I am an Aussie, my skin is not white, just looks what white skin with a nice tan would look. I stay out of the sun mostly.
At 40 I was suffering from chin hairs that I was having waxed and soon decided that IPL hair removal may be a good permanent option.
I went to what I thought was a reputable beauty clinic in my state's capital city.
I had a patch test after a consultation and the Fitzgerald skin type is 3
I came back 2 days later and had the first treatment. felt like the ping of a elastic band and a bit hot but nothing painful or severe.
On leaving my chin was a little pink and a little warm. My next treatment was 6 weeks later. Everything that happened with treatment 1 was repeated with treatment 2, 3 and 4.
Then last Wednesday I had appointment number 5. The machine being used was a Lumenis Quantum, all previous sessions the HR695 head was used. On this day the operator, which was the same for all of the previous treatments could not get this head to work. So she used a different head SR590 which is normally used for skin Rejuvenation (hence the SR in the head type) it was unbelievably painful. Hot and nothing at all like the previous treatments. Once the treatment was over, in about 10 seconds, the operator went for an ice pack and put it on my face for about 30 seconds, then sprayed it with an anaesthetic spray. took me to the front of the clinic and made me another appointment and sent me on my way. When I stepped out the door, the light hitting my face was like a flame thrower, I started to walk to my car with my head down and covering my chin with my hair and hands, not touching it though. I thought this isn't right, I stopped in the shade took a photo with my phone to look at my face. It looked dreadful. my first thought was to get out of the sun so i quickly went to my car, I started to drive home and thought ' just get home and get an icepack on it' then I thought about the 25 mins it would take to get home I then looked in my car mirror and saw the redness, blue bruising and skin missing in areas. so I stopped my car and went back to the clinic and asked for the operator and an icepack. I rotated ice packs for about an hour, as from frozen they were only taking about 15 mins to lose their heat on my face. While I was gone the operator called the people who service the machine, she must have known something was wrong to do that. So he arrived after about 30 minutes. I took his card, he was going there again on Thursday to check and service the machine. I emailed him and his first reply was :I am booked on the machine today. I will be taking output power checks on all heads before and after the calibration. I need to know what head she used, the one for hair removal is the 695, which she said had a simmer error, so it wasn't that one. Will get back TP you. Hopefully u get better soon.
After about an hour, I went to my car called my doctors rooms and got an appointment straight away. I was in a mess and in shock when I got there, I really should not have been allowed to drive. The nurses took me through and sat me in a private waiting area and the doctor was only 2 minutes after that. I explained what had happened. He said the only way to treat is the same as any other burn regardless of how the burn happened. He photographed my chin and then his nurses under his supervision applied a burn gel and burn dressing.
The next day I went back and the doctors and nurses checked the progress and made another appointment for this coming Tuesday when dressings should come off that will be day 7.
I got an email back from the service technician which said: I checked the output of the head that was used on you, it was a SR590 skin rejuvenation head. It was actually measuring 5 Joules of energy lower than what was set up on the screen. After the calibration the output is now in tolerance of the dialled up energy +/- 1 Joule. It is a good thing that the actual power output was not more than the dialled up energy. You can be assured that the machine is working fine and Lumenis is a very good safe product which is made between the USA and Israel partnership and not a Chinese.
I do not have a clinical background and nor am I trained in the use of the machine. My background is purely technical. The HR695 Hair Removal head that was faulty at the time yesterday was the one you probably have used before. I do not know the implications of using a skin rejuvenation SR590 handpiece for skin removal. Unfortunately the applications lady for this IPL company has just resigned last week. You may like to contact this place in Melbourne they are known well for their IPL training. They may be able to answer the implications of using a skin rejuvenation head to treat hair removal.
This included the details of an institute on the other side of Australia, I emailed them but they are yet to get back to me.
I also emailed the manager of Lumenis who looks after these machines in Australia and New Zealand, his email reply was: Thank you for the email, please see a Dermatologist immediately regarding any possible complications.The following information will help us understand the event that occurred.Where were you treated, by whom, what was the name of the IPL machine, who is the engineer / company that inspected the IPL?
I sent my email reply to him but by the end of the day had not received any information back from him so I called his direct number. He was not overly helpful but told me to stay 100% out of the sun and follow my doctors advice but that I did need to see a dermatologist.
I rang a dermatologist and made an appointment.
I received an email 2 days after it was sent from the clinic asking if they could call and make an appointment so the operator could check my face and wanted to make sure I was not picking my skin and was using the bepanthan cream they provided me when I left the second time. I sent an email reply outlining what had happened from the minute I left their clinic. Within 1 minute my phone was ringing. The operator wanted to tell me that this was not a big deal and that I should not make it into one and that in 7 to 10 days everything would be fine and back to normal. She said if i sent her my doctors bill she would pay it. I told her I don't know how she can know that everything can be fine when me and my doctor do not know that. She asked if I was in pain, i was not, she asked if the skin felt tight, it does not, she asked if it was still hot, I said no, it was just itchy. She reminded me not to pick and I reminded her that it was not possible to do that with burn dressings on. The operator then rang back 2 minutes later asking for my doctors information so she could ring him for a report. I told her no, that the burns on my face at the moment are between me and my doctor and that I would keep her updated on the progress and that I had no need to lie to her.
So now I am falling apart, a crying mess, not so nice to be around for my husband and three kids, I have had to cancel work I had scheduled for the weekend, I am a photographer and have my own business. I don't know whats under this dressing, the doctor said on the second visit that he blew up the photo he had taken the day before and he could see many burn holes in my face skin and could see the hair follicles with the dark hairs still in there. It is so itchy, its driving me crazy, I cant sleep because of the itch and because my mind just keeps thinking worse case scenario. I am trying to stay away from Google images
the few I have seen are already giving me nightmares.
Any advice, tips, knowledge of this machine, the use of a skin rejuvenating head being used for hair removal, anything really, the only other thing I know is that the treatment from 1-4 was 32 joules and that the operator told me she upped it to 38 this time, but she told the service guy and me yesterday on the phone that she used 32 same as before. so hence I am the formerly smiling photographer, well I do have a sliver of humor left in me. Thanks