July 2011
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Laser Burns: What to do when you have been burned by an aesthetic laser or IPL.

I have been getting a lot of emails from people all over the world that have received burns from an aesthetic laser or IPL (photofacial) treatments. I should clarify, that these are not people that have been treated by me. The question I am always asked is “what should I do to treat laser burns?” I can’t really give an accurate treatment protocol without seeing someone in person. What I will do, is tell you what I usually recommend to clients I have seen that have been burned. I also want to explain why burns may occur. The information here and any where on the internet does not replace replace personal treatment by a trained professional.

How to tell if you have been burned?

It’s Hot
It is normal for skin to feel hot during laser and IPL treatments, but you should expect the skin to cool down quickly. Your laser technician can give you an idea how long you should expect the skin to feel hot. For example if you are having a laser hair removal treatment or a photofacial, your skin should cool down almost immediately. It should feel something like a hot rubber-band snap, without any lingering pain or heat. If it feels extremely hot and is not cooling down you should alert your technician as they are doing the treatment. This will allow the technician to adjust the treatment settings. The technician can also take immediate action to cool the skin and possibly prevent a burn, or reduce the severity.

If you suspect that you have been burned, be sure to discuss it with your Laser Technician before you leave the office. Make sure you understand what to expect and how to treat your skin at home. Schedule an appointment for a post treatment follow-up, and never hesitate to call the office if you have questions or concerns.

Usually, you will know almost immediately if you have a burn. In some cases however, the skin may feel hotter shortly after treatment. As soon as you suspect a burn, you should call your and speak to the laser technician.

If you are not satisfied or confidant with the post -treatment care you are receiving from the laser technician, ask to speak to the medical directer. Hopefully, there is a doctor is the office. If you have gone to a med-spa chain, there may be a medical directer for several locations. You should first make every attempt to work with the staff at the clinic where the laser treatment was provided. If you are not satisfied with the level of care, then seek a second opinion. You want to get professional treatment as soon as possible. Information provided here or anywhere on the internet can not replace personal treatment by a skin professional.

I have a burn, now what?

The recommended treatment for burns, will depend on the degree of the burn. In most cases a burn from an aesthetic laser is a first degree burn. Second degree burns can also occur from laser treatments and third degree burns are not likely. If you suspect that you have been burned severely and find the pain intolerable or if the burn covers a large portion of the body, you may want to go to the emergency room. In most cases, it is not necessary to make a trip to the emergency room, however in rare cases you may need some medical attention. Be sure to let the laser technician know as soon as possible. They should be aware so they can review the treatment settings used and asses if there is an issue with the equipment. They should have you return to the clinic as soon as posable, so that see the burned area, and give you post treatment instructions. You may also be scheduled to see the doctor or a nurse if necessary. It is the patients responsibility to communicate with the provider, return to the clinic for post treatment visits, and follow post treatment instructions.

Actual treatment will depend on the type of burn.
– Cool the skin as quickly as possible (within the first few hours). This is critical!
– While driving home after the treatment, aim the air conditioner toward the treated area if possible.
– When you get home soak a washcloth in a bowl of ice water, ring out the excess water and apply the cold wash cloth to the treated area. Switch out the cold cloths every couple minuets. When you feel the wash cloth become warm, it is the time to switch it out.
– Do not apply ice directly to the skin, and do not leave cold packs on the skin for an extended period of time. On for ten minuets, off for ten minuets.
– Only apply occlusive ointments such as aquaphor or vas aline if instructed, as it can trap in the heat. After the skin has had time to cool, and the skin begins to heal you may then be instructed to use an ointment to protect the skin. If you have had an ablative laser you will need an occlusive ointment.
– Do not open or pop blisters. Opening the blisters will make the area more vulnerable to infection
– It may be recommended to loosely wrap the area in gauze
– You may be instructed to apply a topical hydrocortisone cream and/or antibiotic cream to the burn.
– Watch the skin for signs of infection

After the burns have healed:
Once the burns have healed, the concern becomes how to treat and prevent scars. The most important thing you can do is protect the area from further injury, this includes avoiding sun exposure. Be sure to use a Physical SPF 35 or higher with Zinc Oxide. You can also prevent and treat hyper pigmentation ( dark skin discoloration) by using a 4% Hydroquinone cream and Tretinoin (Retin-A). Topical Serums that contain Vitamin – C , and products with growth factors can aid in collagen production, improve skin healing and reduce inflammation. If the burn marks are old you may need something like a medium depth chemical peel, to treat the scars.

