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Permanent Hypopigmentation After Laser Treatment - Nashville, TN

I was scarred and the RN burned me. Laser settings...

I was scarred and the RN burned me. Laser settings too high, which left me initially with purple water blisters on chest then when healed, permanent white scars in the tip of the laser. I've been trying for over 2 years to get these scars fixed and can't.

I can't wear any V neck shirts or dresses, much less a bathing suit. Beware! Just look at my pictures if you have any doubts.

Dan and Terri Hightower - Dermess Renewal

These people left me with permanent and visible scars that have affected every aspect of my life. I can't wear V neck clothes, I can't go in the sun at all due to the areas around the white scars getting dark and making them more prominent, I can't do outdoor activities with my children, we no longer take beach vacations, I cry every day when trying to get dressed in a way that will hide these scars, and I have spend thousands of dollars trying every treatment possible to correct the scarring. I have attached a picture of how my chest looked before the laser (which I should have left alone looking back) the second pic is on the day of the treatment and the last pic is how my chest looks on a good day now.

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
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Three years I had CO2 Laser resurfacing done on my face for sun damage. I REGRET ever having it done and wish I could turn back time!! I have hypo pigmented scars across my forehead and several other places on my face. I also tried filing a suit but was told the statue of limitations had run out. It is a shame that NOTHING can be done no matter how much time has gone by. The scars are still there three years later which is proof. I did find a plastic surgeon who compounds his own retina/bleaching cream and it has help tremendously. I had tried all the other creams. At least it helps lighten the other pigment better and hides these places. I still cannot go out in the sun and I love to be outdoors. It has left me with nothing but depression.
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you had a badddddddddddddddddddddd dr...had my face and neck fraxled at vandy by dr shack...perfect results...and I am dark yellow complected.....so sorry for your disfigurement....I know I went to Dr. Shack at Vandy because a person that claimed to be a plastic surgeon disfigured me during a breast reduction .....I have had 7 years of surgeries...to fix what one bad dr did...almost done but my life will never be the same again...nor trust of the medical profession ...it it is too cheap quick or good to be true....run ...anyone with enough money can get a laser in their hands and they are worse than a scapel......I am looking to repigment surgical scars thru tattooing in tennesse does anyone know who can do this
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Be really careful with the tattooing.. I tried that as well initially to cover the hypo scars and the lady went too dark, so I ended up with dark marks across my chest. Tattooing to match skin tone is very hard. I had really good progress with needling to repigment the scars on my chest. They are not totally gone, but much less noticeable now. Good luck and thanks for your comment, You are right, I had a very BAAAAD doctor/nurse/location/experience!!!
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Fraxel has actually helped a lot. Not sure if I told you, but at one point I had tried cosmetic tattooing over the scars, which did not "take" on the white scars, but did "take" on the skin around them, which left me in even worse shape. The white scars were so much more obvious with the darker tattoo around them, so Fraxel has faded most of the tattoo and lightened the skin around the scars to make them blend in more, plus the scars have been help SO much with the dermarolling. I also use a single needle to work on the scars individually, but I have been rolling my entire chest and it has evened out the skin tone so much! 3 years after this ordeal began, and it is not over and fixed totally yet, but at least I am seeing some progress!! I have not heard of Latisse for restoring pigment, but that sounds interesting. Isn't that pretty expensive? But if it works, I'd love to know. I think I would probably try it!! Let me know how you are doing since your last post in March. Sorry I am just now responding but I just got on here and saw your inquiry. Best wishes for your skin to repigment!!!
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Hi
