Very Comfortable Experience, Now Have Permanent Damage.. - New York, NY

Let me put this out there, I made it to 3 out of 4...

Let me put this out there, I made it to 3 out of 4 ipl sessions. It was a very comfortable experience, no stinging, no burns, no rubber band snapping sensations, the office was great. Explained worse case scenario it may not work, best case scenario skin will look great. I browned on my sun spots, flaked, and they fell off just like I was told. My face looked great...due to microswelling.

On my 4th session, I was scheduled after July of 2010. I didn't show up. Reason being, I began to notice drastic changes to my face, cheeks losing plumpness, dry skin, strange scars just showing up, wrinkles developing, orange peel texture skin, odd creasing. I went in for sunspots, I came out with serious damage. I'm a victim and I didn't have any initial reaction.

If you decide that ipl is the best for you, take your own pre ipl pictures, and post ipl pictures once a month for a year. And please keep posting and updating, it will help people make more educated decisions once they have all the knowledge about ipl and lasers.

3 Ipls in 6 weeks. This picture shows what...

3 Ipls in 6 weeks. This picture shows what happened to me in less than a two month period. I never made it to the 4th, because I noticed the difference immediately after the swelling went down after my 3rd treatment.

I found a link that I would like to know if I can...

I found a link that I would like to know if I can post here, not only have we seen the positives on laser and ipls, but I don't think there is enough resources showing the negatives other than the our personal experiences. It doesn't highlight any practices, etc, but it is a very useful link so that those considering have as much information upfront as possible. Hope this is okay to post
http://atndesign.com/pdfs/Laser%20Compl ... kl2005.pdf

Interesting study on ipl and oxidative...

Interesting study on ipl and oxidative stress:
http://www.hydrafacial.net/Dr_Freedman_Study_-_Topical_polyphenolic_antioxidants_reduce_the_adverse_effects_of_IPL.pdf

Recently, I came across some information that I...

Recently, I came across some information that I thought might be helpful. IPL is non-ablative, and reaches the dermis. The dermis, when heated, can retain the heat from ipl and cause 2nd to 3rd degree burns, even if you feel no pain during your session. The dermis can not regenerate itself. Once it is destroyed, the appearence of skin will become lax, leathery, and lose elasticity because the structure holding it up, the dermis, has been compromised. Any swelling that feels hot to the touch, and lasts for more then several hours after the ipl session, has to be immediately looked at by a burn center for evaluation. Often, because the dermis retains heat for hours or days, blistering does not need to be present in order to be indicative of a dermis 2nd degree or 3 degree burn. I wish I had known this, and had more common sense to contact a burn center immediately after my experience. My skin felt hot for 3days, but I was told that was the normal "sunburn" reaction. Any doctors on this forum care to comment?

The more research I do, the more I understand the...

The more research I do, the more I understand the cosmetic laser industry. To find out more information about the laser you are researching, I would encourage you to look under the laser's annual report filings, known as the 10-K form. "We have modified some of our products without FDA clearance. The FDA could retroactively decide the modifications were improper and require us to cease marketing and/or recall the modified products." That's just a small blurb from one of the annual findings, do all your research and determine whether you trust the laser company you're looking into.

Please check this site out, this isn't just a...

Please check this site out, this isn't just a "lunchtime procedure." This is a forum where opthomologists are discussing patients that have been treated after ipl created damage to their eyes. http://www.dryeyezone.com/talk/showthread.php?13971-The-Dangers-of-IPL-please-read-before-you-get-your-first-treatment

An update: Texture the same, has not improved,...

An update: Texture the same, has not improved, skin lax, leathery, jowly, with the same bumps and linear scarring. The hydroquoine was increased to 8% for me, and has done wonders in helping keep my skin uniform in color. I'm still doing my chemical peels every 6 weeks for pigment, and have an appointment to go in for my 3rd visit for tca cross in dented/ice pick scars. So far I haven't seen any noticable change with the latter, but I'm giving it about a year before I stop with the tca cross and give an updated review on my outcome.

Nearing my 2 year anniversary since my Ipl...

Nearing my 2 year anniversary since my Ipl disasters. Unfortunately, my skin never bounced back and neither did my contours, and now I am looking into fillers and even considering fat grafting at age 35. I have more crepey skin texture and linear scarring than ever. I can only imagine it getting worse with normal aging, never in a million years did I consider light therapy to be so destructive.

It has been about 5 months since I posted, and I...