Medical skin care systems such as Obagi Nu-derm or ZO Medical incorporate the use of prescription strength Hydroquinone and Tretinoin, which will even skin discolorations. These are prescription strength skin care lines, available at many dermatology and plastic surgery offices. The treatment protocol is patient specific and a skin care professional will determine the best way for you to use these products. If you have had a recent burn it may be suggested that you avoid products that contain AHA’s or any other exfoliants, until the skin the epidermis has been restored. The strength of Tretinoin and frequency is something that needs to be determined after a personal consultation. Non-facial areas such as the neck, chest, hands and arms are treated differently than facial areas, this is another reason you need to be seen for a follow-up.

Skin Medica’s TNS Recovery Complex has a potent growth factor blend that strengthens the skin’s natural ability to regenerate itself. Although this product is not specifically indicated in treating burns, in my experience it seems to aid in healing. I was in a car accident and the air bag left me with several abrasions and burns. The areas that I treated with TNS seemed to heal much quicker. I use this product any time I am trying to improve skin healing, and it never disappoints.

The top ingredient in TNS Recovery Complex is Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media (TNS®) → A physiologically balanced, naturally secreted and stabilized combination of multiple human growth factors, cytokines and natural proteins responsible for the production of collagen and other extracellular matrix proteins.

Obagi-C Rx contains a patented combination of 4% hydroquinone and 10% Vitamin C. It reaches the dermal layers of skin to address discolorations and has powerful antioxidant therapy. The vitamin-C will also help reduce inflammation.

Is Clinical Pro Heal is a vitamin serum with a 15% Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin A. It also has 0.5% kojic acid that evens skin pigmentation. It has soothing and healing properties and reduces inflammation. Pro Heal is recommended for treating sunburns, rosacea and insect bites.

Is Clinical Hydro-Cool Serum contains Hyaluronic Acid ,Vitamin B5, Kojic Acid and Menthol. It is a hydrating serum that calms cools and soothes irritated skin. You can use this product alone or add it to another product.

Why you may have got burned

There are several variables that can lead to laser and IPL burns. One of the most common reasons, is that the skin is tan at the time of treatment. It’s important to understand that IPL and all lasers are absorbed by a specific chromophor. In many cases the targeted chromophor is color. We want the energy to be absorbed by the color in hemoglobin to target blood vessels and the color in melanin when targeting unwanted hair or skin discolorations such as freckles. When your skin is tan at the time of treatment, the energy is not just absorbed by the intended target, it is also absorbed by the surrounding tissue as well. Tan or dark skin will absorb more energy (heat), resulting in a burn. This is also a concern for skin of color. People with darker skin tones need to be careful to go to a skin professional that understands how to treat their skin type. This is not to say that if you have dark skin you are not a candidate for laser, however there are some lasers that are more appropriate for dark skin. It may also be recommended to precondition skin in advance.

Machine Malfunction
I don’t find machine malfunction to be the most common reason that laser burns occur, however it does happen. In my opinion some of the most severe burns are a result of a problem with the equipment. I believe that this can be hard to prove.

