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IPL Burns - Matachewan, ON

I decided to have a foto facial done to correct...

I decided to have a foto facial done to correct some sun damage I had. I just turned 40 and it was suggested I do the Triniti 3 in 1 series. (1) color correct) (2) firm face (3) matrix. The first treatment was horrible. I felt like I had hot curling iron burns on my face and forehead and had severe burns and blistering on sides of my mouth and chin which is now very discolored. I expressed my concerns and was told this was normal and it was believed I had a bad reaction to the topicane to explain my mouth burns. They prescribed me hydrocortisone cream. I was very reluctant to do the treatment it again as the package I paid for was 3 treatments. I was assured this treatment would help lift the discoloration I had from the previous treatment. This treatment was worse and I I look like a zebra! I can't stop crying and when I went back to see the doctor 4 days later and he said this is exactly what he expected and not to worry . I don't know what to do. I am going to try and see a dermatologist for advise but I live in the north and I think it will be unlikely.

It has been 3 weeks since my second Triniti...

It has been 3 weeks since my second Triniti treatment. I did not mention last time that I did not complete all 3 treatments as it was just too painful, so I was told they could do the matrix another time. They still want me to do third treatment but I decided I will not and I am hoping to get reimbursed for the treatments I did not receive. They have not answered me yet re: reimbursment. I have been using Retin A and hydroquinone as prescribed. My skin seems thin or someething ; for example, I scratch my cheek and I bleed? My skin is red and brown and it is very evident where I have been burned. I am currently trying to see a dermatoligist for opion.

Well, it's been a little over a year and I have...

Well, it's been a little over a year and I have moved on! However, I do have hyperpigmentation, I still use hydroquinone and Retin A, and wear tons of sun blcok and hats! When I get any sun or wind, I get brown marks and teh track/bar marks become more visible. By the way, the Medi spa never accepted responsibility and never gave me any money back. Hard lesson to learn but I suppose it could have been worse. PLEASE do your reasearch and make an informed decision if you are thinking of treatments! I will post updated photo soon!
Dr. Barr

The doctor seems to be short and bothered with me and just keeps saying this is all normal. He says these bar/track/sebra marks that are all over my face are a result of my pigment and are not burns. He just seems unwilling to take any sort of responsibility. He is however now prescribing me HQ and retin A. I am reluctant about this as well.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
2 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 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
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
3 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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I am a Certified Laser Technician and Aesthetician with 11 years of experience on multiple laser and IPL platforms. Just by your photos alone I can tell you with out a doubt that (1) the settings were too aggressive for your skin type (III) and (2) Very poor technique was used by the direction and spacing of the burns left on your skin. Which in your case was a positive thing or else the entire treated area would likely be burned I'm guessing by your skin tone that although you are a skin type III that you have a heritage with skin type IV . This puts you at greater risks hyperpigmentation and to over respond or have a delayed response. These stories horrify me as a professional in the industry. I sympathize with you and for the fact that you were not supported by the provider in the case of an adverse event. IPL used correctly and for the appropriate patient has an excellent benefit. Feel free to add me on facebook Michelle Blades Medical Aesthetician.
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Yes, either the setting was too high, or the machine wasn't properly serviced. When I first got IPL it was by a beautician and she burnt my skin like that, but luckily it was on my shoulder. It took months to heal and I had some pigmentation issues, but it did eventually fade. Incidentally when I contacted her she said her machine was broken and she was waiting to have it fixed. I never went back. I did get IPL again, but at a specialist clinic, and I never had the problem again. I think it's good advice to really choose the clinic carefully.
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The settings were definitely too high- I never saw marks like that hours after treatment. IPL does give you onion-skin-like scabs days after treatment that kind of molt off but you definitely should not have that kind of discoloration the first day. I think practitioners should recommend a highly soothing, antioxidant-rich balm for aftercare of the treated areas to speed healing and shedding of the ablated tissue.
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Hello wine gal!, They did give me saline water and pads to soak my face as well as a cicaplast.
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Hi Leahan! I am so sorry this happened to you. The people that did your treatment messed up on so many levels. By looking at your first tx photos I can tell that you most likely had melasma by the way the pigment lifted. (Though your melasma then was nothing compared to what it is now.) Laser should never be used to treat melasma and there are many studies out there to back that up. Laser (and IPL) will make melasma worse because the IPL creates an inflammatory response in your skin- they should never have sold you the treatment package. Also by the pics I can see that the settings were much too high. Having bar marks like that is terrible. ALSO I just can't even believe they did another treatment over the lifted pigment to lift it more!!!! That is like a big laser 101 no no!! Seriously girl these people screwed up big time and they are lucky you are being so sweet. You have every right to get your money back and honestly even to sue for all of ur money back plus damages and all the product you have had to buy. The clinic you went to should be paying for your hydroquinone products, giving you free facials, doing everything in their power to apologize and make this right. They messed up big time and they need to apologize! As far as your skin healing goes it is best to stay out of sun for at least 6 months post burn like u had -1 year is best. Ur hyperpig should clear over time but melasma ain't goin nowhere and should only be treated with topicals. Never laser, never any harsh scrubbing (aggressive microderm) aggressive peels (some peels are good but do the progressive approach like a PCA skin peel). Again I'm so sorry! Stick up for urself girl and don't let them bully you.
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Thanks so much for taking the time to write your comments. Much appreciated. :)
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Thank you so, so much for coming back and updating us a year later, Leahan!! I know many people will find this information to be extraordinarily helpful. I'm glad to hear you have moved on and I'll be hoping that your skin continues to improve as more time passes. 

