I have several large birthmarks characteristic of a disease called neurofibromatosis. After trying for five years with q-switch lasers and not getting any results, my doctor tried an IPL. The first time he used it on a test area, the results were amazing. The birthmark disappeared. I was ecstatic and my doctor was amazed as well. The pain from the light pulse was fairly severe, but compared to the emotional hell I go through with having such large birthmarks, the pain from the IPL session was worth it. Heck, q-switch lasers hurt just as much.
Unfortunately since the first time I was treated with the IPL, the following sessions haven't worked. The doctor can't find the setting that was used the first time. (The setting that was listed in the medical chart doesn't exist on the IPL) The subsequent sessions caused mild pain and the skin reaction from the subsequent sessions was not severe as it was the first time when the IPL worked even when the doctor used the strongest setting available.
I am devastated. If I had known the IPL was only going to work during that first session, I would have had the doctor treat all my birthmarks at that time. My doctor is back to trying the q-switch. I am not happy at all with the results from the q-switch. I am thinking of trying a new clinic.