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damaged my skin - Sydney, AU

I had light acne scars, 2 chicken pox scars. and...

I had light acne scars, 2 chicken pox scars. and perfect clear skin apart from that the odd freckle etc. I underwent laser 4 months ago at a presumably reputable doctor in sydney that specialises in facial rejuvenation . paloma emege non ablative fractional laser . worst decision of my life . Im 23 and this has taken all the joy out of life. I have a young family , have moved into my dream home , was set to get married and this has destroyed all my happiness and confidence. 90% of my face is scarred with track marks in squares . The micro dots have caused deep ice pick scarring and I have new raised scars. I CAN NOT wear makeup as it sits deeply it the creases and scars and does not blend. my skin is highly sensitive and reactive. I do not yet know how this happened, wether it was the settings /the wrong type of laser or neglect. I am investigating what went so terribly wrong. I hope I can share my story and steer people (with no real problem in the first place) away from laser procedures. I hope I can find a treatment to repair the damage. If I do, I know I will be sharing with other laser victims. Please dont get laser! The doctor I went to was experienced and quite good my fillers were fine and other things never went so wrong. The problem is the lasers ! Its too risky and the side effects are not well documented . I was told being non ablative this WOULD NOT ruin my skin . THEY WERE WRONG ..... DONT DO IT ..

Horrendous life changing damage

I was treated by one of the best* doctors in Sydney . I still walked away with damage . Don't do it .
A list of my current damage -
Texture changed ( rash texture )
Lines indents
Burnt holes
Fat loss
Sagging skin
Slow recovery
Damaged DNA of skin
Damaged under eyes
Broken capillaries
Red marks
Off shade skin
New ice pick scars
New surface damage
Dermal damage
Shallow sunken patches
Fine lines
New merged wrinkles
Orange peel skin
Lifeless skin
Emotion damage
Severe depression
No interest in life
No joy in activities
Social phobias
Don't want to get out of bed
Can't wear makeup as it looks worse and sits in deep holes from tracks
Severe phycological damage
Pretty much I am ruined.

I am 24 years old , was told this laser was safe ( Palomer emerge non ablative ) and it ruined my life . I cannot believe the way my life turned around so quickly. do not ever underestimate the effects of even the safest lasers . I would honestly give up my home to be happy and healthy again. This is a terrible fate . I never thought this would happen to me . I researched picked a good doctor and had 2-3 consults . Choose not to get laser . Then was talked into a new safe* laser.
Well it wasn't safe . And my life is over .
Whatever you do think carefully about laser and so anything else first , fillers , needling, whatever . Laser is dangerous . My story is backed up by lots of other cases on real self with the exact same symptoms . Your lively charismatic doctor will dump your ass as soon as you have a problem . Trust me .

Don't do fraxel ( fractional laser )
Don't let your friends do fraxel
Don't let your children do fraxel
Do not let your mother do fraxel
Do not let a greedy doc talk you into it .

Don't do any kind of fractional laser non ablative / ablative / fraxel / whatever do not get any kind of gridded - tracked laser !!!!!!!!

6 months post laser damage update

Still have damage . After speaking to a couple of ladies on real self and having advice from a couple of real self doctors , I think I will try the tca peel or derma needling next . I'm not sure which option to take , but I will absolutely not touch another fractional ( grid ) laser . I also know the only way to fix broken capillaries under eyes and across the bridge on nose is bbl laser . I have had 7 sessions of bbl in the past and no reaction . So I am confident the fraction method is to blame for all my troubles . I am currently using glycic acid 30 percent and retin a 1 percent . This is to help smooth out blemishes and help with the textural issues , also to prep the skin for tca peels if I still am confident to do so once my active acne has cleared. Still angry and damaged that this laser caused so much damage .

Retin A -skin prep

Here are photos from 2 months ago when I started retin a . As I've shared with other ladies on real self , I have read the clinical studies for topical retanoid . I would recommend reading the studies for anyone thinking of using a retanoid product . Some valuable info I picked up was the length of time it actually takes to work , long term ! 6 months to 2 years . There should be a gradual increase in strength as retinoid dermatitis can form . ( I experienced this from going straight on a 1 percent ) and sun sensitivity is serious business . It can actually encourage the growth of skin cancers ; so avoid the sun at all costs . It's also worth mentioning it is clinically one of the only studied and reviewed products to show collagen stimulation and cell turn over . The side effects are also documented this product may not be for everyone . Some ladies have experienced very serious reactions to retinoids similar to laser damage ( orange peel skin ) so I would be conservative And monitor your skin while treating. From what I have read some of these ladies have had laser in the past and it runs through my mind weather it is laser damage coming up months later ( laser damage shows later its even in studies! ) and they have linked the orange peel texture to the retin a and not the laser ??? Just a thought .

