16 April, 2017

IPL or laser for rosacea, flushing and redness, PART II (keeps being updated with user reviews)

I am not sure my earlier post, about the IPL treatment I had in 2005 with Dr. Mervyn Patterson, making my flushing a lot worse, was given IPL a fair critic. You can read all about this IPL treatment in this post. IPL or laser treatments seem to help a fair share of rosacea patients. But sometimes things go wrong.. The frustrating aspect about it all, is that it's hard to predict in what category a patient will fall. 


IPL and laser are rosacea treatment options that can help many patients to control or even eliminate facial redness and flushing. Many found good success with it, but there are risks involved as well and I seem to have been very unlucky so far with IPL and laser, because they either did nothing or made it worse. Here I write about my bad luck with IPL. For many, this is not the case and they help control symptoms, but I write about my own experiences here and unfortunately, they weren't great so far. If you consider IPL or laser for your rosacea, it is always wise to read up on the procedure and the doctor doing it, and have test patches done, to see if your skin can handle the treatment and the settings the doctor wants to use on you.

Scroll down for user reviews for IPL and laser, both positive and negative ones. 


Understanding lasers, IPL, radiofrequency, and other energy based devices

Lasers are devices that use light as an energy source to change the skin. Examples are hair removal lasers (for instance GentleLase), tattoo removal lasers (for instance RevLite) and lasers for remodeling the skin by removing the surface (resurfacing lasers such as Fraxel, CO2 resurfacing {CO2RE} and eMatrix). The figure on the left shows different laser depth and wavelength in a cartoon of a cross section of skin. Visible light lasers use blue, green, yellow and red light. Deeper lasers use infrared light (not visible) to create heat in a very specific target. A big potential cause of side effects from laser, is too much heating of the skin, which can be different for different people and even different parts of an individuals face or body can cause hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin. The difference between intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser is that laser uses only one wavelength whereas IPL has a range of light wavelengths. Lasers are much more specific for one target, whereas IPL has a range of targets. Let’s say you had a brown spot you wanted to treat. Laser has one specific wavelength of light that just targets melanin, which is what a brown spot is made of. So it is a specializing laser, and is extremely effective for that one thing, but it doesn’t have many other uses. If someone has brown spots but also has dilated blood vessels on the face as a result of sun damage or from having rosacea in addition to sun damage, then specialists would usually use 2 different lasers to treat those two different things, for instance adding V-beam laser, which is focused on red spots.

The image on the right shows a blend of visible and infrared light in one pulse to generally rejuvenate the skin gently after multiple treatments

Since there are a lot of people with both brown and red spots, someone got the idea of using IPL, or a blend of different wavelengths. This allows to treat both red and brown at the same time. However, because it is kind of a jack-of-all-trades, it isn’t as effective in one single treatment for each of these things as the lasers are. People who use IPL for their rosacea symptoms typically need a series of treatments over a few months. IPL is also said to at the same time improve wrinkles, pores and all the in between tones that exist (ie not yet formed brown spots and red that are still there nonetheless and will be coming out soon). Radiofrequency is not based on light, but is based on electricity. It is not a rosacea treatment but is interesting to mention here, as it acts different from IPL and laser. An energy is developed that has a positive and negative pole and the heat generated is due to the resistance of the skin as the energy travels through it. This can cause general “bulk” heating in the case of Thermage®, where the heating causes the cells that make new collagen to be very active as well as change the way the collagen sits in the skin in an advantageous way that makes the skin firmer or tighter. We can also use radiofrequency to resurface the skin, like we do in eMatrix, by using many tiny electrodes (positive and negative poles) to cause heating just under the skin surface which is great for wrinkles, scars and pores.

It all sounds very easy and simple here perhaps, but these are all powerful devices that can cause side effects, scarring, burning of the skin, worsening of rosacea inflammation and eye damage if you don't wear the right eye protection. Also, if you have sensitive skin, you can more or less guarantee that you will have more down time and also more risk of side effects. Anyone with pre-existing skin conditions like rosacea, especially when the rosacea is moderate to severe, should look for a highly-skilled physician to do the treatment; one who has experience with the treatment of rosacea skin similar to yours. Laser and IPL specialists always ask you to sign a waiver that absolves them of liability if something goes wrong with your procedure, keep that in mind. So it is a good idea to take the time to find a good specialist and have test patches done before you treat your full face. Because apart from many happy patients, there are also unhappy ones who have to deal with side effects such as fat atrophy*, saggy eyelids, scarring, enlarged pores, burns, and nerve damage. On the other hand, if you don’t rush into decisions, and you thoroughly analyze your condition, you could also find that IPL or laser can control rosacea symptoms well.
*Fat atrophy is a condition of the skin that involves pitting, scarring and bumps, because the flesh underneath has effectively hardened or become firmer.This makes the pores of your skin more visible, as well as potentially show lesions, veins and slack muscles under the skin, since the fat has thinned out and left that part of the body.



This website mentions some of the side effects from IPL and laser you might expect:

Laser

*Pain Post-operative pain generally is not as intense as the pain you experience during the actual laser skin procedure. Topical anesthetics may be applied to your skin before a cosmetic laser treatment to minimize as much pain as possible. However, you can still feel discomfort after the procedure. For more invasive laser skin treatments, your doctor may prescribe prescription pain medication. The mental waiting for your skin to heal may be more more painful than the actual procedure. 

*Redness, Swelling, and/or Itching This is a very common side effect of laser skin treatments. Traditional ablative lasers physically vaporize the top layer of your skin, leaving it red and raw for months until it healed on its own. Non-ablative lasers while less intensive claim to have no downtime, but facial redness (erythema), swelling, and even itching are common post-laser side effects. These symptoms will usually subside after a few days, though pink, sensitive skin may linger for many weeks or months later.   

*Sensitivity to the Sun, Heat, and substances - as well as Increased Risk of Photodamage 
In a rudimentary sense, cosmetic lasers heat up and damage your skin to encourage it to heal. It is no wonder that laser skin treatments will make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Post-laser treatment, it is extremely important to stay out of the sun during peak hours and use sunscreens. You don't want to induce more photodamage when your skin is already sensitive.   

*Changes in skin pigmentation Not every skin type can safely have laser treatments. In general, cosmetic lasers work better on people with lighter skin tones than on people with darker skin tones. All  variations of skin tones have a risk of hypo-pigmentation (lightening of the skin) or hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin). Asian skin is particularly prone to hyperpigmentation, especially with high strength or deeply penetrating cosmetic lasers. In some cases, the laser treated hyperpigmentation spots will DARKEN before they get lighter.   

*Bruising Bruising can be one of the side-effects. More commonly found in areas treated with pulsed dye lasers. The treated areas can develop purpura, or purple spots in the skin where blood vessels leak under the skin. The bruising usually fades on its own; however, the resolution may possibly be sped up with the use of KTP lasers.   

*Demarcation line Lasers may cause a line of demarcation between the laser treated area and your untreated skin. The most common areas where this occurs are around the eyes, lips, and jaw line. This is due to the laser causing dyspigmentation/loss of pigment. There are NO corrective measures, or ways to reverse this except for having more laser treatments, or using makeup to cover the affected areas.   

*Risks of Blistering, Swelling, Redness, Scabbing, Crusting, and Infection These side effects can range from moderate to severe. Often seen in light therapies such as IPL, the treated area may swell and feel like a severe sunburn. There is always the risk of scabbing post-laser treatment. If this occurs, there is the added risk of infection. Never pick at scabs and contact your doctor, as he/she may want to prescribe antibiotics if necessary.   

*Scarring It is ironic that lasers are sometimes used to treat scars and pigmentation, and yet, they can cause more scarring and pigmentation (or pigmentation loss). Any kind of treatment that "damages your skin to make it better," may carry a risk of scarring. Persons who have a history of scarring or raised scars called keloids, or those that pigment with anything inflammatory affecting the skin, should very carefully weigh the risks and benefits of laser treatments. Even if you have never had a history of scarring or pigment loss, there is always a risk.   

*Recurrence of the skin issue It usually takes more than one laser skin treatment to get your desired results. Even after multiple treatments, some skin conditions will come recur. This is commonly seen with cosmetic lasers used to treat vascular lesions and remove hair. Lasers can ablate or destroy the blood vessels, but  laser treatments will not prevent your skin from growing more new blood vessels.   

*Acne Breakouts, Milia, Congestion, and Clogged Pores Some people experience breakouts and milia, as well as congestion post-treatment. Lasers cause inflammation and this may stimulate or aggravate these problems. In general, you should not get laser treatments if you have active acne or irritated skin. While some cosmetic lasers claim to treat acne,  the changes seen are generally in the acne marks and scars, but not in the alleviation of the active acne itself. Milia are little congested 'pearls' under the skin which are not easy to remove at home and may require professional removal.   



RadioFrequency/IPL (Pulsed Light)

  Radiofrequency (RF) works similar to the way your microwave oven reheats food. RF energy acts on your tissue to induce heat. Pulsed light treatments work by converting light to heat in your tissue. The goal is to control the heating to be “just enough” to stimulate “good” tightening of your tissues. Just as there are hot and cool spots in microwave cooking, RF energy can affect tissue differently in different people. Compared to other skin tightening treatments, the major difference for light and RF is that the epidermis or outer skin layer is not usually damaged, but the radiofrequency energy or light energy heats the deeper skin layers during the treatment. Fat loss, especially facial fat loss, is more common with radiofrequency treatments. Due to the risk of permanent tissue damage, the indications for radiofrequency interventions should be made carefully. Potential contraindications should be considered and written informed consent about all possible side effects and risk factors should be obtained. According to current knowledge, the experience of the physician using radiofrequency devices is most important in determining the outcome of this procedure. Therefore the use of radiofrequency therapy requires extensive training. Because radiofrequency 'melts' fat cells, many people have experienced a gaunter looking face post-op. One my also experience divots, or pocketed areas of fat loss. For severe cases, fat-grafting can be performed to help fill those areas.  Fat 'Removal' and Body Slimming Lipo-Cavitation Treatments

Intense, focused, deep-penetrating ultrasound waves go through the epidermis and the dermis (live tissue) and targets the lowest level: your fat. Similar to a microwave oven, this procedure heats up and 'liquifies' body fat (lipolysis) with the intention of the body recognizing the liquid fat as waste, and slowly removes via the lymph glands. Be aware: any lymph nodes that have been damaged or destroyed, do not regenerate. Low ultrasound frequency between 35-42 KHz, and lower frequencies as 30 KHz could go deeper and damage your abdominal muscle wall or irritation to internal organs. Who is performing the therapy, and is he or she under medical supervision? How much experience has the operator had?  




Things to look for, before you start doing IPL



If your skin is extremely reactive, and you flush at the drop of a hat and from many triggers, you might want to look into other ways first, to control the flushing to a degree. The success rates for IPL or laser are simply higher for those who are able to maintain their flushing limited in the crucial 3 weeks post treatment. In that time span, the body sends signals to the affected skin, to form new blood vessels. Replacing the old ones that were zapped away, if all went well. Flushing a lot can cause a lot of new vessels to form, in theory. And people with severe flushing often also have very sensitive skin. From all the posts I read from patient and from the doctors I talked to, it seems fair to state that those with very reactive skin have less chance of the IPL or laser working. The heat from the IPL or laser can stir up inflammation in the skin, and create more redness and flushing for some. It is therefore very important that you go to laser specialist who has experience with treating rosacea patients. I looked on the internet for this in 2004, and found many good testimonials for Dr Mervyn Patterson. But when I flew to the UK for a take in, he refused to perform test patches on me. I should have insisted, but instead I didn't want to be a pain in the ... and I chose to trust him. Big mistake. He zapped both my entire cheeks and it felt so horrible and hurt so much, that during the treatment I felt the urge to get up and run away. I wish I did! I described what happened in my first IPL post, but he made matters much worse and I flushed 24/7 afterwards for at least a full year. I am still worse now than before I had the IPL, flushing and being red often all over my cheeks, on places I never used to be red at all before the IPL treatment. I used to only flush on the upper cheeks (see pictures), but after him zapping ALL of my cheeks (which I didn't want), as I just stated, I am now bright red when I flush all over my cheeks :( And on my upper cheeks, I flush much worse than before the treatment. When I later googled him again I also found negative reports. I think I didn't look good enough at the time and just wanted it to work so badly, that I filtered out negatives or just didn't search well enough.

So; make sure you search for negative reports as well! And look for a specialist who has experience with patients with your specific type of rosacea. Make sure he/she is willing to make test patches, and only proceed once you see some result. If it stays exactly the same, or gets more red after a few weeks, then either look for a new test patch with a different machine or different settings, redo the test patch perhaps as some effects are cumulative and need more than one treatment, or some might choose to forget about it all together. Sometimes it takes some trial and error to find the right filters, energy levels etc. But take that time! Don't rush it, just because the doctor is rushing you up, or seems impatient, or because you are impatient. This is your face we are talking about and there have been patients along the way who made their condition worse. But when you take these precautions, you limit those risks significantly. Also, hospital based doctors and laser specialists have no monetary profit aim, and often a lot of experience with complex skin types. You can perhaps inform if there are hospitals in your area with laser equipment and experience with treating rosacea skin with it. So be serious about your precautions, don't let a doctor tell you otherwise, because there are a couple of really good and decent ones out there, but also unfortunately some money grabbing, opportunistic ones with little time at hand. So best be proactive about what you want and who you allow to zap your face.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that there are not only different energy levels (joules) but often also double or triple pass options, meaning there are different filters used per zapping session. The reason for this, is that the blood vessels can then be hit at different depths in the skin. The 560 filter is the most shallow one, mainly used for diffuse (more superficial) redness and blood vessels, and the 590, 615 and 695 are used for deeper blood vessels and more aimed at the flushing problem. However, this 560 filter is most shallow and emits the most heat in the epidermis. It will hurt most and it has the most potential to cause burns. Patterson did a single pass on me with this 560 filter and just almost fried my skin, making it completely inflamed and causing immense worsening of the redness and flushing. I later avoided the 560 filter altogether. Then once you had the treatments, make sure you expect a down time of 3 weeks at least. Sure they say in their flashy brochures that you are ready to go in half an hour and can return to work the same day, but that is not aimed at rosacea treatments, and mainly for the cosmetic procedures. For rosacea skin, it is normal to have increased redness and flushing for up to 3 weeks. Don't plan in hefty stuff then and try to stay as cool and calm and unflushed as possible in these weeks. Your skin needs to heal and even though the IPL or laser might not feel too painful, there is still a lot of heat emitted into the skin and you will most likely have down time from this. Especially with sensitive rosacea skin. I used to flush 3 weeks straight even from a test patch (and I had about 10 in the past 8 years). Why can this be: even with a small test patch, my severely reactive skin experienced some repair signals (because also a small test patch causes some tissue trauma, which is the intention when you want to zap the vessels away). And these signals can cause extra blood flow, just like with a wound or other injury. And extra blood flow can mean extra flushing and burning for people like us. But around day 21 this usually calmed down completely again with me. The only time it didn't was with the first, botched IPL treatment with Patterson.



Tips for making test patches:

Imsorrynow2 wrote: "I just want to make sure that when and if you decide to go through with this procedure you are comparing apples with apples. The skin on your neck, hand, arm, and face are very different because of the depth and thickness of the skin. So a test patch should be done on your face maybe on your forehead on the side just in case the results are not what you hoped for you can hide it. Also, know all your settings and the type of equipment the are using. Last 48 hours is not enough to see how your skin reacts you need a minimum of two weeks. Some stories the effect is immediate mine like several others took about two weeks after the second IPL the doctor claimed she only moved it one notch higher (I have photos posted). I have been told these machines are so powerful that one notch on some brands are 30% stronger. I am not olived skin, do not go in the sun, or smoke. I just want you to have all information possible because when damage does happen it does not get better for most it continues to worsen. Look under Fraxel and IPL damage to read how others got damage without even that sunburned feeling. I wish the best and hope you are going to a honest medical doctor. I find it hopeful since the disclosed that you could get scars other than hypo or hyperpigmentation that least is a start that is a first. Please have a another test spot, know the level of settings, wait two weeks. It also helps to have before and after photos taken outside light. Good luck and wishing you the best at whatever you wish to do." Source
There is a lot of information out there about laser and IPL and what can go wrong. The IPL and laser support forum has a list with all the official complaints that have been filed. I think both can help many rosaceans but like Olivier Sorg, PhD mentioned; it is not entirely known yet what the long term effects are, especially when using it on an iterative mode. So I would just make sure you go to a specialist, someone who has treated many rosacea patients with good success in the past, and someone who is willing to do a test patch first. There are too many stories of people who had damage, and a lot of them are not the rosacea patients by the way, but those who wanted skin rejuvenation for esthetic purposes. Just be careful before you let just someone zap away on your face with something as powerful as a laser or IPL device. Link, Link2
It is very frustrating that there are such negative experiences to mention, because the same machines can also help people a lot. Someone on the forums calls IPL/laser Russian roulette, and perhaps that is true. But with the suggestions given, you at least minimize risks and still give yourself a good chance to improve from these machines.

I will make a summary of patient testimonials on IPL and laser.






Positive and negative experiences with IPL and laser (keeps being updated)


Clare wrote on July 18th, 2018: "I wish I'd never had vbeam. I wish I could turn back the clock. I had vbeam 4 weeks ago for facial flushing with my rosasea. My skin was otherwise perfect. I am now left with red veins and broken blood vessels and my face is more redder than ever. I feel so depressed. My face feels awful. Why don't they warn you?? I was told to I may have some bruising but not permanent red veins afterwards."

Antwantsclear replied on July 18th July 2018: "There are a lot of concerns raised on the forum about IPL and laser/Vbeam treatment, although some people seem to have had success with them. From personal experience, anti-flushing medications may well help resolve both some of the facial flushing and some of the broken blood vessels that can result from IPL/laser. These medications include moxonodine or clonidine, mirtazapine, propranolol, hydroxychloroquine and mepacrine."

Brady Barrows replied on July 18th July 2018: "There are products that claim to improve laser burns, i.e., 111 SKIN Y Theorem Repair Serum NAC Y2, which claims "Excellent treatment for post-operative or laser treatments." There are no anecdotal reports that this is the case nor any papers on the subject. And there are other products who make such claims."

Violetsareblue wrote on June 29th 2018: "I also had increased sensitivity of my skin over time. Initially I did not notice, I had spot corrections of single very small areas, but after doing v-beam my skin started to change and over time it got more and more obvious that it was not good for my skin at all. I am happy for all of those who have luck with lasers, unfortunately I am not one of them. I would say just be very alert to your reactions over time. I have had four v-beams in total and maybe three-four small spot IPLs. My skin started acting odd a couple of months post my second v-beam and then it just got worse after each session. At the time I was very pleased and I do get good results with this type of treatments the first few months, but the vessels do come back and in my case they came back as very jumpy ones..  Best! V"
[..] I am so sorry if I worried you! That is not my intention at all! I just think its important to share stories so that other people get aware of the possible consequences of laser treatments. I wish I had reached out to this forum earlier and discussed the subject more carefully before I went ahead and did more. I had no idea, when I first tried IPL and v-beam that it could bite me in the ass the way it did. Rosaceans react different to those type of treatments so my experience is just one example of possible outcomes."

Brady Barrows replied on June 30th 2018: "As with every treatment for rosacea there are risks and benefits, aka, the Risk-Benefit Ratio, taught to every medical student. You, the patient, have the right to know what the benefits of any treatment are, as well as the risks. When you agreed to accept IPL/Laser for your skin issues, you had to sign a written agreement which without a doubt mentions that you were informed of the risks. While the majority of reports of using any photo dynamic therapy for rosacea are positive, since if it didn't work there wouldn't be doctors purchasing these expensive PDL equipment for their offices, most of these reports are from the doctors' patients which are posted on their websites and by the manufacturers of these devices. There are now a huge number of these devices that anyone can purchase ranging from under a hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. There are a minority of negative reports, which happen. Of course, knowing how to operate these devices is a huge factor on the success of the treatment since you can obviously burn yourself or a technician can overcook you. While most of the reports in RF rave about PDL or broadband treatment, the facts are, (1) You have to go back for more treatment and usually this is expensive, (2) Repeated treatments may make your skin more sensitive, (3) Physicians who have purchased a certain brand broadband light device tend to bias toward that brand and mention its benefits for rosacea to their patients since they have an investment at stake. (4) There are more positive than negative reports, (5) Hair loss has been reported by some patients".

NSB wrote on April 4th 2018: "New here - trying to reassure myself after first VBeam (Another one of those stories). Hi all, I'm taking deep breaths while I type this--emotional stress is bad for the face, right? Have had mild rosacea for a few years now, but had good luck cutting down the burning feelings after I figured out I was allergic to a lot of things I was putting on my face (especially aloe! So much for gentle, soothing products). Great luck for past year with a simple skincare regimen, mostly water, metrogel, and vanicream, and sunscreen. Like an IDIOT I decided to go for even better--now I feel like the Girl Who Wanted Everything Perfect, and Aesop's fabeled myself into bad skin.
One conservative vbeam session 6 days ago (Last Thursday). No bruising. Ever since: Way unusual flushing. Can't lie down because face fills with blood and *BURNS*. Face burns after eating, like hot and swollen and kinda itchy BURNING flush. I'm really freaked out that This Is Life Now, and my mild rosacea is now more complicated, forever. Scared to work out, which is awful, because exercise is my mental healthcare, and I miss it. It's also really key for my back health too. I am freaked I am ruining any good effect of laser, scared that life from now on is filled with flushing. Scared I won't be able to exercise again.
On the other hand, I've read a lot of comments here about how a lot of people, after vbeam, have several weeks of flushing and extra-abnormal reactivity, and then it settles down. It makes me feel hopeful, but.. there are also posts from people forever ruined.
First few days, i think exacerbated because I *could not sleep*. Waking at 2 am, 3 am, 5 am with burning. Finally, got a good night's sleep by sleeping in my easy chair, next to an open window, with three fans going, a cotton blanket (instead of my comforter, which had seemed to radiate heat upwards, I realized), a muscle relaxer, and melatonin. My face was calmer-ish that next morning, but still flushier than usual, but not QUITE as bad. That day, I also went back to my derm who did this, and she put me on a short, 4-day course of Oracea to try to break the immediate inflammatory cycle.
Today, I slept OK again--not as well, because i had some crazy melatonin dreams. Just took my second oracea. Feel a little calmer. Not entirely, but a little. It's like my cheeks are literally taking turns, which one will be hyper freaked. Yesterday is was the left; today it's the right that keeps flaring.
Think I am accidentally doing a LOT wrong. I did't realize I should have stopped my Magnesium supplements. Wasn't on the contraindications list. I'll cut that out now, but it's late to do so. I screwed my self up. I backed of my fish oil prior to this, but tried restarting after 3 days, because my eyes were SO DRY. Now I wonder if I screwed myself up, and am cutting it out again. I really hate myself. I hate myself for doing this, I hate myself for getting the laser and not leaving well enough alone. Hate myself, hate myself, hate myself. Hate my face. Praying that it will calm and settle. Praying I haven't screwed myself up forever. Just.. ARUIHG
I know it's only been a week. But.. my god.. I FEEL LIKE SUCH A FOOL!"

NSB updated on April 17th 2018: "I'm 2.5 weeks out from my laser. My face settled down a lot. Not entirely, but a lot. I have a lot of broken veins though still, and I feel like I troubleshot a lot of things I did wrong on the first one. I'm tempted to do this again, at the end of the month, and do it 'better' this time. But.. would this be a mistake? Once done, I wouldn't be able to undo it. Also.. this is an off question. Last night, I somehow fell down an internet rabbit hole of reading sad stories about dogs and cats who need homes, and was ready about to adopt them all and was sobbing and bawling and all of it reading about them (The things we do online after midnight). Now, my face is a wreeeck -- from all the bawling about homeless pets. Um,... will this have destroyed any progress?? I feel like my broken veins multiplied, but I can't tell and I know I get in my face as is."

Seb91 replied on July 13th 2018: "I don’t mean to interject, but I would advocate V Beam if you are considering laser. The latest purpuric one I had gave me some good relief for close to 3 months. Although that may not seem like a lot, when you go from burning and redness 24/7 to manageable, even in 30 degrees weather, it’s more than worth it. I have another one booked for the end of August as my skin has started to regress. The regression has made me realise how much better it has been in the lay few months since my latest laser. Hope that helps, Seb"

Patrice wrote on February 22nd, 2018: "I have had ipl treatments with dr Peter Crouch, started several years ago with five treatments always five or six weeks apart. Then after that first year I went to him once a year or once every two years. I had been taking antibiotics for two years and also other medication behoren starting ipl , they did help with the papulas and a bit with the flushing but iT was the ipl that gave me my life back! The burning pain and the flushing were much better and the permanent redness also was less profound. I still had redness but with make-up i felt normal again ! Now since dr Crouch passed away i have not yet been to someone else for the ipl ( need to find a dr i can trust and dr Crouch shoes are hard to fill for any dr!) and yes the beast is sneaking in again!"

Gio Gio wrote on March 1st, 2018: "I have done some laser treatment in San Francisco for my rosacea. It helped a little bit but not as much as I had wanted or expected. It did not do anything to make my skin worse. The first day of it, yes, my face was red and bruised looking. But by the second day, it cleared up. The main issue was, it cost a lot and I didn't see that much improvement. However, I only did two treatments in a row. Mainly due to high cost. And I know the results can differ based on what kind of laser it is, and each person reacts somewhat differently. I think the one I had done was IPL - it was for small red capillary veins and for brown spotting too. It helped but not dramatically for the cost."

Kfranke wrote on June 14th, 2018: "I had 6 IPL treatments earlier this year. It's now been a few months since my last one and my flushing and redness are significantly improved. I probably saw about a 75 percent reduction overall in my symptoms. I also have subtype 2 rosacea, and while IPL seemed to do little for that, I have consistently been using ZZ cream every night. Several months in to that treatment and I currently don't have any blemishes. Seriously, after years and years of constantly having these nasty pustles on my cheeks, they're all gone. It's amazing. I cannot say enough good things about IPL and ZZ cream. (Sidenote: I also have a red and amber LED light that I use for 5 minutes everyday in order to maintain my results. It helps.) I can only hope that these treatments continue to work for me."

