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Thread: Second Series of IPL Treatments - Less Effective?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Second Series of IPL Treatments - Less Effective?

    Hi Guys,

    I appreciate any and all comments.

    Party as a result of this forum and others I went ahead and "diagnosed myself" and assumed I had Rosacea about a year ago. I'd never visited a dermatologist before (20) and the onset of Rosacea was so slow I didn't realize I had it until I decided my cheeks were much too red.

    I went to the dermatologist deadset on getting the IPL treatment done and the doctor on staff agreed that I likely have Rosacea (at the time just cheeks, although lately a few other symptoms have emerged). So we decided that I'd go ahead and get 4 IPL treatments done and if those were successful I'd follow up with treatments roughly every six months.

    The first treatment was uncomfortable and I my face felt tight/flushed, but after a few days only a little improvement (still noticeable) infact the areas around my nose got even worse. However the second treatment a month lately went very, very well. Still uncomfortable however the results were fantastic. The intensity of flushes dropped maybe 70%, duration was way, way shorter, and overall flushed less often. Face looked great.

    At the time I think I was paying around $300/Treatment which was WAY too high. I decided to discontinue at the time since I was pleased with the results. For the first six months things went great with no noticeable changes, however fast forward a full year later and tbh my face had become noticeably redder and I was flushing easily again.

    So a few months ago I decided to go ahead and return to the same place to get a full set of four treatments done and this time making sure I get regular treatments from now on. The cost was just $200/Treatment although I think I could get it knocked down a bit more for future ones.

    After the first two treatments however I've been very disappointed. Both treatments were not even remotely painful and there hasn't been much if any improvement. Its a different technician this time around and tbh, she seems less qualified. While the other woman seemed to take an actual interest in helping to improve the appearance of my face. This women seems to just do some rough laps around the face and then call it quits. I've asked her to up the intensity, but she says that my face seems to be responding well and that the intensity is as high or higher then my past treatments.

    I should note that I'm white as heck right now and there is great contrast between my skin and the red areas.

    Does IPL's effectiveness deteriorate over time?

    Or should I expect future treatments to have more of an effect?

    I barely feel the laser when it pulses, slightly hot, but not any rubber band feeling unlike in the past. Does this mean the intensity is too low?


  2. #2
    Senior Member Mistica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    I have probably had more IPL treatments than anyone else on the planet (to my dismay), so I feel I can speak with some experience.

    It is indeed possible to become resistant to IPL, but that occurs after many treatments. I am in that position myself. I really don't feel your problem is resistance seeing you have had so few.

    Personally, when IPL worked for me, the 'bite' of each zap was usually noticable when my rosacea was worse. Not necessarily redder, but more inflammation. I know what you mean though. That bite had to be there, but not linger. Beware of really turning up the power though. You don't want to burn.
    It isn't just fluence ( energy) which counts. So does pulse duration, and delay. If you suspect the operator is not experienced, she may be using preset settings, which not being tailored for the individual, have less chance of being therapeutic. This is only a query, however.
    Placement of the crystal is also important. Just doing rough 'laps' as you put it, might mean there are large gaps between each zap, which would produce a poor result.

    Also, unfortunately, the outcome of each treatment can be different. Sometimes vastly different and when it isn't favourable it is concerning and disappointing to the patient.
    Your rosacea may have progressed since your first series of treatments and now it is taking longer to show results from IPL. It often takes three treatments to see benefits and that also depends on whether the treatments are single or multiple passes.

    It is also necessary to raise the fluence when appropriate.

    I would advise you discuss your concerns with the operator and if you aren't comfortable with your gut feeling, then seek treatment elsewhere.

    If you are prepared to say where you live, someone on here might be able to suggest an alternative clinic.

    Also, do you know what machine you are being treated with?

    I wish you success with everything.
    Last edited by Mistica; 26th January 2009 at 09:53 AM.
    Previous Numerous IPL.
    Supplements: Niacinamide, Vit K2, low D3, Vit A. Moderate Dose Vit C, Iodine, Taurine, Magnesium. Very low dose B's. Low dose zinc (to correct deficiency).
    Skin Care: No Cleanser, ZZ cream mixed with Niacinamide gel 4% and LMW HA 2%, ethyl ascorbate 2%.

    Treating for gut dysbiosis.(This is helping).
    Previous GAPS diet. Have now introduced lots of fibre.
    Fermented Foods. Intermittent fasting -16-18 hours.
    Oral Colostrum. Helps reduce food reactions.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    I have my IPL treatment with Dr. Crouch, who, as you know, is famous for his triple -pass, and for the lack of downtime after , and in addition is very caring and gentle.
    However I still feel those pulses, elastic band stinging etc etc.
    I think if you are not feeling that then something is not quite right with the way the treatment is being done.
    In addition when Dr. Crouch does the triple-pass with Lumenis One with different filters the fluences are somewhat lower than you would have with single pass and an older machine, so you should certainly be feeling those pulses???

  4. #4
    Moderator phlika29's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Dorset, UK


    Well I guess each machine is different and thus they are hard to compare perhaps. Do you know (or can you find out) what your setting where and what the machine was? I don't think that higher levels are necessarily the best thing for rosaceans.

    When you say that your nose got worse afterwards I wonder if this was a seb derm flair. When I have IPL my nose goes crazy, gets very oily and flushy but it settles down after a few weeks.

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