So, this is the first time I'm posting anything to any sort of forum. I'm usually a private person, but it seems I have nowhere to go for help. I stupidly got a second (and final) IPL treatment the end of September 2013. I had had one before in 2008 without incident. I didn't realize how lucky I was then. So, I went back to the same clinic--the doctor that did the procedure is supposedly a "laser god." Well, long story short, I got burned. I was sent home with ice packs and told to elevate my head when sleeping. My face was hot, red, and swollen. I had square marks on my forehead in the shape of the laser head. I crusted over in stripes on my cheeks. I called the clinic 2 days after the treatment and insisted I was burned and wanted to see the doctor. The nurse called me back and said everything sounded fine. A week after the treatment, the crusting started to fall off and I was left with hypopigmented areas. I was freaking out by then. The clinic agreed to see me and said it was normal and to come back in two weeks. They took some pictures, and then proceeded to show me some before photos with dark spots "I must not have noticed" in areas corresponding to the burns. i knew then I could not trust this doctor. Thankfully, the color is somewhat reurning...but is spotty. At the last follow-up, the doctor pretty much indicated that he had no interest in providing further care.
So, I was so freaked out by the clearly hypo-pigmented areas that I didn't really mention other things to the doctor. After the swelling went down, I noticed my skin was extremely dry. There were lines and wrinkles in the areas under my cheekbones. It seemed the skin was saggy. My pores seemed larger. I couldn't sleep or eat. I was sick with worry and anxiety. My husband insisted I was seeing things....that maybe these things were already there. But, I know my own skin.
I've since seen 4 dermatologists, a plastic surgeon, a laser r.n., and an aesthetician who insist there is nothing wrong and that IPL is too superficial to cause any permanent damage. Regarding the textural changes, I was told my skin is just inflamed. The doctor who did the IPL procedure told me to start atralin 15 days post-procedure which only aggravated my skin. Another dermatologist prescribed Locoid and a cream with retinoid and vitamin c, and a 8% hydroquinone. I tried these and my skin seemed worse. My face is a mess and I don't know what to do. I did order some psoria-gold. I'm not going to use any "active" products and just try to let my skin recuperate. I am too scared to try anything, but I'm afraid I might be losing an oppurtunity to help my skin too.
My mental health has suffered this past month. I am simultaneously terrified of and obsessed with the mirror. I can't sleep. Seeing new damage pop up is driving me crazy with fear. Not knowing if/when it will stabilize is horrifying. My husband thinks I'm going crazy---he doesn't want to talk about my face anymore. But, today, he did admit that he can see a new dent on my forehead! So at least I'm not imagining things. I'm only 1.5 months out--I don't know how long I can take this! I have already scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist to get medication because I don't think I'll make it without some help.
I am so sorry I did this to myself. I feel so stupid. I feel so sad and hopeless. I am terrified of permanent ongoing damage. I am so sorry for everyone else who is going through this experience. If no one even admits that IPL can cause damage, how are they supposed to help? It just makes me feel crazier. I don't know where to turn and who to trust. I guess I will just wait it out and see what happens.