I had 5 IPL sessions over 5 months, from january 2014 thru may 2014, for poikiloderma discoloration on the back of my neck. the 3rd treatment session got me. I didn't know what was happening and didn't get proper help right after it happened, and the burn "healed" and I went ahead with the 4th procedure, which also burned and healed again. the 5th session didn't seem to do much damage -- no overt burns. I called the doctor too late, I know now, after the 3rd procedure. I left a message that the burns had lasted longer than I thought they should, and that I found it troubling, but I had no call back. I mentioned the burn from the 3rd session again at the 4th session and showed the person doing the procedure, an office assistant, the white spots that were evident in one place on the side of my neck. she said the spots would/should go away. I suggested that perhaps we should wait, and maybe I'd come back in a year or so, to finish the recommended round of procedures, but she said (and I paraphrase) that wouldn't be the thing to do as it would minimize the desired result. the office assistant who did the first three sessions was, I have reason to believe, a "b-team" assistant, and the one who did the forth session was an "a-team" assistant. the "b-team" girl was back for the fifth and final session. I mentioned the white spots again at the 5th procedure and again it was dismissed, and suggested they would go away. the only time I actually talked w/the doctor up to this point was at the initial consultation, a few weeks before the first session/procedure, when she recommended the 5 sessions. I should have known better...known something was going wrong, and not followed thru w/ the latter procedures, but I'd had successful candela laser procedures done in the 90s and they'd scabbed over and gone away, and everything was ok. I guess I thought the IPL would be somewhat the same. I was actually rather pleased with the results for about a year after the last IPL procedure in may 2014, as the preponderance of the discoloration/poikiloderma was not evident. I still had the white spots in one place, and I hadn't expected perfection...but I was beginning to think something was going on that was not right, when I went back to this doctor in January 2015 regarding the white spots. she suggested a chemical peel around the white spots to smooth out the coloration. during this visit she really didn't examine the entire area where the procedures had been done, or if she did, she didn't say anything about anything being wrong. a few months later I began to realize that something really bad had happened, and was ongoing, in the entire area where the procedures had been done. I had more white areas on the other side of the back of my neck which had seemed to have materialized over the ensuing months, and I sent a letter to the doctor about this, and I included pictures, in early may 2015, a year after the last IPL done at her office. I didn't hear back from her until june 10th, 2015, the day after I'd visited a local (athens, ga.) plastic surgeon regarding the issue. the "a-team" assistant called, and among other things, suggested I had vitiligo, and that I might consider more IPL...! the conversation was pointless. I went back to the IPL doctor/dermatologist in early August 2015, thinking I'd get her assessment of the situation before I further considered the idea of having some cosmetic tattooing done....and she didn't know what was going on, and seemed kind of freaked out and defensive....and got me an appointment w/ a endocrinologist, thinking I had some sort of thyroid problem, and/or vitiligo. I don't have vitiligo. the white areas that materialized were patterned after the IPL instrument, one of them quite rectangular. she/the IPL doctor was grasping at straws, making excuses, trying to come up with explanations. I did, however, go to the thyroid doctor, who ultimately concluded I have thyroid function like 50-60% of the population, and if anyone suggests that there's something wrong with my thyroid to come talk to him. the white spots/hypopigmentation haven't gotten appreciably worse since then,...but there's more going on than just the hypo pigmentation. it's been a very depressing ordeal, and is ongoing. I've had some cosmetic tattooing done thru the plastic surgeon's office by a person certified by the American Academy of Micropigmentation and it's helped a bit, but...I'm experiencing the classic insidious repercussions of botched IPL procedures, and I shudder to think what the future holds.
I was told the first treatment in january 2014 was at a setting of 35, the second procedure was 40, the third was 43...and they went back to 40 for the forth and fifth procedures. I don't know the brand/type of IPL device that was used, but will ask if I talk to the doctor/dermatologist, or her assistant, again. I plan to send her/them an update on my condition, along w/ my thoughts...in hopes she'll take whatever precautions to ensure that this doesn't happen to anyone else.
I spoke w/ a couple of lawyers, but the consensus seems to be that any potential payments for damage/negligence would not warrant the costs of a jury trial. I just don't know...but I know it's too late for that now anyway...and it would have just added to the incredible anxiety I've experienced for the past year, regardless.
I hope I've responded adequately to your inquiry response to the post I made on this website in january 2016, as your post is not visible as I write this. I sent the person who runs this site a couple of pictures of the back of my neck when I became a member. I guess I avoid this site because it's all so depressing to think about, but I came here today thinking that when I send the doctor/dermatologist an update on my condition I might send her a couple of items from posts found here, as the doctor/dermatologist seemed incredulous that anything ever went wrong with IPL procedures, and she'd never had this happen to anyone else. I experience an incredible amount of anxiety about this...it's a waking nightmare...and writing this, and having written my update for the doctor/dermatologist, really takes it out of me. I'd mentioned to the doctor/dermatologist during my last visit, in August 2015, that I'd read on an "IPL and laser damage support" website about other people who'd had horrible experiences from botched IPL procedures, and she found that rather incredulous also, that such a website existed.
thanks for your response to my initial post. jboto