Technician Error
In some cases the technician performing the treatment may be at fault. Technician error is a growing cause of laser burns, simply because the industry is growing. There are a large volume of new laser technicians entering the industry. Some of these new technicians will be knowledgable and talented, unfortunately a some will not. A “good” laser technician needs to have a good understanding of laser technology and skin. This comes with experience and continued education. Not all lasers work exactly the same, so a laser technician needs training for each laser they work with. The more experience a technician has with lasers in general as well as a specific laser will reduce the possibility that their clients will be burned. In addition to understanding the technology being used, the technician should understand how skin will react and determine if someone is a good candidate for treatment. They should also determine if someone needs to precondition their skin before treatment and what is a good post treatment protocol. Keep in mind that even the best laser technician can encounter an unexpected complication, and burns are an inherit risk of laser and IPL treatments.

I can not stress enough the importance of going to a qualified, experienced laser technician with a good reputation.

You Play A Role
Nobody wants to hear that they have some responsibility, but in many cases it is the truth. I don’t think anyone deserves to have a burn or complication and I am sincerely sorry when it happens. However, everyone should except the role they play in their treatment. For example, you should not be tan when you have a laser treatment. It is the patients responsibility to inform the laser technician if they have had ANY sun exposure or even spray tan to the treated area. Patients are also expected to inform the laser technician of any medication or skin care products they are using. You also need to communicate with the laser technician during and after the treatment, and let them know what you are feeling. Be sure to follow all pre and post treatment instructions, such as avoiding heat and sun exposure. If you don’t follow the pre and post treatment instructions, you run the risk of a complication. You play an active part in your own treatment, and that begins with choosing a qualified and experienced laser technician. If you chose to go to a specific med-spa based on price or location, you should understand the risk involved.

Burns and other complications are an inherit risk of aesthetic and laser treatments, you should understand and except all risks before you consent to treatment. You should also understand that additional products or treatment may be needed at an additional cost to you. It is important that you communicate with your laser technician and return to the clinic for follow-up visits.

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4:18 pm - Posted by Kristy

48 Responses to “Laser Burns: What to do when you have been burned by an aesthetic laser or IPL.”

  1. Abrar says:

    good day>
    I was burned 3monthes ago. I treated the burn well but it left a mark.
    The burned area is darker than the surrounding. what can I do to make it disappear?

    • Kristy says:

      I am sorry you were burned. The dark marks left after a burn are called Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH). You should find a reputable skin clinic that offers the Obagi Nu-derm system. I can’t give more specific recommendations with out seeing you. There are also chemical peels that can speed up the correction process, but I usually suggest a peel in combination with something like Obagi Nu-derm. I like the perfect peel for (PIH)

    • Kristy says:

      How did you treat the area? What did your treating laser tech suggest?

  2. Tracy says:

    I had a photofacial ipl yesterday. My face and neck look exactly like the picture on top that is posted. What do you recommend. It’s not burning any more. I used the blender for a few hours today. And then I got scared and washed it off until I ask someone. But I need these places gone. I can’t keep hiding in the house. They are all over my neck and face just like the picture above buy many more In the shape of a rectangle. I look like a monster. This brown needs to be removed as soon as possible. What is the fastest products to use to fade or loose the brown rectangles all over face and neck?

    • Kristy says:

      Tracy, I hope you retuned to see your laser technician. Try to not panic, these types of marks are almost always corrected if treated. I usually like to use the TNS Recovery Complex, also a topical Vitamin-C serum. If the skin is not oozing or raw, then you may be able to start hydroquinone & tretinoin. It is important that you avoid sun exposure and heat. With that said I can not give you any real advice with out seeing you in person, so please follow up with your laser technician for proper care.

  3. Bec says:

    I have recently had a treatment on my Brazilian area and have realised (a day later) that I know have dark spotting around my inner thighs and above the pubic region.
    Can you recommended some where in Sydney as to get the proper treatment (products above)

    • Kristy says:

      I do not know anyplace in Sydney, sorry. You will most likely need to go to a dermatology office. Have you tried any of the thing recomended in this post?

