IPL After a 35% TCA (Traumatic) Home Peel - Indianapolis, IN

I wanted to share this story in hopes it might...

I wanted to share this story in hopes it might help someone.

For my 30th bday, which was in 2008, I purchased a TCA 35% online. I just wanted to look a little younger, being a smoker and all. I now know I never needed anything that strong! I got a bit of a burn (my words) over my cheek bones and temporal regions (both sides). On the right cheek bone, it turned brown with red in it over the course of a year. The left cheek bone turned red, with visible vessles just under the surface. I tried a TCA 10% in December 2009. It made no difference. In October of 2010, I spoke to my seller again, who sold me all these products mentioned, and they suggested a Lactic Acid 50% to lighten my skin. I tried it and no change. By now, I went to see a professional.

Well, I quit smoking in June 2010. Since then, my skin has been a mess. I'm not sure if it's because it's trying to repair from all the cigarette smoke damage (I smoked for 16 yrs), or it's just sun damage from not ever wearing sunscreen from my medium depth 2008 peel. I feel it's probably the latter. Regardless, I didn't really notice it or pay much attention to it. Now every time I look in the mirror, my eyes see the imperfections and only the imperfections.

I eventually saw a derm at the Univ. of Iowa in November, 2010 who wasn't exactly sure what was wrong. She did a woods lamp test and saw telangistacia. She ruled out Rosacea. She felt my skin concerns werent worth all the emotional distress they were causing me and prescribed TriLuma. She said over and over, "let's just bleach it."

TriLuma is $200+ for 30 grams. Being uninsured and making less than $10 an hour, this wasn't an option. And TriLuma has side effects I really wasn't comfortable with, so I decided to forget it.

Since then, I have moved to Indiana. I had an IPL done at a Facial Plastic Surgeons office on the south side of Indianapolis. It was done by an esthetician. The goal was to remove the redness (90% of my complaint) and the little bit of brown under my right eye (10% of my complaint).

Following the IPL, my skin was red and looked sunburnt afterwards for about a day. I used a 1% solution of steroid cream to keep inflammation at bay. The next day, my skin was actually almost back to its state prior to treatment. Basically, it had little effect on me. I did have a few freckles "pepper", but they still havent fallen off. I could care less about freckles. I want the RED gone.

IPL was harmless for me. I think it did help some, but its only been a few days, and its my first treatment. And we all know you need a series of treatments.

On a sidenote, the esthetician who performed the procedure really concerned me. She laughed at me when I articulated the amount of stress this facial redness had caused me and she thought it was funny, follwed by "I shouldn't laugh."

For my own continuity of care, I'll go back to this clinic should I choose to proceed with IPL. But if I had to do over, I wouldn't use this doctors office again. They are very unprofessional there.

On a side note, I'm scheduled for IPL treatment #2 in February. I'm not sure I'll be going back. Why? I have yet to see a plastic surgeon. I am going off the advice of the esthetician and what I read here, that IPL, while not the preferred treatment, can help with redness and pigment issues. From what I've read, laser (YAG, Tunable Dye Laser, etc) are the gold standard treatments for redness. So why am I not getting the gold standard treatment when I have cash in hand? Good quesiton.

I wanted to share this so hopefully someone can learn from my mistakes. I've learned them all the hard way.

P.S. The IPL should of been $250. I only got the $150 price because they misquoted me and I held them to it.

I wanted to expand on what I wrote previous.

So far, my IPL treatment went fine. I saw zero change. Zero decrease in redness and zero decrease in hyperpigmentation. I know, you need several sessions. But you'd think a 10% change after 1 session would be a reasonable outcome. Regardless, I did learn something unrelated about my condition!

I had an IPL done on a Wednesday. That Saturday, same week, after talking with some family members and going over what I took into my body on a daily basis, we were wondering if the nicotine gum I had been taking was causing me skin problems. As I mentioned above, I quit smoking in June, 2010. I was still using the gum up until the very end of January, 2011.

My last piece of nicotine gum was the last Saturday of January. Since then, my skin has already improved by about a third I'd say!! The more reading I do, the more I believe I had an allergic reaction to the nicotine gum for months and it went unchecked. Sadly, living alone in another state away from family, I had no one on the outside to point out the condition I was in. These things can be rather insidious.

Regardless, I do still have some pigment problems, but the redness (rash) is quite a bit better. As I type this, it's been right at 72 hours being nicotine free. It's amazing how much your skin can improve when you get to the root of the problem!

I have a consultation with a new plastic surgeon, but I have to wait for this allergic reaction rash to clear up.

I will keep updating in case someone else is experiencing something similiar.

HI Mike,

Welcome to the IPL community. Wow, I'm sorry you have been through a lot. Have you found anything new out since your last visit? Please keep us updated and thanks so much for the review.




