IPL Was a Mistake (I went to the Wrong Clinic)
Procedure specific satisfaction rating
Hi - My name is Shaleen and I am 33 years old. I had an IPL photofacial treatment after my first child was born in 2012. I decided to have IPL treatments after noticing signs of aging that started to appear very soon after having my first child. By 2013, I was anxious to try and give my skin a boost. I signed up for a series of IPL treatments at a local "clinic" (basically it was a building that a doctor and his technician rented out - it wasn't even decorated inside. Even though they had been there a while, it almost looked empty. There was never anyone else there in the waiting room and I never actually met the doctor). I signed up for five treatments in hopes of tightening up and plumping my skin.
The treatment was surprisingly painful. My eyes watered throughout the entire treatment session (around 20 to 30 minutes). It was like a rubber band that was on fire snapping against my skin over and over. Every time the machine was used, I wanted to quit. (I've since learned that IPL treatments that are overly painful may be a sign of an older machine that uses outdated technology.)
Within a few weeks of my third treatment, I realized that I had a funny shadow developing on my upper lip that made it look like I had a mustache! It looked awful! I called my technician and she downplayed it and said it was impossible that it could have resulted from the machine. I was originally signed up for five sessions but I insisted that I would not be returning for the final two.
Within a couple of years, this 'clinic' shut down and disappeared (not surprisingly). Looking back, I can't believe I put my skin in the hands of some random lady that had no true background in skin care, only a class in Chicago that taught her how to use this specific laser machine.
If you are considering a laser treatment, or any procedure, I highly recommend going to a reputable clinic with experienced practitioners. I let my limited options (due to my small town) and the appeal of a low price allow me to receive treatment from an under qualified provider. I am still trying to get rid of the funny shadow and have used multiple topical creams and had several procedures to try and treat it. Based on my research and a visit to the dermatologist, it sounds like I might have post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
When I received my treatment, there was zero mention of aftercare. I now realize that I should have been advised to be extremely cautious about the sun (which I was usually good about but could have done far better if I knew how important it was). A good provider would have ensured that I knew how to protect my skin after having IPL.