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I am licensed esthetician an certified laser technician. Those are bad burns tha you received from the IPL machine. That is *not* the result of pigment being lifted. Those are clearly bar marks left by the handpiece. when the procedure us done correctly, you will never see burn marks like that. The pigmented areas should look darker brown in color but not like burns! you should never be able to see the bars on your face. After 10-14 the pigment looks slightly crusty and begins to slough off. I'm very sorry this happened to you but you should definitely get your money back and see a doctor. I really hope you aren't left with permanent hypo or hyperpigmentation
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Thanks for your comment. It has been over a year now and only I can see the hyperpigment; however, I am still on hdyroquinone and retin A. I cannot get any sun or I get brown marks and teh track marks become visible. In fact I have a little now beacause I went to Jamaica and even though I wore sun hats, sun block and sat in the shade, I still managed to get sun. LOL. I never did get any money back and they were very adamant that what happened was expected and totally "normal" oh, well -I;m moving on and happy it wasnt worse!:)
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I really can't give you advise, I'm in the same boat! . It's been 8 months and I still have a bit of brown track marks on side of my face but NO ONE else sees it but me LOL. My doctor wants me to finish the sessions in November and says the same thing as your esthetician,(need to go back to remove the pigment) BUT, I did see a dermatologist in Toronto and he told me to stay waway from laser, to take the loss of $, and he can't be sure if the pigment is casued by trauma to my skin from the laser or if it was brought out by the laser! I'm thankful my face cleared up and I'm pretty sure, I'm just gonna take the loss.
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Hello Leahan, I'm shocked cause seeing your photos, I'm going through exactly same thing. After my 1st Photo RF, looking exactly like you, I got my clear skin back in 1 week. But after 2 weeks, I started to see brownish dark shade on my skin and got scared, but my esthetician told me if I stop now this will remain and I got my 2nd Photo RF on 3rd weeks. Same thing over and I'm scared to go for my 3rd one or not... I'm stuck with brownish/purplish Hypopigmentation? I don't know if I should have my 3rd one which I don't really want to. But I don't want to look like this forever. She says I have to go through at least 5 to 6 times more to get rid of all the Hypopigmentation... Could you give me an advise?
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Unfortunately there's no picture of your pigment before treatment so it's hard to tell how severe it was to start with. However, it looks to me like the IPL targetted the pigment really well, albeit too aggressively, which would have been hard for some weeks after I fully agree. The track marks were also unfortunate, but did they last?

Your skin looked really good 2 weeks later. I really wish I could get the same results on some parts of my skin, but it just won't take, even on max setting.
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I have had this proceedure done 7 times over the past 9 years. This is a very effective and aggressive treatment for pigmentation, discolouration, etc. The results are amazing and long lasting. However, just like any other proceedure with dramatic results, there is the healing time that takes place prior to the finality of the treatment. From your pictures, that is exactly what should be expected. All of the darkness that was initially on the surface of the skin was pigmentation that raised to the surface. The 5th day is typically the worst in terms of the surface of your skin looking like it is flecked with coffee grounds. After 3 weeks your new clear skin should be visible. Your skin tone should be perfected. I love that, unlike less agressive treatments like Glycolic Acid peels, etc, IPL does not damage the outer surface of the skin. The laser actually heats up from the inside out. This heat is what pushes the pigment to the surface. Once your skin has healed from the proceedure, your skin's pigmentation will look perfected, your skin will be more plumped. Yes...just like every other agressive proceedure, there is a bit of mild pain, relative discomfort which you go through for more dramatic results. If you are the type of person that does not like to see such dramatic results, more mild spa treatments or less agressive topicals would be more appropriate for you. If you want to get the dramatic results, this proceedure is for you. It is very important that your doctor describes the process in depth and what to expect first so that you can weigh the pros and cons and not be surprised afterward. I am sure that after 6 weeks, you are enjoying the clearer flawless skin that this proceedure offered.