Today is just at the 1 week mark for me. So far,...

Today is just at the 1 week mark for me. So far, IPL has made zero difference for my diffused redness. Just 2 days after the procedure, I did notice fairly superficial pock marks on my cheek bones (on both sides). This is very bad news, because I created a new problem when trying to resolve an old one. I am going back to the same person today, which is exactly 8 days later, and letting the esthetician see what she did. I wont even let the plastic surgeon whose name is on the door touch me.

If your gum had aspartame or sucralose or any artificial sweetener in it, this can cause skin allergies... happened to me. Careful with any of these light/laser devices -- they can be extremely dangerous.
Kiki: The gum had nicotine. It was Equate brand Nicorette.

There are numerous people on the aska patient website stating they had simiilar experiences.

I believe I actually had vasculitis and a horrible skin reaction.

As of today, my skin is very good. I really can't complain. I feel very lucky.

Hi Mike,

Glad you found out what was up. And thanks so much for the detailed added info. Please do keep us updated.




I had an IPL done to relieve me or some redness. I...

I had an IPL done to relieve me or some redness. I had the IPL 2 months ago. Since then I have what I believe are "pock marks" in patches on my face. I have some under my left eye, and 3 small ones under my right eye, running diagonally. Oddly the 3 (holes if you will) are in a diagonal row and they all run at the same angle, are the same size and shape, and are spaced the same distance apart! Do not EVER let an estetician touch your skin!
Your last update is in April.....so did the IPL cause pock marks? How is your skin today?
Bowman: My last piece of nicotine gum was January 29th. The IPL did leave some 'identitions' in my skin. I have seen a dermatologist and have had 2 pulsed dye lasers done. They did help with my redness quite a bit. He also prescribed Biafine, which made my face redder, but it quickly subsided after I quit the Biafine. Then he started me on Skin Medica topical Vitamin C. That is the one single product that I noticed the most abrupt improvement in my skin. In literally 12 days of daily use, the indentitions I was left from the IPL faded by, I'd say at least 25%. And it also helped decrease the remaining redness. I'm still working with the derm for complete resolution, which is says is possible. He wants to do a Gentle Yag laser to get rid of all the redness, but he says it will probably cause my skin to blister. I think it's worth it. Then we are going to work on some "structure issues." Im pretty sure he is referring to the identitions from the IPL.

All in all, a nightmare. The nicotine gum cost me nearly a year of my life. And the IPL was suppose to give me relief, not make my condition worse.

You read it on this site over and over again, the operator is much more important than the advice. SPEND THE MONEY on a good dermatologist! It will be cheaper in the long run!
That sounds very traumatic!! I have some redness and issues after a Fraxel. I wonder if I am too sensitive to lasers. I would do a test patch with the Yag to see how you react. Better safe than sorry. Best wishes in a complete healing!

List Pros & Cons, Advice you can offer others

List Pros & Cons, Advice you can offer others
Hi guys. I wanted to write a brief update, as I know a lot of people recovery but they dont follow up.

Right now, I'm on Lustra 4% Hydroquinone and Atralin. My skin can't handle generic .025% tretinoin, but it can handle .05 Atralin just fine.

I also had another V Beam perfecta PDL. The color of my skin has improved quite a bit after the last full-face PDL. And the Atralin and Lustra are helping A LOT too.

I am seeing a new derm in Indianapolis. She is VERY YOUNG, and lacks quite a bit in experience. But, she is very knowledgable, and when she doesnt know the answer, she finds it out! She listens, and she explains options to you. I adore her!

She has mentioned either more PDL's (I've already had 4), or she suggested Limelight or the new Fraxel Dual. Limelight is just a IPL machine and I'm not going to do that. And Fraxel, I'm VERY scared of. But, she has the new dual and it has 2 wavelengths, and I believe the 1927 wavelength is what she would be treating me with, and it is superficial. Its the other one for scars and wrinkles that goes deep.

All in all, I am IMPROVED. BUT, it's been a Looooong road. I still 100% blame my skin problems on being on nicotine replacement therapy (nicorette gum). My back had cystic acne while on that, and now it is completely clear, without taking any drugs or having any procedures on it.

Time is your friend. And so is Atralin. If your skin is majorly sensitive, I HIGHLY recommend Atralin. I couldnt stand Tretinoin .025% once a week, but I can stand Atralin .05% every night- FROM THE MOMENT I STARTED IT! A miracle drug truly.

Best to everyone.
Also, the damage the IPL did to my skin, I do think it continues to improve. But damn the girl who operated that machine and did it to me. Damn her to hell.
How are things these days?
Mark Hamilton

Esthetician laughed at me when I told her my concerns. She didn't come across as the sharpest knife in the drawer.Updated on 7 Apr 2011:This practice is all about cash and not about what's in a patients best interest!

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
2 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
2 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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