Just wanted to let you know where I am at. I purchased a UVB lamp and am noticing some small spots reemerge but SLOWLY. I still roll, but it only seems to repigment if I can get the skin irritated enough to cause inflammation after using the piperine. If it gets sort of scabbed a little the area will repigment. Otherwise, the needling hasnt done much at all. I am now going to try Latisse on the areas since people have reported it is repigmenting their skin. Im willing to try anything. I am very spotted right now, with some areas repigmented and others not at all. In general, my luck has been very poor in choosing doctors/cosmetic treatments. I feel like I got screwed. Money and greed seem to be more importantt than patient satisfaction. Will you let me know how your Fraxel treatments are going?
thanks!
Lisa
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Hey iv been doing dermaroller on my face and it has deffinatly improved loads!! and i know i can trust myself to do it right dont need to risk trusting over qualified idiots that actually dont give a crap and use us like guinea pigs to make there millions! if your interested look on scientia derma roller website there send instructions also youd need to purchase some chiroxy cream to care for your skin after and emla cream to numb skin before procedure. take care sarah
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Hey there Sarah!! Good to hear from you! I'm so glad that you've had success with dermarolling!! I've been rolling my entire chest and I have gotten it back to somewhat an even skin-tone, except for 1 small spot where the nurse must have burned it worse than anywhere else because it is about the size of a dime and it feels hard when I rub my finger across it... I have been using just a plain single needle to try and break down the scar tissue... I needle it every morning and put copper peptide serum on it. If I can get the texture back to the way it should be, then I can work on the pigment more. Yes, trusting ourselves sounds much better than trusting the "over qualified idiots"!!! That is too funny and quite true!! Please do keep me posted on your continued progress and if you discover any new methods/treatments/products for hypopigmentation.
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Hi
How has your progress been going?
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Hi, I suffered severe hypopigmentation on my face from CO2 laser 10 years ago. I ended up with zebra stripes across my face & it did destroy my life. I did lots of research & found Dr Fiona Wood (Plastic Surgeon & Burns Specialist Western Australia, "Australian of the Year" recipient) director of Avita Medical who invented cell transplants for burns victims (RECELL). I was clinical trial patient where coin size piece of skin shaved from head,skin cells cultured from this piece, face skin dermabraded, cell solution applied, bandages for 10 days, new skin grew with new pigment cells. Scary operation but thank god it worked. I have my face back,(and beautiful brand new wrinklefree baby skin) I am ecstatic and I will always be indebted to this fantastic surgeon and her team. There is a cure for loss of pigment & any sort of burn scar. Dr Fiona Wood is a director of Avita Medical (under AVH on the Australian Stock Exchange). Many surgeons around the world have now been trained to do this RECELL procedure. I believe the US Defence force are now doing clinical trials with this product. Check Avita Medical website to find a doctor & more about this procedure. I went through huge depression & hell after my disastrous CO2 laser surgery but I never gave up hope. There is a solution and a cure. I am living proof. Best regards, Catie
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Thank you so much for the information! I was hopeful that a new medical procedure would be discovered to re-pigment the skin. There are so many advances these days, I thought it would only be a matter of time until something came along to help with this hypopigmentation. I will check into the Avita Medical and see if any doctors in my area are doing this procedure yet. It sounds amazing!! I'm so glad you were able to get your scar problem resolved!! Thanks again for sharing the information!!
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Houston4818, I did try to find an attorney locally to take the case, but it wasn't until I checked outside the state that I did find an atty to take the case, but by then the 1 year statute of limitations had tolled. Yes, I have filed a complaint against the RN that burned me as well as the "Medical Director" who was never even at the place to oversee anything. I'm still waiting to hear back from the Medical Board. Also there has been legislation introduced in our state to more closely regulate and monitor these laser spas, and I have been in touch with the sponsor of the bill and went a couple of weeks ago to testify in front of the Health Committee that is considering the bill. I'm doing everything I can to make sure this does not happen to anyone else. Thanks for your comment and suggestions.
