My Experience with Laser Hair Removal, IPL, Alexandrite, Cutera. Not So Good Reaction! Burn Maybe? Very Itchy - Toronto, ON

1) IPL - great, alright... and then TERRIBLE! --...

1) IPL - great, alright... and then TERRIBLE! -- Full legs, underarms, full bikini area --February to April 2013
I've done IPL for hair removal in the past and although having to deal with a bit of the redness and bumps, it was OK and the hair situation was improving very well! First was awesome, second time was alright. So it was done once, twice and then... the third time: that was a DISASTER. As she was proceeding with the laser I could feel that it really was burning my skin, it was a much worse sensation than the normal pain I would experience in the 2 previous treatments. My skin got really red, swollen, with bumps that, in two spots on the leg, ended up developing into "bubbles" (scary!). The "full bikini" area was VERY swollen, it was terrifying to see my private parts like that. It got better maybe in 3 weeks and I got some dark patches all over the area where I did the treatment, again, the worst were the legs. These dark spots went away eventually in about 3 months, slowly though. I wish I had the pictures from that time. It was really bad. Besides the burns and terrible reactions, the IPL actually worked in terms of the hair was going away, falling off and becoming much much thinner.

2) Annoying facts about my annoying skin:
I would have to mention that my skin is in fact pretty sensitive to sunlight. I have been told by a dermatologist a while ago right after that IPL disaster that what happened was a reaction from my skin, possibly because of the esthetician's improper technique. But then I also showed her my dark patches I have (in areas not even treated by the laser, like arms) and what she said is that I should really avoid tanning and sun exposure, as I get this dark patches over my legs and arms. Always use this sunscreen (very expensive) for very sensitive skin. Even when there is no sunshine outside. It's not quite like melasma and it is actually something related to family history of allergic rhinitis and such. She could not tell if that was related to the bad reaction, if I remember. So according to her, what happened was a improper administration of the IPL equipment.

3) No burns can't stop me! -- treatment on underarms and full bikini area, legs are traumatized -- January 2014
After that I only tried this kind of "permanent" hair removal again this beginning of January in another clinic, almost one year after. Of course the hair was pretty thick again and back at the old ways hahah. So at this time, January, I went to the different clinic, much more professional, caring, responsible-and expensive- and I got the laser hair removal done (no IPL) on underarms and full bikini area and having a quite normal and expected reaction, a bit of redness and swollen for a couple days. I told her about the past experience and she noticed the darker area in my outside bikini line, probably from sun exposure in bikinis, and said that in that area would use the YAG. The full bikini area she used the Alexandrite, as well as the underarms. I felt that she was doing the procedure properly, as there was no crazy burning feeling on the skin. As soon as she was done I didnt feel my skin burning. I knew I would not have any burn problems like the last time. I was very happy with this experience. Actually I did have again some dark patches appearing on the bikini line in the following the days in the exact spots the laser was used but nothing too bad like the other time with the legs "bubbles" burns, crazy swollen down there and etc! This dark patches/spots are fading away gradually, and I would say 85% is gone as of now. The hair got much much thinner after this hair removal and gone in many spots, impressive results! But then again that was in the beginning of January and I didn't have the chance to do it again until yesterday, so the hair was getting its power back hahha had gotten at least 50% growing back in areas where it had stopped growing and becoming thicker. Nothing too bad. But yesterday I decided it was time to do it again, and hopefully now continue doing every month or every 60 days. I know that is how it's supposed to work for full results and a hairless life (in unwanted places, that is) hahha.

4) Finally, my most RECENT experience -- treatment on full bikini area, underarms and... tiny bit of leg which is now itchy and red and weird looking! what a surprise (sarcasm)--- March 22nd, 2014

Alright... so about YESTERDAY: I finally had the chance ($) to get the laser done again. Went for a new clinic, as I'm in another city now, and did underarms and full bikini area. I explained to them all about my past experiences and how I was scared of trying to do my legs again. She then said we could do a patch test on the leg with Cutera laser and the others (full bikini and underarm) she used Soprano laser. I was so surprised that it hurts very little. Cutera does not hurt much either (a bit more than the soprano though). As the last time in January, I could tell that she was doing the procedure properly, as there was no burning feeling on the skin. As soon as she was done I didnt feel my skin burning either. I knew I would not have any burn problems as last year's IPL experience. The full bikini and underarms got some swollen red bumps, which was expected to me, and have cleared up 95% now (in one day). This time, I didn't even get the dark patches! Yay! But the leg.... (which showed the severe reaction last year) once again appears to be reacting badly. As I mentioned, I only did a patch test as I already knew this could happen. I am attaching a photo of how it was yesterday today and etc, and hopefully will be updating a it gets better. Praying for no "bubble" burns this time... I think I'm safe, as there is no burning feeling besides looking very red and strange. It's quite itchy. Probably pissed off follicles making all the drama. These dudes should calm down. :P

5) AT LAST - The end... of my first review! Will be definitely updating it though, sorry

I apologize for the huge detailed text, but I will use this as my own laser hair removal experience tracking history as well. Thanks for reading, and if you have had similar problems let me know! Hopefully this will be helpful to some of you.

Cheers

My leg patch test with cutera laser.... 3 days later

What? its looking worse and worse! What the heck kind of reaction is this... I think even blisters are appearing :o scared.
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Dear girl you have had so many bad experiences I can understand why you a fearful about the darkening of your leg. The good thing is I see some small areas that are lightening up! And, in some cases darkening will occur before it heals totally. I would suggest a good growth factor gel, Rhonda Allison has one and it is amazing. I also mix my own topical concoction: equal parts growth factor gel, grape seed extract, vitamin E, tea tree oil an over the counter burn cream. Look up Rhonda Allison's website. Her products are very reasonably priced. Every one of her products come with a detailed description. Good luck!
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Thanks so much for your detailed review, never be sorry for posting information, it's wonderful for others considering the procedure and your experience and photos will really help. 

Feel free to post a question to our Doctors on site about your most recent test patch. 

Keep us posted :)
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I'd describe it as good, nothing too bad nothing too great!

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
2 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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