Kfranke later wrote on March 14th 2018: "I would not recommend using Mirvaso under any circumstances. I used it once in November of 2016 and it took me about a year to fully recover from the extra flushing and redness that it brought on. Even when I'd "recovered," though, I was still worse off than I'd been before I used it. The only things that have helped with my subtype 1 rosacea (flushing and redness) are low level light therapy (orange) and IPL. Especially the IPL, though. I honestly cannot praise it enough. After 5 treatments I don't think much about my rosacea anymore. *knocks hard on wood* In short, I suggest avoiding the topicals Mirvaso and Rhofade at all costs and continuing with laser. Some on here will disagree with me on that. That's part of what sucks about this condition so much, though. We're all different in how we respond to treatments."
[..]
I had IPL done with the Sciton BBL machine. The first thing I would probably say to you if you're considering IPL is to save your money. You are going to need a lot of these, probably at least 5 or 6. (Sometimes people even need more. Dr. Soldo, a renowned laser doctor who has done several Q&A's here on the forum, says that he will often do as many as 10 IPLs on a patient to ensure best results.) My 6 IPLS cost me about 1400 dollars in total. So...yeah, it's expensive.
The second thing I will tell you is that it takes a while to see results. My first 3 IPLs seemed to do very little for me overall, and I got frustrated. But I'm so glad I didn't stop there. After treatment 4 I started to notice real improvement, so I kept going. I think I didn't see much difference after the first 3 because the clinic I went to started off with very conservative settings. I would recommend that you do this, though, because though you will need more treatments, I find it's better to be safe than sorry.
Thirdly, this is not a cure. Though my rosacea is very much improved, it is not totally gone. I still get a slight flush on my cheeks every couple weeks or so. But it isn't an intense flush. Typically all I need to do is splash my face with cool water and it calms down within a few minutes. Before it not only took several hours to calm a flush, but my face would BURN. And it happened nearly every day no matter what I would do. Everything was a trigger for me. And even when the flush finally dissipated, my face still looked red. Now my face looks pale most the time, and it takes A LOT to trigger a flush.
Honestly, I'd really like to do a couple more treatments to see if I can make things even better for myself. But alas, I am not made of money. For now, though, I'm happy with where I'm at and am so glad that I took the plunge and finally did it. I was afraid for the longest time of IPL because of all the horror stories. Hopefully this has helped!"

RaymondS wrote on May 25th 2018: "Just be careful with lasers. Can do a lot of damage. I would try a laser that focuses on the veins. IPL and Fraxel are the two worst lasers with most cases of damage to the face. Face loss, scaring, texture problems and so on!  Do a lot research for sure!  I don’t want to scare anyone but when I see these post I say to myself I must write something however I did not listen when I had laser as I was desperate and didn’t care and look where that got me 😢"

HelloDolly16 wrote on June 19th 2018: "I had 1 IPL treatment locally that I feel just made things worse. I am afraid to do any additional treatments with that practitioner. I have scoured the internet in regards to laser treatments and came across Dr. Bernstein. I have an appointment with Dr. Bernstein next month and was wondering if it would be worth my while to travel out of state. What were your thoughts of him? Did his treatment provide any results? Best regards, Dolly"

Chrissy11 wrote on June 1st 2018: "I just want to update you on my ipl treatments. I had my second and last one done eight days ago and good results are finally showing. But the treatment was intense. The first two days my face was really red, swollen with "bumps" and with some marks looking like bruises. The swelling and the bumps disappeared after two days and the redness and the marks was almost gone after a week. My skin is still sensitive to heat and I'm probably going to experience redness/blushing for some weeks or even months to come, especially now during the summertime. So for now things are looking promising and hopefully my skin will continue to heal.
If you are considering ipl I would advice you to
- Go to a good dermatologist. Or even two or three
- Learn about ipl and similiar treatments
- Be aware of a possible long recovery time
- Use high quality skin products

Excuse me for my bad english. Hopefully its readable. Thanks for a great forum. Chris"

RosaceaGuy24 wrote on January 16th 2018: "Vbeam day 1. Just got Vbeam done for redness/flushing on cheeks and nose. Had permanent redness and flushing that would trigger daily. The vbeam was relatively not that bad, feels like a sunburn after the first pulse and continues to feel like a sunburn while he keeps zapping you. It’s not that bad. You also wear metal googles and keep your eyes closed but you still can sense the light. As of now( 1 hour after treatment) it still feels like sunburn and a little bit of swelling. Will update!"

RosaceaGuy24 updated on January 18th 2018: "Vbeam Day 2. So...it’s a day after the vbeam and so far I’m excited! Swelling flared up the first night and then this next day the swelling has been slowly going away. Although there is still a puffiness to my face. However I don’t feel my cheeks feeling flushed like they would always feel like with the pulsing blood vessels. I don’t know if this is because my face is swollen and I can’t feel them(hoping not) or if this already has had effects. I’m not sure. The initial Redness(looked liked a sunburn)has subsided but the redness is still worse than pre v-beam but not by much. Will update tomorrow!"

RosaceaGuy24 updated on January 21st 2018: "Crazy day 4!!!! So starting off the swelling on face was gone and my cheeks felt amazing but my nose was still swollen. Well as the day went on the swelling kept subsiding and my nose kept getting better. I had a bulbous nose that would always get red and it’s going away(this might be the happiest I felt about my face in 2 years) I still have along way to go with only being 4 days out. But so far the results couldn’t have been better!"

RosaceaGuy24 updated on January 23rd 2018: "VBeam day 6.5. I’m now about 6 1/2 days since my Vbeam treatment and boy does my face feel great. My cheeks still have a red tint to them but the flushing is way way down. My nose also looks and feels a lot better. My progress has been steadily getting better and better. Without having to worry about blushing these past couple days I have felt great. Hoping for results to continue. Also I might have a second treatment done if my progress continues(would be 3rd week on February). Will update!"

RosaceaGuy24 updated on January 24th 2018: "Vbeam laser day 7. Cheeks still feel amazing! So my redness continues to seem to slowly go down which may be due to me not flushing nearly as much as I did. My nose still feels sore/inflamed which could be good I’m not sure if that means it’s still healing or it’s inflamed liked from rosacea but none the less I will continue to update! Laser cat noting that you do notice you blood vessels pulsing I would highly recommend to at least think of doing Vbeam treatment. Vbeam is great for getting rid of abnormal blood vessels but I’ve heard you might need to have maintenance treatments to keep the results."

Pleatherpants wrote on January 24th 2018: "Hey RosaceaGuy24! I've had two VBeams so far and was hoping for an experience similar to yours. However, mine resulted in increased flushing for approximately two weeks after both sessions, then flushing subsiding after that time period. However, my flushing is still very sensitive and happens when I do things like bend down, experience any emotion, etc. Do you happen to know what settings the technician used for you? I've even seen some posts where people experiencing blanching after VBeam! This definitely hasn't been the case for me. My results so far seem to be very, very slow progress in improving the diffuse redness. I would say with 2 treatments, I've noticed a 20% improvement. I may ask for purpuric settings for my next two treatments."

Carllambert1993 wrote on Febuary 6th 2018: "I would advise everyone to try get the condition under control first. Don't jump straight to laser if you aren't currently treating it with topicals or oral medications. I'm currently on an antibiotic, protopic and about to trial a betablocker and soolantra. I'll then continue on with vbeam treatments once i have tried my best to control the condition. Some people may not respond to any medications topically or orally and laser might be the last resort. Also some people may have mild rosacea who don't want to take drugs like betablockers etc.... then maybe laser might be a good first option for them. It really depends on the person... just my opinion looking back over the years. Also I was finally diagnosed with Neurogenic rosacea by a great dermatologist after suffering with this for the past 7 years."


Pleatherpants wrote on January 24th 2018: "Hey RosaceaGuy24! I've had two VBeams so far and was hoping for an experience similar to yours. However, mine resulted in increased flushing for approximately two weeks after both sessions, then flushing subsiding after that time period. However, my flushing is still very sensitive and happens when I do things like bend down, experience any emotion, etc. Do you happen to know what settings the technician used for you? I've even seen some posts where people experiencing blanching after VBeam! This definitely hasn't been the case for me. My results so far seem to be very, very slow progress in improving the diffuse redness. I would say with 2 treatments, I've noticed a 20% improvement. I may ask for purpuric settings for my next two treatments."

Carllambert1993 wrote on Febuary 6th 2018: "I would advise everyone to try get the condition under control first. Don't jump straight to laser if you aren't currently treating it with topicals or oral medications. I'm currently on an antibiotic, protopic and about to trial a betablocker and soolantra. I'll then continue on with vbeam treatments once i have tried my best to control the condition. Some people may not respond to any medications topically or orally and laser might be the last resort. Also some people may have mild rosacea who don't want to take drugs like betablockers etc.... then maybe laser might be a good first option for them. It really depends on the person... just my opinion looking back over the years. Also I was finally diagnosed with Neurogenic rosacea by a great dermatologist after suffering with this for the past 7 years."

HelloDolly16 wrote on June 19th 2018: "I had 1 IPL treatment locally that I feel just made things worse. I am afraid to do any additional treatments with that practitioner. I have scoured the internet in regards to laser treatments and came across Dr. Bernstein. I have an appointment with Dr. Bernstein next month and was wondering if it would be worth my while to travel out of state. What were your thoughts of him? Did his treatment provide any results? Best regards, Dolly"

Wendykay wrote on March 10th 2016: "Hello folks -About 2.5 years ago I began having the debilitating burning you all speak of. It was so bad that I had to take time off of work. I went to a plastic surgeon and supposed laser specialist. He conducted about 5 aggressive IPL sessions. It completely took away the burning however it left me with some skin damage (I am positive). This doc told me that IPL is the gold standard in treatment of burning and veins from rosacea. I was so totally vulnerable that I took his word as God and did what he said. Plus I was desperate for relief. When I felt that I began to notice little lines connecting on my face I brought it up with him. He of course denied it completely. I could not touch IPL after that, except for on my nose to help breakdown the vasculature. I have nose swelling and I hate it. My question, what is truly best for helping with burning and some redness without the risk of damage? Or is that even possible? I am now too terrified to ever put a laser, light energy on my skin again (except for nose). Many sincere thanks. Wendy"

Seb91 wrote on February 4th 2016: "I recently had a purpuric V Beam for severe burning, and mild redness. This was far from my first V Beam, but it was definitely the most powerful by a long way. I would say it definitely helped my burning and redness in the short term. I was going through a period of constant burning in my cheeks and nose, and after the V Beam that has now subsided, albeit not completely. I will go for another one once the symptoms get bad again. For me, my flushing is very mild but the burning is unbearable. The V Beam helped both, but I would say it helps redness a lot more than it does the burning unfortunately. Hope this helps anyway.

Wendykay wrote on March 10th 2016: "Hello folks -About 2.5 years ago I began having the debilitating burning you all speak of. It was so bad that I had to take time off of work. I went to a plastic surgeon and supposed laser specialist. He conducted about 5 aggressive IPL sessions. It completely took away the burning however it left me with some skin damage (I am positive). This doc told me that IPL is the gold standard in treatment of burning and veins from rosacea. I was so totally vulnerable that I took his word as God and did what he said. Plus I was desperate for relief. When I felt that I began to notice little lines connecting on my face I brought it up with him. He of course denied it completely. I could not touch IPL after that, except for on my nose to help breakdown the vasculature. I have nose swelling and I hate it. My question, what is truly best for helping with burning and some redness without the risk of damage? Or is that even possible? I am now too terrified to ever put a laser, light energy on my skin again (except for nose). Many sincere thanks. Wendy"

AEB wrote on February 3rd 2016: "Hi, I've been experiencing severe, debilitating flushing and burning on my face for the past year and a half, and on my ears and chest for the past six months. The doctors think the severity would best be diagnosed as erythromelalgia and/or neurogenic rosacea. I'm considering Vbeam (suggested by derms) or maybe even a sympathectomy/sympathetic blocks of some kind (though less enthusiastic about that possibility). I was wondering if anyone had found Vbeam useful for severe, heat-related flushing and burning? I'm very nervous Vbeam might actually make the pain worse (which seems to involve nerve damage fueling the pain), but am also desperate to find something new to try if it might give relief. Also, if one has extremely sensitive skin/problems with seborrheic dermatitis too, can healing after laser be a problem or still work? My flushing seems especially heat responsive: I flush from any increase in heat over 70 degrees (as well as "triggers" like eating, getting animated at all, etc.) and all through the night as I sleep. The burning pain is very intense and constant (even when I'm not in an active flush). I've also been experiencing seborrheic dermatitis, presence of demodex indicated in biopsies, and pustules/small bumps over much of my face--along with extremely sensitive skin. I can't tolerate any topicals anymore. A number of medication attempts to reduce the flushing (clonidine, propranolol, prozac, carvedilol) and pustules/rashiness (oracea, ivermectin) and pain (neurontin, lyrica) have not been very successful so far, so Vbeam seems like a possible next step. Any experience anyone has had with Vbeam (or sympathetic blocks) for these kind of symptoms would be much appreciated!!

Update: i've seen bradley bloom (ND:Yag and Botox) in nyc and eric bernstein (Vbeam) near philly. both were very good and I've had some improvement, though i will continue since not as much as id like. hope this helps!"

Kevijoe wrote on April 2nd 2017: "I have the same exact thing you describe. The V beam was beneficial for me. It doesn't cure it but I have found relief for flushing, burning, and redness with only 1 aggressive treatment of V beam. I would recommend it! I am about to get another one in a month or so. Its worth a try!"

Kfranke wrote on July 4th 2017: "Hi all, I am 26 years old and I have recently developed mild to moderate flushing and, consequently, more redness. RLT has been helping, but last night I had a flush that lasted 5 hours, and...well, RLT just isn't enough. By the way, this was all brought on by a one time use of Mirvaso last November. That **** is the devil's work, I swear. Anyway, I've decided to go ahead with a laser treatment and see if I benefit. Wish me luck...I'm nervous as hell and kind of feel like puking whenever I think about it. Best of luck out there to everyone else who is getting this done. I'll be sure to post about my results when it's all over. Best, Katie"


Fiugs wrote about her IPL treatments

Fiugs wrote on October 17th, 2016: "Hi, My first time posting in this part of the forum. I have erythematotelangiectatic Rosacea.. No P&Ps, but a pretty pink face most of the time... And when I flush its pretty bad. My Symptoms just kicked off earlier this year and it's been an intense time for me ever since. The flushing is mostly triggered by exposure to temps over 19 deg C /65 F. It has caused me to become quite a hermit and I have lost much work as a result. Cutting a long story short, I had an initial consultation today with a reputable doc who does laser treatments here in Scotland. I left the clinic surprised and disappointed, as he told me quite categorically that he did not believe that laser or IPL could reduce anyone's Rosacea flushing, such treatments could only remove telangiectasia... Flushing would still happen. I said that surely his opinion is unusual, given how widely laser and IPL are touted as a solution, albeit temporary, for Rosacea sufferers.. And surely the Internet abounds with positive results shared by real people who have received one of these forms of treatment. I confess I left the clinic in tears. I have tried so many things over the past months and had invested a lot of hope with laser or IPL. I'm tempted to go elsewhere..... But I would welcome any comments from anyone out there, especially if you have suffered mainly from flushing and have had a treatment that helped you. Thanks..."

Burner replied on October 18th, 2016: "Hi Fiugs, I am sorry you are suffering with this horrible condition. I have had many IPL treatments myself, and although they do not stop the flushing completely (unfortunately nothing does), i found them to be very beneficial, both in terms of appearance and flushing. Coupled with use of medication, in my case clonidine, i am much better than i was when i first developed the condition. Although i still have really tough days, i dread to think what state i would be in without IPL and clonidine, as i could not function at all. The trouble with dermatologists and GP'S is that they simply do not understand how painful this condition can be. If i was you, I would definitely consider laser treatment, but must stress that is important to find someone that is both professional and reputable. Although there is no solution at the moment for this condition, there are things that can make life a little easier. Unfortunately, as we are all different Fiugs, it is a case of trial and error i am afraid. I hope this info is useful to you, and i hope you find the answers you are looking for. My advice to you, don't give up, and stay as positive as you can. All the best. burner"

DanniH replied on October 18th, 2016: "Hello Fiugs, I, like many others on this forum, had regular Gemini Nd:Yag treatments with Dr Peter Crouch in Swindon until he sadly passed away last month. These treatments have helped me a lot and I believe that they are the most successful laser treatment for most flushers. Today I had my first Gemini Nd:Yag with Dr John Tanqueray in Northampton. He has been using the Gemini for many years and has his own protocols in place, but agreed to use Dr Crouch's protocol (I wanted to stick to what I know as it's been successful for me) - 45j/cm2, 50 mSec pulse width, 6 passes (10 shots per pass - 8 across the cheeks and 2 in the corners of the nose), 30 second delay between passes. I'm not sure if he used a timer between passes like Dr Crouch, but there was certainly a significant delay between passes. The treatment cost £300. I hope that helps"

Fiugs replied on October 23rd, 2016: "I've just signed up and paid for a course of IPL... so I guess I'll have to stick with that. I've just had the test patch so far and there are three sessions to follow in the package. I had originally consulted with a laser specialist, he was the guy who said it wouldn't help with flushing. I didn't want to believe him, but also didn't want to be treated by someone who didn't think what he was doing would address my main concern. Given that I have such skin sensitivity and (I'm led to believe) IPL hurts less than laser, maybe my course of action could be to do the 3 IPLs at this stage, to ease my way in.. see what the results are and then proceed with laser if necessary, in the hope that if IPL has at least succeeded in taking things down a bit, then there would be less remaining for the laser to zap.. Hopefully meaning less torture. I'll keep a note of the doc you mention.. It would be a huge financial investment for me to go all the way down south for treatments, but, as we all know, anything that makes a difference is well worth considering. Thanks"

DanniH replied on October 25th, 2016: "I've never had IPL so can't personally comment on how it feels, but Dr Crouch told me that most people find it more painful than the yag... he said most patients liken it to hot fat spitting on their face (the IPL, not the yag). After yag treatments I find that I flush immediately afterwards (or maybe within 10 minutes or so) and that subsides after a couple of hours. Thereafter I have no side effects or signs of treatment... it's as if it never happened, until the improvement kicks in around 6 weeks later. Dr Crouch said that most people experience an increase in flushing for 2-4 weeks following the treatment, then return to where they were before treatment, and then see a reduction in flushing around 6 weeks post treatment. I'm one of the lucky few who gets the improvement without the initial worsening. With regards to clonidine, I believe it's something a lot of people get good results with. It's not a route I've chosen to go down as I've heard a lot about rebound flushing which frightens me (I've seen people on here talk about flushing randomly x amount of hours after taking it, and also Dr Crouch told me that the rebound flushing if you come off the clonidine is terrible and can last for a few months). For me it's not something I want to do because although my flushes can be ferocious (I am at the more severe end of the scale), I don't flush randomly... I know my triggers and luckily as a result I'm able to avoid flushing terribly in front of other people (admittedly that involves sacrifices, I avoid social situations if the temperature is more than I can handle)... and losing that element of control isn't worth it for me. It's a personal choice though and a lot of people use it and are very happy with it. Sorry for the essay!"

Fiugs updated on February 15th 2017: "I just wanted to update here about my IPL progress. But first, a wee thankyou to DanniH and Antwantsclear for suggesting a water spray when I feel a possible impending flush. I now carry a little bottle of Avène Eau Thermale with me wherever I go, at home I keep it in the fridge. When my face starts to feel a little warm I spray it - and it really makes a difference. It's especially helpful when I start to feel a nose flush coming (which has been a feature ever since I had flu in December).Thanks so much guys! On the IPL side of things.... I've now had three treatments, with 6 weeks in between. The way my face behaves afterwards is usually the same each time:
DAY 1 - I leave the clinic with big redS flushed patches where I have been treated and, of course, my face feels very hot. By the time I get home (with the aircon on my face during the hour long drive) my face has calmed down. It stays calm for the rest of the day, although it feels a bit tender.
DAY 2 - on the second day my face usually feels very calm. Although after my third treatment, which was stronger than before (I think the nurse felt the conservative treatments I had requested before were sooo conservative that they were not doing enough) I could feel little swollen bumps all over my face, where there had been treatment.
DAY 3 onwards - on the third day the extra flushing begins. It is especially bad at night, infact for the first week or more it will wake me up most nights at around 2 or 3 am. 
AFTER MY 3rd, STRONGER SESSION - I seem to be following the same pattern as above, except the post treatment flushing during the middle of the night has been much stronger. It is now three weeks since my treatment and I am only is starting to feel as though the reactive flushes are diminishing in frequency and intensity. I am led to believe, from what I've read on this forum, that this is not too unusual - would you agree?
HOW MY FACE LOOKS - this is the disappointing part for me... I'm not sure I can see much difference in my redness at this stage. On a good day, I think there may be a little less background redness, but on a bad day I don't feel there has really been any progress. My main reason for the treatment has been the hope of reducing my flushing... So far, no change in that, but of course I might notice a reduction if I wasn't getting another treatment every 6 weeks and going back to a reactive phase. 
MY CONCERN - is all the post treatment flushing causing angiogenesis and marring any progress? Or indeed could it be making things worse!? I should add that I am taking Clonidine in an attempt to ameliorate the flushing; I dread to think what it would be like without the Clonidine.... I would welcome feedback from any folk with more IPL experience than I ....Is what I have described pretty normal, or should I have concerns? I do intend to tell the nurse next time that I can't take any treatment stronger than the last one. I go back in early March. Thanks guys..

Fiugs then updated on February 20th 2017 (so before the eventual good end result with IPL): "It is now one month since my third IPL session. I am flushing badly every night.. I have come to associate night time flushes with post-IPL reactivity as it seems to be the only time i get night flushes.... but after previous sessions the symptoms have not been so long lasting. She did turn the dial up for the last one tho....I appreciate that my post above was probably too long and detailed, so I'll make my essential concern more brief by simply asking if I should be concerned that, a month down the line, I am still more flushy than I was before my last IPL. My next session is due in just two weeks and I already intend to speak with the practitioner about this, in hopes that she will consider a slightly lower level of treatment as still viable... But obviously feedback from other rosaceans who are familiar with IPL and its after effects, both good and bad, and their duration and intensity, is very appreciated. I am feeling a little desperate and a little frightened and alone right now."
Fiugs updated on March 26th, 2017: "Hi, Things are still doing well for me. It's amazing how happy a flush free time can make a person feel. Before IPLs I would be guaranteed a flush if I was exposed to any of the following:
- temps over 18 deg C. This was by far my most difficult symptom, it meant I had to live virtually the life of a hermit.
- spicy food
- any form of prolonged concentration, such as detailed emails or conversations.
- anxiety producing situations
- waking up in the morning!
As well as the above guaranteed situations, I also flushed every evening sometime between 8 and 10 for no obvious reason: my evening flushes would even happen on days I was fasting. When did the IPL results kick In? I would say 6 weeks (to the day actually) after my 3rd session. Prior to that, the 'progress' looked like this:
- I had an IPL test patch, which appeared to do little other than cause extra flushing in the evenings and also in the small hours, usually between 1 and 4am. This reaction lasted around four weeks before it calmed down. There was no visible improvement in my Rosacea before I went for my first full treatment.... but then it was only a test patch.
- First full treatment caused the same reactions, except this time all over the full treatment area ( my entire face gets treated, right to the hairlines). The worst aspect of the reactions was the night flushing... Every night. I never get night flushes except as a post IPL reaction. These flushes were usually different than my normal Rosacea flushes, they weren't usually so deep in the skin. 
No visible improvement in my background redness, or my visible caplillaries or my usual Rosacea flushing propensity after the first full treatment.
2nd full treatment was 6 weeks later. Post treatment period was less reactive than the first. IPL settings were the same as before (sorry don't know what they were, except they were, at my request, very conservative). On a good day, I sometimes thought I looked a little less red. But, all in all, I would say there was no definite change in my appearance.
3rd treatment was six weeks later. The nurse upped the settings a little... But she said they were still pretty low. Post treatment reaction was bad... even a little frightening at times. Deep Flushing in evenings was stronger and less deep flushing woke me up every night for around an hour around 2am. My memory of this period is that I seemed to live in front of a fan or with a gel mask strapped to my face. 
However, the tide turned at the 6 week mark... I should have gone back for treatment 4, but I had to postpone for a week and make a new appt for practical reasons. I'm so glad it did, as I went through an almost spooky period of radical improvements during this week... I stopped flushing. My face actually looked a little worse during this week.. The red was less uniform, more grainy and blotchy... And I had quite a few spots, some with whiteheads. (Ps &Ps have never been an issue for me, just flushing and almost permanent face discomfort at best, or pain at worst). Somehow, I saw the blotchyness and the spots as evidence of progress, it seemed to me that a few areas of redness were clearing and that the spots\whiteheads were a result of zapped caps decaying and being expunged. That's my theory anyway....
- 4th treatment was at the same settings as the 3rd, but post treatment reactivity has been virtually nil. No flushing during the day or the night. The surface of my skin is a little more sensitive than usual (I should have mentioned this was also the case after previous treatments) but I expect that to resolve within three weeks at the most. The background redness is noticeably less and it is also no longer blotchy or grainy in appearance. For the first time since treatments began, I am seeing fewer visible capillaries.. Some of my 'old friends' are now gone! So.. In a nutshell... I would say that I experienced only post treatment reactivity and no detectable benefits until 6 weeks after my 3rd treatment, after which the tide appeared to change. I still have a slight pinkness (wouldn't qualify as a flush) that will come to my nose every now and then. I think this is a slight post treatment reactivity. My nose is also still too sensitive to be able to wear my reading lasses. This is quite a problem, but I'm hoping it may resolve through time, as I believe this has been caused by the cumulative effect of much flushing in the past. So, if I could give advice to anyone who is considering IPL for their subtype 1 Rosacea what would I say? I would say make sure you go to a reputable clinic.
Be willing to have conservative settings - and be willing to possibly have to pay for a few more treatments as a result. Don't be afraid (as I was) that every time you flush after a treatment you are undoing all the good that was done. The anxiety I endured in relation to this fear was almost inhumane. Don't be surprised if you see or experience not improvement for at least the first three treatments... Maybe more in the case of other folk. Don't listen to any professional who tells you that laser or IPL will NOT reduce your flushing symptoms. I was told this by the most respected laser doc in Scotland.. it nearly broke my heart when he said this to me, as I thought I had nowhere to go! I will add that the nurse - in a different clinic - who ended up doing my IPL also said this to me. I have no idea why they said this, as it seems to be so other than all the info out there.... maybe it's to cover their backs if there is no improvement in some cases... But in my case it is patently not what has happened. Thank God. I have received so much advice and support from this forum - way more than what has come my way from my Doctor or my Derm. I am so grateful and hope that the little I am able to offer in return will benefit those who find themselves in the position I was only a short while ago....and yes... I AM watching my back as a say all of this... I know that Rosacea is an unpredictable beast and who knows what lies around the corner. But for now, my face is calm and I am insanely grateful. Good luck. Fiona x"

Puzzled wrote on March 27th 2017: "Thank you SO so much for detailing your IPL treatment. Its really helpful to know the baseline you started at and how your skin reacted throughout it all. So glad it has worked out for you. I am in a pretty similar situation to you - broken capillaries with redness (I think I looks sunburnt!) and prone to flushing which I find is inhibiting me quite a lot. Or should I say the fear of flushing is the problem as much as anything? I also go redder when I am concentrating hard on things - emotion/stress does it, cold to hot does it and heat and hot rooms in general are hell!
If you don't mind me asking (sorry if you did say) how long did you wait after your patch test to start the IPL course? I had a patch test last week with absolutely no reactivity (setting was low though) and I am really keen to get started. I would love to clear some capillaries off my face and to have a less reactive face overall. Cheers, Puzzled"

Fiugs replied on March 28th 2017: "Hi, Yep... It sounds like we have pretty similar symptoms, doesn't it? Unlike you, I did have reactivity after my patch test. The test area flushed more than usual and felt more sensitive. The nurse had suggested that have my first treatment after two weeks, but I changed the appt and left things for a third week before getting my first appt, because I was still a bit reactive at the two week mark. I completely get the wish to get on with zapping those little suckers... Do you feel you have a good practitioner, with experience of treating rosacea? Did s/he give you any advice? )Where are you getting your treatments?) I'm no expert, there are others here who have way more experience than I do with IPL... So hopefully they might read this and chime in, If in doubt go easy though. I don't regret for a bit taking my time and treating conservatively.... that little extra time to pause isn't wasted, it's the period during which your skin is doing all its healing work behind the scenes, especially once you get into the full treatments. Good luck. And please let us know how it goes for you, as you progress through the treatments."

