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Thread: My Disastrous V-Beam Experience-A Cautionary Tale

  1. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by louise001 View Post
    Destiny I am really sorry to hear about your v beam experience. Have you returned to the clinic told them how unhappy you are and perhaps they can provide treatments to help your skin.
    Was this a uk based clinic?
    I really hope that skin recovers with time.
    The laser clinic is in the United States. In essence, I am not necessarily blaming the facility where I had the laser procedures done, except for the lack of information regarding possible outcomes. I do think the age of my skin (early 60"s) and my history of childhood sun damage make me a poor candidate for laser treatment. I believe the skin has a limited capacity for healing which can be influenced by age and previous skin damage.

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Country: UK


    Quote Originally Posted by Destiny View Post
    The laser clinic is in the United States. In essence, I am not necessarily blaming the facility where I had the laser procedures done, except for the lack of information regarding possible outcomes. I do think the age of my skin (early 60"s) and my history of childhood sun damage make me a poor candidate for laser treatment. I believe the skin has a limited capacity for healing which can be influenced by age and previous skin damage.
    Dear Destiny,

    My heart goes out to you; it's bad enough having this awful disease without the side

    effects of treatments to keep it at bay.

    Have you thought about RLT to help your skin tone?


    *Vit D3,Theratears Omega 3.

    *LDN since October 2018.

    *REN skincare range. TARTE cosmetics.

    *Tried Clonidine, Moxonidine & Atenolol (None being taken at present ).

    *Yearly IPL treatments until 2009.

    * RLT Journey!" (Sept 09) **Using Britebox Revive..(Stopped ).

    History of Hyperthyroidism (Graves) Lichen Planus (oral)


  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by Destiny View Post
    I have had two V-Beams to treat in the fall of 2009 and one in the winter of 2011. Not realizing that the skin changes I experienced a few months after the first treatment were due to the laser treatment, I foolishly had a second treatment. Unfortunately, the wrinkling is severe, along with some pits, enlarged pores, strange red bumps, and small areas of fat loss. But the worst are the wrinkles: The areas that were untreated are wrinkle free. I am in my 60's, so perhaps my age is a factor...perhaps the laser does more damage to older skin, and that the skin never repairs itself. I always looked younger than my age, but that is no longer true. My facial skin has aged at least 10 years, if not more.
    I am not alone in my experience as I discovered on the laser damage forum.
    Perhaps my tale will prevent someone from sharing the same fate. I know many people seem to have great results without serious side effects, but who knows what the long-term damages might be. I regret not being better informed and am devasted that my skin is ruined forever.
    Dear all
    I just want to re-iterate that the Vbeam/pdl laser is designed specifically not to inflict damage to the skin (it also has a special cooling spray to help protect the skin), and is used in cases to target the blood vessels under the surface of the skin which therefore show as skin redness (Rosacea, port wine stains, scars etc). Therefore the OP's reaction seems extremely rare, which is why side effects like these were not informed to the OP. Certainly, in cases like these when their is post-treatment concerns, the laser technician should be notified immediately.

    There are risks with any sort of treatment, however long-term or serious vbeam side effects are extremely rare especially if you are under the care of a specialist laser Derm who knows what they are doing and has years of experience, is fully aware of your skin/health history, and uses modern laser technology.

    "The pulsed dye laser is considered the laser of choice for most vascular lesions because of its superior clinical efficacy and low risk profile. It has a large spot size (5 to 10mm) allowing large lesions to be treated quickly. Side effects include postoperative bruising (purpura) that may last 1-2 weeks and transient pigmentary changes. Crusting, textural changes and scarring are rarely seen.

    The new V-beam features provide ultra-long pulse duration so greater is energy directed at the target blood vessels over a longer period of time, resulting in more uniform blood vessel damage. This reduces the purpura seen with the earlier pulse dye lasers. The addition of dynamic cooling increases comfort during treatment enabling higher fluencies (energy) to be delivered safely and effectively, so fewer treatments are required.

    Vascular malformations associated with smaller more superficial blood vessels respond better to treatment than deeper larger vessels (more often arising in older individuals). It is therefore best to begin treatment early. Fading by 80% occurs after 8 to 10 treatments on average. Further treatment may be necessary if the lesion recurs

    As some will know, I have ultra ultra sensitive skin and have found the Vbeam to be excellent. It has an excellent safety profile and (in NZ anyway) it seems specialist laser Derms prefer Vbeam for Rosacea over IPL. I am going in for my third non-purpuric vbeam treatment tomorrow in-fact.

    Best, Shantelle
    Last edited by shantelle; 14th July 2011 at 05:48 AM.

    31 Year old female from NZ

  4. #14
    Senior Member Mistica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    Hello Destiny,

    I am really sorry to hear what has happened to you.
    You drew the unlucky ticket.

