here too.
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Wow! Thank you to everyone who commented on my post. It's helped to hear I'm not alone. I plan to update my photo to let you see how my face looks 2 weeks after IPL. I've continued to be gentle with my face using Cetaphil face wash and I've started using my Image serum and moisturizer again. I never leave the house without sunblock and a hat. The texture of my face is very soft and smooth. Overall my complexion is still uneven due to areas where scabbing flaked off (white skin under) and spots where darker pigment remains. As I mentioned I've decided to hold off on any further treatment (IPL, microdermabrasion, peels) for awhile (some have suggested 3 months and that sounds good to me!) I do have a brand new Obaji Nu Derm kit I bought a few months ago but haven't tried. I'm thinking about using to see if my skin tone evens out a bit. I originally had the IPL for hyper pigmentation. Has anyone used Obaji post IPL treatment (with similar results to the one I had?) Of course I'd wait a month or more before starting Obaji kit.
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I think the Perfect Image products are a great idea - but also check out Skinceuticals Post Treatment kit. You want to CALM everything down. Like for 3 months, as discussed. Also take a look at Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective serum. You skin is now "sensitive" whatever it started out! Please also consider a soluble oil cleanser during this very delicate phase. I like anything by Shu Uemura. Pricey - but it will last you a couple of years.
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Thank you! Will look into these products.
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Hi there Stace. I hate to say this, but I think you were burned:-( I still have streaks on my arms from when I had IPL done ten years ago. Having said that, mine burns were so bad, they blistered - it was awful, but I believe you said you had no blisters, so that is a good sign. I highly recommend you going to a dermatologist and asking their advice on the best course of action to prevent permanent scarring/streaking and get them to document that they think you were burned by the IPL treatment. In my opinion, I think only trained dermatologists should be doing these procedures. They are going to tell you you aren't burned because they don't want to be held liable. I am sorry you are going through this, but it doesn't look like you were burned as badly as I was. And I know I don't have to say this, but avoid the sun like the plague as long as you can. Pure vitamin E oil helped me a lot. Hope everything turns out O.K.
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Lasers are very very risky. This is the stuff they don't tell you about. I truly hope you heal completely.
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This is the exact same thing that happened to me after my first IPL treatment. I don't want to scare you but it;s been nearly 2 months post-procedure for me and my skin is worse than ever. My skin looked like your pictures for a few days and the dark spots began sloughing off, however, my skin starting sloughing off on my forehead as well ("since there's not much fat/padding there" so says the Dr.). I thought things were on the up and up but the treatment worked so well on my spots that the places that weren't treated are still dark and freckly and the 'squares' that were treated are WHITE. I have white train tracks going across my forehead and cheeks. To boot, my skin is now taking on an orange peel-like texture, my pores are enormous (I had tiny pores pre-procedure), and I looked like I aged 10 years. The doc wants me back for a second IPL to treat the spots they missed but I am staying as far away from any and everything that has unexpected outcomes. I hope time will heal what the IPL has done to my skin because quite frankly, I paid $400 to look 10 years older and lose all self-esteem. I hope your healing goes better than mine but be gentle and no more procedures!!!
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It's been 9 days since I had this IPL. Scabbing has flaked off but I do have the "white" patches of skin on both sides of my face and area on my forehead. There are areas of my skin that are still dark so my complexion looks worse in those areas. Looking at myself straight on in the mirror my face looks bright and clear. Turn to the side and not so much. I had my appointment with the aesthetician yesterday and she thought my face looked good. She said the peel and microderm would clean up the left over skin. I told her I needed to wait awhile and recover from this experience before I decide on any further treatments.
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I was going back to my plastic surgeons once a week so they could evaluate my progress. They keep trying to get me to do more IPL or a Vi Peel (they wanted to do these literally 2-3 weeks after my initial burning IPL). I still refuse to do any treatments as I feel my skin is not 100% and I don't trust them, nor anyone else with these procedures anymore. They told me the initial IPL treatment was super safe, no downtime, could go back to work immediately after, ha! I had to call out of work for a week because I looked like a monster and my face was on fire for a good 24 hours. I simply don't trust the machines/procedures or the operators...too much can go wrong. They did prescribe my Hydroquinone 4% and Tretinoin .025%. I don't even trust their advice on these...anyone try them together?