It has been about 5 months since I posted, and I can't help but be vocal about how destructive this can potentially be and how scary and mind blowing the gamble is with lasers, from ipl to fraxel. The changes have been continuously downward. I avoid mirrors so I can get out of the house and function like a normal person, because once I see myself I still cant get over the fact that I dont recognize my lumpy and scratched up skin and my features. I did a series of peels, and to this day I can say the pigment luckily stayed uniform. But the textural damage just keeps getting worse, and its embarrasing to smile or laugh because right from under my eyes down to the corners of my mouth, my skin bunches up in raised scars with roped thick lines and squiggles. I am thankful tje damage happened to me at 33, I had already had my son, my job was secure, and i had and have an amazing circle of friends and family who knew me before, and dont judge me based on what I look like now. I feel awful knowing there are teenagers, young adults, or just regular people that may suffer from acne, post acne scarring, rosacea, or other skin conditions and professionals are dupying them every day into thinking this can help, pretending it is a consistant, well understood, and regulated practice. It's not, it's a crapshoot, where some people make it through feeling good and others are getting disfigured. It's not worth the gamble, the technology is not well understood. I came in with a clean face, oily, a couple of sunspots I simply didnt want to wait out as usual for them to go away on their own, and it's been a night and day
experience. And i learned strangers, employers, etc., absolutely treat me differently based on what my skin and face look like. It has been an incredibly surreal journey, and I still cant figure out exactly what the life lesson was for me here if there was one.

I just wanted to update, almost 3 years out in May...

i just wanted to update, almost 3 years out in May of this year since my initial ipl treatments. Skin just keeps nosediving, its pretty gross. I wouldnt do it again and i dont recommend it. ill be 36 this march, my sons friend called me a grandma...lol. Thats what i look like, eww.
SLR in NYC

Interesting, the office staff was incredibly lovely, acted as if they were fully knowledgable and advertise on their website that they have the expertise on "ethnic skin." They answered all my questions with absolute confidence. They didn't rush me, spent time with me, and then followed up with me because I didn't show up to the 4th treatment. But here's the kicker, they either are in denial, or know nothing about the real term side affects of ipl. The machine they used was Lumines.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 13 others found this helpful

Comments (284)

