IPL Treatment for Rosacea - Baltimore, MD

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I am 3 days post IPL. This was my 1st treatment. I...

I am 3 days post IPL. This was my 1st treatment. I have rosacea & experience persistent redness & flushing. Fortunately for me, I have not progressed to the stage with bumps/pimples, but unfortunately oral & topical medications have not worked for me. After a lot of research on IPL & very careful consideration of doctors, I chose to go forth with IPL.

My doctor was very patient, as I had a lot of questions. After answering all my questions, he suggested that I would need a minimum of 5 IPL treatments (possibly more, depending how I responded to treatment). I wanted to write this review to let others know what to expect your first time.

First let me say, in my opinion, IPL doesn't feel like a rubberband snap like most people say. I would equate it to a hot poker being laid against your face for a millisecond. I don't have a very high pain tolerance & I felt this to be uncomfortable but not too painful. It doesn't hurt bad enough where I wouldn't do it again. My doctor let me know before he would give me another zap, which was comforting because you are basically blind with the eye protection on, so you have no idea what's going on. You may smell a burning smell, which is definitely weird. My doctor reassured me that I was smelling the tiny hair on my face being zapped off.

After he had treated all the areas, he gently wiped off the gel that is applied beforehand & immediately rubbed something on the areas. I'm not sure if it was moisturizer or sunscreen but if felt cool & nice against my skin. He gave me a mirror to look in & I was red in the areas he had treated.

The redness looks like a bad sunburn. I would say that within a few hours, the redness from the IPL had greatly diminished. In my opinion, I would never go back to work right after a procedure, but I was told that you could cover it with makeup, so I guess it's doable. The next 2 days, my rosacea on my cheeks (where I have it the worst) was definitely more red than it usually is. This worried me a little. But it wasn't so bad that I couldn't live with it. I woke up today, day 3 & my face has returned to normal color (before my treatment). I'm looking forward to my next treatment in 4 weeks.

A word of advice though, if you choose this, please, PLEASE do your research beforehand. It is important to choose a doctor who is board certified. After experiencing what IPL feels like, I now can see why so many people get burned or scarred from inexperienced techs. This is not a procedure you should go to a MedSpa for or use a groupon for. Personally, I would never let someone laser my face who wasn't a doctor.

In closing, my first IPL went well. No burns or marks, just like the doctor promised. I hope this review helps someone else who is thinking of having it done. I will post updates as I receive the next treatments.

IPL #2: I am 10 days post IPL. This was my second...

IPL #2: I am 10 days post IPL. This was my second treatment. I believe I got 12 zaps this time, instead of the 8 I received last time. And during this treatment, the laser was turned up slightly more than last. The procedure was the same. This time I had both cheeks, my chin & nose treated. While the laser was turned up slightly, it still felt the same as before. It was equally as uncomfortable, but no more than last. At least this time, I knew what to expect.

The recovery was a little different this time. My face was red where it had been treated, but that went away after a few hours. Last time, my rosacea had been slightly red for about 3 days after the treatment. This time, by the next day, I could barely tell anything was done. My doctor said that being a little red/pink afterwards is a good thing. It means the laser is targeting the redness. I was a little concerned that I wasn't really pink, but I was okay with it.

Flash forward to day 8. I started flushing over & over on this day. I'm not sure why. I wasn't doing anything to cause it. I would get really red on my cheeks & chin & then within an hour or so, it would calm down. This has been happening for 3 days now. I've been trying really hard to minimize flushing while I'm being treated so that the laser will actually work, so I'm not sure why this is happening. Today, my face got so red & hot, & all I was doing was eating lunch. I immediately started to worry that this had something to do with the IPL but I'm not sure. I have another appointment for treatment #3 in 4 weeks & will ask my doctor what he thinks. He did tell me that it would probably take about 3 treatments before I started noticing any improvement, so I'm still holding out hope. It's kind of difficult though when I read about horror stories online. I'm really hoping these treatments work for me because I hate rosacea!! It's embarrasing & makes living a normal life difficult sometimes. I'll update again after #3.

I am 3 weeks, post IPL #3. So far, I haven’t...

I am 3 weeks, post IPL #3. So far, I haven’t seen much, if any change, from the treatments. As I stated in my last post, I am flushing pretty much every day, sometimes multiple times per day. I have tried numerous times to pinpoint what is causing the flush, but at this point, it really just happens out of the blue. It’s very frustrating because I am doing my best to minimize flushing while I’m being treated. I have been carrying a cool pack with me to work. When I begin to flush, I put this on my cheeks for a few minutes & it seems to bring it under control. It stops it from getting so bad. During my last treatment, I discussed with my doctor what was happening & showed him some pictures of my skin during a bad flush. My cheeks get very red, inflamed & irritated. He said my skin is very reactive. So, he changed the settings on the IPL to see if that would help. I believe he kept the strength the same but it was a longer pulse. In my opinion, this didn’t really help much. But, I’m still holding out hope that the next two treatments will show some change. Sometimes, when my face is calm (usually in the morning, before work), you can barely tell I have rosacea. But, since my face has been flushing every day, I believe the diffuse redness has gotten somewhat worse. I have read some posts that some people didn’t see improvement until after their 4th or 5th treatment. Maybe I will be the same. I’m choosing to continue because I don’t see any negative effects from but unfortunately no positive ones yet either. My 4th appointment is today.
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon

5 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
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 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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