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BEWARE! IPL Can Cause Serious Burns!

Had first (and last) treatment 2 weeks ago. Face...

Had first (and last) treatment 2 weeks ago. Face covered in welts and black zebra-like stripes immediately afer treatment, second degree burns on chin and jaw line. Now have pink and tan stripes on face. MD doesn't know what to do. (Actually won't acknowledge anything is wrong). Any ideas?

Wish I had asked how much training tech had on THIS type of equipment. Ask how many times they've donethe procedure. Ask to see certificate. Must not have recent tan or use self-tanners. Ask to see settings, take records with you when you leave appt. Don't be fooled by the ads...this IS risky...educate yourself. google IPL burns.

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If any ladies or gents out there have this or any other treatment done using ipl, please insist that you ask for a patch test if not offered one and consultation so this gives you the opportunity to ask questions. I know what it is like wanting the treatment straight away but please please wait until after your patch test, they will probably only do a couple of shots, if they get it wrong at least you can walk away with minimum damage and find someone reputable, if they hesitate answering your questions they are either Newley qualified or un qualified, if my patients ask me a question I know the answer straight away I am fully trained in ipl, there is no excuses for causing damage like this this period! You always start on a low setting and increase energy slightly at each session this is what patch tests are for I have a rule that I stick by and that is I will only increase up to 10 joules per patch test if I can't find the correct energy I call the client back in 24 hours later and increase up to 10 joules again until the right energy is attained yes it's a pain, but at least I don't burn anyone not like these idiots. Just be careful there are some excellent therapists out there but there are also some idiots.
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Omg that is bad and the operator clearly hasn't been trained, you poor love. I would be defiantly looking to make a claim.
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Have any of you ever thought about suing? I had IPL done to my arms and they too were burned. Same kind of thing that all of you are talking about (rail road looking brown marks that are now pale "new" skin. It does not appear to be healing properly. I went and saw the doctor today for the first time ( I had my treatment 11/13/12) and he acted like NOTHING was wrong... it is a "normal" side affect and I should not be concerned. My arms were only supposed to be treated for 3 spots and now my WHOLE arms are burned from elbow to wrist. Any ideas on what I can do??? I leave for Florida for 2 months in a little under 3 weeks!!!

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Please post me up if it is getting better maybe i have dome solution for u.. I had the same problam from laser.. Sorry about My english is brok)
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I'm very sorry this happened to you. If you have not, please file an adverse event report with the FDA. It is very important that incidents like these be reported. You can file on line:

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/medwatch-online.htm
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What does this do?
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If you are in the US, filing an adverse event report to the FDA alerts them of on-going issues/injuries associated with these devices. The manufacturers, by law, must investigate every notification of an adverse event and report their findings. Granted, mostly they blame the practitioner or the patient, but filing these reports is essential to documenting that this damage occurs.
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After a IPL burn you should consistently apply hydrocortisone ointment and bacitracin a couple times a day. Also it is very important to stay out of the sun!!!! You will get more pigmentation on the surface!! Your skin does not need to be forever damaged after an IPL burn.

While the procedure is going on it is important to remember that you are part of this procedure....it is hard to burn someone if they are communicating with the tech, it is also hard to burn someone if the patient knows what to expect. There are clinics that do burn people though.

It is also very important to provide accurate medical history, not have sun exposure and to research the place you go.Anytime a burn like this happens it is terrifying, but its not the end of the world....its something that can easily be treated.

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Hi I am wondering whether your condition worsened or got better now that it has been almost 2 years ago. If it got better how long did it take. I hope your are better now.
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The person who did that treatment was an idiot. It's very unfortunate that they clearly didn't do proper patch tests or proper consultation before proceeding. Terrible.
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I had IPL done on West Broadway in Vancouver by Dr. Carruther's office.

Many years later the aftermath is still coming out.
I have x marks, dark brown squares, deep rooted stripes all over my face, severe loss of fat and areas that are now hollow. How unsettling when trying to explain to the nurses and doctor that IPL IS responsible and they say no, you're wrong. You're just aging.

I am beyond sad and shocked that the one treatment that I had, has left my face with this amount of damage.
Even more unsettling is that I am over 4 years out of this procedure and the results continue to show on new areas. Any questions please feel free to email me

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All I can say is, I was burned by a laser. I now am using some medicines from a Dr,John. I have found out, a burn from a laser that leaves HIP cannot be fixed with most creams out there. For 8 months I used different creams with no results. What a nightmare, and it might happen to us all.
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I would like to know , if you have gotten any better? Could you tell me how many treatment you received of IPL?
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IPL laser burns story: I guess the original poster may not even be reading this, since two years have passed, but I saw the thread and wanted to share my own IPL burn story. I had IPL done on my face in California a couple of years ago, with great results- some redness and burning immediately after the treatment but NO square laser-head marks at all. Then the next day and for about ten days after that the dark pigmentation marks started to rise and I looked like a chocolate chip cookie before they flaked off & my face looked great. So I was confident that this time would be the same. I chose a very high-end, nationally certified medical center here in Spain, where the person administering the laser is a doctor who has been doing this kind of treatment for over ten years. I should say that I forgot about the consent form & in fact wasn't given it until AFTER the procedure was over, when I stupidly signed it because that's what I would have done if they'd given it to me ahead of time. I was going to do my face but then decided to just start on my forearms (elbow to wrist). When she saw my arms she told the assistant "she's tanned!" & she asked me whether I'd been sunbathing during the past 14 days. I told her that I never sunbathe and in fact try to avoid the sun, but that I tan very easily and had no doubt gotten some color on my arms just from walking around in short sleeves. I said that if it was dangerous to do the treatment with this skin tone then I would definitely wait and do it at a later date, but was told that it would be fine.