  4. Bec says:

    I have recently had a treatment on my Brazilian area and have realised. (the day after) burn marks ony inner thigh and above the Pubic region.
    Can you recommend what product would best heal this. They have turned into darkish spots and I am hoping I can remove at least most of the markings.
    I have been doing this for almost a year now and this is the first time it has happened.
    Please help

  5. Heena says:

    Your website is very helpful.
    I have been burnt over 3 months ago and when I was burnt all I did was put an ice pack on myself for a few hours non stop, as advised from the technician. I was told in 3 months, I would be better but 3 months on I’m still not even half way recovered, my skin is still a different colour, some colour has come back but seems to have just stopped. I still have dis coloured marks and starting to have red small spots growing on the scars. Please can you give me any advice?
    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Kristy says:

      sorry that you were burned. Have you tried any of the topical treatments we recommend ?

    • Kristy says:

      I would consult with someone that does IPL or vascular laser treatment, they would need to asses you in person, but you may benefit from an IPL treatment. If your spots are dark, that is an easy fix, if they are white that is harder. You should ask your practitioner about blending with a topical tretinoin to even the distribution of melanocytes to the keratinocytes (they will know what that means). What have you done with topical creams so far?

  6. Crystal says:

    I would really appreciate advice. I received a second degree burn on my nose after being treated for nose veins. This has been a truly horrific and emotional time. I had a blister and then a big red oozing wound on my face. It was so red for about three months. My practicioner started giving me ipl treatments on the hyperpigmentation, but it is still dark and red. I have been using a retinol cream and vitamin c serum. Can you make any other suggestions for me. I have also been exfoliating with a facial brush when I cleanse.

    • Kristy says:

      I am sorry for your experience, sometimes this can happen when treating veins. I would continue to follow -up with your practitioner. I would recommend you ask them to prescribe you Retin-A (tretinoin) and a 4% hydroquinone cream such as obagi clear. I think the vitamin C- serum is a good choice and an SPF 30 or higher with Zinc oxide 7% or higher. Be patient, it will improve with proper care and time. If you do not see correction after 6 weeks of treatment with creams, you may also want to consider a light-medium depth chemical peel ( Perfect Peel with booster or Standard Blue Peel) You may also need additional IPL treatments for redness, but I would start topical creams first. . Please follow up and let us know how things are progressing.

    • Kristy says:

      I am sorry that happened to you. I know from a technician point of view it is easy to cause a burn treating veins, they can blister easy. Honestly, it sounds like your practitioner is doing the appropriate treatments, I would also do IPL and topical vitamin -C. I find that prescription strength Retin-A (tretinoin) is better than retinol. Try to get a lot of vitamin -C and other antioxidants via diet too.

      I would also tell you to use a Physical SPF with Zinc, chemical sunscreens can be irritating, plus the zinc oxide will help block out some of the heat which can cause vessels to dilate. A 4% hydroquinone cream will help correct and prevent hyper pigmentation. I am also a big fan of Skin Medica’s TNS Recovery complex for wound healing, especially burns, its expensive but you can use it to spot treat the area, it is worth it. It may sound counter productive, but the products can also cause redness (temporary), inflammation is an important part of the skins wound healing process.

      Please, let us know how things progress.

  7. bonny says:

    I had took laser treatment for reducing pigment in both my cheek but it become darker than before.Its been 4weeks since i’ve done it and once only

    • Kristy says:

      hyperpigmentation can be a risk of any skin treatment that causes inflammation, laser treatments are more likely to do this over chemical peels and topical applications, especially if you are prone to pigment (as it sounds like you are). It does not necessarily mean that your treatment was done poorly, however laser is not my first choice for treating hyper pigmentation. I generally recommend treating topicaly with retina-A, hydroquinone first, then if needed chemical peels. The exceptions would be freckls and sun spots respond well to IPL (photo facial) and more resistant “age spots” may need to be treated with Photodynamic therapy (PDT) or laser resurfacing. At any rate with all options come with risk and daily use of topical products or needed to reduce risk. The good news is that the pigment can be corrected and the laser treatment increased collagen, so something good did come from it. I would suggest you ask your provider to put you on something like Obagi Nu-durm or ZO with tretinoin to correct the pigment on your cheek. Good luck! let us know how it goes.