Puzzled replied on March 28th 2017: "Thanks for your reply. My test patch was at a setting of 12 with a yellow filter (I think), I have ever so slightly olive looking skin. The test patch was on an area of skin between ear and chin - not sure that area has ever actually flushed. Treatment would be 2-4 sessions, starting at the above setting. I had this done at Cambridge Skin and Laser, with Dr. Nathan Holt. He has treated rosacea before. I am a bit torn at the moment - I am desperate to try IPL but I am also worried about making things worse - I couldn't cope with that."

Fiugs replied on March 29th, 2017: "If you're being treated by a doctor I would not hesitate to ask his advice. Personally, I would wait for the period of time that has been recommended to you before proceeding with the first full treatment. You are at the start of what (God willing) will be a long term investment in your well being.. taking a week or two longer in this process will feel like nothing in the long run. all the best, Fiona"

Fiugs updated on her IPL progress on April 16th 2017: "Hi again. I'm still doing pretty OK. I think I took two steps forward a month or so ago and may have taken half a step back since then. But I do recall reading in an interview with Dr Soldo (a well-known US derm and laser or IPL practitioner) that this kind of back and forth progress is quite normal during IPL. That's reassuring. My small step back is that my skin feels a little more sensitive again and I get a minor nose flush now and then. I have to avoid touching my nose, which is quite a mindfulness discipline! I also flush a bit if I find myself in an environment that is too warm for my comfort for any length of time. By 'a bit' I mean that I go pink and my left cheek feels warm... It lasts less than an hour. I don't seem to get the full on, beet red, painful flushes that last for many hours now. Thank God. I confess that I stumbled out of my strict low carb regime a couple of weeks after my improvement kicked in... This may be contributing to my slight back slide, which began around two weeks after I stopped low carbing. I'm still not eating any sugar though, so I'm not sure....

Another contributing factor, I'm sure, is enormous work-related stress right now. The circumstances around this are unavoidable and will resolve within a couple of months, so I'm riding that storm as best I can. I'm helping myself to get through it with the occasional relaxing aromatherapy massage, daily meditation and my going self-hypnosis practice. I also have an appt on April 22nd, by Skype, with a nutritionist who works both independently and in association with the Pulse Light Clinic in London. They offer nutritional advice as a part of their IPL treatment regime for rosaceans. I was delighted to discover I could speak with Lisa even though im getting IPL with another clinic here in scotland. So it feels like it makes sense for me not to go back into any sort of dietary regime until I've had this appt... I have another IPL -my 5th - on May 2nd. So, all I all, progress is slow but steady and as long as I feel I am moving in the right direction I am happy."



Thunderer wrote: "I've just had my first go at IPL for mild rosacea on the nose/early stage rhinophyma. I'm 38 and I'd noticed over the last year or so my nose had been getting more bulbous and one or two broken capillaries had starting appearing. I've always suffered from overexcitable sebaceous glands and general redness in the butterfly zone of my face (both exacerbated by: temperature changes, exercise, embarrassment, general daily body rhythms etc.) . Attempts at managing the condition through diet and lifestyle were not having the desired effect (although I've never felt healthier. I visited my dermatologist with a view to getting a renewed prescription for an oral antibiotic to control one or two pustules that were refusing to go away and he suggested we try some IPL. It's been ten days now and I'm pleased to report that not only did the laser get rid of the blood vessels but also the swelling has completely gone and my nose is looking smaller and back to its normal size for the first time in probably about two or three years. It's still the reddest part of my face and probably always will be (my Dad had a similar thing). He used a combination of IPL and Diode 532 (don't ask me!) He also said it would probably need one more treatment in about two or three months and that's it. It seems like the usual standard applies: all things in moderation."

Alex1134 wrote"So Ive had four IPL's now, and my rosacea is under control. My only concern is that my face is still mildly blotchy and red in places. I feel very self-conscious about it. My skin is a hundred times better than before, but I can't seem to relax about it. My question is this: should I do a fifth IPL to help improve skin tone and texture further? Or is there anything else out there that the forum could recommend? I'm constantly on here reading and reading, and I've tried so many different "remedies", but I'm not sure where to go from here. Any help would be so incredibly appreciated. [..] So I had type 1 rosacea. With moderate flushing, some broken blood vessels on my cheeks, and burning and stinging sensations. Sometimes I'd have a few P&Ps, as well, when I'd eat/drink certain things or use certain products on my face. But P&Ps weren't too much of a problem for me. I was able to get a lot of this under control just through the finacea, change of diet, and heavy use of vitamins and supplements. But I still wasn't happy with my complexion, and after getting some advice from this website, and reading everything I could find, I decided to try IPL.I had 4 treatments, spaced out between 6-8 weeks. I don't know what machine they used, or the setting. Sorry! I just trusted my Derm. I did hear her say the numbers 18/20 and 19/20 though, and she explained to me that she was able to use the highest settings on my skin, because I am so extremely fair. My skin improved with each treatment. I feel like there's been an 80% overall improvement, and I am very happy with the results. I also no longer have that painful, burning feeling. But now my skin just looks blotchy, uneven, with sort of an orange peel texture. I can't help but feel insecure about it. (I used to have perfect skin up until about 2 years ago, so it's really depressing). Well, I stopped the topical a week ago, as suggested. I'm only using it on spots - as needed. I feel like that has really helped some. Thank you!!"

Marpusbean wrote: "IPL is a funny thing, if you have very little problem after treatment (redness etc) it can mean the person doing the treatment is very good and experienced and careful, on the other hand it can mean the fluence was not high enough or the wrong filter, and therefore the treatment will not be effective. My experiences have tended to be a 10 day period after IPL where my skin might be a bit sensitive and a little red, then by 3 weeks the skin has calmed down and shows improvement compared to before treatment.
Some people do not show improvement after only one treatment. It is many years since I had my first treatments, now I have a top up treatment every year which does improve my skin for several months.
Are you having the treatments in Belgium or are you going elsewhere? IPL is a funny thing, if you have very little problem after treatment (redness etc) it can mean the person doing the treatment is very good and experienced and careful, on the other hand it can mean the fluence was not high enough or the wrong filter, and therefore the treatment will not be effective.
My experiences have tended to be a 10 day period after IPL where my skin might be a bit sensitive and a little red, then by 3 weeks the skin has calmed down and shows improvement compared to before treatment. Some people do not show improvement after only one treatment. It is many years since I had my first treatments, now I have a top up treatment every year which does improve my skin for several months. Are you having the treatments in Belgium or are you going elsewhere?"

And: "Dr Crouch will be able to minimize the risk of seb derm when treating you. The secondary nervous system plays a role in the flushing you describe, there are medications which can help reduce this, however IPL helps to eliminate some of the excess damaged blood vessels we rosaceans have, that should reduce the level of flushing! Regarding your comment about dermatologists, I would not worry about this, most derms are not experts on rosacea, as it is a complex vascular problem, and not a "true" skin disease, Dr C is an expert on using IPL and laser to treat rsacea, and that is what you are looking for." 

V70 replied: "I have had 13 ipls. They do work. But you have to do maintenance ipls. At least two a year. That's after the initial 3 to 6 to start with. You must do maintenance, because it will come back.it doesnt stop the flushing. It just helps with the side effects from flushing-heat,burning,swelling and redness.Nothing will stop the flushing. If someone invented something that would he would be rich because he would have cured rosacea. Because rosacea is flushing and the the side effects are redness,tightness,burning,swelling and breakout."

And: "I have had 14 ipls done. The first 10 were done all at the same time. One a month for 10 months. The first 10 worked great. The last 4 not so good."

Mattdog323 wrote about his success with Lumenis One IPL: "Ive just had my second ipl treatment with lumenis one. We did my full face this time,we did a triple pass,a pass with 695 then 640 then 590,695,640 double pulse,590 triple pulse. Settings where low,(18 to 20 j)She was skeptical about using the 695 for rejuvenation,I kind of talked her in the it, I'm curious to see the results. As Dr crouch uses it for rejuvenation. Ill post back in a few days, Regards MATT,"

And: "Skin is looking pretty good, Hyperpigmentation has greatly improved,Redness as well its tidying my face up,My texture is looking better but with swelling at the mo ill wait and see,It will prob take 7 to ten treatments to get my texture looking reasonable,Fingers crossed. I had a lot of brown dots left ova from a big pdl treatment which have dissipated 70 percent after two treatments, I'm looking forward to the third in three weeks."

And: "My two treatments so far have had a big difference on my face,The triple protocol does read shallower first,Im curious on your thoughts?Why cant it be reversed?Its worked so far on me,My next treatment I'm going to do 560 615 then 695 triple pulse and ill try 20jS ill let u no what happens(Ill start shallower first and compare with starting deeper first),But I'm even a believer that deeper the filter lower the settings?We are all Taylor made and are all different,I must say the treatments have been a success, Me being cautious is a playing factor, I'm glad i started off at 18j,I benefited from it and am confident that 20j-22j wont cause damage,Playing it safe is my key these days,Even if the low triple double pulses didn't do jack(Which they have worked so far) i wouldn't off cared with the money wasted,Its more important to me to be as safe and go as low as possible with the treatments,While having success and not receiving more damage,I don't care about the money, I must admit even if marta is using first/second and third treatments at two low settings shes still playing it safe,Personally the more sensitive the skin is the lower the settings need to be,We all have different opinions."

Sparrow-legs also reported good results with IPL: "I think Doctor Crouch is well worth a visit. He seems to be very knowledgeable about the skin, and proceeds with treatments very cautitously so as not to cause any further damage. I have had about 4 or 5 IPLS with him so far, and after each one my skin was calmer, paler etc. for months. I am very pleased with the treatments, but unfortunately I cannot go as often as I would like as I am a med student (i.e. verrrrry poor right now!) and so cost is an issue for me. My last treatment was in November, and for most of this year my skin has been good, with a few blips here and there that were probably due to eating rubbish and drinking alcohol.

Shantelle wrote about her good succes with v-beam: "Apart from Plaquenil, Vbeam laser is the best decision I have ever made in terms of it reducing redness, getting rid of broken capillaries, cleaning up skin tone (have some old acne scars since Accutane days), and keeping the flushing at bay. It is realistic to say that I will be having on-going non-purpuric/non-bruising treatments (say, 2-4treatments yr) for life, and I am happy to commit to that for the sake of my skin and keeping me in remission. Blood vessels grow back in time, and seemingly rather quickly in Rosaceans, so unless one is committed to ongoing regular IPL or vbeam treatments there is the possibly things will go back to how things were pre IPL/vbeam in time. In my opinion, new Vbeam technology is superior to IPL because it has a far better safety profile, is specially designed to protect the skin (cooling spray) and only target the vessels, does not induce purpura/bruising like the old vbeam lasers (unless you specifically ask for bruising or have very-red areas such as scars and portwine birthmarks in which laser tech would use an aggressive purpuric settings), and it doesn't take too many treatments to see cumulative longlasting results compared to IPL."


Mistica had many IPL treatments and for a long time she had good success with them, but then they stopped working for her: "I have had numerous IPL treatments in the past. First one produced significant improvement, until day 10, when the burning set back in, accompanied by pinkness. Still I was much improved compared to prior, when I was a glowing beacon. Lots of visible capillaries were successfully removed. I flushed back then, but I wasn't a severe flusher. I went on to have numerous treatments in batches over three years and beat the rosacea redness and what flushing I had into remission. I still had outbreaks of P&P, but I feel the cause shifted from a rosacea cause to a secondary infection due to long term antibiotics. This seemed to be the thought of my doc at the time too.
Fast forward, After one year I had touch up treatments. Results took longer than expected. My case was complicated as I also suffered from facial melasma. After some months my face was clear again. I led a good quality life and burning and flushing were a distant memory. I had on going outbreaks to varying degrees, but this was nothing compared to flushing, burning and redness. I ended up having far too many treatments over following years and suffered collagen damage and fat loss, but that was mostly due to physician error. Wrong settings and treatments performed too close together.
Then in 2007, when IPL had virtually stopped working, I had a terrible flush and went from mild rosacea into severe flushing rosacea in seconds. Yes, sounds incredible but it is true. From that point on, IPL no longer worked and in fact, served to exacerbate the blob of burning, inflammation that my face had become. I became resistant. I am sure too many IPL treatments results in collagen damage.In addition I seem to have developed other health issues, which have fuelled the rosacea. It is worth noting I became vitamin D deficient. I was once a huge fan of IPL. It worked well. And I still believe, IPL in the right hands can do wonders, for some rosaceans. Looking back, I feel that IPL on a highly inflamed face is probably going to inflame it further. If possible measures taken to reduce symptoms first and to address any other health issues, might lessen chances of side effects and hopefully increase benefits. So easy to say, so difficult to achieve, I know."

Stphn had good success with IPL: "I got rid of my redness pretty early on. I had the red face going for awhile, mostly in summertime, but then was in a bad car accident and awoke completely red and covered with p&p. I spent over a year in hiding, going to school, and being treated for acne, which only made things worse. Then I bought Nase's book and began to take things down a different path.I did the accutane for a while which removed the bumps, and then had 4 IPL/photofacials performed over the course of a few months, by the end of which I looked pretty normal. No more red. That was 10+ years ago, and some of the redness/telangectasias returned, and bumps on my forehead have been an eternal nuisance. I'm thinking, or i thought anyway, that maybe we didn't hit my forehead with those lasers back in 2001. So here I am getting BBL. I really don't have any redness to worry about anymore, is the thing. I feel a bit silly going in there today to get zapped. I just want my forehead to be normal, not so itchy and sensitive, and they might as well blast those telangectasia while we're at it. THIS TIME, i will not let her touch my beard/mustache area AT ALL. Yikes. I was just getting into not shaving so much and growing a light beard like every other dude seems to, and now it's all... weird. Choppy. Looks partially manicured on one side. Anyway, one hour to go. "



Phlika consistently reported good results with IPL, she posted heaps and here are just: "I went to see Dr Crouch for treatments a few years ago and can confirm that for me the treatments were cumulative. I found it best to leave approx 8 between treatments."
And: "I used to go see Dr Crouch and gained greatly from his expert use of lasers/IPL. Nowadays I have laser at Dr Chu clinic (by another derm) and it is about £100 a pop. It is primarily used for my seb derm but it also keeps my rosacea in check."


Quote Originally Posted by Aze View Post
I have an appointment mid-April to have pulsed dye laser done. I know the Vbeam Perfecta is top of the line - so I'm pretty excited to see what kind of results I get! I imagine I will need a few treatments. My question is, does it help reduce flushing? I know it destroys the blood vessels under the skin, and they can never come back...does that mean the more treatments you get, the less and less red your face can become? Not sure if that made much sense! Anyone else have good experiences with the beam perfecta?
Reply from Seriously: In my short experience, yes it has made a difference in the intensity of the flushing. I still flush, but not as strong or for as long. I'm going in for my 5th treatment next week and I'm at about 40-50% reduction in redness. I'm starting to develop patches of normal colored skin where there was once just redness. It's a very slow treatment with about 5-10% reduction per treatment, this is with an aggressive but non-purpuric treatment. Make sure read a lot about the setting and then discuss setting with your doctor. That's what I did.
What type of redness do you have? I think vbeam works great for diffuse redness."

Here is an interesting forum discussion about the effects of rosacea on your mindset and the wish of some people to get their faces tattooed in order to mask the redness (all theoretical of course).



Ants wrote on December 2nd 2013: "My first ever V-Beam just now, how did it go? Hey guys,This evening I had my first ever V-Beam session using the V-BEAM PERFECTA. I have spoked a lot with Lucy on here as we're both Brits and going through the same thing. Anyway! I had the first session at 10ms, 10mm and 5.25 joules The initial impact? Face was very slightly red afterward for like 30 mins, now it's already pretty much back to normal. I was shocked that the actual laser zapping only took around 2 minutes to do the whole face. Is that normal? My face actually feels cooler than usual and I only had it done 3 hours ago. I have two questions please -How long should I say off alcohol post treatment? How long should I stop exercising post treatment? I plan on having at least 4 sessions. Would much appreciate an answer to the above 2 questions.Thanks, Ants"

Lucy_nic87 replied: "Hey Ant. So glad to read your first treatment seems to have gone well and you skin has calmed down quickly. I had some crazy reaction that took two weeks to settle, intense burning, flushing and inflammation, not quite sure why. Things are a little better but Im not sure if im back to pre treatment yet, still concerned things have worsened. You appear to have had a much better reaction which is pleasing to read! I had similar settings to you, just a slightly higher joules at 6.5. It didnt take my doc long to actully do the zapping either so i wouldnt worry there. From what ive read it can take up to 21 days post ipl/laser for your body to finish absorbing/getting rid of/growing new vessels, so if possible best to avoid major flushing best as you can till then. obviously you still might flush, no problem, just prolonged aggressive flushing should be avoided if poss. So if you can have a drink and exercise without causing too much flushing id say carry on, otherwise ease off for a couple of weeks. fingers crossed for improvement!"

And Ants updated on December 23rd 2013: "So sorry guys. I had it done at VIVA Clinic in London. It was £250 for the first treatment. I've since e-mailed them FOUR times about my next appointment but have heard nothing back  Will have to pick the phone up. My intention is to have 4 sessions with them.  [..]  having a real tough time of things at the moment with this cold weather and central heating. Really really screws me up more than anything. Will e-mail them one final time tomorrow re booking in my 2nd treatment session and then I'll call them. I know they have been moving offices so maybe that's why they have been so unresponsive.  I expect the second one to be quite a bit more powerful. Worst thing about it is avoiding exercise for 7 days after!"      

Ddek981 wrote on January 11th 2014: "Worked for me! I've recently completed my 3rd Neo Nd Yag laser treatment and have very very good results. I have moderate rosacea with flushing that gets pretty severe with stressors. My deem gave me a free sample Yag laser treatment which showed great results for me. About 6 weeks later I went for a full first treatment, then 6 weeks later for another treatment and it kept getting better. I actually started Mirvaso after my 2nd treatment (Big Big Big mistake!) It made my face so bad. I took Mirvaso for about a month and ended it, then had another laser treatment and everything went back to normal. I highly recommend the Yag Laser, there was no side effects, very very minor swelling, no redness, no bruising, no marks. It worked really well for me! It was 500$ for 3 treatments, well worth it for a big improvement on my redness."

matthewleiger wrote on 3 Aug 2016: "I have had the BBL/IPL laser treatment done 3 times at Advanced Cosmetic Surgery, and I see amazing results in my skin. Not only did my rosacea become less noticeable, my skin feels so much more smooth now! They numb the area being treated so it is a pretty painless experience. The treatment itself feels like a pin prick and just tingles a bit afterwards."




Burnforyou wrote a couple times about his adverse reactions to an IPL treatment recently: "I had IPL nearly one month ago and unfortunately it looks like it has made things a worse. My skin is more blotchy than before and it seems to go red more easily than before as well. I am not going back to the same practitioner as before because i don't feel comfortable with her. My decision is now do i go for further treatment or do i cut my losses. Can i reverse the damage i have done? Maybe try something like VBeam? I don't want to get any worse than i am now, so i am really in a bind. Has anyone had this situation happen and were able to reverse it?"
And: "I just can't believe things have worsened and that my skin is so much more reactive even after 1 month. I understand the skin needs to heal but i am really concerned that this is permanent damage. I will definitely wait and hope that the skin will heal. I am quite depressed about it. I never thought that this could happen. I will just have to wait out another month and hope to see some improvement."

And: "I posted a few weeks ago and got some great responses. I just want to post again and ask a few more questions. After 7 weeks, my skin has not gotten any better. I am worse than prior to IPL and am naturally regretting IPL. At 7 weeks I have increased pinkness in certain areas. I had both of my cheeks done and areas that didn't have any redness before, is showing up with redness. I just don't get this. I don't understand how an area that was white before, shows actual signs of redness after IPL. Going by people advice (i pray), this is just damage and will improve in time. But, hasn't thus far.
Also, the main concern is that i am more flushy than before. Prior to IPL I had flushing on my upper cheeks. However, now, i got like a full face hot sensation. It is difficult to explain, but it is like a heat sensation that covers a large area of my face, even in areas that didn't receive IPL. Sometimes it feels like it is on my jaw, near my ear or on my temple. It is just like an overall warm sensation. Is it possible that IPL will make me more sensitive and flushy? Has anyone else experienced this? Did you get over it? Really starting to regret this!!!"

Peteroche had IPL and laser in Sydney and responded: "Tell me about ... Lasers Biggest waste of time and money ever, they only make matters worse and in my case they did. In my opinion lasers should be banned for treating Blushing + flushing ........ Stay Away !"  

Arb161 responded: "Lasers have both hurt me and helped me. In my experience there are a lot of factors. Most important is the doctor. There are so many bad doctors out there it's scary. They have no clue how to treat Rosacea. The other, I think, is the severity of the disease. I have come to believe that severe Rosacea flushing is very hard to manage. In my own case, I doubt that I will ever be in a place where I do not flush. When I first got Rosacea I went into remission (after failed ipl treatments) with the very first vbeam treatment. It lasted close to 2 years. After that I spent years trying other lasers and, unfortunately, some bad doctors, until I returned to vbeam with an experienced doctor. Some (lucky) people are able to completely control their disease with touchups. Sadly that is not me." Source Link



X had a negative experience after IPL with a dermatologist in the UK:

"I have read the posts on this forum for a long time and find it very serious and well moderated. After trying antibiotics for my moderate rosacea and not tolerating them well, i have had a ipl treatment with a very reputable uk doctor a week ago. After the treatment i was perfectly fine, had some swelling for a couple of days with redness and since i have some mild nerve pain (i know what it is as i had some before the treatment as a consequence of other issues). It also seems that my eyes have become very hollow and are creepy underneath. I seems to have some fine lines and enlarged pores in the chin area and around that did not exist before but i might be imagining them. My doctor assures me that ipl does not have these side effects but it is only dry skin. I have read the posts on fat loss and am very very scared. As he says I should not have pain and i do, maybe everything else he says is wrong. Ha says that he has seen a case of fat loss but only because the woman had too many treatments. I don't know what to expect, the nerve pain is very mild but shows no signs of disappearing, a, i going to go through months of disfigurement? I have had already a very significant life altering illness that i managed to get through but I don't think my mind will be able to cope with more anxiety."

And: "Your point about symmetrical hollow eyes is a good one. Especially as i noticed them the day after the procedure which seems really too fast even for me. My hope is that it is the skin around which might still be a bit swollen. On the other hand i think that the doctor did 2 passes there and i smelled the same smell a burned chicken when i did it so i am now thinking that he burned the thin layer of fat there. Has anyone else experienced this? The smell and or the hollow eyes?"

I responded: "yeah that makes sense, I remember that my cheeks were puffy as well after the IPL and that my eye sockets seemed more hollow as a result too. I'm not a specialist in terms of IPL and laser to be honest but maybe the burning smell came from the small hairs on your skin being burned? If it burned the skin and afterwards the fat in the skin I assume you would see some blistering? If you are not burned by the looks of things and have not more pain that what is considered normal after such a procedure (I would say some extra sensitivity and burning feelings are normal, also tightness of the skin and some swelling) then I would sit out the next week and see how things improve. Keep as cool as you can, but don't freeze the skin obviously with cold packs or anything. I had a huge amount of redness and inflammation afterwards of the skin and I took diclofenac to make it calm down a bit but when you are not bright red and on fire you might not need that. It is a heat device that is used and I guess it's normal to have some sort of a reaction for the first weeks when everything has to settle again and the zapped blood vessels have to be absorbed by the body and the skin will heal from any insult."

And: "And with the risk of becoming obsessive, I used to take pictures when I had IPL, and take them before and after and regularly, to see the changes in texture, color and in your case for fear for fatloss. Memory isn't always as good as we think, and that way you can not fool yourself into believing things.. Sorry to hear that fat loss can also happen without burns. I had IPL's in the past and am certain I never had fat loss, and most people here didn't have fat loss from IPL, so don't despair yet. Hope you recover more soon!"

X later updated: "My right cheek has now two big indents in the shape of the laser. There is no more room for doubt. I am only 10 days in, i wonder how i will cope in the next year and how far this will all go.The first instinct has been suicidal. But no, i cannot let this thing kill me. I need to get through. If anyone has used helpful strategies please let me know. Thank you, at least I have your support."

And: "I was advised to do ipl by my dermatologist and he sent me to another reputable dermatologist specialized in lasers. All to avoid a potential rhinoplasty, not yet started. Both doctors are very well known in London Harley street. Both stated that there were no risks. Here i am 3 weeks the first session and my whole life has changed forever. I wish i had read a post with the title i have now written before doing this. It would have caught my attention. Yes it might work for some but for others, even few, it will be torture. I do not recognize myself in the mirror, my face is sagging, my skin is thin, lines and holes appearing every day. And it will go on for years maybe. I was a happy person and now i am destroyed."

Antwantsclear responded: "I agree that even with supposedly good practitioners of IPL and laser, it can be a very bad idea for many people with rosacea. Yes it does help some. But some people's skin just does not respond well to IPL or laser. By contrast, you will find very few people's skin who has been made worse by anti flushing medications such as clonidine, mirtazapine, moxonodine or propranolol. Of course the medications do carry other potential side effects. But for rosacea they are much more reliable."    

X wrote: "I really do want to do it to help people avoiding the same mistake. I think that it is a very rare reaction but it happens. Yesterday my GP recognized my damage and he immediately called a very famous plastic surgeon who told him that yes, it does happen, and he has treated cases like me in the UK. I was really hoping he would deny it! Apparently the only recourse is fat grafting but after at least 6 months and then it has its complications...I am now hoping that at least i will not have the systemic issues that many have with it..."