    I received damage from IPL. Not as severe as yours, however it was very upsetting to me. I improved over a few years and got to the point I was happy with the way I looked.
    Recently I had a nasty reaction to an antibiotic and pathogen toxins, which caused severe flushing (out doing my usual severe flushes), swelling and polyneuropathy.
    (I am a bad flusher anyway, and this treatment was a last ditch attempt to reduce it.). This time it went on so long, my poor face couldn't take it any more. Just prior to this, I used an irritating sulphur cream. Not my usual one and for some reason it made the areas I applied it very inflamed and swollen.
    Now I am over the antibiotic reaction and that of the cream, I am watching much of my old IPL damage resurface. I have not posted much about this recently as I have been watching it happen. Seeing your post made it seem like a good time to provide an update.
    In addition to this, I knocked my face on the bedside cabinet. It hurt, and made me flush furiously, but no skin was broken and I didn't give it much more thought. Now, weeks later, I am watching my cheek sink. It is extremely stressful.
    It is in the exact same area as the original IPL damage, and with the severe flushing and swelling, I guess my poor tortured face couldn't take any more.
    It is very odd seeing the old etch type lines from the initial IPL damage resurface however. Together with new damage.

    As you have found out, IPL/Laser damage is not as rare as some people think. It has been brushed under the carpet, as doctors don't like to take responsibility for their actions.
    Sometimes it is due to negligence and other times, it is simply unfortunate. All settings could be correct and the doctor might be skilled, but the poor patient draws the unlucky ticket.


    You are fortunate in reducing your rosacea symptoms as well as you have. I have posted before, that I feel very happy for you. It is always nice to hear positive experiences.
    I would caution you not to become too complacent with laser treatment however.
    You have an autoimmune disease and such treatments are more risky on patients such as yourself. Don't believe everything your derm tells you. He may not be aware himself.
    I never had any bad reactions to IPL initially and I had a lot of treatments. Then suddenly, during the time I developed health issues, which included lots of inflammation, I reacted badly to IPL.
    My case is complex and my treatments were not delivered in a responsible way. Too close together at times. It can make the mind boggle sifting through my history and trying to piece things together, but one things stands out. The most IPL damage occurred after I developed other health issues. I have been told I have early signs of connective tissue disease (among other problems), but at this stage I test negative for ANA's. You are already positive.

    There are others on this board who have had damage from the V-beam. Fortunately, isolated areas, ( from memory). Not extensive like Destiny's.
    Also, let's not forget the worsening of rosacea from IPL and in particular V-beam. Those who weren't previously flushers, became flushers. Some people developed on going neuropathic pain. Not the same as visual damage, of course, but worth mentioning.

    Despite all this, I still advocate IPL and V-beam, if all else fails, but only in the hands of experienced, competent physicians. And, always starting with a test patch or two, followed by several weeks of observation.

    Back to Destiny.

    Is the damage still occuring?
    Are you taking antibiotics? I ask because some antibiotics reduce MMP activity, which might be a good thing in your case. MMP's cause tissue degradation.
    Having said that, I am on antibiotics and they haven't stopped my deterioration. I wonder though if it might be worse without them?
    I don't know. Just thought I would mention it so you can do your own research if you haven't already.

    I mentioned in other posts, I have been taking cholestyramine with very good results. If only I had taken this during my metronizadole reaction, or even better, prior.
    I bet my face would have survived if I had.
    Previous Numerous IPL.
    Supplements: High dose Niacinamide, Vit K2, low dose Vit A. Moderate Dose Vit C, Iodine, Taurine, Magnesium. Mod- dose B's. Low dose zinc. Testing Quercetin.

    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.

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    I think the overall key with these type of treatments is patience. Perhaps in time things will settle down and get back to normal.

    I just had a VBEAM treatment and even after knowing the initial reaction will give me that "worse then before" gut wrenching feeling I still panic. I find that the first week or so the swelling makes everything look good but once it settles down all heck breaks lose. I tend to look red and see veins that I hadn't seen before but attribute that to the laser antagonizing the area. In time, this things settle down and things go back to normal.

    I will stay hopeful that as each day goes by your body heals and you will at the least return to baseline levels.

    Hoping for the best!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by Destiny View Post
    I have absolutely no agenda, nor any vested interest in the other site. I have never posted there and only found the site after much research. I never referred to my experience as an accident. And I only wrote here after much soul searching because I did not want to scare anyone. But I did have a negative result, and wish I had been better informed.

    I believe you completely Destiny. I too was damaged and when I posted on here about my damage, I was attacked by the same person. Just ignore the person. I too know about the laser damage forum. I have a close friend that had fat loss due to lasers and she had fat grafting done. I dont know why some people get damaged and some dont. Im not as old as you and my friend is 38 years old. I dont think it has to do with your age. Maybe our skin is more sensitive of something. I wish I had the answers. Im just hoping in time that our skin will repair itself. God Bless You!

  7. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    I am sorry to hear that you, too, had a negative experience with lasers. Some people do not want to believe that lasers can permanently damage the skin of a few of us. There should be a better screening process. Perhaps a certain skin type/texture is negatively impacted by the procedure.
    I had my procedures done at a clinic associated with a major HMO: I think this fact made me too trusting and naive.
    Some of my pores have been "exploded"---they are huge! I have wrinkles in strange places. I have areas of fat loss on both cheeks: On my right cheek, the fat loss looks like a thumb print. And that nasty orange peel texture...again, caused by those exploded pores.

    fulloflove2...Hopefully, your younger age will be of benefit to you and your skin will heal over time. My thoughts are with you...I know what you are experiencing.

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