  8. moh says:

    I have been burnt over 3 weeks ago against genital warts (as the doctot said) he told it will never leave scars on penalbut now it left hell scars, there is any treatment. i have read in internet about some creams like contractubex or bebanthen, is that useful ?

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  13. Jee says:

    In my case I have some freckle on my face which not a cute one so I decide to do laser treatment, but I can’t remember laser’s name. This laser goes deep into the skin( face ) and it will heal within 7 day.
    Because freckle on my face is quite deep I took it four time ( every two weeks) and after that, the area on my face that I have laser treatment become dark inside the skin, I ask the doctor and he said don’t worry it will be better and I continue to go to talk with him every two weeks and he always say the same thing
    I just only have to wait, time past about 6 months my face seen to be better but it’s still worse than before I have this treatment. It’s like bad dream to me, and now I still concern that my face will be good as it used to be or not
    I really want to know that the darkness which occure from laser will disappear itself or not, or what I can do to treat my face or any treatment can help me

    :( Since I take freckle laser treatment I don’t want to go any where or meet people because I’m too shy to face people

    Could you pleas suggest me????
    Thanks so much for your kindly

    • Jee says:

      During I have to wait I do take dual yellow laser treatment, five time already but it’s not help much

      • Kristy says:

        wow… I’m sorry you had that experience. I can not give exact advise without seeing you in person, but here are a few things you may want to discuss with your provider that treated you.

        – I think that IPL or BBL works best for freckles, this is usually called photo facial / fotofacial. There are lasers called “KTP lasers” that work well to spot treat. I also think 2 weeks between treatments may be is soon, I usually do 3-6 weeks, but I do not know exactly what laser treatment they did, your skin type or products that you use.

        – You may have “PIH” – ALL lasers and IPL can cause “PIH” Post Inflammatory Pigmentation, which means the skin darkens up as a reaction to inflammation. – Inflammation is an important and necessary part of wound healing, but it can contribute to this expected side effect.

        – The good news is that if it is “PIH” it can be treated with Hydroquinone and Tretinoin. An SPF 30 or above needs to be used EVERY DAY. Look for one with Zinc Oxide. You need consult and get these products from a Medical Provider, look for a clinic that offers Obagi Nu-DERM or ZO Medical by Zein Obagi.
        good luck, let us know how it goes

  14. lorena says:

    Hello my 16 month old got a first degree burn on his face he got a hold of a hot tea cup thankfully the injury was not bad.He’s face has peeled and is starting to look a lot better better he is left with three pink/white spots on his nose. What can I do to help his skin go back to his previous skin color he’s skin is brown. He’s pediatrician only says to apply aquafor but his skin is not dry anymore it’s ssmooth like a baby Skin

    • Kristy says:

      poor baby…. I am sorry, but I am not qualified to fully answer your question. I would consider consulting a pediatric dermatologist and until then continue to follow your pediatricians instructions. The aquaphor is not to moisturize, it is to occlude the skin, so if your doctor recommends it, your son probably still needs it. I would ask your doctor about spf, if it were one of my kids I would use a pure physical spf. Physical sun protection will have zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and no other active ingredients. I like SC physical fusion spf, that is what we have patients use after laser resurfacing. Another good one is Coppertone Water BABIES Pure & Simple SPF 50. I think the color will eventually return to normal. I am sorry I can not be more help, I hope everything recovers well.

  15. Chris says:


    I am dark skinned, and couple of months had some burns from a IPL/Laser.

    This resulted into blisters and affected skin area turned into darker/black color then rest of my dark brown skincolor. I guess thats called hyperpigmentation?

    The laser technician did not really help/give any advice accept say that it will heal.

    So now i have the question what products would aid in clearing the skin/ restoring hopefully the affected areas ?