Mistica replied: "I am sorry to hear you have suffered significant adverse effects from IPL. It is unusual, but not impossible to undergo fat loss and other structural damage from just one treatment. I have IPL damage as well. There is no telling how long the process will last for. But, on a good note, you might find the final result is not as bad you might imagine. Once internal swelling has subsided, your face might take on a more normal appearance. Most of my etch type lines, orange peel skin have reduced considerably. Over all fat loss has not returned, however. But barring my chin, the rest of my face mostly looks changed, rather than disfigured. I am going to offer you a few options for consideration. I would like to think they might stop the process which is already in action, even if they can't repair what has already occurred. The following is speculation only and you will have to weigh up the pros and cons. [..] IPL, Laser, cause enormous amounts of oxidative stress. I don't know why, but in some people, their skins can't handle it. Of course if the energies are too high, they will damage anyone's skins. And as you have found out, you don't need to get an obvious burn to suffer damage deeper within the skin. I don't know for sure, as this is only speculation, but it might be worth your while, giving high dose vitamin C a whirl. There might be a downside. It might make you redder. It does this to me too, but in my case it is only temporary. After a while it wears off and I am paler and my face feels more relaxed and calmer. Some people feel they flush too much from it. It does have vasodilating properties. MrSmoof found his face became more sensitive.  So, there are possible downsides. But what you have to decide is this. Which is worse? Trying to halt more damage, and perhaps pay the price of becoming a bit redder in the short or long term, OR, do nothing and let the oxidative process continue, which could result in more structural damage. Having suffered fat loss myself, and if I could turn back time, I would have chosen the former. The other option is boswellia."

IowaDavid replied: "I had some HORRIBLY sensitizing reactions to past laser treatments. You can get better with time, but you have to let your skin heal itself. Skin heals slowly. You must remove any inflammatory agents that your facial skin comes into contact with to allow it to heal properly/more quickly. For me, this meant I stopped putting anything whatsoever except purified water on my face for several months. I cranked up humidifiers in my house and used the cool, moist air as flush suppressor and in place of moisturizer. I didn't cleanse my face except with purified water. I didn't stress myself, I didn't do much for a long time besides what was necessary around the house. I slept on an incline and with a chillow and a fan blowing over my legs (not directly at my face--mechanical irritation of air flow). I used a purified water spray bottle (a small one--$1 at the drug store) when I needed it to spray directly on my face or the back of my neck. If you have very thin, inflamed skin, I would seriously consider low-level red light therapy to help suppress inflammation and encourage your skin to rebuild itself. LLRLT works by a completely different mechanism than IPL/Laser. It doesn't injure skin but rather stimulates the cells to do their job better and faster and heal your skin naturally. Patience is really the key here, though. I know it sucks. But it will get better with time, and it's amazing how well your skin can recover. Appearances at this time are not what you're stuck with."

X wrote in a reply: "I am confident that all the indents and scars will get better over time but what is really scary is the fat loss. I don't look like myself already and am only 3 weeks out.The doctors i have heard so far say there is really nothing that can be done for this. Having read many cases now, i think that it's the intensity and not the number of treatments that create this horror, probably in predisposed individuals. You have as many who have had 1,2,3 .. Successful treatments before getting the wrong one than you have who get caught with the first. Mistica you have given me some hope of looking like someone else but not getting completely disfigured. Also you don't seem to have systemic damage, which i would also hope for!"

And updated: "After a couple of recessed areas formed in my cheeks, the cheeks have now gone completely. I am flat from the eyes down to the mouth. The nose appears unnaturally big as a consequence. My eyes are increasingly hollowed as well and two major depressions are forming in the outer corners. It looks like one of the two eyes is sinking backwards. The speed of the fat atrophy is shocking. I don't look at the mirror if i can but just touching the skin is frightening as it's completely loose and disappears under my fingers if i try to apply creams. My main concern now is to avoid developing trigeminal neuralgia. If i manage, i will deal with the monster face somehow..
Before the worst developments of the last few says i saw a reputed plastic surgeon in london. He sees a woman in my condition every couple of months. It's shocking that no one talks about it.
It does not depend on the quality of the doctors according to him. The cause is unknown.
Do not do ipl!!!" Forum posts, link 1 and link2.


Dnlabc also had a negative experience after Pulse Dye Laser: "Has anyone else ever had a SEVERE worsening of Rosacea from a pulse dye (V- Beam) laser treatment? In April of 2007 I had my first V-Beam (595 nm) treatment for diffuse redness on the left side of my face and a small red patch also on the left side of my face (on my jaw line). However the doctor convinced me that I should treat my full face. The settings were at 10 m sec pulse duration, 10 mm SS (spot size) and a fluence of 7.5 J/cm2. After the treatment there was not too much change on the left side of my face (maybe a slight improvement), the right side of my face developed a very small red patch on my jaw line. My face was flushed after the treatment but completely back to normal after a day or 2. In August of 2007 I had my second full face V-Beam treatment. The settings were increased to a non bruising setting of 6 m sec pulse duration, 10 mm SS and fluence 7.5 J/cm2 and a few pulses were done at a bruising setting of 3 m sec pulse duration, 7 mm SS and a fluence of 9.5 J/cm2. I had excellent results after this treatment. The diffuse redness on the left side of my face was completely gone, the small red patch on the left side of my face stayed about the same and the small red patch on the right side of face grew a little more but it was still relatively small. Again my face was flushed after this treatment but it cleared again in about a day or 2 and the bruises on my face took about 7 to 9 days to completely go away. I was very happy with how my face looked at this time and was considering canceling my appointment for my 3rd V-Beam treatment but I decided I would give the V - beam one more try to remove the 2 small red patches on my left and right jaw lines.

In December of 2007 I had my third V - Beam treatment. The doctor increased my settings. The non-bruising settings were increased to 6 m sec pulse duration, 10 mm SS and a fluence of 9.5 J/cm 2. The bruising settings were increased to 1.5 m sec pulse duration a 10 mm SS and a fluence of 9.5 J/cm2. I was shocked when the treatment was done and I looked at my face and virtually the entire left side of my face was bruised along with 2 large spots on the right side of my face. My entire faced burned badly after this treatment and I had a severe headache for 2 days afterward (I took aspirin the next 2 days for the headache, but later I found out I should not have taken aspirin as aspirin delays the healing process). It took about 3 to 4 weeks for the bruising to go away, but overall my face was still pink and it was red in the 3 spots where it had been bruised. I was very worried and stressed about how my face looked and I ended up going into a full blown flare up about 11 weeks after this third treatment where my left eye got a sensation of having something in it and my ears started burning. I went on Solodyn for 3 weeks to calm my face down and then switched to Oracea (which I am still currently on). All in all it took about 14 weeks after this treatment to get my face to stop burning. Now 5 months later (May 2008) the 3 areas that were bruised are still persistently red and the areas that were not bruised are pink, (also my ears will still flare up sometimes). My face flushes all the time now as virtually anything can get it to flush (certain foods, drinks, heat, sun, alcohol, stress, pressure/friction on face from sleeping, exercise sometimes) and sometimes I flush for no apparent reason at all. The laser doctor says that V-Beam can not make rosacea worse, but I have had rosacea since about August of 2005 and before this 3rd V-Beam treatment the only lifestyle modification I had to make was that I had to give up distance running. Now virtually everything about my life has had to be modified to keep the flushing down as much as I can. Needless to say I am very stressed out about this and am not sure what to next. The laser doctor said he will treat me for free to get me back to where I was (but I am obviously worried). Has anyone else ever had an experience like this?"

Phlika replied: "Hi and welcome to the forum. I am sorry to hear that you are going through this. I think that any laser/IPL can potentially have both a positive and negative impact on rosacea. Whilst I have not heard of many people saying that symptoms have increased since having v beam there will always be a risk attached to this type of treatment. I am not sure that I can offer you any help as such but perhaps it might be worth looking at this review site for treatment reviews.
Best wishes, Sarah"

Arb161 replied: I had good success with the v beam for about 1 year and then pretty much the same thing happened to me. These doctors think by increasing the setttings they can make things better but its probably the worst thing they can do. I also went into 24/7 flush mode. It was a horrible experience and I really feel for you. I tied to make it better by going to more aggressive treatment- yag alone and then multi-plex-yag plus v beam. It either didn't help or made matters worse.
I am now much better after 14-15 I've lost count- conservative luminous one IPLs. Don't know if this will help or not but try to find a doctor who really knows Rosacea (easier said then done) and stay conservative- low settings. Best of luck, Arlene"

Indian_Boy replied: "Hi. I had a purpuric PDL treatment to treat mild redness on my nose in November 2003. It took away the redness and my nose 'shrunk' to its pre-rosacea size. However, I started to flake quite severely in that area fairly soon afterwards and I developed a 'tightness' in my cheeks (where I only received sub purpuric treatment) and swelling. Since then I have a much more reactive, sensitive skin, and not just on my nose but also on my cheeks where I never had a problem before. I have to take doxycycline or the left side of my face and my nose swells, and I get lots of small pustules on my nose and cheeks whereas I hardly ever got them before.
I've consulted with a number of dermatologists and laser specialists since then - most attribute the (increased) redness I have to seb derm because of the flakiness I have. However I'm not convinced by this as I had seb derm before the laser but it didnt make me red and the flakiness felt different to the dryness i have now. I'm wary of having another laser treatment of course...especially from doctors who deny even the possibility that laser can make you worse (one accused me of being rude for even asking if that could happen!) My own opinion is that people recover differently to the low-level trauma of a laser session, and the response will depend on the type of laser, skill of the operator, and the genetic makeup of the patient. Find a doctor who will take the cautious path - do a test patch if possible - and trust your own feelings about whether your skin is improving or not. Best wishes, Neil"

Dnlabc replied: "Thank you ALL for your replies. I have not yet found a highly experienced laser doctor (V Beam) who is also an expert with respect to rosacea. There seems to be a lot of doctors with lasers but relatively few who have treated a significant number of patients with rosacea and truly understand the disease. I live in Michigan but would be willing to drive just about anywhere if someone knows of a reputable doctor with extensive experience with both lasers and rosacea. Thank you all again."

Jhnnygdy replied: "I too am worse months after my last vbeam...Redder, more sensitive and worst of all my cheeks are still swollen. A brand new problem I didn't need..
I didn't notice until my friends started asking me if I put on weight. I thought maybe they were referring to my belly but my stomach is flat and I actually lost weight.. They said it looks like I put on weight in my face. I now realize that my cheeks, particulary my left is still swollen and has spots that are hard to the touch. I looked it up its called edema. I really looked like a chipmunk after the 3rd and 4th vbeams but 3 and half months later its still puffy. What a nightmare. John"

Abraham51 replied: "My rosacea first worsened when I had purpuric Vbeam (mostly better but some new red places that were white before). In my 2nd purp. session, my doc just went over those places again and they faded! Hope this helps!"

Dnlabc replied: "I first posted here last May of 2008 after a severe worsening of my rosacea after a bruising v bean treatment in December of 2007. I was not getting any better my face was still red and very dynamic . I waited until August 2008 until I felt my face was healed better and tried a couple of small spot checks on the right side of my face (I chose the right side of my face because it was the side that had the least damage so I though it would be easier to fix). In October of 2008 and December of 2008 I also had some more spot checks done and no adverse effects that I could tell so I had the right side of face done again in February 2009 at setting that I originally never had a problem with (6 msec pulse width 10 mm spot size and 7.7 fl). It has now been 11 days and my rosacea is even worse. This is not the normal after effects from the vbeam, at this low setting those subside in a couple of days with me. I don't know what to do anymore I think I am starting to go insane over this, especially when I think that if I would have stopped after my second vbeam treatment I would have been fine. I am only posting here to warn others to please, please think long and hard about laser treatment before you do anything. I do not want to frighten anyone (because I know their are success stories out their and I would have considered myself one of them if I would have stopped after my second treatment), but I can I can tell you from my own experience that things can look like they are working and one bad treatment can set you back worse than when you stated. If I could go back in time I never would have done this. This is just another sleepless night I am experiencing over this. I never knew how bad rosacea could get when I started the v beam treatment I thought the worst that would happen would be that it just would not work. My symptoms are SO MUCH WORSE now and only I had symptoms on the left side of my face when I started my v beam treatments. I know I am rambling but I am not in a good state of mind right now, I have been trying to deal with this now for over 14 months and it is really taking a mental toll on me."


Lookout replied: "dnlabc.....I live in Michigan also.....who is your laser doctor?? I experienced hyper-pigmentation with my last v-beam.....and it is still there....I am thinking I will have to have IPL to clear up the discoloration.....I blame myself for this happening as I insisted they use stronger bruising setting that last tx....but all my other tx's just weren't working for me.....I think I am done with VBeams......this disease is so reactive and each one of us is so different."

Mistica replied: "The more I hear these stories, the more I am convinced that excessive energies, or, moderate energies on highly inflamed rosacea, only serves to exacerbate the disease.
When I look back over my extensive treatment history with IPL, it also reflects this. Lookout,
I would be very careful trying to remove hyperpigmentation with IPL. That would involve a burn, in the form of a graze. I have had many of these due to the melasma. In the case of melasma it ALWAYS returns, darker than ever and usually the area extends as well. The inflammation involved in these types of 'injuries' can also serve to cause more hyperpigmentation. I guess it is fair to say I have melasma and also hyperpigmentation from pustular outbreaks. Mine always leave marks. They last a very long time. Some, permanently. When I was having IPL, after the doctor burnt me terribly on two occasions, we had to make a point of lowering the energy in the areas where the pigment was darker. Just the slightest graze would darken the area further, as well as worsen the rosacea. Having said all that, another factor to consider is how deep the pigment is. The way to ascertain this is with a Wood's lamp. A dermatologist should have one of these. If your hyperpigmentation is epidermal, rather than dermal, you stand a better chance of getting rid of it. Dermal, or mixed is really difficult to resolve. If you are prone to increased pigment, such as I am, the inflammation from the rosacea, or even excessive heat can fuel it. How dark and how extensive is your hyperpigmentation?"

Lookout replied: "I would say it's moderate....and it's mostly reddish with a hint of brown not much just a hint.....it is from the black/purple bruising I got and some is just the lame ol rosacea that just won't go away! I would not do only mild IPL to see if it helps.....I have done probably 20 of these and they have never increased the marks....they always clear them up for me....I have one dime size area right by my right side burn area that was from burising at like my 1st or 2nd Vbeam and it's still there all this time later....I could have them test it out on that spot only and see how it reacts over the next several weeks....that would be a safer approach.....I am so fair/casper is my long lost brother so I should get a good result.....and I am not prone to brown skin patches....mine are truly more reddish with a tiny hint of brown underneath and only in the areas that were bruised to a black/purple color."

Dnlabc replied: "No it never settled down, I never flushed before my December 2007 treatment with heat, sun, alcohol, stress, etc. and now I do."



The Taff wrote a warning about IPL and fat loss:

"Hi, I haven't been on here for a long time as my skin in general has been so much better. However, over the last few years i have had a number of IPL's which i now believe has done damage to my skin and i have now got fat loss i believe in my forehead. I've been getting the IPL's mainly for little blood vessels (veins) on my cheeks - but i decided to have my forehead done this time after i have been having a few rosacea flares and it was slightly red. I had an IPL a few weeks ago, after not having one for a year. It was done on the same setting as i normally have. The machine is called a Lovely, is the old version of the Harmony IPL machine. Anyway, to cut a long story short, after a week of having it on my forehead (which i haven't done before, only have had treatments on my cheeks) i have like a long indention, which runs from just below the top of my forehead, down to the central part where my eyebrows are. I believe the laser has somehow destroyed the fat tissue from underneath my skin, and there's a bone which runs through the center of my forehead, and to the side of that this indentation has appeared, i can actually feel the dent. I believe there must have been fat in this area and somehow the IPL has destroyed - i know this is no coincidence. I have done a lot of research and dents in foreheads which suddenly appear are usually due to trauma, like a bang or accident. But this hasn't happened to me and the indentation is quite pronounced, you can see it quite clearly in certain lights, but in others it's not so noticeable. I have also noticed over the last few years that i have been getting irregular shape pits on my cheeks, it looks like very mild acne scarring and can only be seen under certain lighting conditions, like when the light shines from the side or directly standing under strong lighting. Some of these scars started off tiny, but the more IPLs i have had, they have got bigger. I thought maybe my rosacea had caused this, but it is definitely from IPL, i'm never going to have another one ever. I am 40 now, so maybe when i was younger my skin could take it, but be warned, you may be ok after the first few times you have this done, but you may come to regret this in later life. I know IPL is not supposed to cause fat loss, but look up on the internet about others who have had the same problems as i now have. The people who make these machines all say they are safe, but really who knows what the future holds for us who have had them 20 or 30 years down the line." 

And: "Sorry i haven't been on for a while, but since I posted the above, I have also noticed I have noticeable dents on my cheeks now as well, they look like mild acne scarring but are irregular shaped, I know this is from the IPL, I have had quite a lot and maybe now i am older it's breaking down the collagen in my skin. I had noticed that i was starting to get very shallow dents before, but this last session has made them worse and I have new ones. There is no way I will ever have IPL again, and my forehead still looks the same as well." 

Judworth replied: "I am so sorry to read this, how many did you have before you noticed these issues? IPL initially really seems to help in the beginning, many on here report good things in the early stages. I had about 13 in all between 2002 -2009, the last couple were ineffective so I stopped them. You are not the first to report unwanted and frightening side effects..................the trouble is when we seek out this treatment we are desperate for something to control the flushing/pain. I wonder how many of us started this treatment & now feel that it is ineffective?"

Mistica replied: "Dr Paul Jaminet (perfecthealthdiet.com) suggested I try eating gelatin in doses of 3000g once or twice daily, to try and avert more damage. It might help prevent more collagen loss and perhaps help rebuild it to a point, but in my case, it probably won't have any effect on fat loss. My chin is the worse area, it is very distressing."

Manon13 replied: "you were right Taff, there will be many more hit. I was after just one treatment, no more. And i specifically asked about side effects to my very reputable Harley Street dermatologist and he insisted there were none!!! After I reacted badly, i read the forums and asked him about it and he said "yes fat loss exist, i have seen one case in my life but it only happens to those that do not know when to stop". he denied nerve pain and pricks. How superficial all this is! Now I wonder though: why some and not others? Is it machines with radiofrequecy, is it underlying weaknesses on our side?" Link to forum thread



Meemz wrote about his problems after 4 pulse dye laser treatments:

"I really need your help guys.. I had two pulsed dye lasers 4 months ago.. The treated areas are still red and I can see the marks where the laser went and they are not going away.. I am also experiencing increased flushing that I did not have before.. I was wondering how long does it take for the redness to go?? This is ruining my life and I want to bury myself in the woods for doing this treatment."  [..]"My skin before the laser was perfect compared to my skin now.. I only had couple of broken blood vessels and my skin was pink because I was using Retin-A for a year. I had the laser one week after I stopped using the Retin-A. The dermatologist did treat my whole cheeks, but only treated an area in the middle of my cheeks that look like a huge circle. The rest of my face is normal, but these treated areas are red, inflamed, scared, and dozens of broken blood vessels appeared. I never used to flush in my life.. even if the weather was hot or I was infront of a heat source, but after the laser I am flushing so badly to the point I feel that my face is going to explode and my face turns dark red and purple and of course I have constant burning sensation. I thought that by now everything would settle down, but I now believe that the derm burned my skin. And when I did a biopsy, it showed that I have white blood cells (I was told that these appear when there is burn and injury to the skin). I took steroid pills for one week and that did not help and made things worse. I also took doxycycline for 3 weeks, which made things worse too. I used steroid ointment to calm the inflammation for 10 days, it helped a little bit but I did not want to continue because I know that steroids make things worse and can thin the skin.The constant burning sensation has subsided now, but I still get these flushes but they are not as bad as before (I was told that I have continues inflammation and the flushing is my body sending blood to my face to promote healing).. I read an article about CO2 laser resurfacing and it says that post-inflammation may last 6-12 months. I know that they are different types of lasers, but they are all harsh procedures and use light and heat. I decided that I will not take any medications or pills and will let my body heal itself. I am only eating fruits and vegetables. The only thing that I am using on my face is a natural product that a lot of people who were damaged and burned by Lasers and IPLs used and found it helpful, but I was told that it will take time (3 months) for things to settle down."

Jemm replied: "your post is really discouraging me. I had Nlite vasuclar mode done, almost a month ago (it's gona be a month in 8 days) and i am like you, the treated area is red, i read it was because the blood vessels got broken, and i've been trying to stay positive thinking this redness will subside soon but reading your post i guess that could not be possible..... "

Meems replied: "I hope that your redness will go away. I kept telling myself that it just take months for it to go away and I waited 6 months, but it never went away. I went to many dermatologists and each one ended diagnosing me with something different. My skin is not normal at all and it's swollen and flaking and I have heat sensation all over. I had a feeling that I have an infection because my skin was burned and injured from the Vbeam and that lead to an infection. I searched and looked for a really good dermatologist to really help me, but none of them really cared and they didn't even try to do tests to see if there is an infection. I then heard about a dermatologist in CA that people from all over the States go there to see her and even people from Japan and Korea go to CA just to see her. I made my decision and went to CA, from the moment she saw my face, she told me that I have a fungal and bacterial infection. She did a skin culture to see the type of bacteria that is causing the infection and to see if I test positive for MRSA or not. I am currently on antibiotic that kills stpah and strep bacteria and will get the skin culture result next week. My advice is that if you feel that there is something not normal going on with your skin, try to find a good dermatologist that will be able to help you." 

 

Shoaib wrote about laser burns and showedsome quite shocking pictures of his cheeks after receiving purpuric v-beam treatments: "Never go for v beam laser, my settings were 13 joules 1.5ms 6mm. Eyelid badly swollen, never ever do it."  [..] "cursing my v beam.... life is in tatters...gonna go for 2 non purpuric for hemosrdin deposits as they r not fading .... later might consult a plastic surgeon and go for co2 laser for scars ... keeping fingers crossed.." 

Blushy1 replied:"I had v-beam laser treatment in 2008 and I had the exact same thing! Like you, I was freaking out. I hadn't been told that this could happen, so I found the whole thing alarming. Let me reassure you - it's just bruising. I know it looks horrific, it lasts about 7-10 days maximum (and fading every day). And your skin will look fabulous afterwards because the v-beam is really effective. It really annoys me when doctors use the pulse dye laser and don't warn their patients that they might bruise and that the bruising looks utterly gruesome. But you'll be fine". 

Shoaib replied: "My settings were very high unfortunate it got burnt severe second degree burns ..... blood and puss coming out which has subsequently stopped in 7 days....... all my wounds r healed now only left with white patches and black patches ..... lol. Looking lik a dalmation..any how fingers crossed for recovery ...." Link to forum post



Maryqueen wrote about her v-beam treatment:
"After treatment :lots of bright red spot on my whole face with little swelling ,just like 100bees bite me!my face feel hot and very tight right after the treatment.no flushing but hot. 1~4dsys: the red spots and swelling place looks combined and I swelling so so so much!!just like a balloon ,I even can't recognize myself,and my face still keep feeling hot. Day7: swelling finally totally gone ,but there's a big problem,the red spot on my cheek still here and seems don't fade,just like some people had their purpuric treatment and left many purple spot,but mine is red not purple,the area I've never affect by Rosacea now all have the red spot,and when I flush ,it also feel hot!!!it's never happen before!Omg,I'm really depress,I just hide at Hm all the time,its terrible!!
My question is:how long is the down time ?and the redness and red spot cause by the laser will fade finally!??i now just like have permanent redness,my dermatology said the first two treatment will make me worse but and I must have at least 3~8 treatment to see the result,um maybe at least three,is it true?please help!!!"


Brasileirao wrote about fat loss after a laser treatment:
"I haven't posted in a while but wanted to share my experience in hopes that others are VERY careful with laser treatments. Whether VBEAM, KTP, IPL (the worst) etc...I had treatments with these lasers in the past, for a while I thought things were going great. I was confident and didn't really think about the method of which these lasers operate. Well, FAT LOSS is 100% (at least in my case) an accordance and it happens slowly over time. I started to notice that my cheeks weren't as full and that the under side of my eyes were getting lower and lower. I stopped the treatment and have been living in complete nightmare. I may need to get fat graft in the future to correct the issues. The stress has caused my adrenals to fatigue and now I'm dealing with a host of other issues. I just started remeron (which I just read can help with rosacea) because of daily anxiety and depression. The issue I have is that these machines are popping up EVERYWHERE and there is little regulation. So the moral here is this, if you are going to use a laser do so much research as possible, start slow and go to someone who is an EXPERT! Knows this crap inside and out....I did all of these and still was plagued but its partly my fault. Either way, please be careful! I dont want to scare anyone off but I wanted to share my story. I will NEVER go near another laser again and am now trying to recover which will take months."

Tp912 replied: `Lasers do cause fat loss. I lost fat in my face at age 19. Pock mocks and linear lines on both cheeks and forehead. There is a forum devoted solely to fat loss from ipl and vbeam.` Link to forum post

Atwantsclear wrote:
"I've had one YAG treatment and wouldn't recommend it as it made the flushing worse not better. I've also been told by two highly experienced rosacea laser doctors that they don't use the YAG, partly because of the hole risk and also because it can cause other problems (e.g. the flushing gets worse). The Vbeam is safer for treating the vessels closer to the surface of the skin, and carries considerably less risk of puncturing a whole. Whichever option you choose, however, be very sure you have a highly experienced doctor carrying out the treatment, one you've read many recommendations for from satisfied patients and who you also personally have trust in. The Vbeam is probably the best for removing visible vessels, however all laser treatment for rosacea carries some risk." Link



Timko thinks that lasers caused him to develop rosacea: "Hi all, I'm really confused as to what's going on with my skin. This past November marked a year since I finished accutane. I had a lot of red marks and scarring left over, and you have to wait a year to do any work on the skin. So between the beginning of November and end of December, I had 5 sessions of v-beam done along with the yag laser at the same time. About after my 2nd treatment, my skin began to feel tingly and was slightly red in an area right below my left cheek where there were a lot of acne bumps left over under the skin.Anyway, on the last session, I told the dermatologist that this area was red at times and he said he would focus on it. The next day, that particular area, was really flushed and red. It's been a month since that last treatment. And everyday since then, throughout the day, that area gets flushed, very red, and hot to the touch from the sun, or the wind, or from walking into a warm room from the cold. Is this rosacea? I have never had any of these symptoms before starting the v-beam and yag, and it's only this area under the left cheek after it got an intensive treatment. Thank you for you responses."


