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Fat Atrophy, Wrinkling and Eye Pain after IPL and RF from EMAX fotofacial - Palm Harbor, FL

I went to an mdspa in the Palm Harbor to receive...

I went to an mdspa in the Palm Harbor to receive IPL to get rid of my visible blood vessels on my cheeks in Mid November. I'm 37.

Unfortunately, the PA did the area near my eyes as well though I didn't request it. I had swelling for about 7 days total, mostly around my eyes. I had a few new blood vessels surface that were previously unnoticeable. I now have dime sized areas under my eyes that are noticeably a darker, stranger color, almost like it's black and blue under the eyes with some redness in a part of it. It's 1.5 months since I had the treatment. It is not improving. I also have little bumps on my skin under one eye and the skin is slightly sunken in under my right eye. The texture is bumpy where it used to be smooth.

I've seen two separate dermatologists and both say that it is possible that they may heel over time (not guaranteed) but that the new blood vessels are permanent. I didn't have any burns but you don't need a burn to have this damage. The swelling was really awful.

It was explained by the dermatologist that some of the IPL machines have some RF frequency also in them which can cause the dermis to shrink to become more damaged causing the difference in depth I see on my skin.

I can only hope this will heal. It is a little hard to cover with makeup in that the area is a different texture, depth, and color so it is quite noticeable. The area near the eye is more sensitive and thinner. Why she treated this area I will never know but definitely discuss exactly where you want your IPL so they don't just treat you everywhere.

I would not recommend this procedure. In the future for any procedure, I would only go with a dermatologist who has extensive experience with lasers, not a PA and definitely not an mdspa. I never did see a doctor at that location.

To make matters worse, the PA decided to do an RF skin tightening treatment under my chin (which I didn't request)and did not use any eye shields - which can lead to permanent eye damage. He goal was to sell me on the whole procedure. I've had corneal irritation since the procedure along with annoying vision issues and I have to put in steroid drops daily to reduce this (not to mention they found brand new opacities). Since I didn't bite for the full skin tightening treatment, she then tried to sell me a B-12 shot claiming it would give me energy. All of this was a big learning experience and reminder to only go with professional medical doctors for any procedures in the future.

Definitely go to a competent doctor for any procedure, not a mdspa and skip IPL for broken blood vessels. There are apparently better lasers out there for blood vessel treatments though since this mdspa didn't own that laser, they sold me on this one (and never mentioned there were others). I wish I had done more research.

I should also mention that I have a substantial...

I should also mention that I have a substantial increase in wrinkles on my cheeks and around the eyes. The machine used also has an RF factor in it. Is it possible the RF was too high and melted the fat under my skin?

I'm now 6 months out and my skin is considerably...

I'm now 6 months out and my skin is considerably worse. I wish I could go back to week 8 - that was just a warning of things to come.

It did not get better as I had hoped.

I consulted a laser expert who told me I have thermal damage. They took picture and said the radiofrequency was too high and went too deep causing fat atrophy (fat loss) and dermal damage. They said it may continue to get worse (and it has).

I have wrinkles all around my eyes, a bumpy texture and the skin is sinking down. I have little brown spots and many more blood vessels as the skin has thinned so much everything shows through. The laser expert said the skin is too thin for fillers as they may show though with a blusih cast. I was told to baby my skin with gentle moisturizers. I was told the indentation under my right eye is permanent as once the facial fat is lost it does not repair.

I look like I'm well over 60 around my eyes.

Here is all the info about my treatment:

The machine used was called the EMAX made by Syneron. The PA who did the treatment was Rosemary Woolfe. Medical director is Lyda Tymiak (an opthalmologist).

The RF setting was 25 using the SRA head. Optical fluence was also 25.

I also continue to have eye pain. Opthalmologist suggested I have nerve damage from the procedure as it was very close to my eyes and my eyes were not protected duing the second procedure.
Name not provided

The settings for the treatment were too aggressive and I have dermal atrophy, fat loss, excessive wrinkling, and changes to my skin that were not part of the suggested reactions to the treatment. The PA treated an area I never requested and didn't use eye shields for part of the treatment. See the photos and decide for yourself if you want a fotofacial in Palm Harbor from a spa.