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They did a poor job, negligent really. Though it's no fix, I hope you've consulted about possible legal against this practitioner. Also, contacted the state medical board to lodge a complaint. At the very least, it may help ensure that no one else is hurt there.
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Just to add....you might want to consider giving up trying to fix this and just let the the body try to heal as best it can. The scarring cannot be fixed. Burns are permanent and at best, the redness might subside but the white grid marks are there to stay. According to everything I've read and seen, Fraxel can melt away any good fat reserves in your face so who knows what it could do to your chest. Retinol is only good for sloughing off the top layer of skin on your face to refresh...cannot see using it for anything else..just my opinion. I am reviewing my legal options. I feel like I am taking my power back by taking control of the legal process and not letting anyone hurt me anymore with false promises of these procedures...there is no magic bullet for fixing burn scars caused by lasers...ask any plastic surgeon....I did.
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Hi Susan, there is a cure for burn scars caused by lasers. Go to Avita Medical (listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange under AVH). I was clinical trial patient in Australia that suffered burns to my face from CO2 laser. I was treated with RECELL which are cultured cells taken from my body, harvested with a growth solution and applied to the burnt & scarred areas after the areas have been dermabrided. 10 days later new skin emerges. It took about 6 months after the operation for the skin to be restored.Although the skin looks fantastic after the bandages are taken off at the 10 day mark, it is new baby skin which is extremely fragile & any knock can damage it and going in the sun is out of the question. This is Miracle surgery. Look at all the clinical trial photos before and after on the Avita Medical website. My burn scars were 10 years old and they are now completely gone and my pigment has also been restored. Recell has been used on over 4000 burn patients and the surgeon in Australia, Dr Fiona Wood, who invented this procedure was awarded with "Australian of the Year" for her work with burns patients. I believe USA are still doing the clinical trials for RECELL & it may not be available there right now but travel if you have to. Regards, Catie
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Can you PM me your email address instead?
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I will try to find out for you and post it.
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That is good information!! I will for sure send them a written request for my records! Can you tell me about the pending legislation in TN?? If I had the house or senate bill number, I can find the sponsor and contact them to support the need for such legislation!
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Fortunately for you, there is a federal law on our side. It is the HIPPA act. They can be heavily fined by the Federal Government for not providing you with any part of your record that you request. You can also report them to the attorney general of your state if they refuse. I know there is new legislation in the works in TN to protect ones such as yourself from med spas wielding lasers/ipl. They can charge your a fee for your records but the are REQUIRED BY LAW to provide what you ask. If they don't, tell them they will be reported to the attorney general. You have rights guaranteed by the law.
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Just mention the HIPPA act and tell them you want copies and will be picking them up, or they can mail them to you. Again, they may charge you but it will be worth it in the end to have that documentation in your own hands.
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I doubt that they will answer my question or even take my calls for that matter. I have filed so many complaints against this place, DERMESS RENEWAL Nashville, TN, that they probably have a big SIGN above the phone that has my name/phone/pic saying "Do not provid services or talk to this woman!!"