Destiny wrote a tale of caution after a bad experience with laser: "I have had two V-Beams to treat flushing....one in the fall of 2009 and one in the winter of 2011. Not realizing that the skin changes I experienced a few months after the first treatment were due to the laser treatment, I foolishly had a second treatment. Unfortunately, the wrinkling is severe, along with some pits, enlarged pores, strange red bumps, and small areas of fat loss. But the worst are the wrinkles: The areas that were untreated are wrinkle free. I am in my 60's, so perhaps my age is a factor...perhaps the laser does more damage to older skin, and that the skin never repairs itself. I always looked younger than my age, but that is no longer true. My facial skin has aged at least 10 years, if not more. I am not alone in my experience as I discovered on the laser damage forum. Perhaps my tale will prevent someone from sharing the same fate. I know many people seem to have great results without serious side effects, but who knows what the long-term damages might be. I regret not being better informed and am devastated that my skin is ruined forever." [..]  "Before having the laser treatments, I attended a "Laser Class" that detailed the treatment and side effects. No one mentioned wrinkling, enlarged pores, loss of fat, or dents, or sores. The only side effects mentioned were pigmentation changes which would resolve over time. A few months after the first treatment, I started developing sores on my face ( not papules or pimples) but areas of eroded skin that took months to heal. Up to that time, my skin had been clear but frequently flushed due to the rosacea. I did not relate the sores to the laser treatment, not until after the second laser episode, when so many side effects drove me to the laser damage forum where I discovered that my experience was not unique.  Before treatment, if someone had said that my pores would be severely enlarged, and that I would have accelerated wrinkling, I would have declined the treatment. I was naive and ill-informed. I suggest that anyone thinking about cosmetic laser treatment research the the Laser and IPL Damage Forum." Link

Fulloflove2 wrote about laser scars:
"I just don't know what to do anymore. I was told to get lasers done for my rosacea and now my skin is scarred with pitted indentations plus I have a horrible orange peel. Now what? Doctor's say that lasers wont cause this then why come there is a group full of people that are damaged by lasers. I spent thousands of dollars just to make my face look worse. I am so depressed. One doctor tells me to get frazel laser done. Ha I don't think so. Another doctor gives me retina a to put on my rosacea. I really do give up on doctors." [..] "Yes i went to a spa a couple of times but other times it was with a doctor. I am not making this up. I have been to 6 doctors and one spa. There is a group where people have been damaged by doctors not spas from lasers. Im not saying everyone will be damaged. I am saying what my experience was. Im depressed about it. One of the doctors I went to told me that he stopped doing IPL treatments because it could cause fat loss. If you want to know that doctors name I will give it to you. I have a friend that had fat loss from it and then she had to get fat grafting done. Do what you want to do, Im not telling anyone not to get lasers done. I just want to see if anyone can help me with my skin. I started laser treatments back in around 2000 and had IPL and v-beam. I didnt get damaged until after laser genesis and v-beam perfecta. I have had around 30 treatments or more. I stopped counting. There is another lady on here that just posted yesterday stating that she has pitted scars from v-beam perfecta.  I thought this was a place for support and get help from people not for them to tell you not to write how you are feeling. I have been to so many top qualifying doctors and they have not been able to help me so thats why I give up on them. Also the last doctor I went to put another scar on my face. So yes a doctor did give me a pitted scar. I would never make this up. Do a search on the internet and you will find more people like me that was damaged."

Belinda had scars, fat loss and increased redness after IPL treatments: "I had three IPL treatments with a highly respected laser specialist doctor. After the third I experienced scars appearing across my face, facial fat loss which has left me looking giant and aged, increased redness and MORE broken capillaries. For the first few weeks my skin looked great, put then the scars, dents, fat loss and increased redness appeared over the next few months. It was incredibly traumatic and upsetting. I went back to the doctor twice and he dismissed me twice. He said I was imagining it and it was all in my head. He said the settings were so low it could never have caused the damage and that it must have been there before hand. Yeah right! I since read on rosacea.co.uk about another person who was damaged by him. People say IPL cannot cause damage but it it a blatant lie. You only have to look at the links here to see it is a fact. Link
If i can stop one other person from going through the incredible trauma i went through this last year it i will be happy. If a seasoned professional doctor can cause such damage on a low setting, i dread to think what damage can be caused by an inexperienced operator on high settings. I would do ANYTHING to go back in time and not have done this. I would have put up with the flushing if i had know this could have happened. I want my nice young plump face back without the scarring, but that can NEVER happen now. PLEASE think VERY carefully before you do this. If you don't think you can cope with scarring and a gaunt aged face, then DON'T DO IT. The doctor certainly won't care about you should it happen." 

The doctor was Doctor Mervyn Patterson of the Woodford Medical Group www.woodfordmedical.com. He is well known for his laser work, is a respected doctor who used "gentle" settings on me. I was dead against surgery and the only way i can think to fix this is with fat transfers or fillers, but they kick up red veins so i'll have even more on my face. I just have to live with it and the crushing depression that goes with it. I think lasers are a load of crock. Sure you get short term benefits, but for me the cumulative effect made my rosacea worse, which kept me going back for more. Mind you, three treatments is hardly excessive. I believe the reason lasers are so popular is that they give such impressive short term results that you can't help but be wowed by. It's only months down the line that the damage appears, the redness worsens and because you did the IPL months before (if the damage is subtle and cumulative) you don't chalk it up to be caused by the IPL." 


And: "I wish I had known how crap Dr Patterson was when i started treatments 3 years ago. There was nothing but good stuff written about him on the internet. Well, all change now Dr Patterson! The word is out. YOU SCAR, DAMAGE AND RUIN PEOPLE'S FACES. My rosacea was so mild he SHOULD have turned me away. But i guess he likes money. If anyone wants to join our laser damage support group please do so here: (page no longer exists, SN) The story about IPL and so called "non ablative" lasers need to get out. I spent years looking after my skin, and Dr Patterson destroyed it in a ten minute procedure. It has been completely traumatising. All this nonsense about it building collagen! What a load of rubbish. Anti-aging? yeah right, i look ten years older now."

TheMediumDog replied: "Although it does not help you, it most certainly helps everyone else to have a report like this out there in public. You are doing a service by posting it.The majority of people undergoing IPL seem to have few long-term negative consequences. This can definitely encourage a blase attitude towards the procedure. Your experience, which I have certainly heard at least one other person report, should definitely make people weigh the risks. IPL is pretty new. The only way experiences like yours are going to get taken seriously is if enough people report them."

Alba replied: "My heart goes out to you I kind of know what you are feeling. About a 1 year and ½ I had Vbeam laser done. I had 3 sessions the 1st 2 were about 8 weeks apart then the 3rd about 3 months later. I went to a reputable dermatologist which my regular dermatologist recommend since he didn’t do laser. The dermatologist office has several laser machines and this office has a good reputation. After my 3rd session I also noticed afterwards I was left with indentions on my skin which I didn’t have so pronounced before. One area I would say it has lost fat as you say. I can say that my skin has improved since then, but not totally. I hear of so many that have such success and then some like us. Hopefully your skin will improve as time goes by."

Phlika wrote: "I think we do need to make it clear that many people have benefited from lasers/IPL including myself. Of course there are risks involved and different people will react differently. I do understand that Dr Patterson uses the quantum IPL and prefers a one size fits all approach. This has in the past appeared to not suit everyone. Hopefully if people post reviews of their treatments on the internet then potential customers will be able to make an informed choice. Out of interest the government is still looking to deregulate lasers in the UK."

Melissa wrote"I agree with Sarah and think in the right hands laser and IPL can be a lifesaver for some. I know that when my burning and flushing get really bad nothing else can help like VBeam. My derm is very conservative though so I think that is key. I know every time I have Vbeam I do get nervous about potential side effects like scarring but I weigh the risk benefit ratio and for me it is worth it for now. The relief I get from it is worth it and knock wood so far no permanent marks. My heart goes out to all of you who have experienced damage from IPL and laser and how devastating it must be for you."





Banshee used to have a lot of benefit from IPL for her severe rosacea, but at some point she wrote about severe side effects:


"What I am about to write pains me greatly, but I felt I owed it to the forum and all those who I have recommended laser to...I've always advocated it, but as of today I no longer do, at least in great number I have been absolutely devastated to learn that I have damage developing over my face 4 months after my last laser therapy. Divets, scars, Orange peel texture all along my jawline and chin, indentations, lines, pinholes...After nearly 8 years of laser therapy, I am once again the tale of caution for people. I had been doing well to combat my severe flushing to return to a state where I could continue my life and thought I looked good, but obviously my luck ran out. These issues have come on very quickly and needless to say, I'm terrified and extremely upset.
I believe cumulatively, the number of treatments I had simply caused too much thermal insult, and I have come to learn of a phenomenon called "thermal aging". I don't wish to alarm, but I urge before you continue any further thermal treatments including non-ablative, you do so informed and check out the stories on this forum; 

http://iplandlaserdama.talkthis.com/.Of course there are problems which can arise with anything, but so many of us on this forum average 20 light treatments. No where near to my insane total, but none the less....I could have never forseen something like this. I feel I should say that during the last 2 1/2 years I have not been using RLT. Maybe that was my downfall I don't know, but I'm not including that in my caution as it's non-thermal. I don't know what I will do...to spend all these years fighting the devastating effects of the Rosacea and have this outcome is a depth of sadness beyond what I can describe. I'm trying to stay positive, but it's hard. You all deserve to be free of suffering, and I'm sorry if my recommendations led you to any more. I would appreciate thoughts and prayers."

And: "The situation has turned very serious. In 5 days, my face has been sinking in....my temples, my cheeks, texture changes, things everywhere. The lasers destroyed my fat and I hate that I ever tried them. I thought when the Rosacea began it was hell, but this is a hell of different kind. I will be undergoing an emergency fat stem cell procedure Wednesday in hopes of stopping the atrophy. I hope and pray it works and I will look like myself."

Earlier she had written: "I was very disheartened to discover lately that I have an indentation on the side my nose toward the bridge. I've never had any scars or pocks on my face, so I'm certain it's come on relatively recently. My last treatment being 4 months ago. I had mainly been getting only Laserscope Lyra 1064nm Yags (@ 30 joules), spaced 6-8 weeks apart for 4-5 years, then cut down to 2-3 a year. These helped my severe flushing considerably. It wasn't until I added a pass of the 532nm KTP (6 j's) a couple summers ago though that I truly felt I had made headway. I was disturbed to read old posts and comments by Dr. Crouch, that unbeknownst to me the 532 KTP shouldn't be used on the top of the nose due to the thin skin/cartilage.

I've advocated light therapy as generally the best way to arrest Rosacea, and believe it still is...but IPL/laser are high energy devices so the risks are always there. I have considered myself pretty lucky with limited side effects (a burn or 2) from having significantly more laser than the average person. However, I've often wondered if there was a limit a face could take. For those of you who have experienced fat loss/collagen/cartilage destruction, have you found the indentations to lessen over time? Did you continue on with laser therapy and avoid those areas? Find any topicals to help the impressions? My flushing has gradually been returning, and I have always had extremely powerful internal and hormonal flushes that have not responded well to medications. So I'm very worried about what this means for my future if I can't get anymore laser. On a side note, I have not regularly been using RLT for the last couple years.. Thanks for listening and any advice-Kristen." [..]  "I don't want to scare ppl away from laser/IPL. I had close to 70 txs over an 8yr period compared to a dozen! I had such bad flushing I wanted to knock it back to last week. Antibiotics for over a decade took a toll on my immune system, Accutane at high dose before they knew better I believe primed me for severe flushing, and clondine made my Raynaud's horrible. So I felt like I was out of options...I want to point out there are others who have had just as many treatments as I have w/o incident, and I got pretty far before I did. Just please exercise caution.
I've never believed my way is the only way, it's just the Beast of this condition is hard to pin down when it gets out of control."

DCNGA replied on July 2010: "I have not posted here in a while, but I administer the IPL and Laser Damage board. Kristen posted a link to our board. I want to say thank you to the moderators and members of this board who acknowledge that IPL and some lasers do cause devastating side effects such as fat loss, skin changes, and other severe damage that goes unreported/acknowledged by the medical community--if not downright denied. Thank you for not dismissing those who have these awful side effects. Thank you for believing or at least having an open mind that these things are possible. When I first began the support board I was banned from nearly every forum on the Internet (this was over 2 years ago) for speaking of these issues and trying to find out if anyone had experienced these side-effects. No one believed me and most thought me a trouble maker. Perhaps I was too loud and too insistent. I've now learned to be more calm and tolerant in the face of disbelief. As the years have gone on and more and more people are harmed by these devices, our words have begun to ring more and more true--as sad as that is. It pains us all deeply that more people are harmed daily by these cosmetic devices. If the procedures performed with these devices just had some of these side effects mentioned in the consent forms it is my/our belief that so many people would not take the chance and would be making more informed decisions. But most don't know of the possibilities. We try to get the word out, we try to find a way to make the medical community listen but no one hears and no one in the medical community wants to step forward. Time and time again our members are dismissed when confronting a medical professional or seeking their counsel. And there are lasers (not just IPL), ablative and non-ablative, that are causing very similar issues, one being the Fraxel. There are links to the stories of Christine Hoene and Angela Waker on our board whose damage was from Fraxel. We do not sound a warning bell of fear mongering but a warning bell of knowledge and enlightenment to be careful and be fully informed of what you are risking if you decide to have these devices used on your face or body. Everyone has the right to make an informed decision.

I am so very, very sorry this happened to Kristin. I hope she was able to have her treatments and things are improving for her. It seems, at this juncture, the only treatment is fat grafting which is stem cell enriched. If anyone knows of other treatments that have helped others, please let us know. If anyone can recommend doctors or post what doctors have told those who've had these side effects, it would be very helpful. While there are several doctors who do admit, in the privacy of an exam room, that these things can happen none have said why (other than the research we've been able to accumulate--thermal damage, DNA damage, and lipid damage-why this happens to some and not others or why it happens at all. They don't give it a name or offer a diagnosis or prognosis. 
Also, it is important to know that this damage is not always limited to the skin/face or areas treated. In at least four instances (of which I'm personally aware) there has been systemic issues. Many have developed eye problems, ear ringing, and swallowing problems to mention a few. Again, this is told to inform not to frighten. Thank you, again, for having an open mind and heart for those who've been harmed. DCNGA"


Here are several other patient testimonials of botched IPL and laser treatments, causing fat loss and skin problems:

An IPL/Laser support board member wrote in 2006: "I had a series of 5 IPL sessions for my mild rosacea. Had good results, but on the 5th session the doctor decided to increase power which worsened my rosacea (but no textural damage). I waited 6 months, and saw a very good laser practitioner who decided to give me 2 test patches over a period of 6 months...everything was fine. Went ahead with the full treatment, (doctor decided it would be ok to increase the power slightly ) During the treatment I complained that the IPL treatment was actually burning my face, but he assured me everything would be ok and carried on. Well the rest is history, severe inflammation, severe nose swelling, and a few months later as my skin began to recover I noticed my cheeks were covered in pinprick indentations."


Another IPL/Laser support board member wrote in 2006: "IPL - I had about seven-eight treatments previously, spread out over 2-3 years(2006-2007), always with reduction of pigmentation on skin and good result- 5/2008- power increased at this visit- performed on face and chest-Since last treatment: scarring on one cheek immediately- indentations a few minutes after procedure (thermal burns?) which enlarged over 5-6 months; 6 weeks after IPL-cheeks deflated, then indentations formed on both cheeks (ice-pick scars), also squiggly lines all over one cheek, indentations on forehead, lines on nose, indentations and lines between nose and lips, lines/indentations extending from side of mouth down sides of chin, small tears all over skin, pinpoint scarring all over skin, orange peel texture to skin, enlarged pores-wrinkles and thin skin over chest-if I have a blemish it leaves a scar. My skin has lost its former elasticity-I look as though I had severe acne as a child. Changing still...."

Another IPL/Laser support board member wrote in the fall of 2007: "Two treatments on face and neck-Complications include pin pricks on cheeks; pitted scars, ice pick scars on cheeks, chin, temples, forehead; lines like etchings or stab wounds that go in all directions on cheeks, nose, near lips, temples, chin; blotchy, hyperpigmented skin all over face. I look diseased. Enlarged pores on cheeks, nose, forehead, chin, between nose and lips. Looks like orange peel. Wrinkles everywhere, sagging skin around eyes; fat loss all over face and neck. Thinned out skin. Overly sensitive to skin products that had been used safely in the past. Skin burns easily now. Roughened texture to skin on top of everything else. Prone to breakouts. Damage still going."

Another IPL/Laser support board member wrote in 2007: 
"1 treatment resulted in 2 indented lines that became visible within the early weeks following procedure. Volume loss right next to it in my upper right cheek that continued very slowly over the following year."

Another IPL/Laser support board member wrote in September 2005: "Thought it would help my rosacea) Two IPL treatments - twice in the same week as part of a special 3-part program- thank God I didn't do all 3! The first seemed fine, but I could tell during the second one (when the doctor said he was going to really crank it up) that something was wrong. Sure enough that did me in. This did me in and completely melted/hollowed my entire head. The surface skin itself became very thin and fragile with pinprick holes and even made a few weird moles grow."

Anonymous replied on July 2010:
"My heart goes out to you. I'm so very sorry you've had to suffer. It seems IPL procedures, on some people, causes nerve damage and possibly neurological problems based on what our support forum members have experienced. I don't know if this is what happened in your case or not. I'm not a medical professional Please join our support forum. I'm very sorry for your pain: http://iplandlaserdamagesupport.prophpbb.com/"

FraxelSurvivor replied on February 8, 2011: "Do not think you are safe from adversity by going to doctors and fancy clinics over salons/technicians. I can't speak to salon outcomes personally, but in the case of lasers, the hard truth is that when something goes wrong, if not immediately, then perhaps up to 6 or 16 months after...dr.'s don't know what to do either and may not help you because to admit that the laser caused your damage, they risk their ability to make a living in a field where they don't make money without doing procedures. In essence, for some, their whole career is built on procedures that are extremely risky to patients. Is that someone you really think is all that smart? Someone you want to spend one moment of time around? Open up your bank account to? Hand your soul over to? I went to a board certified, "expert" in CA who charges more than any other office I've researched across the nation. My face was also destroyed. Do not think for one second that because you shell out more money or go to a place with a good "reputation" or a doctor who is "world renowned", an "ivy league grad"....blah blah blah. I lost my beautiful face over going to "the best". Even traveled out of state to have "the best"...Its all marketing lies. My pictures were altered, and thus I suspect the pictures shown to me beforehand were also doctored to show "results" that were not real. Several other patients of "the best" have been severely damaged. If I had it to do over, I would just maximize makeup, fillers, and botox before doing surgery/lasers and been patient while using topicals which are much safer for the skin. When I was doing that, I was a beautiful woman with a healthy face, albeit, not perfect. I am now disfigured, aged, and scarred and as the skin turns over I see more scars everyday. Tell anyone you know who is considering lasers of any kind, to visit this website and others like it BEFORE they even go for a consult "just to get information". I wish I had. I would never have done this knowing what I know now. And if you read the stories and pay attention to patterns, every "laser" has caused tremendous suffering even in the "best" of hands and no matter what kind of laser it is. Also think about how it came to be that so many women are in a position to be posting on boards like these. Most laser survivors I have met are intelligent, vibrant women who simply were not told the truth about risks. What makes you think you will be told the truth? Protect yourself by keeping your hopes, dreams, wishes and prayers in check. Think. Be realistic. Be skeptical. Be ready to walk away from any dream that some magic cure exists out there to cure all that bothers you. Your face and life depend on it. Consider that the way to being your most beautiful and joyful self, may actually mean staying OUT of a laser doctor or plastic surgeons office. Consider that if you look closely you are probably beautiful in some way already and that is enough. You are enough. Just the way you are. And when you feel age starts to change that, go to one of many non-surgical derms who specialize in fillers, and noninvasive options that have low risk and resolvable consequences. I would take minor blemishes and fine lines, even wrinkles, any day over laser damage. The former is at least natural, a part of life, expected, you're friends will understand.... The latter can make people stare in pity, you feel and look damaged, disfigured, isolated, alone because those who haven't been through it are scared away by it, your fair weathered friends (and doctor) may disappear, your true friends will be devastated, for you and with you, which is painful in and of itself...this all disrupts your life, health, finances, relationships, and self image. Is it worth the risks?"

Nomad replied on January 25, 2013: "I had several IPL's by a surgeon that worked out fine 10 years ago. Afterwards there was some blotchy pink areas on my skin that were gone in a half hour or so. I had another IPL at a Medical Spa (Big mistake, Medical Spa means some doc has leant his name and can reap the rewards. In my case, it was an ex-anesthesiologist who had a Traumatic Brain Injury so could no longer practice, so leant his name to the Spa) I had a bad feeling while waiting in the waiting room for the gel he put on my face to finish. It was a new spa where I had actually gone and interviewed the man doing the treatment beforehand. He told me he's worked directly with a plastic surgeon for years, which later I found out was not true. 7 hours after the treatment I saw welts had formed down my cheeks and under my eyes. I immediately went back to the spa and asked him in the waiting room, what's going on with my face? He asked who I was and when he worked on me! The held my face up toward the light by the window we were standing near and said "I usually don't get this intense the first time and how this was "great" as lots of collagen would be growing in???!!!!!! So it's a year and half later and I have nerve damage on the right side of my face, fat loss from the nose down to the chin which created a large indent/wrinkle from nose to mouth, the welt/puffiness under my eye never completely went away and is worst on the left side and seems to have pulled the delicate skin under my eye down a bit, eyes are hollowed out and and 14 months later the cheeks - where there had been welts look orange peel and like someone put pin pricks in them. I am 51 years old and used to look a good 7 to 10 years younger than my age. Now I look at least my age but with bad skin. I am not as depressed about it as I used to be as I am trying to focus on inner beauty, meditate and pray a lot. It was very difficult to have my physical beauty snatched away. And many people don't understand, feel uncomfortable hearing about it or both. I am more worried about the nerve pain after 18 months than how I look. My face is often hot, tingly or sore. I have thought about fat transfer, face lift and am very afraid of these procedures. I am not really sure what I will do. I have researched lots of surgeons in case I go that route. I like what I have learned about Dr. Jacono in New York. He is an amazing reconstructive and facial plastic surgeon. On the IPL laser support forum I learned of a plastic surgeon in Florida who was one of the first and best trained in fat transfer. He also keeps your fat and can shoot more in, if it does not take in surgery, which for some people it doesn't. The benefit to this is you would not need a second surgery. Good Luck Ladies. Remember you all have an inner beauty and are spiritual beings having a human experience!"

GoAwayRosy wrote on January 12th 2014: "I'm depressed with Laser Treatment Issues: Temporary or permanent? 
I am so upset!! It took me awhile to be able to afford laser treatments. I tried everything in between - Doxy, Oracea, Finacea, Metro, Mirvaso, etc etc & nothing worked for me. So I was told laser was my last & final hope. Of course, my skin was looking the best it had in 2 years before I went in & I would love for someone to explain the whole "diet" thing to me affecting your face b/c it was over the holidays & I did nothing but eat a ton of cookies, fattening carby appetizers, etc, and somehow my skin was next to perfect. So anyways, since I had my appt already set up for laser, I thought it would just zap any remaining redness/blood vessels that I had. Well here is my experience: It did kind of hurt, not gonna lie. Nothing horrible, but mildly offensive. Was red immediately after which was expected, was given ice. Went shopping right after & my face started to calm down. Woke up next morning to being VERY swollen, especially under my eyes. My skin felt & looked not only sunburned, but so red that I felt like it was making my whole body overheat. I had to bite on ice chips to make my body cool down. Tried to put aloe on, did nothing. Called Dr, he Rx'd me Bionect, which stings my face. Tried my other normal routine, everything burns, my skin feels raw. Getting new papules & pustules. A week after having it done, swelling is down but now where I had the swelling under my eyes, I now have wrinkles. Face is itchy. I'm so depressed. I could barely make ends meet financially last week b/c of the treatment & now it has made my face worse??? So not only dealing with that, but the fact I looked bettee before I went in & now I have ruined myself again? I have never felt so low. It has only been 10 days. I'm hoping this is the storm before the calm, so to say. I don't know what to do with myself. Anyone have this experience? Any insight? Help?" I hope GoAwayRosy will update as the first month after treatment many patients have increased redness and flushing, and this doesn't have to be an indication that the treatment went wrong. The wrinkles under his/her eyes, don't know about that one..






cveroleyva wrote on 15 Apr 2011: "Let me put this out there, I made it to 3 out of 4 ipl sessions. It was a very comfortable experience, no stinging, no burns, no rubber band snapping sensations, the office was great. Explained worse case scenario it may not work, best case scenario skin will look great. I browned on my sun spots, flaked, and they fell off just like I was told. My face looked great...due to microswelling. On my 4th session, I was scheduled after July of 2010. I didn't show up. Reason being, I began to notice drastic changes to my face, cheeks losing plumpness, dry skin, strange scars just showing up, wrinkles developing, orange peel texture skin, odd creasing. I went in for sunspots, I came out with serious damage. I'm a victim and I didn't have any initial reaction. If you decide that ipl is the best for you, take your own pre ipl pictures, and post ipl pictures once a month for a year. And please keep posting and updating, it will help people make more educated decisions once they have all the knowledge about ipl and lasers."

On November 6, 2012 she updated: "It has been about 5 months since I posted, and I can't help but be vocal about how destructive this can potentially be and how scary and mind blowing the gamble is with lasers, from ipl to fraxel. The changes have been continuously downward. I avoid mirrors so I can get out of the house and function like a normal person, because once I see myself I still cant get over the fact that I dont recognize my lumpy and scratched up skin and my features. I did a series of peels, and to this day I can say the pigment luckily stayed uniform. But the textural damage just keeps getting worse, and its embarrasing to smile or laugh because right from under my eyes down to the corners of my mouth, my skin bunches up in raised scars with roped thick lines and squiggles. I am thankful tje damage happened to me at 33, I had already had my son, my job was secure, and i had and have an amazing circle of friends and family who knew me before, and dont judge me based on what I look like now. I feel awful knowing there are teenagers, young adults, or just regular people that may suffer from acne, post acne scarring, rosacea, or other skin conditions and professionals are dupying them every day into thinking this can help, pretending it is a consistant, well understood, and regulated practice. It's not, it's a crapshoot, where some people make it through feeling good and others are getting disfigured. It's not worth the gamble, the technology is not well understood. I came in with a clean face, oily, a couple of sunspots I simply didnt want to wait out as usual for them to go away on their own, and it's been a night and day experience. And i learned strangers, employers, etc., absolutely treat me differently based on what my skin and face look like. It has been an incredibly surreal journey, and I still cant figure out exactly what the life lesson was for me here if there was one."