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
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (62)

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Please note that PELLEVE also destroys fat. I went to a reputable Dr in Beverly Hills for Pelleve, my wrinkles around the eyes were considerably worse after Pelleve. It was heated to 47-50 degrees atleast with the 3.0 device. Stay away from RF, it is very dangerous and likely will destroy facial fat ! So depressing and scary. These cosmetic doctors are monsters
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The damage these lasers can do is really bad. I had a VBeam done about a year ago for broken caps on my face. The PA told me she'd been doing laser for 10 years with great results. No real mention of any negative side effects. When I saw the damage a few weeks later I went through the roof. I went back to the dermatology office and gave her an earful. I told her I found all the bad reviews about lasers on Real Self. She said she was familiar with this site so I'm quite sure she knew the negatives. I told her it is morally wrong to laser someone's face and not tell them what could go wrong! She threw me out of her office and said never come back. I could never do laser on someone's face. Too unpredictable. I couldn't live with possibly damaging someone's face. I know it's probably just a job for them but the PA that did mine was in such a hurry and I told her it hurt. I should have made her stop but she assured me the pain was normal. I regret it big time.
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Any Laser and Radio-frequency are damaging specially if done by someone without experience. I had RF 11 months ago and i am now suffering from fat loss, indentation on my cheeks and chin , scaring all over , very dry skin and more wrinkles and still continue and i was told it wasn't any side effect. People should know the truth , unfortunately for a lot of us we trust the doctor words and found out too late it was all a lie.
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Have you ever heard of a device called the Dermastamp?..Google Amazon and order this little gold one call the dermastamp you will love it... Also order.. Numbing cream Pure Hyaluronic Serum..That places collagen back in the skin.. Also Vit-c serum(Mad Hippie) is good won't sting the skin like most serums Cleanse Apply Numbing Cream(Leave on for about 30-45 mins) Wipe Gently Take stamp and use on the area that hollow... Please also go to utube atype in Dermastamp and Learn from the video After this you would be praising the Lord.. Hope this help.. It has for me..
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Bubble can you some more details? What was your damage from and what type of damage did you have? What size did you use and how often did you use it? How long did it take to show improvement? Do you photos so we with damage can see what progress we could expect? Thanks so much for your input I have tried so many things from the IPL damage but no real improvement just temporary fixes with botox.
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I had a similar experience from a machine called Ematrix by Syneron. So depressing. I totally understand shag you are going through. It wrecked my life
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I'm so sorry you are going through this. The syneron machines should be banned. The RF is too unpredictable and can be permanently destructive to the dermis and subcutaneous layer of the skin.
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It left my forehead skin thickened with open pores like an orange skin. It used to be fine, delicate skin. It basically burns tge dermis so badly it destroys the good collagen and the body try's to heal it by quickly forming the thicker collagen. The people doing this to good skin, telling clients that there skin will look even better should be charged for it. I think it's a criminal offence in my opinion to go advising people with good skin to burn the dermis like that
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Unfortunately they have terrible side effect for many people. Studies on many of the ipl machines determined that they were inconsistent with the amount of light energy they produced. Some put out more than they stated. Sadly there are few studies of this as the skin is not considered vital. And the laser companies have bigger pockets than anyone else in the industry so funding for these studies is unlikely to occur. It all about money in the end unfortunately an were the victims who are insignificant to the industry.
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has anyone had a peel to help with the damage of the skin texture md by the RF ?
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I had 2 medium (30-35%) TCA peels under eyes (within 2 weeks of each other) to repair damage from filler/dissolvant merry-go-round. The peels were the best money I ever spent and actually made my under eyes look better than when I started. Believe me, my eyes were a complete mess from my desperate attempts to dissolve/reinject fillers, etc. I was pink from the peels for a few weeks.
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I've had gentle lactic acid and enzyme peels that caused no dramatic peeling. It has helped a little but the skin on my forehead seems to be the most damaged. It has changed from fine delicate skin to thick orange peel skin