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Perhaps you can contact the doctor? It's important to have the make/model, so that the FDA is forced to investigate.
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Thank you for the FDA contact information. I will file a report today. However, I'm not sure of the exact make/model of the laser that was used. I just know they were advertising it as IPL. I will still file though.
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It is so very important that you file an adverse event with the FDA. These types of events need to be documented.

If you have not, please file an adverse event report with the FDA. This will help others in the future who might also be harmed by this device.

Here is a link where you can file the event on line:

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/medwatch-online.htm

Your name will be obscured and if you choose to give your doctor's name it will not be viewable by the public, but the FDA will have a record. Your doctor should have notified the manufacturer of this event as well, it was his/her duty that he/she do so if you notified him/her of your damage.

It is never too late to file and adverse event report.

Good luck and I am so very sorry this happened to you.
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Sarah, I am so sorry that this happened to you!! It sounds exactly like what happened to my chest. If you see the pics on my first posting, it shows me before the treatment (which I did have some brown sun spots on my chest, but looking back now I wish I had left them alone). The second pic shows how blistered I was after the IPL treatment, and the third picture shows how my chest has white, hypopigmented bar marks in the shape of the laser tip. These white scars are in the same location that the purple blisters were after the IPL treatment. Here is what I have tired... First I tried to fade the areas around the scars to make them less noticeable. I tried to do this by using a 01% Tretonin, 4% hydroquinone (bleach) and 2% cortizone cream (for itching and redness). This cream was all 3 of these ingredients compouned together. I saw very little fading of the skin around the white scars, especially if I even got a minute of sunlight, which turned the brown parts darker and made the white scars more noticeable. They next thing I tried was cosmetic tattooing.. I thought if I could not fade the brown skin around the scars, possibly I could have the white scars tattoo'd to match my skintone. BIG MISTAKE!! The lady used ink that was way too dark, and to make matters worse, the ink did not "grab" inside the white scars... it only grabbed in the areas immediately surrounding the white scars, which made the white scars even more noticeable, since they were surrounded by this dark tattoo ink. That's when I found out about derma rolling. I ordered a roller in Nov. 2010 and rolled regularly all winter and used a copper peptide serum that I ordered from Skin Biology. One day in April 2011, I woke up and looked in the mirror and thought I was healed!! The skin all looked the same color and I could not see the white scars. However, I soon realized that what I was seeing was just inflamation/irritation/redness due to the consistent rolling that made basically all the skin on my chest the same color, but it was just due to irritation. I know this because as soon as I slowed down on the rolling, the white scars re-emerged. Next I tried more IPL (from a different person this time) to try and break up the tattoo ink. I had about 5 IPL treatments this summer and as you know, it's not pretty nor fast to recover. I had to keep my chest covered as the pigment rose to the top of the skin and eventually peeled off. After 5 IPL and seeing very little improvement, my aesthetician recommended I try Fraxel Re:Store. I had my first treatment (and I'm not sure of the settings, but the girl I go to now is very conservative, as she does not want to cause further scarring) but I do know that she did 2 passes... She started in the middle of my chest and did about 5 vertical passes on each side of my chest, then she started at the top of my chest near collar bone and did about 7 or 8 horizontal passes, going down to between my boobs. It was not has harsh as IPL because there was no blistering and really not much redness either... my skin felt sort of like sandpaper from where the Fraxel made tiny columns (like pixel) in some of the skin, but left the rest untouched. I had that done on Aug. 19th. The lady said it would take at least 1 month for me to see improvement. It's been a little over 3 weeks, and sadly I do not see any improvement...well, possibly a TINY bit, but I intend to go back mid-Sept and have another Fraxel, as it seems to be less invasive than the IPL. Also, about 2 weeks after the Fraxel, I started applying Retin A at night and a Vitamin C serum then sunscreen in the morning. I have not used the derma roller, but I will tell you that there is one white spot that is larger and the skin seems "thicker" on that one... So I just have been taking a regular sewing needle and poking at that spot morning and night. I have read that this can "break up" any skin that has formed a hard scar. I also put the copper peptide on that one area after needling with the single needle, then apply retin A at night and vitamin C serum in the morning before putting on sunscreen. I have not exposed the area to ANY sunlight at all this summer, which is distressing because I have always loved to go to the lake/pool/beach. As in your situation, I do not want to attend any social events or really go anywhere other than to work (where I wear scarves every day around my neck to cover my chest) then home, where I feel comfortable enough to at least just put on a tee shirt and relax for the evening. This has ruined my social life and my husband is very upset... Our nephew turned 1 year old on July 16 and his birthday party was at an outdoor park. Needless to say, the sun on a July day would have made this worse, so I chose not to attend, which upset my husband and I'm sure his parents (my in-laws) and also his brother (father of the baby)... My sister in law could probably care less if I was there or not!! LOL! I think she does not like me!! Oh well, whatever. Did I also tell you that I have talked with a girl on here who bought some Bioperine tablets (I think at Vitacost) and crushed them and added water and put on her hypo scar and after 3 days she said she could see improvement??? You might try that?? I have not yet because I'm not sure how that would affect the Fraxel