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I did it too. I agree with you that this procedure needs healing time, but this is too much. Experienced doctor never give you this kind of result.
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Must be a doctor in to do the IPL when not set parameters, sometimes you also can do at home IPL you only need a Panda box IPL, you can go to Comfortequipment.Com up to see,
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I've had this done 7 times over 8 years. The worse I looked was as my face was dragged over asphalt. Not as solid as yours though. Took a good 3 weeks for all the pigment crust to fall off. During the first few days it burned and hurt and throbbed. After nothing but a bunch of ugly for the rest of the time. Ever only got about 70% improvement. I found Proactive dark spot remover. I swear this $16 bottle could have save me about $4000.
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THATS TO MANY TREATMENTS AT ONCE!!!!!
When you do a photo facial you cannot do this they have the settings to high for your skin type yes your very fair but they needed to treat you less aggressivly and should have stooped and adjusted the settings after the first burn
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So sorry about your experience. I had IPL two days ago and I have burns on my forehead as well as under my chin-neck area. The areas under my neck are very sensitive and painful. The med-spa I went to said this is normal but, I have had Photofacials before and never had these symptoms. Did you have discoloration once the scabs fell off? I'm Asian and have olive skin color, I'm afraid I'll have hyperpigmentation once my scabs fall off. I didn't go to work yesterday because I look awful! Vacation is in two weeks and I'm no longer excited :(
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not sure if you got my answer already but yes i did have discoloration. pink and white. some turned a brighter skin color but some turned brownish. I feel better now, a few stripes on forehead...i'll post pics..do u have any pics?
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Sorry to here Lea , does sounds like u weren't informed well about the healing process. It must get worst to get better . How does your skin look now? Sounds like some hyperpigment issues. U also must use lots of sunscreen at all times!! And protect !! I am a liscensed Esthetician and highly recommend only a professional grade ipl . There are semi professional machines out there in spa & doc offices that give bad results . How from experience & lots if training ipl should always hurt less than lasers!! Lasers are even way worst !! Also it's very important than your akin was cooled down after !! Also how old was there ipl ??? Every year they make a newer & better ipl on the market & some times spa 's and doctors also cut corners and purchase a Dinosaur machine. Hope all is well . Keep us posted!!

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my skin is looking better each week. They cooled me down with cool pack and cold air for 30 min and I was shivering si much , she put a blanket on me but my face was still burning! I had done the 2 lasers that day but I couldn't finish the 3rd (matrix).
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Leann, so sorry you had to go through such an ordeal. Because I've been an esthetican for so long..18 years I have never had any an IPL, Botox, or injectables. I tend to shy away from invasive facial treatments. If we take care of our skin from an early age we should never need to subject our skin to burns and the possibility of something going horribly wrong. Don't know if this will help..but another post suggested to stay away from Retin A and out of the sun..your skin really needs to heal..as it's truly been traumatized..if your still worried about pigmentation you can try a cleanser that contains Yucca. It's deep cleansing and has natural lightening and whitening agents and doesn't burn. A moisturizer that contains Rosehips is very helpful as it will address scarring issues and aids in helping to fade age spots. Calendula/Comfrey/Chamomile is also useful is healing damaged skin tissue and will aid in the healing process..
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Hi Leahan, any progress since you last posted? How is your skin doing?
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Hi Kiki,
Thank you for asking! I am feeling pretty good. I travelled to Toronto ontario 2 weeks ago to see a respected dermatologist and I am on his topical prescription and he has assured me that time is all that I need and to stay away from lasers! I have a follow up with him in 2 months. As for the medi spa, I have an appointment with that Dr. on Monday! I asked him for a refund for the treatments that I did not receive (Not for th ewhole thing, just what I did not go through with) and he got kind of angry and said I took a package deal and so I would only get about $50 back (LOL) anyhow, after some talking and him saying he didn't want me to be unsatisfied, I agreed to make another 4 hr trip to see him so he can look at my face. I'm not expecting anything but I really would like him to finally take some ownership. I'm still angry with him for his attitdue but I am just really thankful that I have no permanent damage so...counting my blessings.!!
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