*Please note: Original fat cells that have...
*Please note: Original fat cells that have succumbed to necrosis/lipoatrophy because of laser, RF, and/or IPL treatments CANNOT regenerate or replace themselves. They have been destroyed permanently.*
I have not (yet?) evidenced fat or volume loss from a botched IPL treatment done 9/21/15 (please read my IPL review, which I will update 3/21/16 when I hit the 6-month mark), but I have sustained serious damage to the epidermis and dermis that has manifested itself -- so far -- as enlarged pores, shiny skin, dry skin, small indentations, and pronounced wrinkles that extend from the tops of my cheekbones down to my jawline whenever I smile (please see photo).
This is very, very upsetting and annoying. I am used to being mistaken for 10-20 years younger and now people are calling me "ma'am" every five minutes. My sister says my face looks like I sloppily applied a too-dark, too-shiny foundation to only parts of my cheeks -- my cheeks were NOT treated, that is from the EFFING "collateral damage" that can result from laser, RF, and/or IPL procedures.
I have begun weekly microneedling to address the epidermal and dermal issues. I bought a .25mm derma roller and a .50mm dermaroller and am using them on my face (and my neck, chest, the backs of my hands, and the tops of my wrists).
I am going totally against conventional advice and microneedling facial areas with rosacea (no negative reactions so far) and facial areas with acne-prone skin (no negative reactions so far) with the .25mm roller.
I have also purchased:
1) Borage bar to clean skin before dermarolling
2) Emerita Pro-Gest progesterone cream to apply to skin after dermarolling
3) Imedeen, HA, and Neocell Fish Collagen to supplement my usual daily intake of Vitamin D and of B "Stress" Complex + C
I only wash my face if I absolutely have to, and then with just hair conditioner and tap water. I apply olive oil to my face each night, and I wear a hat and sunscreen and a high-necked shirt if I have to be outside.
Microneedling/dermarolling can take months to show results, but I will do anything to try to reverse the double-whammy negative effects of IPL and the onset of menopause that occurred in August of 2015 (I turned 47 in September of that year).
Slight peeling, mild itching, and a bit of dryness ...
... on chin from extra-assertive dermarolling in that area with my .50mm due to its multiple issues: rosacea, cystic-acne-damaged skin, and IPL-damaged skin.
Perfectly normal, went away in a couple of days.
New pix and changes in post-IPL skin-care regimen
Here are photos taken 3/11/16 and 3/14/16 in my bathroom mirror -- aka "the Mirror of Dorian Gray" because it highlights so many of the flaws on my face. Note: I have got a bit of coconut oil on in these pix, so the problems you see are actually *worse.*
Please also note:
1) enlargement and spreading of visible pores from my T-zone;
2) shiny skin -- not depicted due to need for certain types of natural lighting to see it;
3) round and triangular indentations on the right side of my chin; and, worst of all,
4) weird eye-to-jaw wrinkles that not even my mother -- who is almost 77 years old and has blithely abused her skin for many decades -- has on her cheeks.
Recently, I rolled over two small pimples on my chin with my .50mm and they joined forces against me and became one big pimple. So that was not a good idea. But! Microneedling the IPL-treated rosacea areas on my nose and my chin with my .25mm and my .50mm, respectively, has not made the rosacea any worse -- contrary to popular advice. I will keep on needling those areas since my rosacea is mild and not pustular and I'm curious to see what happens to the rosacea over time. Of course, I'll stop that if anything bad happens.
Skin-care regimen changes:
Have replaced the olive oil I was using as a daily moisturizer with coconut oil
Have started applying .025% Tretinoin nightly, following with more coconut oil
Not buying any more HA pills because Neocell Collagen capsules already have HA
Considering buying .75mm one-row roller to tackle specific wrinkles on forehead
More information available in my 6-month review of IPL titled "IPL Fat Loss Terror." Thanks!
Nice Needling News!
My angelic therapist -- who had some of the widest and deepest cystic acne craters I have ever seen -- has been dermarolling for the past year with great results, and estimates that she has another six to twelve months of needling before the scars have completely filled in.
She also advised me not to apply Tretinoin 24 hours before and 24 hours after needling because it causes thinning of the skin and that can make the procedure more painful than needs be.
Needling rosacea areas on my chin and nose has not exacerbated the condition in any way, so I've ordered a cream formulated to kill dermodex mites to put on afterward. In addition, I've ordered a .75mm to tackle specific wrinkles on my forehead and on the tops of my wrists, and have switched from oatmeal paste to plain yogurt as my daily facial cleanser.