treatment that I just had in August and the one I intend to have mid-September. As far as justice, where I live has a 1 year statute of limitations to sue for this type of injury, and of course the place that scarred me kept dragging things out... I had the treatment in Sept. 09, but did not realize I was permanently scarred until the following spring, probably March or April 2010, when I did get some sun and noticed the white spots would not re-pigment. That is when I called them and they kept dragging things out, by compounding the cream for me to try, then paying for the cosmetic tattoo, which just made it worse. By that time, my 1 year to sue had expired. I was always searching for someone to take my case but no one here in my town would. I did find a law firm in Texas that would take it, but by the time I found them, it had been just over 1 week past the one year mark, so I was out of luck there! So I have just taken to the internet to put the NAME of the "spa" DERMESS RENEWAL NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, TERRI HIGHTOWER, MANAGER, CONNIE GRAVES, RN (she is the one who burned me with the IPL) and DR. DAN HIGHTOWER (Terri's husband) who is supposed to be the "MEDICAL DIRECTOR of DERMESS, but I never saw him there and later found out he is not even a plastic surgeon anyway!! I have put every bad review possible about what they have done to me on the internet to try and keep this from happening to anyone else! They cannot dispute what I am putting on the Internet because they know it is ALL TRUE!! The pictures DO NOT LIE!! I have also filed complaints with the government boards who oversee Nurses and Doctors. I have not yet heard back from this process, but I will not give UP!!! Feel free to contact me anytime about this... Let me know if you have progress and I will do the same. I have found that there are some really good people with really good suggestions on real self website. Try not to let this get you down... I was (and still am) very down about it, but at least the weather is getting cooler here and I can wear clothes that cover up my chest, but in your case, it is hard to cover up your face.. I'm so sorry this happened to you. Please file any complaint that you can with your government, and also seek out a barrister who might be able to sue (you mentioned no one would take your case, but keep looking!! You might find one eventually. I found the one in Texas by going to Google and typing in LASER BURN LAWSUITS. He said I had a good case, but the 1 year had expired by the time I found him. But the laws may be different where you are. Also try to seek out a QUALIFIED doctor in your area that might be able to recommend a treatment routine to help you get back to where you were. Stay in touch and keep me posted!!
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Hi Lisa im from nottingham in the uk & have always struggled with my confidence i went to ask the lady at the clinic about pixel laser after i saw it on an embarrassing boddies programme in the uk. i had not long had my first daughter and felt that my skin seamed dull and had lost its youthfull plumpness! ( really i had lost alot of weight following my daughters birth and that was the reason for my skin appearing thin) so i went to ask the clinic about it or if ipl best! i also asked isnt it abit much for my skin as she would only allow me to have a package of 3 i only wanted her to treat one area once but she said not possible! she sucked me in to beliving it was a minnor treatment and told me they wasnt anything that could go wrong my skin would look even better than before. i still wasnt sure then they started sending me 50% off treatment txts and to cut along story short i went for it. After the first treatment my skin was utterly perfect i told her i had the overall results i wanted but because they had already made me pay for all 3 and the first went so well didnt even see it being a problem having 2nd. Thats when somthing went wrong i think she had the settings too high cause after she told me to sit and cool my face for 15-20 mins she had never even said that 1st time. i went home and felt ill my face was like red raw meat for a few days and it continued to stay red then started blistering and my skin on right of face just slid off!! also i felt as though my face appeared melted it was as though my facial skin had just slumpped down. she told me id had a reaction to vaseline but it was fine, the rawness carried on and i kept ringging in worried to be told all normal she used higher settings this time eventually she told me i needed retinol and put me on this extreamly high dose and told me to use it night and day! within a few days my face erupted in acne. when i phoned the clinic she had gone on holiday for 1 month!! eventually i spoke to a nurse and she told me retinol should not be used in such high doses and to slowly come off it. anyway they is lots more to story i could go on and on but she treated me terribly and lied about everything!! i later found out her husband owns the clinic and she is actually a pyhsio pherapist not even a nurse. my life has never been the same since i feel doors that were open for me have shut and careers and lifestlyes there for me gone!! and this vile woman still has her life and career no punishment wotsoever. it turns out her husband is a scientist and they all know each other in this buissness and all stick together, her husband is actually best friends with the inventer and producer of the pixel machine that she uses in her clinic!! i dont feel i can trust anyone now i have been dermarolling myself now since january this year with numbing cream etc. i actually paid £450 for a supposed expert to dermaroll my face just so i could have a more vigorous treatment and the numbing cream he put on didnt work so i was in agony i told him but obviously he was more conserned getting me out for his next appointment. so i now have scarring on my forehead scratch marks and holes as when your dderma rolling its important to have your skin taught but obviously with me being in pain i was frowning swith caused scarring!! if i go out in the sun and forget to keep reappling sun cream or didnt have it on i get a brown red blotchy white mask over bottom of my face where she did treatment as well as my skin now being all lumpy and lack of elasticity my dimples arnt as pranounced and my smile not the same. i used to feel more that happy not wearing make-up now i feel bad with or without!! sorry to go on. what have you tried and did you get any justice!! thanks sarah
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