    • Kristy says:

      Hi, Chris – Yes, you are correct, that is hyper pigmentation or more specifically post inflammatory hyper pigmentation (PIH). The good news is that it can be corrected. I would recommend that you look for a medical office such as a plastic surgeon, dermatologist or med spa that has Obagi Nu-derm or the ZO line. It needs to be a place that can prescribe medication because there are drugs in the creams you will likely need, such as tretinoin (retina-a) and Hydroquinone. You can not and should not buy these on line, because the internet is littered with counterfeit product. They are medications and need to come from a medical office. I am including links to the sites, go to physician finder, put in your zip code and you will find approved providers. Use the full system as directed for a min of 2 months. I would also recommend you ask if the are experienced with treating dark skin types. For now start with a broad spectrum spf 30 or stinger daily as sun exposure will stimulate your melanocytes and worsen the pigmentation. Please,let us knowhow it goes.

  16. Sandra says:

    I had photofacial done and at least a half inch of my hairline from ear to ear was removed. I guess everyone is different but the technician states that he has never seen it before. It is clear that the hair was burnt off during the treatment. It started to grow back 2 days later. What an awful looking mess. What do i do now?

    • Kristy says:

      Yes, IPL can remove hair, but you would have to actually treat that area directly. It would singe immediately and you would probably smell it and see singed hair . Even when you want to get rid of the hair on the face it takes about 12 treatments. The good news is that if the hair was treated, it will grow back and all you can do is wait. If the hair was not treated directley, then it probably is caused from something other than the IPL, maybe a styling tool or hair treatment. If the area was not treated, then you may want to see a dermatologist to see if there is another possible medical or environmental.

  17. Estelle says:

    I had ipl on wednesday. it burned for an hour after. I was told this is should feel like a sunburn. Now its brown and looks like tracks but does not feel burnt. Is this normal? How do I know if I was burnt?

    • Kristy says:

      yes, it is normal for mild burning even an hour post treatment. We like it to look like coffee grounds or peppering. If it looks more like a solid shape, then it may be a burn. If it’s superficial, it will likely look improved in about 14 days out. If you are older, have a lot of sundamage or treated non-facial skin it will likely take longer. Burns are not uncommon with IPL treatments, they are an inherrent risk of treatment. I recomend that you return to the clinic where you had treatment so that they can instruct you on post treatment care. As crazy as it may seem, sometimes when there is a mild, superficial burn you actually see a better result. (I hope that is the case with you)

  18. Susan says:

    I had trinity laser a year ago. IPL, Refirme and fraxil. My face was red and hot for a few months and my makeup would run off. Within the few months I lost my facial fat. As time wnt on I noticed red circles and square dent marks. Recently I have noticed more red honeycomb circles and they hurt to the touch. My skin still burns and is severely dry and stiff feeling.

    • Kristy says:

      I am sorry you had this experiance. I can’t say I have ever heard of anything like this before and I’m not sure how any of these treatments could cause fat atrophy like that. Non of these treatments should reach the adipose (fat) layer. IPL only works in the epidermis and ReFirm is not very aggressive it could reach the upper dermis, Fraxel can go to differents depths, generally into the upper-mid dermis. There are different Fraxel platforms, with the Fraxel restore being the most common. They also make a Fraxel Dual and Fraxel Co2. This is a very unusual reaction. I strongly recomend that you return to the clinic that provided the treatment, they need to submit an incidence report to the manufacture of the machine. If this a result of treatment it needs to be reported and hopefully they can determine why it occurred, so that this doesn’t happen again. It provides a treatment precaution to other industry professionals. -I can not imagine why skin would burn a year post treatment. If you did lose fat, fat transfer may be used to correct it. This sounds extremly complicated, you probably need to find a very qualified cosmetic dermatologist that is experianced with laser treatments. Be sure that you go in with all treatment information. Include a record of skin care products and treatments you used prior to this. Dates of treatments, post treatment skin care, time line of recovery and and other treatments you had. It is also important to know any medications and supplements you were using and any medical conditions. I’m sorry I can’t be more help.
      If you find out which Fraxel you had, please let us know. I hope you follow up and let us know how things go. If you email us directly at with you contact information, I would like to call you directly. bestofbothworldsaz@yahoo

      • Susan says:

        The dermatologist will not admit damage because it is so bad. I believe the fraxil was matrix IR, one of the trinity lasers. I lost the fat within 3 months of laser.