On February 19, 2013 she updated: "I just wanted to update, almost 3 years out in May of this year since my initial ipl treatments. Skin just keeps nosediving, its pretty gross. I wouldn't do it again and i don't recommend it. ill be 36 this march, my sons friend called me a grandma...lol. That's what i look like, eww."          

tsavaneli wrote on 15 Nov 2016: "Hello, I had IPL done in one of the Krave Medical Aesthetics in Denver, I had no scars on my face but wanted to have nice one tone skin, had some discolorations on check area. After I had procedure done, as soon as I left while driving car to home, I started to have some liquids dripping from few areas on my face, I thought it is normal after this procedure, after I woke up in the morning, I had crystals dried out on my forehead and on my chin, I washed carefully and was hoping that it was over, but unfortunately as I had to work, liquid was still dripping. I called the office, they told me someone will return call, but no one did. I emailed owner, she did not respond right away, but finally did, I told her what was happening, and send her photos, she told me just to keep it clean and did not seemed to be concerned about it. At night I emailed my doctor, dermatologist and next morning I got call from my doctor to see them immediately, so I ended up having from skin burn infection developed from IPL and was prescribed with antibiotic cream. After 7 days finally stopped liquid and started to heal. But I really need help, I have deep scars developed from it and it is not going away, almost having holes on my face, it is very disturbing and every day I am looking at my self I am very frustrated, please recommend me what should I do in this case? owner for Krave Medical Aesthetics does not seems to care very much, she offered me some laser treatment, but it did not do anything at all, I don't want to live my life with this scars."


nolasersplease wrote on 22 Nov 2014: "Just like so many others on here my once pretty skin has been ruined by a series of 5 ipl treatments. And just like so many others I found out the hard way that lasers are RISKY to say the very least and can and in fact DO cause damage. Regardless of what these so called doctors say (or don't say rather with their code of silence) it is not mere coincidence that so many of us are experiencing these adverse effects such as nasty skin texture, funky ugly lines, sagging skin, fat loss, enlarged pores. ....everything we NEVER had prior to being zapped by these machines that rob us from the face we once knew. This is NOT the face i had 6 months ago. I really want help. Please if anyone has had success stories of their face going back to normal or getting better I'd love to hear and get some advice. I am and always have been on a very healthy diet with loads of veggies, no meat, dairy or sugar. Tons of water. Take my Fish Oil and vitamins, etc. I ordered psoria gold a week ago and it has helped decrease the burning."

 

On 16 Sep 2016 she updated: "2 years. A little worse but not as bothered by it unless it is acting up. Still fluctuates a lot. Didn't think after 2 years it would still be so reactive but lasers can compromise your protective barrier and induce rosacea so I guess it is what it is. I sometimes think it's better to leave it alone. Trying new products like vit c or retinol seem to make it worse. But I wanted to try because some people have great luck. i just don't know anymore. Yes I miss my baby smooth poreless porcelain skin but there's no going back. The only thing is I wish it wasn't so darn sensitive and hurt sometimes. It's definitely not as bad burning as when it first happened!"

Peyton2012 wrote on 8 Feb 2016: "Like an idiot, I did not do my research before I bought a package of 3 IPL treatments off Groupon because I have visible capillaries and redness on my chin and on and next to my nose that I thought was getting worse with time (I turned 47 a few days after the procedure). She -- a PA -- used a Cutera Something on the right side of my face that felt like she was stubbing tiny cigarettes out on my skin. Half an hour later a huge blister popped out on my chin along with some much smaller ones on and next to my nose. Blistering burns are second-degree burns. Thankfully, the next day I already had scheduled an appointment with my dermatologist to get antibiotics for a horrendous outbreak of cystic acne I had in August 2015 -- I've had persistent, scarring, nodulistic acne on my chin and around my mouth since my teens. She told me to glop Neosporin or Bacitracin on the burns and then she wrote me an Rx for Doxycycline, an anti-acne antibiotic that also has anti-inflammatory properties. The triangular scab on the big blister fell off after 6 days, but there was another, smaller, triangle-shaped scar *below* it -- so I know (now) that the IPL penetrated at least to the dermis. I was so upset about the possibility of scarring that I had to pop Ativan just to get some sleep. The big blister left a slightly depressed and hypo-pigmented scar and there is a tiny white ice-pick hole from a small blister on the left side of my nose -- the side she *didn't* work on. Wonder if the "head" or whatever she used was triangular in shape? Two weeks later the lymph node on the right side of my neck closest to the right side of my face swelled up for no reason. Then it went down. I never connected it to the IPL because, other than the blisters, there were no side effects at all, not even redness or swelling or tingling or burning or pain. I did not return for the 2 remaining treatments, Groupon refunded all my $, and the PA kept in regular touch with me and even said she was sorry -- which is much better treatment than others on this site have received. The past week has been awful. I am totally freaking out about the horror stories I just found on RS and other sites. I cannot stop looking at my face every 10 minutes examining for the infamous orange-peel skin and the dreaded fat loss. I spend 8+ hours a day online researching IPL. The skin on most of my right cheek and on part of my left cheek now has the pinkish sheen of epidermal atrophy from IPL photons or whatever they are going just wherever the hell they wanted to on my face, and I seem to have more fine wrinkles around my mouth (thank God she didn't touch my cheeks or forehead, or I'd be in a psych ward right now, I'm so very upset and scared).

Yesterday I looked at my chin from an upside-down angle (face parallel to the floor), and I think there is a triangular depression on the right side of my chin -- next to the faint scar from the big blister -- and I thought OH MY EFFING GOD IT'S STARTED I'M DOOMED. I cannot concentrate and have stopped work entirely on two ambitious projects that I was so excited about only 2 weeks ago. So, ladies, in your opinion, what is the usual time-frame for the orange-peel skin and catastrophic fat loss to manifest themselves? I have heard as long as 6 months!! Also, I entered menopause in August of 2015, one month before the treatment, so I don't know what is IPL damage and what is due to just aging and/or to cumulative collagen damage from all the cysts* and/or the 20 years of heavy drinking and light smoking that I did. But I've avoided the sun like a vampire for 30 years, so I've always been mistaken for 10-15 years younger than my age and I would like to stay that way. Your thoughts?"



Swash63 wrote on 11 Apr 2016: "I thought IPL was pretty fool-proof, but the RN who performed it obviously had the settings too high. My face has a dark and light pattern on it three weeks after and I am now going to a real dermatologist to try to even it out. I wish I never would've trusted my face to her and I am paying for it now!"



Walk313 wrote on 20 May 2015: "I'm 24 years old and suffer from mild rosacea on primarily my cheeks. My Derm recommended I try IPL as a possible solution to my mild redness and flushing. Well, I wish I could turn back time and NEVER show up for that appointment. After making an appointment with another doctor, a supposed "IPL expert and educator" (someone other than my regular Derm - she doesn't do IPL in her office) I am left with skin that is completely wrinkled and crepey. My 64 year old mother has better skin than I do! This is not "micro-swelling" or "dry skin," this is damaged skin. I would also like those who may be considering this procedure to know, that I had a completely comfortable and normal experience. The machine barely hurt, and the doctor told me he was using a very low setting as I had requested him to be extra conservative (told him I'd rather the machine do nothing at all, than burn me). Well after the procedure I felt fine, my skin had very minimal swelling, and I only had mild flushing in my cheek area for around 1 hour after the procedure. The next morning I woke up and noticed my cheeks looked a little more wrinkly than normal, but I figured that was to be expected since I had just traumatized the area and this would of course go away.. Well it didn't and things have just gotten worse. I now have little wrinkly lines all over my cheeks! (looks like my pores played a game of connect the dots)! My little brother blatantly stated, "your skin looks just like a raisin!" Sad, but the description is an apt one. The machine used was a Lumenis IPL without RF and was just serviced a month prior to my procedure. I would also like others to know that I was considered the perfect candidate for IPL, as I have very fair but thick skin, that doesn't ever tan. Although I will say that the IPL cleared my redness, it came at a terrible price. I have always taken excellent care of my skin and have worn sunscreen daily since I was 12 years old (thanks mom). My skin before this procedure was truly close to perfect, and now it is a wreck. Another sad development was the odd dent that has started to appear under my right eye. 
At first I thought I was focusing on my face too much and that it was nothing, but then a few days passed and I really started to see a problem. Developing, is a dark dent under my right eye that perfectly outlines the IPL machine head that was used. I went back to the doctor who performed this procedure and he stated that, "there is no way that the IPL could have caused this damage, especially not the dent in my face (also interesting he didn't deny there was damage). " WELL.. THAT IS NOT TRUE!!! I went home and researched the IPL machine used and read up on Lumenis' annual 10k report, and under the "Risk Factors" section it states clear as day, "Our systems may not be able to meet patient expectations and there may be adverse side effects from the procedures for which our products are used. Laser and IPL systems are inherently complex in design and require ongoing scheduled maintenance. Despite pre-market testing, our products may malfunction when used by our customers, due to their technical complexity. In rare instances, patients may receive burns, blisters, skin discoloration or skin depressions..." UMM hello!!! Skin depressions anyone? It's right there in the quarterly report!!! And this doctor is telling me that "It can't happen?!" When I sent him this information via e-mail and told him I was upset that these potential side effects were never disclosed to me, he never responded back to me! 

LADIES LISTEN TO ME... This is not an easy "lunch time" procedure that is safe, with "no side effects." For some I understand this procedure works miracles, but for others the results are devastating. Too many people on this site have had their faces compromised for a supposedly "easy" procedure. I had one IPL, JUST ONE! And it was done by a highly regarded doctor in a medical office, with years of IPL experience and accreditation. I did not do this procedure at some back alley medical spa with a cheap machine. I regret it every single day. Don't be me, find another way to treat your skin issues. I've since been using Psoria- gold and moisturizing the heck out of my skin with emu oil, and been wearing high SPF sunscreen every day. Nothing has helped so far. I have an appointment set up with my original derm to see the damage and hopefully help treat it. Will let you guys know how it goes. Thanks for reading my story. Photos to come... I have not posted the name of the doctor for legal reasons."
 

teresauk wrote on 4 Jun 2016: "I had IPl treatment for facial rejuvenation in Feb this year unfortunately I was badly burnt and am left currently with worse pigmentation marks stripes and a painful scar on my jaw. I went to the hospital and was treated with anti biotic cream. The salon has apologised and is giving me dermalux light treatments to try and help heal my skin but does anyone have any other ideas of creams treatments that may help ? Thanks in advance all advice gratefully received as this is really getting me down."

 


Read more about IPL/laser and fat loss herehere and here

Here you can find reviews for IPL/laser, both positive and negative.

More stories about IPL and laser damage can be found here:
http://www.realself.com/rosacea-treatment/info




I improved a bit from taking anti flushing medication. I still however often have full face bright
red flushing periods. I flush all the time unless I keep my skin cooled with a fan, or the win outside, basically.. After the IPL treatment, as you might see, I basically went from mild and confined, limited redness to more severe redness over both of the full cheeks. (I usually never wear make up apart from occasional mascara or for special appointments that make up for the post partum skin reactions to the make up), so the middle section of pictures show exactly what my skin looked like). The flushing increased tenfold, if not more. I used to think I had severe rosacea, because I would stay pale most of the day but start to flush badly from certain foods or stress or heat, but at least I had limited and temporary flushing then and my skin could look kindof normal in color for a long time, so in hindsight it was not that bad actually. Now I wished I could go back to that state every single day. I am almost always either pink or red and I flush much more easily, from more triggers and on many more occasions. I never have been able to cut fully back on the damage that was done by Patterson in January 2005, but tried over 10 times to do laser test patches in the years ahead. Both in the local hospital under guidance of my local dermatologist (old fashioned pdl and IPL machines, I had little expectations from the start but my derm was adamant that it helped most of his patients- not me), and under the professional guidance of Dr Chrouch. He was great and very patient and careful with the testing and I later had eventually another full face IPL with him (Lumenis one triple pulse), but for some odd reason the test patches had shown some clearance, yet the full face treatment must have been 'too much' and gave only 3 weeks of massive red inflammation and then no change at all. We both thought that maybe it came down to us needing to do the IPL in very small sessions, so the skin can handle the small scale trauma. I also tried nd-yag (no results) and v-beam (twice the lower part of my cheeks in Melbourne with Dr. Goodman), with virtually no effect (and definitely not visible to my trained eye). I am still hoping in the future I can use laser or IPL (in small patches) to clean up this vascular mess I have but I am in no rush. Both Dr Chu and my German dermatologist are very weary to say the least about the treatment of reactive vascular rosacea with IPL or laser. I guess I should have listened to them. I find medication so far most helpful to constraint the flushing to a decent degree. Am still looking for the perfect anti inflammatory to suppress the redness but things look a lot better now. However, as soon as I stop taking my meds things go downhill fast again, I tried at least 3 times now to stop with them only to see the flushing come back with a vengeance.

It's hard to distinguish how severe the fat loss and scarring are for the people who had a negative response to IPL and laser. Most didn't add pictures to their posts. Although I assume that there are also people online who obsess over 'smaller' things, it is fair to believe many have undergone some significant negative change. And there are simply too many negative reports to dismiss them. For more information, please do a search in rosacea forum search engines and check the site of the IPL and laser Damage Support forum. The aim is not to scare anyone away from IPL or laser, but to make a well informed decision, something I thought I did at the time, but in hindsight clearly didn't. And to find improvement of their rosacea with IPL or laser treatments, but to avoid the stress of them making matters worse.



My own pictures before and after IPL
2003, flush and burning only on upper cheeks
2004, moderate flushing, only upper cheeks.
In London with sister and mom, going for first IPL



Day 2 after IPL. First severe flushing, now 2 days of swelling which dampened the flushing temporarily. Then more full cheek redness afterwards and till this day.

 




In summary, IPL and laser can help a lot of patients, but its not a given and these machines are powerful and have the ability to make things worse as well. The more sensitive your skin is, the more severe your rosacea and flushing and redness, the more risk you have of IPL and laser either not working sufficiently or making matters worse. Doctors might tell you IPL or laser is your only option left, that they never made a patient worse yadayadayada, but reality is that some people DO get worse from it. I would therefore always take your time to do test spots, with different machines and filters if possible, and not on your most sensitive inner cheek area, and take the time to get a clear image of what is working and what not. Don't let impatient doctors rush you, this is your face they are dealing with. Dr Mervyn Patterson in the UK said he never made a patient worse but he made my rosacea 10 times worse. I understand that doctors are no magicians and that no matter how good the care, treatments can not work out. What really infuriated and saddened me is that despite trying to take precautions, this doctor wove away my concerns and request for test patches, he ignored me wanting to have a (cheaper probably) partial face treatment and when things went into a nightmare, he offered nothing in return. No back up plan, no responsibility, and he said he had done nothing wrong, this couldn't have been the result of the IPL and had to be due to the stress of losing my sister a month earlier. It doesn't get any worse than that I think. Of course he didn't want to treat me any further. He withdrew from all responsibility and just shipped me off as a non treatable patient afterwards, 'thank you, next patient!'  I remember wandering through Danbury with an almost maroon colored face, applying quickly bought bags of frozen pees to it and feeling depressed to the core. Awful times. I hope it was a one time misjudgement thing on his behalf and his patients are contend nowadays, but I got the impression he was only interested in cashing in and had absolutely zero interest or care for me once things messed up badly.

Most doctors won't be like that, but they will want to sell procedures and you are the only one responsible in the end for the decisions that are made and the consequences. Think wisely and limit your risks. I still think IPL and laser are Russian Roulette for the more severe patients out there.


UPDATE

There was a story in the newspaper today of a woman committing suicide, after she had a simple mole removed from her face, and ever since had experienced burning pains. She wrote:
"Unfortunately I can no longer endure the physical pain of burning flesh in the face, neck and chest." She blamed her surgeon for causing this. She had the procedure in November 2011. The article says that she had beforehand written to officials in the Swiss clinic Dignitas for help in ending her life. She complained of a 'regular stabbing pain' in her forehead and a face that was often red and painful. Her confidence had been left so damaged she said, that she was unable to leave the house. She also wrote to Dignitas: "I have had enough of this hell and it is time to move on. (..) Therefore instead of facing daunting future prospects fighting with the condition I have now made the most important end of life decision."

Her husband said: "Obviously the impact from the surgical procedure had a huge effect on her and she was only 44. She was getting the odd line or two here and there and she hated it. She was looking at her face every day. She would sit looking in the mirror for half an hour to an hour every single day. I believe the blame is down to the doctors and the clinic and I am going to pursue the clinic for my Victoria. I want justice for her. I'm not bothered about the money side, just as Victoria wasn't. She just wanted to make sure that nobody else suffered like she did. I'm sure if she had had a bit more care and aftercare she might still be here today. Before the procedure she was fine. She was such a bright, beautiful woman." He added: "It was only supposed to be a 25 minute procedure to remove a small mole on her forehead. During the operation she said there was a lot of blood pouring from her head. She didn't think it was normal. A few weeks after the procedure she realized she had been left with a scar. She wasn't happy at all. She presumed it would fade away in time but it didn't. She went back to the clinic to complaint to the doctor. Then the scar started healing, but she started suffering with pins and needles in her face a few weeks after the operation. She kept going back and they didn't want to know. To me I couldn't see much of the impact of the operation. You could see redness in her face sometimes. She said it was eased by a hot shower so she was always showering and putting creams on her face. She said she was in a lot of pain. She described it as a burning sensation on her face and neck and she would sit there with her head in her hands and her eyes closed.

"As time went on she became more and more determined to get back at the doctor. She would say "I'm oing to get that b******. He has wrecked my face." She didn't want other people to go through what she was going through. She was always writing letters to different solicitors. She wanted to sue on the grounds of medical negligence because she believed she had suffered nerve damage. It went on for over two years. She became very reclusive. She started reading the Bible a lot and wouldn't go out anywhere. She didn't want to see anyone. She never gave any other reason than her face and became a completely different person. Then she started talking about suicide. She would say "I've had enough, I can't cope anymore. I'm going to kill myself." I didn't know what I could do to help."

A spokesman for Transform Clinic said: "The treatment we provided in November 2011 was of a high standard and this has since been corroborated by other independent medical professionals including her own GP. Following treatment, we had extensive correspondence with Mrs. Meppen-Walter. It was apparent her issues were deeper rooted than with the actual treatment and care we provided. patients concerns and after care are paramount to us and we are very saddened by this tragic news."

What a very sad story.Its impossible for the reader to determine how severe her facial pain really was. And how much of her distress was the result of the cosmetic side of it, and the lack of control. But this is how a lot of people with rosacea feel as well I think. In daily pain, with burning faces. It reminded me a lot of the reaction from Dr. Mervyn Patterson from the Woodford Clinic in Danbury, UK. He used an old IPL machine on my face, absolutely ruined it and I am still, 8 years afterwards, a lot worse rosacea wise than I was prior. He ruined my life afterwards and was the most uncaring, rude person ever when confronted with what he did. I can't believe this crook was awarded Best Aesthetic Clinic of the Year... See video here. His wife even says in the thank you speech: "we have happy costumers and that's the way we like it to be." The irony. Please people be careful when you do rosacea treatments involving laser and IPL.
Video's on Dr patterson: video 1, video 2. Lets hope he sticks with fillers and botox from now on and stays away from rosacea patients.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2431577/I-want-evil-surgeons-headstone-Womans-suicide-note-blames-private-doctor-botched-operation-remove-mole.html




Update 3th December 2013
On The Rosacea Forum, a member called Manon13 had IPL for her rosacea and reported a series of catastrophic facial changes as a result of this:

´Brad,
Nothing has been published yet. The docs are looking for funding for a phd at the moment.  Nat, nice to see you always so present. I had ipl in London from a very well known dermatologist who said it had no side effects whatsoever. I had mild rosacea with some spots and a lot of redness.
Only one treatment. Funnily enough it did take away completely my ocular rosacea issues and did improve my rosacea overall. But I would love to have it all back ten times if I could because what also happened is as follows:
- dramatic changes to the face for about four months
- loss of volume, cheeks falling down, jowls forming
- pinprick holes, enlarged pores and lines forming between the pores
- existing normal expression lines have become like engraved in the skin
- my eyes are the most visible feature, multiple bags, large dark circles, skin is so thin that any cosmetic surgery is impossible now
- the skin all over my face has thinned and everything moves around when I try to apply make up

Ok rereading this I sound like a monster. I am not, if you crossed me in the tube you would not see me as a monster, just much much older than I really am, very very tired and with bad skin, probably acne scars...
- after about 4 months I started to see changes to the body overall, which is what concerns me most now as it is continuing
- in the beginning docs were dismissive, thinking it might be aging. Now they take it very seriously and I am being examined by some of the best specialists in the uk
- it seems that my skin is atrophying all over the body. I have lost fat padding under the feet which makes walking painful, I also have joint pain and in general am like aging at speed all over
- on the ipl and laser damage website there are other women with the same symptoms. Although most have only face issues, for some it spreads. I am certainly an extreme case but many more have milder damage. The docs current hypothesis is that in people with pre existing collagen defects, such has those with ehlers danlos /hypermobility syndrome, ipl might trigger a chain reaction through enzymes called mmps. There is absolutely no proof at the moment. It is only a working assumption. But we have found out that more than half of the women on the ipl website with body as well as face damage have hypermobility so there seems to be a connection. Please be aware that many people have hypermobility without knowing it. There is a good description in Wikipedia and it is relatively easy to diagnose. The specialists are trying to gather more cases for the research so if anyone is affected and lives in the uk, let me know and I can pm the details of who is working on it.´
 
DarranNoFish replied: ´"- pinprick holes, enlarged pores and lines forming between the pores" It happens to me after my first IPL and it is really horrifying. It has been two months and it gets a little better , but the damaged had occured and I'm so frustrated that <it might be permanent?>

WendyKay replied: ´Hello DarrenNoFish - This is the same thing that I believe happened to me. I thought that I was losing my mind but now I hear that it has happened to others. I don't understand this. What could be the cause? I am terrified and perplexed. What are you doing about it? Thank you so much for bringing this up - I don't feel like I am going 'as' crazy as I was before. But, what can be done? wendykay´    

Manon then replied: 'Nat, Thank you very much for your support, it really does help and makes one feel less lonely. I completely agree with you on the unbelievable. I would never have believed it. When I saw the first damage appearing on my face I tried to convince myself it was not happening, as did my docs. When I read on the ipl website that people could have body damage as well I thought that no way this was going to happen to me.... Now situations have got to the point that my GP last Friday suggested that I should consider going to the States !?! In order to find a way to stop the damageFor those of you living in the uk, you will understand that it must be pretty serious.....I have the hands of a 100 year old for example. I am saying 100 because all the old people around me have better skin, even at 80. Anyway it drives me completely mad that doctors still say that ipl cannot have any side effect and treat people who have lines and holes like those who have written here as if they were imagining things. Too much money in this business.. The good news is that my own dermatologist now has stopped prescribing ipl! By the way serious studies are starting to appear on adverse effects, unfortunately none yet explaining what we experience.An example for your reference  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23458347/ '




The Angela Walker story

I also read about another, very tragic case of a young woman who was burned by laser and who suffered badly from it and even dying at a very young age. Here is her story and are her pictures:  http://www.realself.com/review/do-not-do-fraxel-ruined-face-burns Angela Walker from Virginia went in for a simple "Fraxel" treatment and came away damaged for life. She exposed her pain and suffering for the world to see on realself.com, in hundreds of posts and with pictures of her facial damage.

This is Angela's first post from realself. Awalk (Angela Walker) wrote:  "Do not let anyone put this laser on your face...I was burned and haven't felt comfortable leaving my home in over a year......At first you may think its ok and you're healing...but the laser goes so deep the real results show later.....NOT PRETTY....The B/After pics aren't that impressive and its very new... Stick with tried and true I had better results with peels....510k FDA is not FDA approved or safe......only says other lasers like it on market.....Don't fall for it....It's all marketing and hype.... WAIT till it's been around longer and they work out the kinks and know how to use it.... Will upload pics later"  (First picture is before laser, the rest after). 



Updated on Jan 25, 2009: "I had this procedure 2 years ago at a plastic surgeons office who I’ve seen for 9 years for botox resty….I would not recommend it to my worst enemy… It seems you may have improvement at first but it causes DNA damage to the existing cells not destroyed..The negative results damage may not be apparent for months or years…..There is not enough research it was put to market to soon and we are the guinni pigs……Don’t let this laser on your face…They have treatments available with long term studies on all skin types that doctors have more experience using…"

Updated on Feb 4, 2009: "To the company, executives and sales reps, who rushed this laser to market before they did correct and responsible studies. Exploited the system ..Your unscrupulous, irresponsible, marketing, advertising, and buying of doctors is inexcusable.
You are the true criminals of society not drug addicts, burglars, adults abused as children or the mentally ill that fill our prisons… You have options yet choose to in danger others for personal gain…You should know I cry everyday and every time I look in the mirror..Your greed, lack of integrity and irresponsibility has ruined life’s...My son is hurt when I hide in the car to watch his soccer games. My mother is sad when she watches me isolate myself from the things and people I love because I have sores and scars covering my face now...Knowing It hurts them is the worst feeling I've ever experienced....One you are obviously incapable of comprehending since you continue these practices today...It’s pure evil and you should be the ones crying or sitting in prisons. Today is my birthday..The second one I will spend sad and crying with sores and scars on my face, I feel like a caged animal, my phone is turned off and I wonder if I will ever look normal again…Enjoy a birthday dinner, Cheer on the field at my sons soccer game, Go to lunch with my Mom, Attend parties, Go on vacations, Visit my neighbors or Go out with my friends and family ect ect…..

I hope you read this and I hope you think of us when you enjoy theses simple pleasures you have taken from me and my family…Maybe it will take you a few minutes longer to go to sleep tonight??? One can only wish..To the Doctors performing this procedure Please Take it seriously learn everything before you put it on a patients face...Start with the person you intend to delegate it to...You took an oath when you became a doctor..We count on you to protect and guide us thru the mish mosh of info and the corrupt FDA..Everyone has a right to make a living especially after so much education...But never at the expense of another....Do your homework... Do not listen to sales reps.. Or base your decision on delegating this and profit margins..They take no oath, have no education requirements. If you do you don't deserve the title,trust or respect we give you.. You will quickly become a commodity to greedy executives with half your education Please honor your oath and put pressure on peers to disclose.. If I wanted to get a sales reps opinion I’d talk to a sales rep Not my doctor….

Updated on Apr 2, 2009: "I felt a strong need to update this based on the positive reviews I am seeing 24 hours after the procedure... I thought it was fine 24 hours after and was looking forward to the results.. It's impossible review a treatment 24 hours or even weeks after when the results are not visible for months... While helpful in describing what to expect during treatment they should in no way be taken as a positive result....... If you read the negative reviews you will notice most are months or years after treatment and are not happy ..They say they look much older or it ruined their skin....At this point you can pretty much determine the final result.. I wanted to make sure people considering this treatment put the appropriate weight on the reviews they read...The length of time after treatment should be taken into consideration when making your decision...As results and complications do not present immediately"

DDCNGA replied on March 29, 2009: "I had erbium (Co2 step-child) and my undereyes look just like Awalk's in her last picture. I strongly discourage people from laser resurfacing of any kind, actually. It is too unpredictable and unproven in the long run, IMHO. Devices are approved too quickly and use people like us to experiment. If you listen to what doctors say, they all say "this has never happened before" and to that I say, do an internet search. It's all happened before, no one just wants to admit or face it, in the medical field. It's a mystery to me why/how they can continue to make these claims. The gold standard for acne scarring is dermabrasion, followed by peels (strong peels). Dermabrasion can lead to hypopigmentation, but the KNOWN side-effect from Co2 is hypopigmentation. I would go with the dermabrasion (with a skilled doctor) over Co2 or fraxel. Done by the right derm, you can get improvement with acne scarring from peels (I had about a 75% improvement with mine from TCA). Just some thoughts."