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There are many questions. Are you being seen and treated by a board certified (in plastic surgery) plastic surgeon - or an aesthetician in his/her "medi spa"??? Yes - Hydroquinone and Tretinoin (a/k/a Retin A) are used in combo - however - both can make your already sensitive skin even more sensitive. Retin A can make it dry and red and flaky. While I use them, I do not use them for some time AFTER either an IPL (which is not a laser - but a "light") or laser treatment. Both of those chemicals will have a fading effect. Hydroquinone supposedly suppresses melanin - so if you stop using it, presumably the melanin kicks in again. And you are not supposed to use it for more than about 4 months at a time. I am also wondering whether they told or asked you about "pre IPL" treatment. Were you using, for example, the Retin A during that period? That can also have an effect on how the IPL works - as do other meds you might be taking orally, etc. It would have an effect if your skin had otherwise been exposed to the natural sun in the couple of weeks before the treatment. There is, in fact, a point of diminishing returns on all these skin "treatments". I just keep saying that common sense tells me, and it's based on my own experiences, that your skin needs time to calm down and heal from what all has been going on. I'd lay off that hydroquinone and tretinoin until it all calmed down. I'd use a post-procedure kit for about 2 weeks. I wouldn't put soap or detergent on my face - I'd be using cleansing oil. On days when I didn't have to go out anywhere, I'd be slathering on some good oil (whatever works for you - emu, olive, squalene, argan) and just let it soak in. I wouldn't be wearing make up during this period. So generally, I'd agree that IPL *should* be safe and no down time - but there are a lot of other variables in play. And it is no cure for pigmentation that is deeper down anyway. All this stuff can help FADE that - but not remove it. It's a good first step - but in that case, then, yes, you have to carry on with deeper/more invasive stuff. And it might take a year in total. Part of the problem, I think, with all this stuff is people expect instant results. It just doesn't work that way. A lot of these treatments amount to controlled or intentional "wounding". Wounds need time to heal. It's in that healing PROCESS that you get the results. But "process" implies time not instantaneous results. No one can rush it - and you shouldn't let them try. The more patience you show, I'm willing to bet that your providers will take their cue from you. "Throw it all at the wall and see what sticks" is not the approach. Pick and choose is the way to go. There's no one-size fits all. And there's really no such thing as "flawless". You can fade; you can shrink; but you cannot wave a magic wand and say "Presto! Changeo!" and magically everything bugging you disappears. Keep your head out of the clouds and your face away from the IPL for a while. Maybe not forever. But until your wounding heals!
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Yes, I consulted with a board certified plastic surgeon who recommended I do the IPL, however, his esthetician carried out the procedure. Never did they ask if I had been exposed to the sun in prior days/weeks (which I had since it was early-july and I play several outdoor sports), never did they ask my skin type/heritage, nor did they ask what topicals I was using (which good thing I had been using gentle OTC products). They didn't even ask about prescriptions but I'M the one who brought up several supplements I was taking, all of which they said would not interfere. Immediately following the procedure, I said my face felt like it was on fire and they gave me a tiny, barely cold ice pack that covered half my cheek. They said that the redness and burning was normal and gave me ZERO after care instructions except "not to pick or rub off the coffee ground-like spots." They didn't even tell me to stay out of the sun or wear sunscreen!!! I had to research all of this myself. All they keep doing after going back to make sure I'm "healing properly" is trying to get me to buy more of their products and pay for more procedures. They sold me the retin-a and hydroquinone, told me to use it for a week, then come back for another IPL!!! According to everything I've been reading, you should stay OFF retin-a before an IPL, not start it! I feel these people are totally negligent. I have major HYPOpigmentation on my forehead where the IPL burned me in train-track-like rectangles. Is there anything that can be done to get my melanin to start producing there again? It's only been just under 2 months...will time heal these stark white spots? I'm being optimistic about all this and trying not to dwell on it because it is what it is. I'd just like to do everything I can to get my face back to normal.
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Never go back there again and maybe consult a cosmetic DERMATOLOGIST.
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That "light" can do A LOT of damage. I'd stay far far away from all lasers and lights. It's not worth the gamble. And it is a gamble.
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Agreed, I'm not going to roll the dice with ANY of these procedures EVER again. It blows my mind how the surgeon and esthetician is selling all lights, lasers, and chemical peels as perfectly safe, with "little to no downtime or side effects," lunchtime procedures. It sure did take a lunchtime to ruin my skin for a lifetime.
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All those things CAN be true but there are many variables. Operator error heads the list. I've done many different things over 3 yrs. It only took one aesthetician who disagreed with my own assessment of my skin to burn me with a peel in about 5 min flat. And I'd had others with other people and no prob. At that point I thought I'd go diy and I've discovered there's much you can do yourself. Not IPL, but fading peels and serums yes. At a fraction of the cost on your own schedule.
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Hi amber. Your experience sounds exactly like mine. Exactly. And I've read that an ice pack is the worst thing to put on your face after a laser procedure. They told me nothing. I even told her it hurt a lot. She said that's normal and continued. She was in a big hurry and just zapped away at my face and threw an ice pack at me after. This was done to me at a good hospital too. Total neglect. Long story but I went back to the hospital and confronted her. It got very heated and I was asked to leave or I'd be escorted out. If I had the time and money I'd sue the Dermatology office. But I've read that it's very difficult to do. I've also been told that the device makers are protected from lawsuits now. Just be careful. I know for me that it was a hard lesson learned.
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Thank you for posting your story too. People need to see this so that their aware of the what can happen. I wish I had found Real Self prior to doing it. I put my trust in the doc completely. She said she had 10 years of laser experience. Very cocky. It would have saved me a lot of grief if I had seen and read these stories.
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Lawsuits of any kind will tie you up for years and you may have out-of-pocket expenses meanwhile, assuming you find an atty willing to accept the case. Who needs the aggro? Your first oriirity
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