        • Susan says:

          I did sent you email with contact info.

        • Kristy says:

          ahh… okay. So Matrix is a “fractionated” sublative laser that uses RF. Fraxel is a different fractional laser. None the less, I will see what I can find out. Thank you for follow up.

          • Susan says:

            Have you found any information on the RF?

          • Kristy says:

            I am sorry I haven’t got back to you sooner, but I have not forgotten about you. I have been asking around and talking to people in the industry and nobody has any answers. I would suggest you follow up with the provider that did your treatment and give them an opportunity to correct it and they may want to report the incidence to the company that made the laser used. It sounds like they may have used a Syneron device. If you are not confidant in the care offered then you may want to seek a cosmetic dermatologist, at any rate you need to be seen in person. It sounds like you may have a special case, but I have not seen you – so I can’t say for sure. I am sorry I wish I could be more help, I hate that you had this experience.

  19. Kristy says:

    It is not likely that IPL would cause white marks, unless you had a burn which it does not sound like you do. It is not unusual for IPL treatments to cause the skin to feel like it has a mild sunburn, but this should subside quickly. A burn generally feels like a burn from a stove / oven, it’s a lingering heat. I am not sure what you mean by “bare”, but the skin needs to have ultrasound gel on it, bare skin should not be treated with IPL. Ask you technician to apply enough gel, so that no spots are missed. You should also watch for signs of infection, sometimes staph can feel like a burn, it would look like pimples and be painful. (this happened to me, because I had a pedicure after my laser hair removal on my and the pores are open, which makes it easy for bacteria to get in) If you have staph infection you will know, it is obvious something is wrong.

  20. Susan says:

    They have ruined my skin on my face and neck to where I look 20 years older and to this day my skin is still stiff and burns. They deny that there is anything wrong. I look like my skin has shriveled up with squares, circles, broken capillaries, etc. They just want me to go away. I have written to the Va. Medical Board and I have an investigator looking into the matter. After 15 months of this I am still trying to find someone to help me. It looks like a mid face/neck lift is in order with fat grafting/fillers for the severe fat loss. I can’t even get a lawyer to help me. The worst time of my life.

  21. Lori says:

    I received IPL for spider veins in april of 2014. The treatment was performed by a doctor who had done several sclerotherapy treatments but was unable to get the smaller veins. She suggested IPL for these veins. At the consultation I was unsure if I wanted to try laser therapy. I said very clearly I don’t want to do anything that will cause harm. The doctors response was it may cause some minor bruising but will not cause harm or make the veins worse. When the treatment started the machine shut down when she went to use it. She commented oh shit and turned the machine back on. After treating several areas on my lower leg she stated she didn’t like the response of the tissue as it was turning brown during treatment. The treatment was stopped. That evening my skin started to blister in several areas. I went back to the office and was given a burn cream for radiation burns. After several weeks the burns healed however the skin under the burn is light. The doctor said the skin would repigment on its own it would just take a while. I went back in June of 2015 and asked about my skin still being white in these areas. She stated again the skin would get its color back it would just take time. She said she could write me a prescription for a cream that would cost around $700 and not covered by insurance. I don’t remember the name. If I caused that much damage to someone I would do everything I could to help them. Now it has been 2 summers where I have white marks all over my left lower leg. I know take an antidepressant to try to deal with this problem. If I get any tan on my legs the white areas stand out more. I don’t take my son to the pool and did not go on vacation due to having to stay out of the sun. I did consult with a dermatologist in February of 2015 who prescribed Retin A. And said if that didn’t work she would use a derma roller on the white areas. This is going to be a costly adventure that hopefully helps these areas get pigment back. My question is should the doctor who caused the problem pay for the treatments? And if the treatments don’t work I just have to live with the white spots. I tried to get help from her and she just offered a very expensive prescription. It is very frustrating when I was unsure if I even wanted to do laser therapy and was assured it would be safe. I don’t believe I signed a release and was never told of these possible complications otherwise I would not have done the treatment. Any advice would be appreciated on how to proceed.