Sort by

Hi, After looking at your pictures, this is the exact same thing that happened to me, but mine is more on my chin and upper lip area. I am 3.5 years out and I am thinking about trying a TCA peel on a spot to see what happens. Have you or anyone else tried this?
  • Reply
hi, not full face tca peels because of my skin tone. my dr didnt think it would be wise because i could scar more easily. he had me go with jessners, and my peels were not medium, they were a bit less concentrated, and with that the peeling was crazy, but no blistering or pain afterwords. tca was done only in my pin prick scars left from the laser, and they didnt fill in over time. however, i went in 3 times for the tca, and it is something that i could have done more but truthfully, just wanted a break. hes an amazing dr, but i needed a breather. maybe this upcoming year i can start up again and do more. ill update if i do:).
  • Reply
so, the peels don't help with the marks at all?
  • Reply
for me it only helped with pigment, but thats what my dr and me agreed to because of my skin tone. any deeper could do me harm and lead me to more scarring. for you it might be different depending on skin tone, age, etc.
  • Reply
Thank you. Are your pin marks noticeable?
  • Reply
How strong was the peel?
  • Reply
cveroleyva: Not sure if you already mention this, but have you tried fillers? While it seems a bit convenient for the industry if fillers help the wrinkled, shriveled look (surprise! we'll sell you a procedure that makes you REALLY need another procedure!), I hear a lot of people end up getting fillers to address the shriveling and some find it helpful. I now look like I really need filler, which I did not before the IPL, and the idea of another procedure w/ new risks, not to mention the considerable expense, makes me nervous and more upset, but I am starting to think about it more.
  • Reply
I wouldn't be too nervous about fillers as they are temporary. Most people opt for them for that very reason. Should anything go wrong it typically goes away in 6-9 months. I myself am almost 6 months out from the damage and am contemplating a more permanent solution in the way of mid face lift or fat transfer. Now those two carry risks but they are again a more permanent solution. It sucks having one side of my face look normal while the other side has tiny dots and vertical/horizontal lines going through it. Not to mention still fighting acne brought on by this procedure. The worst thing is trying to warn people about the risks of this procedure. I left a very thorough and detailed review of OHSU and the doctor who performed this procedure on yelp only to see it taken down a few weeks later.
  • Reply
Hey... I'm a lot better. Not perfect, but huge improvements. I did a ton of deep TCA peels... once month for a year. Then I went in and did fat transfer. Some stayed, but not all. Plus I do fillers every six months just in cheek area. I would definitely give all that a try. I know how frustrating it can be. I have taken about 8-12 months off of tca peels, I think. I am going to wait a few more months and go back to tca maybe every other month. Let me know if you need any info or help. God Bless
  • Reply
Hi Chrus82101, Did you have textural damage like pin marks from the laser and lines, orange peel, etc.? If so did the TCA's remove the wrinkles?
  • Reply
Hi there, I'm sorry this happened to you. But question, what were you initially looking to accomplish with the IPL? Seems like you were happy with your skin prior?
  • Reply
Hi Allyson, I had 1 thread vein that I was looking to remove and 3 brown spots. The V-beam did nothing for the thread vein but did remove the 3 tiny brown spots but made my skin worse on the right side after. In total I just wanted 4 spots treated but instead the dermatologist did the entire cheek areas without my permission. It's been about 5 months now and I've been using raw honey and jobola oil which has helped healing some. I was very happy with my skin prior in comparison to now. If I could go back in time I would have never done this procedure and I'd urge other people not to do it as well. The funniest thing about this whole experience is now the dermatologist is telling me to fix the v-beam damage I should undergo another treatment and that should repair it. It's sad when greed overtakes common sense. This is the country we live in now. :(
  • Reply
Ah, got it! Goodness, I'm sorry to hear that. I'm not looking into IPL but have a similar experience of regret with septoplasty (led to rhinoplasty revision). Good luck to you!
  • Reply
hi! i was happy with the texture of my skin, but with hormonal acne popping it leaves a darker spot during the healing process, and it can take weeks if not months to go away on its own. i wanted to clean those up, and was told that this was also preventative and great for keeping skin healthy...oops was i wrong in believing that:/.
  • Reply
Ugh, sorry to hear that. It's so frustrating and confusing to get information from doctors and trusted professionals that then does not ring true for your experience. I hope things improve!
  • Reply
Greedy morons
  • Reply
Same here, had some post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from some pimples and some broken blood vessels. Now I have orange-peel skin, holes that look like huge pores, lines, bumpy texture, MORE broken blood vessels, and my hyperpigmentation is much darker. Oh, and I forgot - a few burn marks. I now look like I had SEVERE acne and at least 10 years older than before the IPL. After 20 years of taking supercareful care of my skin, I am horrified and astounded that doctors are doing this to people and nothing is being done by the authorities to put better warnings out there, to put stricter regulations, etc. It's a frickin' disaster. And doctors stick together - they never want to say anything bad about another doctor, so some will try to help you w/ whatever bad effects you have, but are careful to say nothing about what might have caused it. The result? A serious lack of good information about the adverse effects, and more people needlessly suffering bad outcomes every day. I thought quality improvement in medicine meant honestly acknowledging a problem and trying to figure out how to fix it!!!!
  • Reply
Same here. The texture of my skin was fine, all I wanted to do was lighten some of those PIH spots and zap a few broken blood vessels. Now I have awful texture, the PIH is darker, and I have more broken vessels. NOTHING gained, everything is worse, and I have problems I never had before. I recently sent the doc an email asking for a refund. She called me back and was asking me why I was still having problems, and did not have an answer for me on the refund request. How the he## should I know why I'm still having problems? You're the doctor, if I thought you didn't know how to address complications I would not have had the procedure w/ you!
  • Reply
Sounds like my situation IPL. Only when I emailed he, she called back and got nasty with me. I got nasty right back and showed up at the "dermatology" office to see her face to face. Of course she saw nothing and said I was crazy. Then made me leave and never come back. I just found her in Facebook and messaged her a couple pictures of my scarred cheek. No response of course. But I wrote to be very very careful and treat everyone's face like it was her own or one of her loved ones. I don't think she meant to do this to me but she treated me very badly after it happened.
  • Reply
Exactly what the doctor did to me she was so nervous when I showed up at her office. She looked straight at my burns and said I don't see what you're talking about? They know! They are scared of being sued, they are scared of their names being ruined. Informed people that know the risk will have second thoughts about doing the procedure that pays their bills.
  • Reply
I just think how could you not tell someone the truth?! Your going to put a risky laser on their face? Don't they have a conscience ? There's great potential to damage someone's face and you wouldn't tell them this and be honest. She said she'd been doing laser for 10 years. She had to know the risks. I think the signing of a waiver may clear their conscience but the waiver doesn't state all the risks. It makes me ANGRY!! And this shit is going to continue until someone with some kind of power can stop it. This has changed my life and I want to her to know the pain and suffering it has caused me. She ignores me like the plague now. But I've been told it's an uphill battle if I pursue a lawsuit. I've read that the government protects the device makers from lawsuits. Something about a 2008 law that was passed. It's shameful. And it's all about money. It's not their faces or their lives.
  • Reply
Hi Cveroleyva, unfortunately like you I'm 4 months out and am getting the orange peel texture of skin as well as pitting and discoloration. The provider that treated me tried to blame it on Rosacea. I am going to be trying to fight the inflammation with Accutane here shortly and will let you know how it goes. As for the wrinkles or scarring do you think a mid face lift might help? I'm considering that as well. It's ashame a 15 min procedure that's supposed to help improve my appearance may end up costing me 10-15k dollars to correct.
  • Reply
hey johnny, i really dont know. i say it when im feeling kind of desperate, and then realize thats the last place i want to spend my money, its better suited on a vacation with my kid and me. but ive adjusted to the new me, and you have to do what is going to make you feel good and give you comfort, just make sure you are aware of all the consequences of course in order to make wisest decisions. good luck, youre not alone:)
  • Reply
Cveroleyava: Do you know what machine, filters and settings were used on you? Did you have any rosacea or flushing before your tx? Any hx of rosacea in your family? Was your skin oily, normal or dry? I am trying figure out if anything is a now-unpublicized contraindication to IPL. I have vy oily skin, and had some flushing, rosacea and acne before the IPL, and was always prone to PIH (all of which I disclosed to the IPL doc). I've requested my records so I can have any subsequent tx'ing doc have them for reference in any aftercare I get.
  • Reply
hi, it was a lumines one. but i dont know the settings or filter specs:/
  • Reply