dermabrasion ruined my life - Naperville, IL

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In 1995 (when I was young & stupid) I went to...

In 1995 (when I was young & stupid) I went to an acne skin care clinic and complained about my large pores, especially the ones around my nose. At that time, I never heard of lasers although they were already in use. The doctor, who represented himself as a dermatologist, told me the only option was something called a dermabrasion. He said I would need a week off of work and that I would be able to return to life as normal. I researched dermabrasions and it did sound like the answer to my large pore problem. It sounded a little deeper than a chemical peel.

He dermabraded my entire face, except for the eye area. After the dermabrasion, my face was blood red and raw. I then noticed the shape of my nose looked different, especially the tip area where he dermabraded a large pore. At my follow-up appointment, I questioned him about it. He said it was my imagination. I got a sinking feeling in my stomach and could do nothing but wait til I healed to see final results.

A week went by and my face was getting worse, not better. I had to call my employer and ask for another week off. The doctor who performed the dermabrasion had no explanation for why I was getting worse instead of healing. I was also certain the shape of my nose was changed and he told me he saw nothing wrong except that I was not healing.

I decided to get a second opinion. I still remember the look of horror on the second dermatologist's face when he saw me. I wanted to cry. He said the doctor dermabraded my face too deeply and that you should NEVER dermabrade the nose area. It did look like I would be scarred.

And indeed I was scarred. As a result of what I thought was simple procedure, I almost lost my job because I had to take a month off of work when I was told it would be only one week. I still was blood red and raw when I returned to work and everyone stared at me and asked what happened to me. I looked like a burn victim. It took one whole year for the redness to subside. Also, due to the stress of all of this, my hair fell out and I was diagnosed with alopecia. My hair has never regrown since 1995 and it is now 2011.

And, last but not least, my nose is deformed due to the dermabrasion on the tip of my nose and the large pores on the sides of my nose are more pronounced and the texture looks like wax. It looks like someone took a knife & sliced off the tip of my nose. I've been to plastic surgeons over the years and I'm always told there is nothing that can be done for that or I'll end up looking like Michael Jackson. I have to live with it.

The doctor who I got the second opinion from looked up information on the doctor who did the dermabrasion on me because I looked so bad. He found out he was only board-certified in bariatric medicine, NOT dermatology. It turns out doctors can go to a weekend training course on cosmetic procedures and claim they are board-certified to do them.

I have also had to pay thousands of dollars since then to try to correct what he did through lasers. It sickens me that I voluntarily chose to do a dermabrasion and I paid for this living hell. My life definitely went downhill from there.

I hope my story can help someone seriously reconsider this procedure and definitely do not have it done to your nose. Most importantly, check out your doctor's credentials and speak/see one of his other patients before you decide.

Richard A. Joseph, M.D.

Read my story.

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