    • Kristy says:

      I am sorry this happened to you. Unfortunately, all treatments come with some inherent risk. With IPL the biggest risk is burns which can cause blisters, hyper pigmentation (dark pigment), hypopigmenration (white marks) and scars. Usually patients sign an informed consent agreeing to these risks. The risks are usually outlined in the consent form and it is the patients responsibility to read the form before signing it. I recommend you find out if you signed a consent form and request a copy if you did. Most of the time, the provider who did the treatment will offer some type of care without additional charge, but they do not have control over the cost of prescriptions. If the condition does not improve you may want to return to that provider and explain what you have done, they may offer you some compensation, but they most likely not obligated. On the positive side, I think the retina-A will probably do the trick, it will just take a while, because non-facial skin does not “turn-over” very quickly. I am not sure about the micro-needling ( aka derma roller) but, it may help. You may want to ask your derm about trying a chemical peel after being on retin-a for a few months. Until it improves you can use a sunless tanner and/ or body makeup like Salley Hansen leg makeup to blend it in. The Salley Hansen leg makeup is only about $12 and I have found it stays on when in the pool.

  22. Phyllis Strain says:

    I had Laser work done to remove some ugly brown spots on the back of my hands and thought that I could take the heat at a pretty high level. As it turned out, I have been burned. I have been in touch with my laser technician the whole time and she has seen pictures of my hands and was not happy with what she saw. I have an appointment in two weeks and she said she can make the back of hands “blend in”. They are tan now with healed burned marks that turned sort of a pinky white. I have been using Aquaphor religiously and a sunscreen by day. It will be a total month in between treatments.
    My question is, do you think I should see a dermatologist now before going back to this technician in two weeks? I’m afraid she might do more damage than good. She is a good person but I’m not sure she realized how tan I was and now I am streaked in white splotches.

    • Kristy says:

      I think that she {your technician} can most likely blend it in. If the hands had any tan at the time of treatment it will enhance the likelyhood of a burn, even without a burn it will remove the tan, as the wavelength is absorbed by melanin in the skin. I am guessing her plan is to treat in the spaces in between, this can sometimes help – it’s the kind of thing that is a judgement call that comes with experience. If I were doing the treatment I would most likely lower the joules (energy used) just enough that you will not get a burn but still enough that it will be effective. If your skin is too dark, it is better to not treat with the laser or IPL, instead you may respond best to a chemical peel and treatment with tretinoin. She may even choose to do an IPL between the spots, have you treat with tretinoin and follow up for a peal in 6 weeks. I do not know your technician and what her experience is, so I can not tell you if you should go back to her, but I think it’s worth following up with her to discuss how she plans to treat it. I would ask her about doing peels, tretinoin and if you are even a good candidate for further laser/IPL treatments. If you are not satisfied with her recommendations, then you may want to see a cosmetic dermatologist. I should also mention that hands will take longer to correct than facial skin, so be patient, it could take several months to fully correct.

      As technicians we really count on our clients communicating with us the level of sun exposure they get, it is not always possible to tell how tan someone is by visual alone. Sometimes we need to see an area of the body that does not get exposed to the sun, to know what your real skin color is. I am glad that you are using sunscreen, I hope that will become part of your forever skin care. I always tell my clients if you are not going to be diligent with sun protection, there is really no point in going forward with treatment. I know it’s hard to keep hands protected because we constantly wash our hand and they are always exposed to the environment, but just do the best you can. I hope this helps and that everything blend in well.

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