The treatment was somewhat painful, but not really any worse than my earlier experience had been, so I wasn't worried until immediately afterwards, during the half-hour "soothing" masque + cortisol treatment, when my arms felt like they'd been pan-fried over an open flame. I was literally in so much pain that I could barely sit without sobbing and could hardly talk to tell the assistant (the doctor left immediately following treatment) that I couldn't stand the pain and needed a stronger topical treatment. There had been pain after my first IPL, of course, but it was much more bearable with the cortisol cream right away (also, the first clinic gave me a frozen gel-back to hold on the area). She joked that "Americans must have a lower pain threshold that we do here" and said that that was all she could do, that it was normal and that I would be able to see the rectangular marks from the laser over the weekend & would be in some pain & feel itchy and uncomfortable, but not to worry. I left the office feeling extremely upset from the pain, which didn't go away for about four hours.

After the pain had gone away, I carefully pushed the gauze bandages down in order to put some hydrating cream on them as instructed. To my horror, both arms were covered not only with the "railroad-like" brown rectangular burn marks, but also were *entirely covered with blisters*- not small ones, either. The largest blisters were a little less than an inch wide. Knowing that blistering is NOT a desired result of IPL, I immediately called the clinic. The doctor initially didn't think there was any need to see me, but then changed her mind when I told her the size and number of the blisters. In the clinic, she pierced the largest ones to remove the water from them and then covered the entire area with a regenerative ointment and then with gauze, repeatedly telling me that I would not have any scars at all, that the reaction was stronger than usual because of my tanned skin but that it would be fine and that I had nothing to worry about. She must have told me that there would be no scarring/marks at least twenty times. She seems to know what she's doing & I would like to believe her, but this seems so completely at odds with what I'm seeing on the internet. My arms look really bad- they are almost entirely covered with dark brown burned skin that has the color and texture of that of a fried sausage. At the moment I'm using rosa mosqueta (rose hips) oil on the burns twice a day, as per her assistant's suggestion, but am thinking that maybe I should be using aloe vera.

If anyone else has had this experience & knows what kinds of treatment will minimize scarring, I'd be very glad to hear your opinion. I'll keep you posted on my progress. At the moment, it's looking like I'll probably be wearing long sleeves for at least three or four months)...
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There's a special-silicone product that surgeons tell their patients to use on post-sugrical marks/scars. It's called KELO-COTE. Some pharmacies dispense it but it's easier to get it from the internet.

I hope this helps if you still have persisting scarring problem.
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Hi Spanishgirl,
Do you have any positive updates on your arms?
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I had the exact same thing happen to me about 8 months ago and I still have railroad looking tracks on my arms, did you do anything to help the scars and are they gone now?
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You should try Dr, John Md. He does sell medications and creams, that will help clear this up,
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Actually, I have had IPL with that exact same result. I was worried at first but, like the last poster noted, the dark stuff came off. After three or so treatments, my skin was clear and still looks great.
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Whoa there ladies. I had IPL for relatively extensive melasma twice - about three years ago - and my face looked similar to those photos for about five days. THEN the "coffee grounds" flaked off and my skin looked fine. In fact, the melasma (and some age spots) looked much improved after one treatment and basically were gone after two. I think those look more like burns than mine, but I definitely freaked out the first time that happened. I'm just very happy with the results, so I'm not sure all striping or coffee grounds looks are actually severe burns (although some may be). I'm just trying to calm some people down who may have those stripes on their faces.
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I had similar burns as the ones shown in the picture above only they were vertical and this dermatologist gave me biocream which after the first two weeks didnt see a huge difference so I applied it more generously every night and after a month most of the inflammation went down and it turned into bright pink lines, and i continued using it til now after two months it seems to have faded about 60% of the burns back into my skin its still there but much more subtle so i guess this stuff worked?
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I'm currently going to Dr. Grimes in Los Angeles. She's dealt with every burn case known and has taught many dr.s about ipl burns. I'm currently going to her because I too have had ipl burns about a year ago and recently started to go to her and she's been doing treatments on me that his healed my skin as well as made the pigmentation normal again. She truely is amazing and her office is called vitiligo and pigmentation institute. She can tackle any burned case there is. if you need any further info or want to talk to someone who's gone through the same you have email me: christinastrawberry6@yahoo.com trust me, i've been there and had burns worse than these!
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Hi Burned, I'm so sorry to hear about your experience. I, unfortunately, am going through the same thing... just had my treatment done on Saturday. I'm curious: how is your face now? Any improvement? I'm freaking out with fear that I am going to look this way forever... I am only on day 3 but am seeing NO improvement at all. I literally look like I have been severely burned with a waffle iron! I hope things have improved for you.
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Re IPL burns, where are you going to get it done. I do not get any of these laser-related treatments at a "spa", cheapie clinic or a salon. I get them done at a dermatologists office, and a REGISTERED NURSE, does the treatments, not a "trained technician." I have never had any problems with IPL or laser hair removal. I truly believe that you get what you pay for, so when it comes to this sort of thing, don't skimp! And have it done at a doctor's office!
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well i got mine done at a medispa with a registered nurse and still got severely burned
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