 

Angela passed away after spending nearly two years hidden away from the world because of the depression and her self-perceived disfigurement from the Fraxel treatment.

Her mother wrote on Nov 25 2009: "This is a follow up to awalks tragedy. I posted that although she is gone and I miss her very much.... the LIFE she had AFTER having fraxel was not living. If God could send her home today I would not want her back in the mental pain and anguish she was in from the fraxel restore and her face damage from some irresponsible person. For Doctors and Nurses to play medical yo yo with peoples life is a disgrace to human dignity..... as a cancer survivor I am pleased with new technologies that save lifes and research that helps the sick and people in pain that are terminal..... but to use humans as medical guinnea pigs and rats is disgusting. To think we have a group of interest to protect the rats ...pigs and other animals (peta) and none to protect our human race is definitely a sad state! These are our sisters ... brothers ..mothers.. grandmothers... and MY daughter. The cost of perfection and vanity is just not worth the cost..... a person imprisoned in there soul because the error cannot be fixed!!!!! No Thank you...... I love life too much .. even now with my beautiful daughter gone. I am not angry I am just ashamed ...... very ashamed that the person out there who did this can continue to do this for profit and greed..... Then can shut there eyes and actually sleep at night. This is more scary to me than disfigurement."



Here are a couple of other statements from people who were damaged by IPL or laser, taken from the IPL and laser damage support group:

August 4, 2010: "I unfortunately want to document here, on the IPL and Laser Damage blog, that I have suffered more than just fat loss from IPL. I have suffered nerve/muscle damage as well. I trusted this FDA approved machine, administered by a board certified doctor to correct acne scars and stop hair growth on my chin and upper lip. My face was mutilated and my life permanently altered by this device, which I was told and assured was safe, non-invasive. Whether it be said or proved how many people are being affected or damaged from these devices, each individual life counts and this damage should not be minimized by doctors, the manufacturers or the FDA. The public has the right to know possible side affects that these devices cause before they receive the treatments. Patients are not being told. Doctors insisted it was impossible for Thermage to melt fat, which was later proven, and now legally must warn patients beforehand. Doctors will tell you it is not possible for fat loss to occur with the IPL, but that is not true. I am proof that it does happen, it happened to me. If you want to trust the information provided by doctors performing IPL and using other cosmetic devices then do so at your own risk. The FDA is not enforcing further research or testing to prove our damage, so there is no proof out there that is required to reveal it is happening,other than the stories like mine and so many others on our support board and all over the Internet. Many have and will continue to be harmed, as long as those affected are dismissed or not heard. It's sad. My intention, please just know, is to make you aware that it is happening and of the possibility that it can happen to you as well. Slim or not, decide if the risk is worth it to you. If you are reading this and have already been harmed by IPL or other lasers please report it to Erin Brockovich's site, she has a link under "product liability" on her website to collect the data of those harmed. Also, for much more helpful information, insight and support from others harmed and places to go to receive help if damaged, please come to the IPL and Laser Damage support forum to talk more in depth. It is a safe place to help support each other through this and has helped me personally, a great deal. This laser did not stop after melting through my fat, it kept going...burning from my insides out. I say to any doctor who disagrees. Receive the same treatment as myself, same settings, same temp, same areas and then we can talk from equal experience. The bottom line is...these lasers and cosmetic devices are penetrating deeper then those who are administering them and selling the treatments claim. Unfortunately until the amount of those harmed proves and outweighs, the false claims, it can and will continue. Please be counted and consider at least joining the The IPL Laser Damage Support forum or writing Erin B so that you, as an individual, can be counted and help prove this damage is occurring. The more stories accumulated in one place, the easier it will be to prove this is happening to many people.
Peace"

July 2010: "I had 3 IPL treatments done on my face. The first two turned out fine,but the third oh my God what a nightmare. I burned for hours afterwords,I was purple,and blistered.two weeks later I noticed a horrible smell it smelled like something rotten. The lady that did the treatment said there was no way the IPL could do that. I proceeded to go to numerous Dr's they all said there was no damage done to my skin, there was no smell. They said it was an olfactory hallucination. the smell was real, it drove me crazy. I put up with it for a year. I could not take it no more, so I lit myself on fire, i wanted to die. I survived now I got even more problems. Im just wondering if you no what might have happened with the Ipl treatment.. It ruined my life."

December 8, 2009:  "Hello, I am a new laser victim.
I am also suffering from a Facial Fat Atrophy following a Pulsed Dye Laser Treatment. I had 3 sessions of PDL for my Rosacea on my cheeks and some broken capillaries around my nose. The 3rd session was 2 months ago. After that I had severe swelling for a week, and when the swelling started to subside I started noticing changes in my skin: I developed two skin depressions under both of my eyes, my cheeks "deflated", my skin is "hanging" on my face now, I look at least 10 years older that before the treatment. It seems that all of the fat and/or collagen is gone from my cheeks. I aged 10 years in a matter of a couple of months, I am only 30... I lknow that PDL did this to me, it seems that the laser accelerated the aging process in the treated areas (laser induced oxidative stress, DNA damage and all that). I think I look worse and worse every day. I do not know what to do. I cannot look at myself in the mirror... because there is no "me", some other person looks back at me. I am devastated and depressed. I feel that I have been misinformed, misled and lied to by the doctor, by laser companies..., because no one ever mentioned it that there could be such consequences. If they have all this data and choose not to share it with us before the treatment or just to ignore it, just so they could make some money- it's a crime and they should go to jail! It's one thing when someone lies to you, takes your money and runs, it's just lost money; but when that someone lies to you, takes your money and then ruins your face, it's not just the money it's your identity that is lost. That's exactly how I feel... My doctor says that he doesn't see any difference, and yet he will not give me my "before" photos... If there is nothing to hide why not give MY photos?! And needless to say that he is the only person who doesn't see any difference, all my friends and family noticed a drastic change in my appearance. I just want this nightmare to be over. I hope it gets better. "

Cherry Lane wrote: "I am so happy you had great results with Fraxel and your skin may look great ..... for now. So did my daughters at first her disastrous results came two years later. This is the point she was trying to make to everyone...... damage may not happen for years. Angela went to a well known dermatologist in the Tidewater area. he had been treating her skin for 9 years..... she believed in his work and in him. She thought she would be pleased with her results when her face healed..... unfortunately it never did and this caused her great distress and depression and she became a recluse and did not leave her house for two years... she passed Oct. 2009 with her face with holes and skin damage. The Doctors who did this to her are still in practice today. Please take care of your face and sun is now your worst enemy. Be very cautious! I wish you the best. I LOve Annapolis...... we lived in Owings Mills for a while!"


April 21, 2014, Update

Wendykay wrote on April 17 2014: 
Hello all -
I have been very lucky, after 15 years of dealing with Rosacea, to have found both a caring and extremely talented dr who is performing IPL to help with the burning and redness of my rosacea. This doctor is actually a plastic surgeon but he has agreed to treat me personally because my skin is so sensitive. I have had three treatments so far - November 1, 2013, February 7, 2014, and March 28, 2014. I have my fourth session on April 28th. I have been very happy with the way the treatments have reduced my burning but I am devastated because I think they have also damaged my skin permanently. The pores have connected into lines and I now have horizontal lines across my face. I am so very scared. I am terrified that all of these lines are permanent and they look awful. Please reply.! Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. wendykay"

Antwantsclear replied: "Unfortunately lots of people on this forum have experienced problems from having IPL treatment if you read in the relevant section. By contrast, a lot of people have success with reducing rosacea flushing using medications such as moxonodine, clonidine, mirtazapine, atenolol and plaquenil (this last drug is not a first option but can be extremely helpful)."


Mistica replied: "Hello Wendy, Sorry to hear IPL has caused these issues for you.
I can faintly see them in you photos. As I have damage myself, I know what I am looking for.
Not to downplay your symptoms, but based on what I can see, I would say, they are not overly bad at this stage, however, if you continue to have IPL, they are likely to get worse. With additional damage. I have quite a lot myself, and it is very distressing, so I know how you are feeling.  I do realise that photos can often downplay the actual state seen in real life. I would also suggest, that the appearance is likely amplified as your skin is somewhat inflamed. If that were to reduce, I feel and hope that the dotted lines that you have will diminish in appearance. Have you tried going on a paleo type diet? Or GAPS diet? Honestly, for many people such diets reduce the facial symptoms of inflammation, burning and flushing a lot. Unfortunately, if you have lots of vascular damage, including lots of baseline redness, diet alone doesn't seem as effective. However, it will slow the disease down and should reduce oxidative stress in the body, including the face. I take mega doses of vitamin C in the form of sodium ascorbate, which in my case, relieves a lot of inflammation and hopefully reduces further damage I have had from IPL. Vitamin C is also important for collagen as you no doubt know. Refined sugar, a high carb diet, and poor gut flora all fuel inflammation, so as I said, if you haven't already, I'd be looking into this route, to not only protect your face from further damage, but to reduce your inflammation all round.[..]"

Wendykay replied: "Thank you all so much for your replies. I am so depressed and will never find a way out of this rosacea. Unfotunately, I know that it wil take my life one day. Maybe not today but I can't bear it much longer."

Fauxmccoy replied: "please, find a competent psych doc to help you with the mental anguish you are suffering along with your rosacea. yes, this condition can be maddening especially knowing that there is no real 'cure' and there may never be one. i don't think it is worth ending your life though. please, get some help, it has made my life better."

Birdie replied"Hi Wendy. These skin conditions are so personal, so deep. To navigate it you must find A support group of people who understand-- fellow rosaceans-- and one on one Counseling. It can cause debilitating isolation, depression, anger. If you are not Already talking with someone, I also echo Mistica/fauxmccoy on seeking a professional. Also, I agree with Mistica that even though photos on the net do not always convey The skin condition properly, what I see does not look too bad-- really!!! Your skin Is inflamed and very dry. After my IPL's I found a tiny bit of Aquaphor to be soothing And very effective. I would put on an "aquaphor mask" for 4/5 hours during the day And again at night only not as thick. This was suggested by my derm and it worked. I have IPL damage also, so looking at yours, it just does not seem so bad. It is way Too early to tell anything. My skin continued to heal for weeks afterwards. If I had Known what you know now, I would not have had another IPL. So be glad!! You Have that info now. My skin has improved with bone broth and gelatin. Both Of which have substantial amount of collagen. Good luck. There is hope for Improvement!! Birdie"

I emailed Wendykay: "Hi Wendykay,
I am so sorry you are going through this IPL stress... Do you feel you have skin damage because the pores on your skin have enlarged a bit? I am sorry, I find it difficult to distinguish your damage from the pictures... What do you feel is the worst part of your post laser skin effects? best wishes Nat"

And I later replied to her message back to me: "I feel your pain and despair Wendy, big hugs to you. This seems a very distressing time for you. I still have daily flushing and burning issues and my skin can be very red often. You have to keep going though and keep trying every avenue out there to improve things. You might be in a pressure cooker right now from all sorts of stresses; the post IPL worsening, stress, work, menopause hormonal changes. Rosacea can wax and wane and can get really bad, only to improve again a year or more down the line. I have been through highs and lows with it, and often thought that I had ruined it permanently. IPL was a real drama for my rosacea and it never recovered fully from that, but things did calm down again eventually. For me with the help of anti flushing medication I managed to at least control some of the redness and flushing. Since developing all this 15 years ago, the best for controlling my bad facial flushing and burning, has been a combination of medications, that were prescribed by a very good London based Professor in dermatology. The meds are clonidine, mirtazapine and propranolol. The antihistamine Xyzal also helps me with allergy related flushing. I wrote more about it here: http://scarletnat.blogspot.fr/2012/09/medication-for-facial-flushing-in.html
Maybe it will help some others here who are battling with debilitating flushing and burning. Avoiding processed foods, sugar, alcohol and spices also helps me to some degree. But for you, it might be something entirely different that can help you get some control back rosacea wise. Its trial and error abnd that is a huge burden for our mental state and nerves. But its the only way forward unfortunately... Ending your life is ending everything. Whether you are religious or not, we just don't know what will happen after death and for all we know, it might be the end of everything. I always pep myself up by telling myself that I have eternity to be dead. And that death will come regardless in time. And to make the best of the life I have and if I can only enjoy and feel good about something for an hour a day, it is worth going. It is hard in these times, where everybody showcases their seemingly perfect lives online, and we are constantly confronted with what we could have had. But its something everyone here on the forum has to come to acceptance with unfortunately, we have rosacea and its a lifelong struggle for some. There is a lot of info and support out here, I really hope it will help you through this rough time. You can always email me too if that helps a bit perhaps. I understand what you mean with the skin damage but want to be totally honest with you. Just like I see a beet red face in my mirror, the people around me tell me every time again that its not that bad. I don't see your skin damage as bad as you see it. I think that from the normal distance at which people communicate with each other, it might not even be visible. I dont want to downplay your damage and distress but just tell you that others might not notice it, and perhaps that can be some relief for you. I would not have more IPL's if I were you. I would focus on natural anti inflammatory options and medication, diet, etc. Big hugs to you."



Here are some more pictures of IPL damage  

This woman wrote: "Fat atrophy after IPL? If fat atrophy has already occured, is there any way to reverse or correct the damage? After receiving 3 IPL treatments, my skin texture has become very leathery and my pores are permanently dilated. I've always had larger pores around my nose, but never on my lower cheeks. The leathery texture stops where the treatments ended."

An onlinedoctor answered: "IPL should not cause fat atrophy. IPL treatments: applying many different light waves on the skin all at once, with a flash!  Used to treat superficial skin imperfections. IPL energy only goes a short distance into the skin and deals with problems there. Pigmentation  and superficial blood vessels are reduced or eliminated. Pigment and blood vessels deep in the skin are not treated. IPL treats pigment and this is why it is not used if you are dark skinned naturally or because of a tan......it could cause a burn.I don't know why your skin would become leathery or your pores dilated after IPL. Perhaps the IPL was too strong for your skin and caused some fine scar tissue to be blended throughout the treated areas?






Update May 11, 2014

In this article, a rosacea patient tells of his regrets of having laser treatment (plus a chemical peel), and the scars and pigmentation it left him with:

Regretful - Limelight Laser, Laser Genesis and Chemical Peels for Mild Rosacea

I had Limelight laser, Laser Genesis and chemical...

I had Limelight laser, Laser Genesis and chemical peel treatments to treat mild Rosacea. I now have hyperpigmentation and scars on my face. I am so upset about it, don't want to go out in public and cry about it daily. Make-up does not cover it.
I did these treatments to correct something mild and now have much worse problems. Make-up covered my mild rosacea, it does not cover the hyperpigmentation/scars.
Could you please tell me if there is anything I can do to correct this? I have gone to a few doctors and all tell me something different. I'm so confused. Please help! :(

Sonia replied on August 25th 2013: "Limelight worked for me, but because it is so expensive I only
did one, and after 6 month, more or less, it's all back, I really get stress out with the way my face looks... It's the redness and brown spots all together..."

Yairis replied on September 21st 2011:  "Hi everybody! I just really want to talk to someone who feel my pain, 5 months ago had a chemical peel done at a stupid spa plus One month after had microdermabrasion( hydrafacial) my skin is horrible, i got hyper/hypopigmentation, scars ,0pen pores, Well you name it, i been going tru bad depression and no One understand, i cry everyday! I know i got two Beautiful Kids, i know i should not be selfish, but i feel like freddy krueger! I ruined my life the worse mistake Ever! And the worst part i Pay to look like this! My email is yairiscassells@Yahoo.com im desperate some times i dont even want to live no more, i just need someone to talk at least by messages, my family and friends are suffering too for what im going thru and i think they tired of listening to me about the same. Please advice"

Cha replied on September 10th 2011: "Haven't been on for a while. Just read all your comments and feel for all of you. My skin has settled, the colour and texture has improved but still not what I had before I started these treatments. I cover it really well. The wrinkles are the worst, I'm 38....I looked like I was in my mid 20's before treatments and I now look like im in my mid 40's. I don't think my skin is going to improve much more so I've just learned to deal with it and I'm trying to move on. My only advice to people thinking of having laser treatments or acid peels is: Don't touch your face! Even the best doctors out there can ruin your skin, it's just not worth taking the risk.

Cha also wrote on August 15th 2010: "It's not worth taking the risk Abib, I went to a reputable doctor and I too had a had a patch test done with good results but it doesn't mean anything, different areas on your face will respond differently and different settings will respond differently. I have now read so many horror stories and seen bad results, much worse then mine on A Current Affair, I only wish I knew then what I know now. Also...Limelight is meant to help reduce wrinkles but my wrinkles increased with every treatment, you can see it on my face and and I have Visia scans to prove it. Just use make-up to cover your spots or there are a lot of products out there to help reduce sun damage spots. Look into Paulas Choice products for lightening, I've read great reviews but haven't tried any because my skin is now to sensitive"

Chris787 replied on September 9th 2011: "I did 2 treatments of limelight face neck chest & arms. I now have lots of brown spots, redness on all areas. The skin on my face is horrid now & it's also drooping & wrinkling. Yes this happens as we age but for all of this to happen & continue to happen right after my second treatment tells me it was limelight. I am not old but now I look it. I am not going to do anymore they say they don't know what happened. BS! It's obvious this is not working for many."

Sjane333 replied on August 7th 2011: "I wouldn't do any peels if you had laser treatments. It's been 15 months and my face still hasn't healed. The peels only damage the skin more."

And Sjane wrote on May 30th 2011: "I'm glad to hear you haven't had a complication. I am living proof that ipl does ruin a person's face."

And Sjane wrote on September 22nd 2010: "I think reveal girl was just trying to help. I've also had terrible damage from ipl and laser genesis. My face has etched lines all over it and I lost most of the fat out of my face. I may have had mild rosacea before, but I looked my age. (30) Now I look like I've abused myself, and look 20 years or more older than I did. I wanted to die too. But you can't live like that. You need to pray and ask the Lord for his guidance, because without it, life is just not worth living."

Aims replied on June 3rd 2011: "The fact that training varies greatly around the world is definitely true, and I'm sure lack of training accounts for much of the damage caused. I had my IPL done at the laser treatment clinic in Harley street, each time i went I had a different practitioner most of whom looked like they'd just finished sixth form college. The area where I was burnt under my eye now has hyperpigmentation. I understand that in England there is no qualifications legally needed for treating people with IPL. I wrote in April last year about the problematic journey i've had with trying to sort out my skin, and thanks so much for the supportive messages and comments people left. I have some good and bad news. Kitty, I went on the Obagi nu derm course in October last year, under the instruction of a cosmetic dermatologist. I would strongly reccomend against this to anyone with sensitive rosacea skin types. I spent three months with a bright red peeling dry face that according to my boyfriend looked like a 'slapped ballbag' I kept telling everyone that it would be worth it and the redness and peeling skin would subside to reveal beautiful new skin underneath. It didn't. After ten weeks on holiday in HongKong, people were actually stopping and staring at me I looked like i had 3rd degree burns on my face. When I stopped the treatment my skin went back to normal but the
Adrian Morote
spots reappeared with the addition of some permanant wierd blotches. The hyperpigmentation got better but has reappeared again. The good news is I went to see a really good medical dermatogogist and he said the hyperpigmentation was caused by inflamation from the treatments. As a first cause of action he is treating the rosacea with Tetralysal antibiotics and Rosex cream which is working incredibly well! I'm over the moon. The Rosex caused a bad reaction initially but the antibiotics have made my skin more resilient and now I can use a tiny bit of the cream on specific areas each night. As a conclusion I would say to anyone with problematic skin go and see a really good medical dermatologist.

Aims also wrote on April 5th 2010: "Hi there, I've had a similar experience by the sounds of things to you, but with different treatments and was considering trying the limelight/Genisis to correct the damage thats been done so far. Two years ago i went for N-Lite peels and microderm to get rid of some spots and help skin texture. This got rid of spots but made my face very red. The practitioner said i had acne Rosacea. I changed therepists as i felt they were slightly responsible for not having looked at my skin properly before treatment. I visited the Skiin clinic and the therapist bizarrely said acne Rosacea didn't actually exist it was just inflamation caused by acne and suggested i have a medium strength chemical peel and another course of microderm which of course made my skin even angrier and at this stage i begane to notice a scarred appearence arround affected areas. (nose and cheeks) Then i changed clinics again and went for IPL treatment at the Laser clinic and noticed no difference. Like you i'm at my wits end. My skin looks awful, the pores are open and greasy and skin is red and scarred. I've also got this wierd brown partch on my forhead! There's no way i can go out without tons of makeup on now. I've got to do something and have tried everything else. Oh also tried Finecea cream which caused a bad reaction of spots and biopore Jan Marini (caused bad reaction) I'm sticking to really basic skin products now."

Kitty72 replied on September 13th 2010: "Yes RevealGirl my life has been ruined! Your face is the first thing people see! Having gone from having a nice face to having one that is ruined, it is a major trauma. You are a moron! I know people have cancer etc... the people who did my laser (a plastic surgeon, not a beautician) sent me to a dermatologist who gave me a medication that was way too toxic for me - the medication gave me major health complications and also gave me a GIGANTIC tumour the size of a melon that grew in my abdomen - this all happened because the medication compromised my liver and messed up everything internally for me... Having a gigantic tumour that causes all sorts of other health complications means I can no longer work so we have also been thrust into poverty. The additional health problems mean I now also run a very hig risk of various cancers... get a life..."

And Kitty72 wrote on August 22nd 2010: "Oh, one more thing Abib - I have very, or rather had, very fine pale skin - now my skin is completely covered in gross hyperpigmentation and my pores are now large and noticeable, my skin texture has been left a mess - it's all uneven and rough - before I had smooth, porcelain skin... put simply, in the wrong hands, laser butchers your face... :("

And Kitty72 wrote also on August 22nd 2010:
"Hi Cha, did you send me a private msg? I'm not sure how to acccess them on here - I've only posted a few times and still trying to work things out! :) Anyways, yes Abib, I went to a very reputable doctor too (plastic surgeon), although it was his nurse that did the procedure. I'm doing what I can to try and sue the clinic because even though I signed a consent form, the consent form was for them to perform laser treatments, not to ruin my face & my life. At no point did the nurse tell me when I asked her every conceivable question that there was any risk. I asked her several times "Can anything go wrong?" to which she replied a resounding "No!" each time - she was wrong, so very wrong... I wouldn't even tell my worst enemy to have this procedure done. If it all goes wrong, the outcome is heartbreaking and cruel."

And she wrote also on July 13th 2010:
"If anyone has any solutions that help to reduce scars - I know that nothing completely gets rid of them once you have them - but if anyone has any tips of products that can help reduce the appearance of rollings scars caused by Laser Genesis/the acne it triggeed in me, any tips would be helpful... The main reason my skin scarred so badly was because the idiot nurse who performed my procedures gave me a Cosmedix Enzyme treatment to use 7 days after the 2nd laser session - the next morning I woke up to a face full of acne when I had previously had perfectly clear porcelain skin (her words were that I had perfect Nicole Kidman skin, albeit with a little rosacea!). When my skin did breakout she told me to put either Retin-A or Steiv-A on each pimple - but all that did was leave my face a further mess!!! agh! with all the dry shreds of skin hanging on my face from the Retin-A she told me to gently buff them off in the shower once my skin was all very wet - like exfoliating but without product, just my finger-tips BUT this just made things worse! I would get out of the shower looking like minced meat! to top it off I was completely catatonic and was unable to eat or think straight - I looked like a monster from a horror movie! so being unable to eat my body just wasn't getting the nutrients necessary to heal properly! prior to this I had skin that DID NOT scar - all I had were 3 chickenpox scars from when I was a little kid... for the scars I have tried: rosehip oil, vitamin E oil, organic coconut oil, seabuckthorn oil, castor oil, MSM (internally & externally), a Matrixyl 3000/Hyaluronic acid serum, Cosmedix Refine/Define... Nothing works! :("

And on July 12th 2010:"I am also a Cutera Genesis horror story! :( I wish I'd never had any laser treatments! I had beautiful skin before having my life destroyed by this! I would not recommend laser to anyone! I went to a plastic surgeon asking about treatment for mild rosacea and was told I needed laser and to use Cosmedix skincare. Well after the 2nd laser treatment my skin went from perfectly clear to covered in acne on every part of my face! I was hysterical! The clinic sent me to a derm and he made me worse by giving me Doxycyclin which was too toxic for me and this made me very ill, resulting in a massive tumour growing in my abdomen! When Cutera found out about my situation they recommended a Dermal Clinician and she has spent over 12 months trying to correct my skin which only seems to get worse and worse after each laser session she does on me! I'm covered in scars and hyperpigmentation! I used to have beautiful porcelain skin! I've cured whatever rosacea I did have with diet and supplements but my skin is so destroyed I barely leave the house, my life is ruined and feels over... I'd rather be dead than keep living this life... I used to be social and active and on the go, I was positive and bubbly! Now I'm a recluse and it has destroyed my husband's and young daughter's life too! SHAME ON YOU CUTERA!!! YOU DESTROY LIVES!!! I would love to mount a Class Action against this company!!! I hate you Cutera!"