This is a bit off-topic, but I am pleased to report that at least one comment of mine has been summarily removed by the RS Community Managers for being inappropriate. It was a proud, proud moment for me, RS peeps! Because now I feel like a *real* RealSelfer.
(Don't worry, CMs, I'll behave myself from now on.)
Experimented with 1mm Dermaroller Last Night
Anesthetized right temple with Numb Master and needled it with scary-looking 1mm dermaroller (did rest of face with .25mm and .50mm) rollers. It didn't hurt at all, although there was an odd crunching sound. Then applied ProCell Therapies' human stem-cell and HGF serum. No issues this morning except for allover pinkness, which will last 2-3 days with my particular sensitive kind of skin, and which is totally normal. These effects are also normal with needling:
From my online research and talking to other people, I estimate that it will take 1-2 years of regular facial needling with short- and long-needled dermarollers plus special supplements and topicals to reverse the IPL damage. That's a very, very long time, but look what effing happened when I went for a "quick" "fix" for my nose and chin rosacea!!! (BTW, my nose and chin rosacea areas have not been worsened by needling with my .25mm and .50mm rollers, respectively.)
Skin issues from menopause will require MHT, and I'm already applying progesterone cream once per week.
Of course, if anything weird or bad happens, I will report it here at once.
Current Anti-IPL Arsenal, Parts One and Deux
19 Apr 2016
2 months post
PART ONE -- "Tools 'n Topicals"
Shown: .25mm, .50mm, .75mm, and 1mm dermarollers; Numb Master numbing cream; organic coconut oil; SkinCeuticals epidermal repair cream; ProCell Therapies human stem-cell serum; .025% tretinoin cream (yes, I am aware of the potential issues with retinoids)
Discontinued: Emerita Pro-Gest cream, Dermodex cream
PART DEUX -- "A Plethora of Pills"
Shown: vitamins C, D, and Super B-complex; NeoCell marine collagen + HA; Imedeen; French maritime pine bark extract (pycnogenol)*; and Bayer aspirin for inflammation
Not shown: antidepressants, Ativan
Discontinued: HA caplets
NEEDLING NOTES FOR 1mm DERMAROLLER
These things are normal while using the 1mm:
These things are normal after using the 1mm:
More panic attacks
* If you buy maritime pine bark-derived products make sure the species name is pinus pinaster or pinus maritima; I was sold a product by Nature Restore described as "maritime pine" that turned out to be a kind of pine from Taiwan (maritime pine is also known as the French or Mediterranean maritime pine).
Do Not Needle Rosacea Areas!
29 Jun 2016
4 months post
After seeing for myself, I now agree with the expert advice that needling mild rosacea areas is a bad idea -- the flushed area in the middle of my chin looks a bit redder.
On the other hand, after 3 not-very-thorough and 1 thorough needling sessions with my 1.00mm dermaroller, the circular and triangular indentations on the sides of my chin seem to have gotten shallower (indentations are signs of damage to the dermal level). Also, the last (thorough) session produced a small area of cutaneous peeling on my left cheek (as well as the usual peeling on the sides of my chin). That makes me happy as I want to start getting this damaged epidermis off my face by needling with the 1.00mm once per month for the next 1 - 2 years.
There has been no peeling yet in other areas, like on my forehead and my right cheek. That cheek took the brunt of the IPL. I am hoping this will occur within the next year.
I keep calm and carry on.
That Pic You Wanted
I indicated the indentations with black eyeliner. I estimate they have become .20mm shallower after four needling sessions with a 1.0mm dermaroller.
I have reduced the time between needling with my 1.0mm from every 6 weeks to every 4 weeks. My skin is red for about a week afterward, and I treat it during that time with daily applications of SkinCeuticals' Epidermal Repair Cream.
My sweat glands are working. I hope my oil glands are back online by the time winter rolls around and it is dry indoors and out.
I hate IPL.
Some Good News At Ten Months Out
21 Jul 2016
5 months post
As you know, the right side of my face took the brunt of the IPL (the wrinkling is worse on the right side, the right side is where the indentations are, and soon after the treatment the lymph node right under the right side of my jaw swelled up for a week for no reason my doctor could figure out). I also developed a grainy, gritty texture on the right side of my neck. If you look at pic #33 in cupcake0526's review of her botched Yag laser procedure, what you see on her face and neck is how the skin of my neck felt. But today, thanks to some sessions with my .50mm dermaroller and some applications of .025% tretinoin, that skin is again as smooth as the skin on the left side of my neck.
Also, in my review of IPL, I posted a pic of two small skin-tears that appeared on the right side of my face. I circled them with black eyeliner. Those two tears are beginning to heal, I think, as they look like they're shrinking. In addition, no new tears have appeared.