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erica what was your device? When did your damages stop and when did you noticed healing? What did you use during all time?
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Hi Ajapel, the IPL machine was a Lumenis M22. I had 5 treatments and even though it was incredibly painful and my skin took a battering, I continued, because I paid in advance and believed that it would get worse before it got better. The process of healing initially was very slow, and I realized my skin had photo aged about 10 years. I would never ever let another laser touch my face. I also would not try any other treatments, they probably make it worse. Your skin is very resilient and I truly believe since I have used serums every single day plus lashings of good skin care, it has definitely improved. It is a slow process, eat a good healthy diet, and be extremely sun smart, every day use sunscreen. Be positive, I know I was incredibly depressed every time I looked in the mirror. But now I think otherwise. I feel attractive again. So don't despair.
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Hello Ajapel after 18 months my skin is slowly healing. Every night I use an Elizabeth Arden Ceramide gold capsule on my face and then night cream. My skin is never going to be as good as before, but I feel that it has plumped out slightly and the muddy texture seems to have disappeared. The indentation I had on my left side has filled out. So there is hope, make sure you use sun screen every day. Feed your skin, oil serums are great. good luck.
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Hello Ajapel i am so depressed((((((((((( i still see changes in my texture after 4 month and have pain in my cheeks(((((((( when will it stop? I think i will commit suicide((((((((((((((((
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Unfortunatly for me I still have pain and I'm nearly 2 years out. The changes may stabilize after 6-9 months but mine never improved. Just remember that you will survive this. It's very hard. For me, the pain is a daily battle, but I try to keep my life as positive as I can. It takes time to handle it. I encourage you to find a good counselor. The can help with the grief. Very sorry you are going through this too. What treatment did you have done exactly?
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it was elos epilation on emax syneron((((((( I had some visible hairs after birthing a child.. I am so yang to have so much wrinkles(((( Some doctors says that this is nit fat atrophy but collagen loss.. I know you have done a lot of research what is happening with skin???(((
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If the treatment was done too deep with radiofrequency, it can cause fat atrophy which worsens with time up to a point. Any treatment that involves heat can cause scarring. It's not the regular scarring you see on the surface but it's underneath. The tissue can be replaced with scar tissue which isn't the same. Collagen loss is possible if the treatment was too aggressive. I've seen the top doctors in the country. They pretty much all say my treatment was too aggressive and what I have is dermal and subdermal atrophy aka fat loss and dermal loss. The radiofrequenc yin the syneron machines is a wild card as studies have not determined that is accurate with it's depth or results. If you look at the thermage page on here, you'll see how many patients are unsatisfied with the results and thermage is all radiofrequency. Plain and simple these treatments damage the skin. It's how they work unfortunately.
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what about psoria gold? Do you believe it can help? Was there something that even a little improved your texture?
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Unfortunately I don't think it can help if it's dermal damage. It can't heal it. I wish I had an answer that was helpful but I don't. I tried psoria. I didn't have any luck with it.
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Ajapel, I feel your pain . I'm six months out of laser ; fraxel, and it ruined my skin I'm 24 ! I felt young and beautiful and now I feel like an 80 old women . Don't think about suicide . Don't even let yourself say that , because it becomes a reality. I know , I am going through the same thing . I said to myself on days I don't want to be here , find a solution , heal your skin and help others going through this too . Spread the word a out laser damage and contribute tk there forums to stay positive and help others . We will all fix our laser damage with love hope and healing . We will together find a solution to our damge . Don't loose hope .
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How are you recovering now ?
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I've accepted that my face will not ever be the same and that I will continue to see the aftermath of the damage from the IPL/radiofrequency. The eye pain is the worst though. No improvement on that what so ever. I work around it the best I can but it's very trying.
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Hello ajapel i have the same reaction of my skin im in despair ..Is it possible to improve AND HOW???(((((((((((((((((((((((
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