Billy Bowtie
Happywithme replied on November 20th 2010:
Kitty, Im so sorry for everything you've gone through. I also have had very horrific damage from the
cutera laser genesis (just one single treatment at recommended was all it took to destroy my beautiful skin) Its taken 4 months of prayer, meditation, and getting up everyday trying to look myself in the mirror and say that I still love myself no matter what's happened. But I know when your face is not your face, its terrifying, depressing, isolating, and you dont want to live. I certainly didnt. I looked into suicide. It was all too much. This blow came on top of 2 other disasters I had the past year with botox (which paralyzed and dropped all the features on my face and left me looking like a zombie, and juvederm, which was incorrectly placed around my mouth and makes me look like a joker or a clown when I smile and still has not dissolved). From last August on I lost my smile with juve, then my eyes and cheeks with botox, and now my skin). It aged me over 10 years so quickly. Its been one devastating disaster after another. Not to downplay cancer as the one poster mentions, but I completely know how you feel. When your face staring at you in the mirror has changed and aged and damaged literally overnight, cancer sometimes seems like a better option because at least you can hide it. Or pretend its not there. Your face is what you show to the world. Im a big believer of mind over matter and healing your own body and I think for any other illness I could do that. But healing involves thinking and believing as if you are already healed and keeping that knowing and mindset. But when you get back in front of the mirror its like a reality punch to the gut that sabotages any thoughts of healing and happiness. Kitty, Ive read wonderful things about a 100% raw diet being able to heal most anything - including skin. Certainly tumors. And anything else in the body. Your body's natural urge is to heal itself, and once you take away all the toxic food and chemicals, it doesnt need to focus so much on protecting your vital organs and systems and will start to work on healing your skin. You may "detox" at first but it will go away. It cant hurt, right? No lasers or chemicals have helped us so far. I've been 100% raw for 2 months (Juicing every day) and plan to keep with it for a year to see if it helps. Go to beautifulonraw.com where I started - Tonya Zavasta explained the science and beauty of the diet better than anyone could for me. But the big hurdle to healing first and foremost, and the paradox we both face, is that you need to not fight what's going on and flow with it. The more you fight, the more energy you put into that, the more its gonna stick around. Law of attraction is very real. Get away from that mirror! OR stay as far away as you can when you have to look into it. I stand 6 feet away. And let go of the past analysis and anger (what happened, what you could have done different, who's to blame). The other part of this is realizing you are worthy and deserving of love, no matter what your face looks like right now. Self love is the key to healing. Finding and recognizing the true nature and light within you. I do think that has been the meaning for all of this happening to me, and I'm taking the opportunity to quiet down and reflect on the lessons - there have been many revelations. Your body will follow when you see your "true self". Again, quite a predicament when the "self" you see in the mirror is not the self you thought you knew. But your true self is. Meditation and yoga have helped calm me down, and some days I catch a glimpse of my old face. At the least I am not as depressed, can go out most days, and I believe that - one day - I will be completely 100% healed. Im not relying on time frames any more because that has brought more disappointment and frustration. Just be patient with yourself and your body. Give it a chance to heal and definitely stay away from all cosmetics, all lasers, all chemicals, all peels, and far far away from this horrible cosmetic medical industry that shuts the door on you the minute something goes wrong. Ok I had to get one negative dig in -- I could write a book on all the horror stories with these medical "professionals". Remember the body rebuilds itself completely like every 7/8 years... not that it will take that long for this, but it goes to show that cells regenerate and the body heals. Id rather be eating this diet to facilitate the process and heal the right way. Finally, be grateful for your blessings... your husband, your wonderful daughter. Put your energy into loving them, not hating this situation. It is what it is.. until it is something else. Best to you on your journey. Love and blessings."

RevealGirl replied on August 24th 2010: "If anyone tells you that lasers are completely safe, they
Mohamed Rafi-Asmath
are totally wrong,lying, or missinformed. Just like any other medicine, surgery, etc, lasers are like a science. There are many risks, which your provider should have gone over with you; burns, infection, scarring, hyperpigmentation, etc. And it really is not the lasers fault, it was most likely the provider who was assessing you. You have to be careful of who you go to, what track record they have, and lots of before an after pics that belong to them...not the manufacturer of the company. Just like the saying" Guns don't kill people, people kill people." Its all the same. I feel horrible that all of the readers here have had horrible experiances with this laser. Like I said, I have been using Cutera lasers for over 4 years and have never had a problem with it. BUT I have been properly trained and I do my homework...study materials, keep updated on techniques for all skin color, and I do not experiment on patients. You always have to ask how many treatments have you done? Have you had any bad outcomes, etc? As for Obagi, yes, you will peel, be sensitive/sore, skin will sting, be red for about 2-3 weeks. IT is quite tramatic and it doesnt look at all good. I have gone through the Obagi system myself to help control my melasma after my 3rd child. It hurt, looked horrible, but I worked and after my 3rd week my skin looked btter than ever...pores looked smaller, skin was clear and I was so happy. Yes, just like any product, some people may not have the same results as I, but the majority of patients that I have put on Obagi Nu Derm have had outstanding results and are very happy. For people who are pregnant or lactating, or people who are sensitive to Hydroquinone, you may try something with kojic acid. Again, I know that your face is very important to you, when I had melasma and acne during my pregnancy I felt horrible, especially as an aesthetician, who is supposed to have "perfect skin". Change doesnt happen over night and it takes time...sometimes weeks, months and even years but you can get there with the help of a provider that is up to date with current and results oriented treatments. I do not like antibiotics for acne. I am more natural treatment when it comes to that...doing gentle colon cleanses, taking clarity supplements, like from Vitamedica (Clear Skin) that has a variety of natural anti-inflammatory vitmains, hyaluronic acid, vitamin a, etc in them that you take orally. I wish you all the best. For the person who said their life is ruined bc of their skin damage. I know that it is very tramatic and that its sad for you, but you have to know that in this world there is so many people that are in worse shape, being raped, tortured, dying in poverty, etc that cannot enjoy life...I am not trying to downplay your sorrow, but if you have a family, friends that love you don't deny them letting them love and enjoy you while you all are here on this earth. Use your life and be happy for what you do have. Each day is a blessing that is given to you - use it wisely. I pray that you will be able to have beautiful clear skin again and love your self for the person you are inside as well! :0)"






May 16th 2014

Burnforyou asked on May 15th 2014:"Red Devil, Have you had any improvement over time since your bad IPL/Vbeam experiences?"

Red Devil replied on May 16th 2014:"Ive had no improvement just more redness and flushing.I ended up leaving my job as the heat would make my face continually flush. Ipl supposedly destroys/coagulates the veins but new veins take their place so it's a vicious circle."

Red Devil updated on May 23th 2014:" hi,I had about 4 lots of ipl treatment at first.Following treatment i noticed i would flush so much more easily and intensively than before treatment.
You can't see any damage in normal light. But when looking closely there's a definate thin depressed line running upwards at an angle from my jawline,about 1mm wide by about 50mm long.I've got a slight depression on one cheek with a couple of small marks.I also had v beam treatment which caused about a 4mm round depression to the side of my nose.Fortunately you cant see these unless you look really close. Im sitting here typing ,holding a fan about 3 inches from the side of one cheek as ive been on the phone and this has resulted in a major flush and slight swelling."

Is it worth continuing VBeam after four sessions didn't do much? 

Gunnerwinthelot wrote on May 12th 2014: "Hi all, I have had four sessions with the VBeam, the last increased in intensity, but with little or no result. The doctor who has been administering the VBeam has suggested I should carry on as her patients can take up to eight sessions before their symptoms markedly improve. Is that sales pitch or can that be the case? The VBeam is expensive and time consuming, plus the recovery time for me is a pain, so I don't want to continue if I'm flogging a dead horse. Also, if VBeam is no good, is it worth trying IPL? My symtoms are general redness and flushing, plus bumps (not pimples generally). The symptoms seem to be exacerbated by cold weather and wind in particular. Plus hot (by which I mean temperature, not necessarily spice) food. Thanks so much for any experiences you can share."

Arb161 wrote on May 12th 2014: "I don't thimk that yor symptoms can really be addressed by IPL. She is correct that the number of vbeams can differ from patient to patient. Sometimes it can take one treatment and sometimes it can take a lot more. But unless you're seeing even a little improvement after four treatments yor might want to consider a couple of things. Not all vbeam lasers are equal. Vbeam perfecta is the current gold standard for Rosacea right now. Also, the operator of the machine is just as important. The doctor (and it should be an Md) has to be very knowledgeable about both the laser and Rosacea. If the same settings are used with every treatment it's probably not going to work. I know that people on the board ask about settings and there really is not one size fits all. A knowledgeable doctor will reall try to change it up and customize them to your particular disease. Hope this helps, Arlene."

ShaunD wrote on May 23th 2014: "red devil, I feel your pain, about the flushing and the IPL damage. I've got texture damage and lost the ability to sweat in the area where I was treated. I've read that damage goes down to the dermis, I'm trying to gather as much information as possible on repairing damage. I've received really good advice here, I think it would help to read through posts. Low level red light is a safe option to repair damage and assist flushing as well, Iowa David is helpful on the topic. Obviously I'm nervous to try it after IPL but I'm seriously considering it. Also advice on collagen supplements, bone broth to repair damage and topicals etc. I'm trying to find out as much as possible about ipl damage and will post anything I find. I do think treating inflammation from within is a good start for damage and will help flushing as well, diet changes would help. Grape seed extract and vitamin C supplement has helped to an extent in reducing skin sensitivity which has been a relief. It's a good antioxidant and has properties to assist with damage. I've read that people have had good results using an alpha lipoic acid supplement, apparently it has the ability to slow down or prevent further damage by helping the body heal itself, don't know how effective it really is but something worth looking at. I will keep posting on anything I find."



May 29th 2014

In this article, from a M.D. called Harvay Jay, some information is added about IPL for more severe vasculkar rosacea. It dates from 2008 and mr Jay shos pictures of some of the patients he treated with IPL. Despite knowing it made mine a lot worse (its like seeing the pictures in reverse for me, going from good to bad), and having a few friends who's rosacea also became a lot worse -with debilitating flushing and burning and redness now- from IPL, I still like to share the link and the pictures. Especially the last 4 are very impressive I feel... wished the treatment worked for me and that it was less of a Russian Roulette with IPL, whether it works or will make you worse. Please always ask for test patches!!!







May 29th 2014

Mastro wrote in the Rosacea Forum on June 7th 2014: 
VBeam 4 Months ago and Still have not recovered Need some advice - Please! I wanted to updated from previous posts. My skin will never be the same I finally asked my doc for my medical records so i could see for myself if he used higher settings and he did, i don't know anything about lasers but i know in the past he was using 6-8 j/cm and all his notes show even at 8 my skin reacted badly, but at my last treatment he made the setting 9.5. Now i'm stuck with burning, flushing and I can't even look at computer screen or i start to flush, this has effected every aspect of my life, work, everything. Now my skin is much much redder than before and i have begun to get pimples everywhere. This was once under control with the exception of a bit of redness now i have the next stage of rosacea. Very depressed. I'm taking clonodine, minocycline and recently started remeron to see if it will help with flushing. I just cannot believe the laser would cause more damage! I just can't move past this. I just want my skin back to the way it was before the treatment. Does anyone know if another treatment at a low setting might help or red light therapy? My worst fears with the laser came true so i'm afraid to try anything else."

On April 29th 2014 Mastro had earlier updated: "Just an update from a month ago, unfortunately I'm 11 weeks post my last vbeam and still experiencing flushing that I feel was brought on from my last vbeam in Febrruary that the doc did too aggressive (although he tells me it was conservative with the settings....jerk) anyway I'm very angry and trying to move on. My face now burns, is red with flushing that I hadn't had before and I can feel the heat in my face even from my computer which now causes me to flush or anything near my face. I've made huge changes to my diet, no gluten, sugar, or dairy. Ive added More flax and oil for inflammation. Im afraid to eat anything and don't want to go anywhere because Im afraid of the flushing, im so embarrassed and fearful thats going to get worse. My quality of life has been greatly deminshed, call me vein but this is my face and why the doctor wouldn't tell me this could happen is beyond me. He told me maybe I brought on the flare from too much icing after the treatment but my face was on fire from the moment I left his office. (Note from Scarlet Nat; what is this with some practitioners/doctors?? Dr Mervyn Patterson did exactly the same, blaming his destructive shitty work on me. As if ruining your skin and life wasn't enough injury caused by them). The reaction was not normal in comparison to my other treatments, there was clearly a bad reaction. I'm just in a really bad place still and very unhappy. I'm trying to let it go as I know the anger doesn't help I just can't get passed it. I would give anything to go back in time prior to the treatment. Does anyone have any advice, is there still hope this will calm down or anything more i can do? I did start clonidine just over a month ago which has really really helped but i still have flushing. I've also started breaking out when the flushing is bad so that's another added stress I'm working against. started mediating and trying to relieve the stress, my doc actually said to me "u know this is not life threatening right" because I was so upset at a follow up appt. I wanted to smack him! I have to look at this face everyday, and I'm always afraid at what will b staring back at me."

Another forum member, Wicksyx, is posting about her V-beam treatment for redness and flushing, and added very good (red) foto's on top. You can follow her updates here.



February 11th 2015


SpencerK wrote on February 6th 2015: "Here is my tale of woe and misery. I was happy, I have been getting IPL done for about 8 years, until my last visit in April 2014. I had been taking it easy and not going too high with the settings as my face was not that bad - the pictures he takes on the machine there that shows blood vessles was not that bad - but when my partner decided to shout to the IPL doctor, as we was passing her to go to the laser room, "Go higher", my partner thinks the higher the better, the doctor laughed. So, the IPL doctor in all his wisdom puts the laser up to 25jouls (Lumenous one) and proceeds to zap my face. Soon as I felt the first one, I said "Wow, this is high, what settings are you using!!" (bear in mind, I have been getting IPL for since 2006 and know exactly what the settings should be). Anyway, he zaps and zaps - I'm wincing in pain each time, you know you jump after the laser pings, well I must have been going a foot of the bed. He then says, "ooh, lets try this Yag laser as well, it will be good for the flushing". So again, turns it up and zaps away. That is two different laser, way too high, in one sessions. WTF! Well, I walk out of there extremely red, and sore. I have two huge whelps on my face that hurt, that look like they are bleeding. Well, move on 3 months, and, yep -I have two scars lefton my face, two huge round red dots that did not fade for 7 months, kind of like cigarette burns. 11 months on, and they are now two laser burn marks on my face, two lines about 1cm long that are permanent. You can clearly see the indentation of the lines when looking in the shadows. And whats worse, I knew I should not have anymore treatments till these healed. So I did not get any treatments during the summer last year, and that summer in the UK was hot and humid.

Add to this, I was diagnosed with Secondary Hypogonadism. So I had to start testosterone replacement therapy, which for want of a better word has been horrific!! I never used to Flush, never - I had redness which is what the Luninous one is good for removing. But, I now flush at the drop of a hate -its a horrible burning sensation that stays. I never had this before. My life now is practically ruined. I work in a secondary girls school, so walking into a hot stuff classroom with 40 girls staring at my face, well.. Haha, its hell. I have to stop the TRT, and hope that my flushing goes away as quick as it came. But, with testosterone, I will be a walking zombie.
It has been a horrible roller coaster of a ride - the meds I'm taking have made things soo much worse, add to that no IPL for 10 months. Can you imagine how many times in my head I have said, If my partner had not said "turn it up". But, the IPL doctor (a well respected doctor who has had white papers published) should have known better. And he does, he has offered me free treatments to rectify the problems. To be honest, I think I could have taken him to court. But, the strangest thing is - I start to flush at 2:50pm every day. Exactly at that time I can start to feel it, even if I'm not concentrating on the time. I have different kinds of flushing as well. There is the background flush, thats behind the skin, makes my cheeks seem rosy. There is the intense flush that makes my skin scream and is very red. Then there is the head, ear flush. There is the heat wave, that starts in my stomach and flows through my entire body, someimes just the thought of it sends a flush of heat through my head. I'm bald as well, so that does not help! My flushing used to always go, but now its here for the night. Anyway, IPL worth it - YES! is it my only salvation that I'm doing something to help. Just pray I get better, as I have been sinking into depression. Good luck everyone."

Burnforyou wrote on February 10th 2015: "I am sorry to hear about your situation. If it helps, you are not alone in making silly decisions. I too am guilty of it as you may have read. My advice is to seek out the best possible derm. Do not, I said DO NOT do ipl unless ur very good derm recommends it to u and if he does it himself. Do not choose any ipl specialist as the wrong one can ruin your life and a great one can improve your life. Also, DEMAND a test patch if u go that route. If they say no, just forget it. It's not worth the risk. The cost u may think is expensive now will seem cheap in the future. I am doing red light therapy ATM. I am 2 months in and am making a diary of it. Others may be able to help u more on ur condition. Don't worry, I am 42 and made the worst decision of my life at 40 so you are not alone."

Gazoo replied: "Burnforyou, I take it your skin never improved post ipl? Your story is very similar to mine. I believe ipl turned my very mild Rosacea (some redness on both cheeks) into very aggressive Rosacea. Bout 3 months after ipl my face completely transformed.-seemingly overnight. Permanent redness where there never was before and flushing for first time ever. I was stupid and naïve. Never again. I hope the lllt helps you all. *subscribed."

Burnforyou replied: "Gazoo, No mate, it's exactly 2 years on of stress and depression and not one bit of improvement.  My plan was to try different options and give rlt a try as a last resort before going to a different derm and seeing if there is something I can try. I am 2 months into rlt and am keeping a diary of my progress as people are always curious for results and progress.
I am sorry to hear u had the same experience.
B"




Update January 22nd 2017


Someone asked me on the Rosacea Forum about the exact effect my anti flushing medication has on my skin: 
"I read some of your other posts where you mentioned that you had a unsuccessful (bad) ipl experience. Did you develop constant background redness before this ipl, or only after this ipl? When you mentioned that you use medications to keep your redness and flushing at bay, do you mean that your background redness is gone / you have your pale skin back when you are on medications?.

[Also] I still believe your condition was caused by steroid. the doctors' so-called "predisposition to rosacea" actually does not make any sense. Think about this logically: if 100 people get affected by same amount of radiation, then 20 people get cancer, but the rest 80 don't. for those 20 cancer people, no doctor will say "Hey, you get cancer because you are predisposed to cancer!". Instead, it is naturally accepted as that radiation caused those 20 people cancer! In terms of why the other 80 people who don't get cancer, doctors will say "they are healthier, stronger resistance to radiation!" one thing doctor won't say is "those 80 people are not predisposed to cancer". For those 80 people, it will take a lot more radiation to cause cancer in them. that is the only difference. Same logic applies to steroid induced rosacea. Some people get affected by even 1 time application of topical steroid, while some people display symptoms only after many years of application. It only means some people have strong blood vessels resistant to steroid while some people have weak vessels to steroid."

I replied:
"What the medication does for me, is to not have me flushed and beet red 24/7 anymore. I do get very red and flushed still, especially now in winter or in the heat of summer. But I can have lighter skin if not flushed and when I keep cool too now. I'm subtype 1 with a lot of crazy flushing, the redness comes with the flushing. It's not permanent in a way, as when I am all cooled up, I can look fairly pale. I just flush at the drop of a hat and go from scale 2 to 8 or 9, if you'd want to scale such a thing. Much more red now than before the IPL and on a much bigger skin area (everywhere that dr zapped me) than before. Yeh I had an unhappy IPL experience. I did have redness and flushing before the IPL. But mainly on my upper cheeks. On the apples of the cheeks so to speak. Not full face. And I could have pale skin too when the flush calmed down again. So no 24/7 constant redness. I didn't need a fan all the time either back then. But after that IPL I flushed and went (still go) red all over my cheeks, the entire cheek area, and chin and ears too. And a much deeper shade of red also, compared to before. So there has since been redness and flushing where there never used to be any, and I flush about 20 times more, like; a lot more and severe ever since. The year right after that IPL was the worst. Then I was given anti flushing medication. You might be right. I never fully understood what happened there and how I could go from no flushing to getting a flushed face most evenings or from a host of triggers.It might be indeed what you just wrote, that these steroids get to some people sooner than to others. The ****ty thing is; you can't turn it back, you can't 'undo' the few days of steroid cream use. I looked up teenage pictures lately to look for signs of early rosacea there and the only thing I found was a drunk night on holiday where I had some mild redness on the upper cheeks from the alcohol. Nothing I could notice unless I looked in a mirror, no obvious flush heat and burning. That all started right after the steroid use."

The Forum Member wrote in response: 
"I am always "amazed" at how little responsibility those doctors are held accountable! People who drive cars and accidentally hit and hurt someone are always held accountable; then why not those 
f-cking doctors who prescribe steroid like napkin dispenser and those f-cking doctors who zap people with lasers without carefully consider the patients full history and skin conditions but just want to "collect" more patients/laser sessions and make money!!! Those doctors' crimes are way more severe than drivers who hurt people during accidents!!! How long did you wait between the steroid (hydrocortisone) cream and that ipl? Do you mind of sharing the reason that you chose ipl instead of some pdl (eg vbeam, ktp, yag) initially? Have you tried any pdl after that ipl then?" 


I replied:
"Yeh it made me very angry and upset indeed, and I'm not alone. I know several people who had their skin worsened quite significantly by doctors and their IPL/laser machines. It makes most fuming that the doctors just say that their machines cannot be held responsible and that it must be rosacea's natural progression. They do walk off and forget about you, while you are left with a life in tatters. And worst of all; they had you sign a contract before it all started, so you have not a leg to stand on, if you want to stay within the legal side of the law. The steroid cream was used in 1999, the IPL in 2005. In between I first tried all sorts of natural treatment options, acupuncturists, herbalists, basic rosacea treatments like antibiotics and creams. Nothing worked. I was already on this forum back then and just rode the IPL hype that was going on already at the time. I got this doctors name from the forum too. I visited him in England a separate time, to ask for test patches but he dismissed that, said it wasn't necessary. I have regretted this bitterly. I understood at the time that IPL was 'best' for flushing and base redness. I don't have visible blood vessels, which was thought to be the thing to use laser for. Later those insights seem to have changed, I think the consensus here is now that for flushing the v-beam or some other ype of laser is actually more effective. 

I had test patches with pdl laser after 2005, first with my local dermatologist, then the late Dr. Crouch helped me a lot, doing all sorts of test patches for free; pdl, yag, also Lumenis One IPL. None of the lasers gave me any pale skin response. The Lumenis One did with certain triple layer settings, but when we did a full face treatment in 2006, it gave me a month long inflammation and redness all over my face. Took NSAID medication to calm things down and in the end, that IPL didn't help me but didn't make me worse either, so no drama that time, luckily. Crouch thought I am not a good candidate for laser nor IPL, as my skin is too reactive and sensitive and I have some light sensitivities too. Then in 2011 and 2012 I had part of my lower cheek test patched with v-beam perfecta, just to be sure that one could help me (Crouch didn't have that type of laser) but it showed no effect whatsoever, and I didn't dare to do a full face treatment as a result. That's the score. I am too afraid I'll make matters worse with either laser or IPL as it stands now."

All reviews are found on public forums and websites, and under 'wrote' (behind user names) or 'source' are links to the exact source. I don't do advertisement or making any money in whatever shape or form off of this blog. 



8 comments:

  1. Hi there,
    I've just read your blog and wanted to suggest something to you. I am a fellow sufferer of rosacea and, like us all, have tried everyhting under and over the sun to deal with it. It did not work. In the last week I have read many articles about the demodex mite and the role it might have in our condition. As a result of this I have been using tea tree oil for the last week to kill them and have seen a great imrpovemnet in the inflammation on my nose; I am actually very shocked by how effective this has been. Please, I urge you to have a look at the research on both demodex and tea tree oil treatments. I really hope you get some relief.
    Yours
    Steven

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Steve,

    thanks for your suggestion. Its really good news that this tea tree oil is giving you such splendid results. Yes I read and heard about the demodex link. As far as I understood from my dermatologists (both are older and know a lot about rosacea), the demodex is often mainly of concern in what is called subtype 2; the version with redness and p&p's, and not so much for those primarily suffering from flushing and burning (subtype 1). There might be exceptions and your suggestion is definitely worth checking out for everyone with rosacea. I tried tea tree oil once and found it extremely strong and it made my skin burn tremendously. I think it can be too harsh for those with very delicate rosacea skin, but i heard that it can also help some for seb derm (working on a next post on that topic).

    Thanks for your suggestion, I might try it out again and it might help other people with rosacea reading here perhaps and I hope you will continue to have success with this treatment option.

    best wishes, ScarletNat



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  3. Hello :) I find your blog so inspiring. I have suffered with rosacea since I was 14 (I am now almost 21) It has ruined my life completely not a day goes by that I dont look in the mirror and wish I had my old skin back..I've had numerous IPLs which I believe has helped the flushing but now my skin is thinner, drier and I develop more spots and itchiness on my cheeks which makes it hard to put makeup on so I end up using a tonne of primer haha because it has this 'orange peel texture' which I cannot seem to get rid of. I wish more people were aware of it, I feel so embarrassed. I can't even tell my partner who i now live with the hell i go through every day with rosacea so now I'm bound to a life of makeup use and worry.

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  4. Thanks for your comment Anonymous and I am so sorry that you have had to deal with rosacea for so long already. I'm glad that IPL helped you to limit the flushing but unfortunately rosacea shows up in many ways and I understand how you feel about having to hie your skin ion a daily basis, 'feeling' it (tightness, burning etc) all day and knowing what you will look like when you remove the make up again. It's so hard to deal with this every single day of our lives but hopefully sharing experiences will make each of us aware that there are many others out there going through the same daily struggles :/ Its a shame how it affects and often ruins our lives, at least the lives we were used to have.
    Best of wishes

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  5. Hi, I had an IPL test patch done and it caused no adverse reaction or side effects. However, the doctor did the test patch right at the side of my face, well away from the ultra-sensitive rosacea skin. Since they only tested a 'normal' patch of skin I still don't feel confident that I wouldn't react badly to full face treatment. Also, the doctor said that if I decided to go through with the IPL treatment, he would set the machine settings, and do the first few pulses only, then a nurse would take over from there. Does that sound alright to you? It's almost as if he doesn't have time to do the treatment himself or something.

    The thought of potentially reducing my flushing and redness is so tempting but the horror stories are just terrifying. Such a difficult decision to make!

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  6. Hi A,

    yeh I feel your worries, it's a very tough decision to make. There are a lot of people with rosacea who had marked improvement with IPL and laser treatments, but there are also patients who got worse from it. These machines are very powerful and you are being sensible in having a test patch first. I became so vigilent after the bad IPL experience, that I asked for the doctor in Melbourne to only do the lower part of my cheek with the laser. Maybe you can ask that as well and make sure they zap an area where you have rosacea redness? But not your full face yet? I would take that precaution personally, and see how the partial IPL test treatment works for your rosacea. If it works, the rosacea patch that was zapped should show some improvement after the normal 3-4 weeks of down time. If it gets a lot worse and more red, you also know that either the settings were wrong, or your rosacea doesn't handle toe IPL well alltogether. And you don't have your full face going into an emergency state. I would go this route, even though doctors might try to rush you up and might not like the extra time this will take, before they can start a proper treatment. But always remember that if you do follow their protocol and things go wrong, that they will just take their hands off you and you are the one dealing with all this on your own usually. So I would go slow and safe.

    All the best and I hope IPL will bring you relief

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  7. Thanks for your reply. That seems like a sensible idea to only go for the lower part of the cheeks first and one that hadn't even occurred to me. No doubt they won't be very happy with me because it will mess up their pricing system but I will just have to be assertive!
    Love the blog, keep up the good work :)

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  8. Thanks :) Well Dr Goodman in Melbourne wasn't looking too thrilled either when I asked for my lower cheek part to be zapped and he did try to talk me out of it for a moment but I stuck my ground and explained how my first full face IPL treatment made the rosacea so much worse, permanently. So he then accepted and did as I asked. Then the 2nd time I came to him some time later he asked, 'So we can do the full face now?' and nope, I now wanted the OTHER half of my other cheek done. If all goes well and you see improvement, you might look back on the decision as a silly precaution, but if it makes you worse, you'll be thankful for it. I learned the hard way and still regret that stupid first decidion of mine to go with the doctor and not get test patches done. I think its easier to live with the regret of having spent too much money on a successful test patch, than with the regret of having a blotched full face treatment, as the doctor ordered. Good luck!

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