Plus, since IPL can attack major systems like the endocrine and lymphatic, I was concerned when my annual blood panel came back showing a potential problem with my parathyroid gland(s), but subsequent in-depth testing of my blood and urine showed that to not be the case.
Finally, although the sheen from the scar collagen/tissue that covers most of face has not seen any improvement, I was cheered up by a woman who wrote that hers finally went away two years after her botched IPL treatment (she described it as waxy, not shiny, but it's the same thing).
I hope I get to the one-year mark without any more bad things happening, and I am wishing all of you the very best!
One-Year Anniversary of IPL Fiasco
26 Sep 2016
7 months post
It has been about 12 months since I got this horrible "beauty" treatment (on 9/21/15). Today is also my 48th birthday! Yay! Happy birthday to me! Jeez, do I feel old. Aging really isn't for sissies.
Anyhoo, I posted a pic of my revised anti-IPL arsenal, and there been a few nice developments which I hope continue to get better:
1) the lower microtear on my right cheek has healed completely;
2) the long, thin cheek wrinkles appear to have softened;
3) my sweat glands are back online, and I hope that means the oil glands will reboot in the winter when the air inside and out will be a lot drier; and
4) three people called me "miss" this month, and they weren't even trying to sell me something. Before the IPL, this was not an common occurrence due to the excellent care I took of my skin by staying out of the sun, not doing crystal meth, and remaining child-free.*
However, I have not seen any (additional) improvements in the following:
1) the upper microtear;
2) the indentations;
3) the crepey wrinkles around my mouth; and
4) the layer of shiny scar collagen that my body overlaid my face with in reaction to the IPL trauma, which I believe is also the cause of all the enlarged, wrinkle-forming pores that we call "orange peel skin," and which I used to think was a sign of epidermal atrophy.
To ramp up the treatment of issues #1-3, I've gone against my own advice and I bought a 1.5mm dermaroller. We'll see if I can tolerate it. As for #4, I'm hearing that peels are good solution, so I'm considering experimenting with a light home micropeel later this fall even though in the past I was totally freaked out by risking a chemical burn on top of a thermal/radiation one.
In other news, I am not hearing good things about dermapens**, so I'm still recommending only dermastamping and dermarolling.
Thanks for reading my update!
* I'm just kidding about the kids; the critical things to avoid are the sunlight and the hard drugs.
** My current theory about why dermpens can cause damage is because they allow the needles to be moved far too rapidly over the skin. Also, sometimes the dermapens are super-charged with radiofrequency which just blows my mind because RF is what they use in Thermage and all those other therma-crap procedures which can melt your face as well as give you OPS, wrinkles, etc.
Mini Update on Improvements Occasioned by Needling
28 Sep 2016
7 months post
In case you missed it, I'd like to re-report another bit of good news. As you know, the right side of my face took the brunt of the IPL (the wrinkling is worse on the right side, the right side is where the indentations are, and soon after the treatment the lymph node right under the right side of my jaw swelled up for a week for no reason my doctor could figure out). But I also developed a grainy, gritty texture on the right side of my neck. If you look at pic #33 in cupcake0526's review of her botched Yag laser procedure, what you see on her face and neck is how the skin of my neck felt. But today, thanks to 3-4 monthly sessions with my .50mm dermaroller and some applications of .025% prescription tretinoin, that skin is again as smooth as the skin on the left side of my neck.
Spot Needling for Microtears
*Sigh* When one microtear closes, another one opens. The super-harsh light of my bathroom mirror (a.k.a. "the Mirror of Dorian Gray") has revealed a new, very small tear about half an inch north of the big one which still hasn't healed -- and that seems to be expanding! The new one is very shallow and is the size and diameter of a dot you could make with the tip of your pen.
IPL really is the gift that keeps on giving!
GAME PLAN: Since the rollers aren't equipped with enough needles to hit these two tiny targets in a reliable fashion, I'll start monthly spot-needling with tiny individual needles sunk to about 1mm in the two microtears (there was a third one that healed).
I will report on all microtear events in each update on this review. Thanks for reading!!!
Dermastamping and Spot Microneedling for IPL Damage
So, I've gone as far as I can with my indentations and the microtears with my dermarollers. The needles are just too widely spaced for small areas. Therefore, I've gone and done two things: A) bought a 1.5mm dermastamp for the indentations off eBay; and B) extracted a 1.5mm needle from my 1.5mm dermaroller with my eyebrow tweezers to use on the microtears. (I have already spot-microneedled the microtears with the extracted 1.5mm needle once, and will continue to do so, even though it's tricky not to drop and lose such a tiny object on the floor.)
I will continue to report on any significant developments.
Thank you for reading my review!