So the above photos do not show the laser damage . It is nearly impossible to capture the micro scarring and textural changes from the Palomer fractional laser on a low quality iPhone camera. The task is hard believe me . I will post more pictures and I will try and capture the laser damage in natural light . Trust me its there . The reason I'm trying the retin a is for collagen stimulation , and skin prep for a tca peel . I'm also using a 30 percent glycolic acid overnight serum which i have used for years. My next task is getting through the school holidays and trying to figure what doctor I should see for my future potential peels to fix the laser damage . Also thank you to the lovely ladies on real self that have offered support and advice for laser damage . Lef0x for her post on trying to correct laser damage with tca + jessner you are so brave ! and Clare3343 for sharing her tca correction for laser damage story, thanks for giving us hope . I also feel I should share more pics of my face to put an image to laser damage . It's important we tell our story's since the doctors won't . God bless all with luck and recovery . Lets find a solution to laser damage .

Damage 6 months

Here are the laser damage pictures . My under eyes are ruined . Skin texture ruined . Extreme broken capillaries . In general weird orange peel wave like texture . Very distressing . But hopefully I can find a way to fix this .

Before laser

Photos of before laser . Wish I never set foot in that cosmetic clinics doors . Life is not the same . My confidence is nowhere near the same . I would never recommend this. I wish I knew there was a serious risk . I would have never done this .

Current skin picture

Clear damage to the skin as you can see . Thousands of tiny indentation scars from the tip of the laser . These are not pores , my pores are still fine and small the holes are micro scaring caused by the fractional laser ( non ablative Palomer) I am still trying to figure out what to do . Either peels or skin needling . Obviously I'm still distressed and suffering and want to fix the damage caused by this laser .

