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IPL Damages Skin - San Francisco, CA

I had IPL at the end of Sept. 2011. I am 30yrs old...

I had IPL at the end of Sept. 2011. I am 30yrs old and prior to the IPL I only had a couple of sun spots and a little redness on my cheeks. My skin is fair and I always had nice skin, my only complaint was that it tended to be dry, which was causing the first signs of fine lines around my eyes. My dermatologist encouraged me to give IPL a try because I was getting married. After ONE IPL my skin is ruined. My skin became inflammed, red, with huge open pores everywhere, is extremely dry and rough, and has more pigment and red spots than before. I also have lines/indents around my mouth on my cheeks. 4 months later the inflammation is the only thing that has improved slightly. IPL is designed to damage your skin. Some people seem to be more sensitive than others and there are quite a few who have had adverse reactions from IPL even though the setting were within the acceptable range of "safe". Dermatologist's are not putting all possible adverse reactions on the consent forms. If I had known there was a possible risk of ruining the texture of my skin and making my skin look ten years older there is no way I would have ever considered this. I am writing this as a warning to all considering IPL or other lasers. Many doctors are downplaying these treatments and that they really can do damage. Also, if anyone has seen improvement over time, please respond with time frame it took for you skin to heal and what you did to encourage healing. To all doctors on realsself, has anyone seen heard of this and what can people do that have inflammatory responses/damage after IPL?

Luckily, the damage was not too apparent at my wedding however that does not matter much to me. What matters is that people are being mislead. I do not believe that doctors are totally upfront about all possible side effects. Perhaps not enough research has been done in long term effects of these procedures. More than 1 month out, but how about 6 months out? It is not normal to have rapid skin changes that appear overnight.

You certainly raise a good point. I'm personally not sure what is the longest "long term effects" study that has been done. But it certainly would be interesting information.


Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry to hear this happened just before your wedding. Were you able to cover it up with make-up?

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IPL damaged my skin. It is rougher, drier, with large pores everywhere, increased sensitivity and lines/indents around my mouth and on my cheeks. My skin looks aged and damaged after one IPL.

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