Pros: ended up with good results at a good price
Cons: the treatment caused 1st degree burns.
I'm a 35 year old who has long been self-conscious about the redness and age spots on my chest/décolleté area. After years of contemplating IPL therapy to correct this, I finally decided to take the plunge. I felt I'd done enough research on both the treatment and the medispa. I knew there were risks, like with any procedure, but felt confident that with an experienced technician, all would be fine.
The spa was recommended by two colleaugues who had been treated there for IPL and laser hair removal. They recommended the spa based on their professionalism and the great results they received. One of the girls has sensitive skin, like me, and did not encounter any problems. So despite my anxiety, I went ahead with it. I was sure to let the technician know that I have very sensitive, heat-reactive skin and that I had concerns about how it would respond. The tech was very reassuring and used the machine on the lowest setting (I even made her show me to be sure!).
With the very first 'zap' I was shocked at how painful it was! By the time the treatment was complete, I could feel the searing heat coming off my skin. The cold gel and wet towels they applied helped, but as soon as I got home I could see red welts in the shape of the laser head. I applied aloe vera gel, went to bed, and hoped for the best. The next morning I woke to find red burn marks all over my chest. Since I was not told that this would happen, I was concerned. I spoke with the spa owner, who asked to see me right away. That was when I really got worried. When the owner saw me, she confirmed that the WRONG SETTING had been used. Even though it was on the lowest level, turns out there is a different setting for the décolleté than for the face (because it's much thinner and delicate).
She was very apologetic, refunded my money, and assured me that given time and the proper care my skin would not scar. In fact, given the intensity of the , she expected "great results, equivalent to 3 or more treatments". After about 6 days the burns finally began to fade. It took about 10 days before the red marks faded enough that I could wear regular shirts again. And I have to admit that by week 3, I was very pleased with the results. The redness and age spots disappeared completely and my skin looked great.
All that being said, I will NEVER do IPL again. I feel like I dodged a bullet and that I'm very lucky the outcome wasn't worse. This experience has taught me that despite my self-consciousness, my skin was not that bad to begin with and certainly not worth the risk of permanent scarring. I haven taken this as a lesson in vanity and will NEVER do anything like this in the name of 'beauty' again.