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
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Hey Sandy, Im really sorry this happened to you. As I was reading your story, I could relate to what you are saying 100%.. The loss of interest in life especially at such an early age really sucks. I know it will never be the same for me and I'm not sure if I can ever get my 'zest' for life back unless the damage is somehow fixed, but I still try to make the most out of life. It's hard though, but we should at least try - there are people that love & care about us & they dont want to see us this broken, its hurting them too
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Tonite I decided to take a video of my scars from laser for a new doctor I'm seeing tomorrow. I got in the sunlight with shadows hitting them from the worst angle. I couldn't believe how many more scars I saw. It made me sick to my stomach. I can't even watch the video anymore. I hope he can tell me what to do but I don't think he can after seeing how bad they were. I think I'd need a facelift & fillers to even give me a chance to look normal. I don't think I'll be sleeping tonite but since this all happen I haven't had a decent nites sleep. This is a horrible thing they did to us. I hope your new doctor can help you & I hope mine can do something for me.
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I'm also going to a doctor tomorrow for this damage. I'm not sure if anything can really help though, these aren't normal scars.
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Video what a great idea I might do it as well , I have an appointment next month as well. I looked myself in natural light and boy it's not pretty at all, I can't believe how the holes are so wide and deep. I read about treatment levels and apparently stronger the treatment wider the laser hole, have to google some more but it fits my experience I had very painful treatments but third was the deepest and strongest. I am thinking of recell but feel biopsy will be needed first to see what lies underneath.
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I have even thinking that a lot as well. It's essentially tissue missing that left a hole. However it could be they are not too deep but rather stayed open because a) skin producing too much oil b) not enough moisturizer during healing , when the edges of would dries they cannot reattach to each other c) laser burned hole walls shut so they didn't bleed and coagulate ?? D) simply removed tissue too deep , in that case to much that can be done it would think, same as too deep scars. Could be a million other reasons but these I have been thinking. I think to determine future course if treatment you would have to get a biopsy of the skin to determine how deep the holes go and what lies underneath. If the holes stayed opened and stretched for whatever reason but aren't too deep , a simple resurfacing should fix it , however prob different laser/ method. I believe recell could be helpfull but so hard to find reviews , I don't know if reason to this is , that it's more often used for serious burn injuries big do much with cosmetic treatments? A doc in Australia says he has treated about a dozen laser damaged patients with recell and it seem to help although not make it perfect. Saying that I never expected/needed perfection just improvement, laser just unfortunately made me worse.
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Sorry typos, hard to write with iPhone
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Oh my God the video shows everything. Figured a video would help show him more because a lot of times you can't see them in their lights in the office. Probably make the lighting that way so you'll be happy cause a lot of times when I'm there I don't see them the way I do at home. The video really shows how they look at different angles in the type of lighting you want them to see them in. My holes look like hoover dam. Then I have a dam mole that I used to love cause it was right where my dad had his but its next to one of the larger scars & it looks like hills & valleys. I had to take a pill after seeing that. Trying to be strong but after 7 yrs it's on my mine 24/7. I'm not the person I used to be. Def take a video before going, I sent one to him too so he can look at it when I'm not there to figure out what to do. But I don't want laser again. Now I'm thinking more on the line of subcision with suction & fillers. Been needling & I do notice a little change on the one side. It's not as deep as before but still there. I'm still going to needle after fillers once a month. The doctor used a high setting on me too. He said, oh, we'll do it all at once instead of you having to come back and forth all the time. Figured he's the doctor so I agreed. Boy do I regret that decision. 7 yrs ago they didn't have many boards to check out before having a procedure done. If they did it would have saved me a lot & I mean a lot of grief.
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I do hear some of the doctors say that anything that's below your skin comes out after resurfacing. That if you have scars already they can look wider because the skin under is wider then the hole you see on top if that makes sense. Recell is still new & I want to hear more than a few say it really worked, they say that they have dermabrasion then the recell is put on. It's not cheap either & I'm afraid of having my skin taken off again when that's what did my damage in the first place. They also have to take skin so they make another postage stamp hole in your skin to get the cells. Another scar. I heard it's good on burn victims since their skin is already open to put the cells on. So it's a catch 22 for me. All I know is taking a layer off isn't a walk in the park. Your red for a long time & your pigment can change. Mine did & I have one spot in the shape of a square (& the doctor said it wasn't the machine) I'm sure my square came out of my cheek all on it's own to form the same shape as the fraxel. Dah. So I'm on pins and needles about tomorrow. Going in with high hopes again for the umphteenth time. I want to hear more people say recell works before dishing out any more money and getting my hopes up again.
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Hi I thought I let you know , i booked an appointment with dr. Shawn Richards at skin&cancer foundation in Sydney to examine my laser damage, my derm recommended him and seems to trust him. He is apparently very experienced with lasers and would be able to tell me what happened( too deep treatment or something else) and possibly recommend a course of action to improve the texture and health of my skin. I haven't used anything chemical on my skin in over three months but it is not any better it's worse I think, as a vertical depressed line has formed on my nose about 1.5cm long. I'm getting very discouraged about this I went from having young baby face and skin to looking like my skin is 50 year old smokers one. It has gone very odd looking in two years and I don't think it will improve on it's own. Have you found anything at all?
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Thanks Mandy please let me know how you go ! I've postponed my needling until I can freely afford it again ( renovating and just moved ) so I'm still furnishing my home and working on the courtyard gardens . But when things settle over the next few months I think needling will be my first avenue . Unless your new doc comes up with something better ! Good luck, hope and prayers for you ! Xxxx
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Cheers will keep you posted(: renovating wow that's hard work good luck!
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Hi Ladies, I just read ur stories. I bought a voucher off one of those groupon sites last year and had the treatment done. I had a really bad feeling when I could smell my face burning. Fast forward to lately and I feel like I'm looking abnormally old. My skin looks like it has giant pores and a constant redness. I'm only 26! I'm also in Sydney. Please let me know how you go with dr Richards Mandy. Also Sandy did the retinoids work? I'm seriously considering the derma roller but the thought of doing more damage scars me a bit. Much love ladies x
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If your feeling a bit sad check this video out :) http://youtube.com/watch?v=l-gQLqv9f4o
