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3 IPL Spot Treatments with No Result - Stockholm, Sweden

I am a 32 year-old Caucasian female. I decided to...

I am a 32 year-old Caucasian female. I decided to try IPL on a spot between my upper lip and nose following a large, white bump that had appeared there when I caught a cold in May 2011. I was told by a pharmacist that it was a case of the herpes I virus and gave me some antiseptic for it, which I did apply. Although I get cold sores on and around my lips several times per year on average, I had never experienced a breakout beneath the skin. I thought it may just be a nasty pimple (I get those intermittently on my chin) and squeezed it to see whether I could pop it...When this failed following a couple of attempts, I left it alone and it went away after several days. Between the months of June and August, I was exposed to strong sunlight at high altitude (in Colorado) on a daily basis without applying any sun protection...I acknowledge that both moves were extremely stupid on my part. In the first instance, I thought I was doing myself a favor; I had popped pimples before to empty them of pus with no subsequent scarring. In the second case, I am not really sure what I was thinking, if at all...

The reddish-pink spot you see on the pictures is what has remained since. According to two specialists, the spot is a combination of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and broken capillaries. After much research, including consulting with my family doctor, a dermatologist, a plastic surgeon and three cosmetologists and reading posts on this forum, I decided to take the risk and try IPL. I went to one cosmetologist I found online, who told me she would not be able to treat the spot, because it is too faint. She recommended I go to another place, where I was told the spot could be reduced by about 80%. The specialist answered all my questions and dissuaded my fears as to potential damage I was concerned with.

I received 3 IPL treatments in 2012 - on April 23, May 14 and June 7. Neither I nor the specialist noticed any change following any of the three sessions. She explained that this may be due to the tiny size of the capillaries that had been broken as a result of the abrasion/squeezing. She did not charge me for the third session due to lack of results and suggested that if I am intent on trying again - which I very much am - I should come back in September to reduce risk from sun exposure. I should note that I have been wearing SPF 55 religiously following each IPL treatment.

Re: post-treatment side-effects, I have had none except for the second treatment, when the specialist applied more "zaps", albeit at the same setting. The spot reddened significantly, and I believe there was some very slight burning of the epidermis. However, following 4 days, the spot went back to its original color. During the procedures, I felt the same sensation frequently described by other users - each zap felt like the snapping of a rubber band against my face.

Despite being satisfied with the service provider, I am - needless to say - disappointed with the results. I have serious issues with this blemish, for which I am considering psychological counseling. Although those whom I have told about the spot claim that it is barely noticeable, it is very much noticeable and irritating to me. My self-esteem has plummeted to rock bottom and I have extreme difficulty concentrating on anything, because all I can think about is how to get rid of this ugly blemish. It has interfered on all levels of my life. IPL was my best shot of removing this thing and now it seems my last hopes have been destroyed, but I will try again in September.

Hi this might sound crazy, but how about plastic surgery to remove this blemish. I realize you will likely have some scarring, but perhaps the minimal scar is better than what you are dealing with now. I don't know, but I think maybe consulting a plastic surgeon and at least getting an opinion is worth the time and effort considering you are suffering so much. Best of luck to you, I hope everything works out. JB
Hej helloworld!

Thank you very much for your kind words. I do empathize with you, and this empathy somehow makes it just a little bit easier to manage. I still haven't gone to a therapist. I am living in Sweden, and I speak the language only on a very basic level. I did find a therapist who offers sessions in English, but the sessions are quite expensive...I have decided to go for a laser consultation in September, although the IPL specialist that performed my treatments said that the spot is too light for that. So, I am not holding my breath...

Have you decided on IPL treatment or any other treatment? How is it going with the therapy?

All the best, and please keep in touch!
Hi zulamaria: Thank you for your detailed post and for being brave and sharing your story and photos. You are a beautiful person, inside and out. I hope you find some relief by being able to discuss this issue with a professional trained to listen and ask the right questions. I can relate to alot of what you say, as I am going through a similar ordeal with my skin, whereby I have become fixated on marks that are on my face, but not necessarily noticeable to the casual (or even not-so-casual!) observer. I have been suffering with this for close to a year, in terms of newly intense anxiety and obsession. I also just started seeing a therapist, as I want to talk about what I am experiencing with an objective person who can hopefully help me find my way back to my life as I once knew it. I, too, have been researching IPL, as my dermatologist said it would help improve the overall redness in m face which I tend to have (especially when using tretinoin). I just hope you know you're not alone in what you're feeling and thinking. I'm glad you started this discussion thread--it's helping me to read everyone's comments. Let us know how you're doing.

Petra Lagerdahl

I forgot to mention the office where I went is called Stockholm Medical Skincare Center.

4 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
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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