I am a 53 year old woman, and I was injured by a V-beam laser nearly two years ago.
I had wonderful skin. I had found a routine with natural ingredients that was working wonderfully for me. The reason I wanted a treatment was to get rid of tiny spider veins on my face, that were difficult to cover with make-up. People routinely thought I was thirty five or 40, until after my laser treatment. Six months after treatment, I was mistaken for a senior citizen.
I have extremely sensitive skin, and react to a lot of drugs and treatments. I had had a laser treatment for the spider veins 5 years prior, with absolutely no problem. This time around, that dermatologist was booked for three months, so I decided to see a dermatologist at the same clinic, but different location. When I booked the appointment, I said I wanted the same type of laser as my last treatment. I was told I was treated with a V-beam. When I saw the doctor for the treatment (and she had my records), I made sure I was being treated with the same laser. She said yes, it was the V-beam, and proudly stated their laser was 30% stronger and deeper.
A new tech was helping, and she put swim-type goggles on me. The elastic wasn't tight, and the ends of the goggles were actually pulling away from my eyes. When I said I wanted them tightened, the doctor said they were fine, and put cotton inside them, but it only pulled them further from my eyes. She began treatment. I was actually holding the goggles down during treatment because I was worried about my eyes. The doctor was annoyed, and said "I won't let anything happen to your eyes." She pushed the laser head into my skin. pulling downward, and went extremely slowly. When I told her this was not the same type of treatment I had received before, she said, "Yes it is."
When I got home after the treatment, I was fatigued and my head hurt. I took a nap. When I got up, my face was terribly swollen. I looked like an animal. That swelling continued, with lying down always making it worse. There were white areas and red lines on my face, in parallel lines. Red lines extended beyond where the head of the laser was, into my lip area, and my eye area. My head and neck hurt.
Terrible burning pain started. I couldn't sleep because of it. The pain was deep. It felt like my sinuses had been penetrated. I lost sensation in the treatment area and beyond. It was about a year before I could feel chapstick being applied to my right upper lip. I also lost movement in my face. I'm sure the muscles and tissue had been burned. I normally smiled a lot, but I couldn't smile. I couldn't make expressions. It felt like my muscles and my face wouldn't move. It still feels like the muscles don't glide well under the skin, but rather pull or stick. Nerve pain developed on right side of face, with swelling. Pain and a twitch developed on the left.
My skin became pock-marked, pin-pricked, and lined. The treated area became crepey, with red, shiny, orange peel skin, and very large pores. My once even skin tone was blotchy. The spider veins looked worse. My face felt like it was being pulled downward. Red eruptions appeared out of nowhere, then went away. I had dark circles under my eyes, for first time in my life. Skin between my nose and mouth looked blue for awhile, like there was no blood flow. Other skin coloration looked ashy and old.
I have lumps under my left cheek, and it always looks swollen. I have parallel lines of lumps in my chin. I now have what looks like smokers lines on my upper lip, and you can see them when I talk. My face looks like it has fallen toward the floor. High cheekbones became fleshy jowls. There are lines from my nose to my mouth. The contours of my face are different.
The night after the treatment, I was at the computer and realized I was having great difficulty seeing. Alarmed, I went to my optometrist the next day. He said there were areas of dead cells in both my corneas. The treatment has given me very dry eyes. I have trouble seeing in certain light, and trouble focusing. Instead of the bottom eyelid being firm against my eye, it pulled down, shiny and wet looking. I have had great trouble blinking--it takes a lot of effort. I wonder if I am now unable to keep my eyes totally closed while sleeping. I wake up with them burning and dry. It's hard to make my eyes look upward. It feels like something is pulling on them (shortened or scarred muscle?) from underneath. The eyelashes at the outside of my eyes seemed to disappear, as did the eyelashes under my eyes. After two years, I think they are re-growing.
I saw an associate (my dermatologist was gone) at two weeks, who said the lines on my face were normal, and that I had cold urticaria. He told me to use Benedryl. That made things worse. I saw the treating dermatologist a month later, who came in the door stating that she had just spoken with her associate, and I had cold urticaria (before ever examining me). She told me to use Allegra. I was still hopeful, and used the Allegra for a year. Of course, that wasn't the problem.
I called the location that had treated me five years earlier with no ill effect, to see what laser was used, It was NOT a V-beam. It was a CoolGlide laser. The new dermatologist had lied to me, maybe because they don't have a CoolGlide at her office.
I saw the dermatologist about five months later. That visit went very poorly. I tried to tell her what had happened, and she became very combative and unprofessional. She told me to look in the mirror and "tell me what you THINK you see." After telling me repeatedly that none of the side effects were possible, she added in a small voice, "Unless I had it up too high." She wouldn't let me talk with her about the problem with the goggles and many other irregularities that happened on the treatment day. She said they made no difference because none of this was caused by the treatment. She accused me of thinking I knew more about the laser and goggles than she did. She said I needed to go elsewhere.
I used to love the feel of the sun on my face. I loved to garden, bike and camp. Now the sun on my face burns, and makes my skin irritated and unevenly colored. I wish to God that I never had the V-beam treatment.
I have to tell you something that helped me immensely. The burning and pain in my face was so bad that I couldn't sleep. I told a natural doctor. They used LED light therapy in their practice to help with inflammation, bruising, damaged tissue and skin. (Red light for the above, blue light for acne and infections, amber for nerve pain, all at certain frequencies). I was scared to try it, but it's not a laser or IPL. It's the same type of light in LED flashlights. I began to get relief after the first visit. I believe I had 10 or 11 treatments. The last couple treatments, I noticed that my skin seemed to feel a bit irritated afterward, and took that as a sign it was time to stop. I am so thankful for the LED treatment. I didn't notice a visual improvement in my face (though maybe it did help, and I'll never know how much), it stopped a whole lot of the pain. It helped my muscles move, to smile and make expressions.
I didn't try Psoria Gold because of the alcohol, but have taken both curcumin and astaxanthin supplements.