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Hi sandy, are you doing anything at the moment for the pin prick scarring? Just curious because I haven't done anything in almost two years but they are still there, and I need to start thinking other ways to diminish it, it's completely taking over my life. I have had few say to try needling but I haven't really been game to try it yet. I fear that this scarring might be harder to treat the longer I wait but then I fear my skin might still be too fragile to do anything, I don't really know what to do. Hopefully things are looking up for you and all the best!
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Hey Mandy , I totally feel your pain . I went to a consult at laser clinics Australia to talk about trying needling . The reason I'm most likely to try needling first is that I had the 1.5 needling done at bondi successfully six months before the laser damage . That why I feel like if its done lightly on top of the damge it may stimulate more collegen to full the gaps from the laser . Needling and laser are totally different technology's . Laser is a burn with thermal damage that takes a lot longer to heal . Needling micro holes ( if some lightly ) ( not to hard ) close withing the hour . Laser takes out a micro track . Needling pieces a holes that nearly instantly coagulates ( or whatever it's called when blood clots to heal) then usually is done lightly will heal withing two days . My past experience with needling was quite good . Notice down time and my skjn glowed a week later. I regrettably only had one so didn't see full results because I then progressed to laser .. Big mistake ... So I'm looking into doing the same only because I had it done before . I also stressed at the consult that of I choose to do it I want to do it really lightly and progress depth ever sessions slowly . They will try to upsell the new RF stamp . ( risky ) I wouldn't do it . Don't be talked into it . I totally understand what youwan Mandy my life was taken over by it too . Literally stoped all my progress and I nearly lost everything I ever had including relationships . I personally believe our skin will not heal naturally . Scars don't . We will have to go slow and work on healing emotionally and physically . And will will all keep in touch with what works and what doesn't . Hopefully we will find a fix :) lots of love to you , stay strong Mandy !!!!!
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Thanks sandy keep us posted how you will decide to tackle this issue I'm sorry it has happened to you in time that should be the happiest for you. Good luck!
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For 7 years I've been dealing with laser damage. Holes, scars, broken blood vessles, fat loss, pigment change, lines, you name it I got it. When i went in he made it sound so simple. Back then it was new, no boards about damage so I thought finally I can get a few scars removed. He said he could take care of any problems if anything went wrong. Well it did & when i went back he left the office teling me to see a shrink. I went to see a lawyer. He said I would never win with papers they make you sign. I kept writing the doctor every week telling him how many doctors I've seen & how it was costing me too much money besides being emotionally & physically scared, he never got back til I told them I was going to seek legal advice. Only then did he tell his asst to give me my money back. It's cost me thousands besides my self esteem down the drain. I can cry every time i see my reflection in the mirror. I'm a hermit. Lost friends, no social outings, no shopping. Sick feeling every morning, lost 30 lbs & had to go on meds for anxiety. I've been on every board trying to warn people. He distroyed my life & happiness. No other doctors want to touch you after damage. I've had more laser treatments to try to fix the damage, that's how bad it was but no results to write home about. Had peels, had Affirm. Perfecta. ipl, smoothbeam. Tried all kinds of natural things. My poor face has gone through so much. Now just doing needling once a month & some fillers. I haven't found one doctor who can fix the damage he did to me. My cheeks & chin are so bad I don't have a good side to turn, I look sick from the anxiety & weight loss. Sometimes I don't know how I make it through the day. I pray everyday for all of us. It amazes me how every doctor says Oh, you need laser. Like it's nothing. I wish they felt the pain & heartache they caused us all. I pray for us all.
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I think about you often sats. I've read your posts and I've spoken with you through email. Chin up!! We focus on the negatives here. Life is short....Hold your heads up and live it. And I'm talking to myself here too. Let's try to find the solution. Sending good vibes out to everybody here.
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Seven years is a ling time and my heart goes out to you. It's been two years for me and I'm 26 and screwed cz of this!
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Hey James, Just so sick of this. I try but it's hard after so many years & life is getting shorter. I've been trying for so long, it's like one step forward then another back. Just tried putting juvederm in some scars & the dam doctor put a tad under my eyes & now they've been puffy for over a month. Now I have an eye infection & read not to ever put juve near your eye area. I've been reading so much about scars I never thought juve was bad for eyes. Just another thing the doctor should have warned me about. Hope your doing better than me. Seems we're all always on these boards looking for some kind of a miracle. Hope your doing well, I think of you too. & a lot of others who are going through this nightmare.
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So sorry to hear this happen to you so young. I talk to another girl your age that had it done in Aug.. she stopped going to classes & has to have ice on her face everyday, I told her to try oatmeal soaks & it helps a bit but the pain is still there. she was burnt so bad it hurts and she doesn't go out at all. I'll have to tell her to jump on this board. She could use some company from others going through this her age. Seven years... to me it's an eternity. I am so sick of commercials about make up showing girls with perfect skin. xo right back at ya.
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It's so sad being uncomftarble in ur own skin especially wen ur trying to date and find someone. I feel like that's all guys do is look at my shitty skin.
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Hey bk718, I know it's hard when you'e not comfortable in your own skin, nobody is perfect, you would be surpised at how much people look past imperfections.I encourage you to put a wonderful smile on your face, and walk with confidence, that goes a long way. I saw a study once about how you can change your appearnce on your body language and how you carry yourself - a girl who walked very hunched over, head down, frown on the face was perceived unapproachale and unattractive, they kept her in her same outfit, and no other changed except for her walk, had her smile with head up and the perception totally changed. Don't be so hard on yourself -hang in here.
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Hey, Thank you. It's hard after the laser damage I feel disfigured and lonely. I'm inly 26 not married and no boyfriend.
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It's hard to go through , but at least we have a website were we can tell our story and warn others of the side effects . I would encourage people to post photos and tell their stories . It's the hardest thing to do , but together on real self we are gathering true accounts and valuable information for others who feel the same pain as us . Lets all stick together , tell our stories , name and shame the doctors and clinics and manufactures and all heal ourselves together . We have lots of people with laser damage trying new cosmetic options and others who have fixed there damage and shared there stories , posting it all to help us . Every year the medical industry advances and we hear about new technology's like bio stimulating fillers, advanced dermal needling discoveries , and spay on cell products . There is hope :) I know how much it hurts and how we all feel betrayed , but we must tell our stories and not let it defeat us :) our pain is not for nothing , lets make our accounts heard and people aware so they can choose appropriate options and not be swayed by endless marketing and hype . Love and healing to all the commenters on board :)
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