I decided to share my journey and what approach/treatment I am now trying for my acne pitted scars. I want to explain my history to relate to anyone who has gone through this and hopefully can give positive solutions, or at least document what I am trying now. In forums I've read, I find that there is so much negative feedback and defeat in finding help for pitted scars (I realize this is just people being honest with their trials and I respect that) --I want to be factual and realistic but also encouraging.
I am half korean (mother white/dad korean). My entire family on my mother's side has acne- cousin (who has scarring), mother (also has scarring), sister (has scarring but not as much as I did), etc. I was doomed genetically. For most of my pre-teen through teen years, I hid behind makeup due to my increase in acne. At the time, I didn't realize I had cystic acne- in fact, I would go to the bathroom and only turn on my shower light to hide from the reality of my skin. It wasn't until college that I could enter my mom's bathroom with all of the lights on. I dealt with quite a bit of psychological impact during this time. I was finally able to go to a dermatologist when I was about 16/17 and dealt with my cystic acne. However, during the time, I would pick/pop/squeeze (very bad idea). In my mind, I didn't care about the aftermath, I just wanted the acne to go away. I know many people have regrets, but this would be my one regret- not recognizing the acne wasn't the worse problem. Scarring was.
Acne can be treated; I've realized that pitted acne scars would be a whole different journey.
My acne solution:
I tried the topical solution at first. However, I was put on medication (taken internally)- which was amazing. I also tried a laser solution. It was something similar to blue light, nothing harsh- it just killed the bacteria. Felt like small rubber bands flicking my face. I'm sorry I don't remember the name as my memory tends to fade with how much I've tried. I started using Cetaphil products/Eucerin lotion. Wasn't a fan of the texture of these products but eventually, most of my cystic acne went away. I wish my diet was better (I should have drank more water/eaten less sugar,etc.). I also started taking birth control at 21, and once my hormones were balanced, I stopped breaking out. However, I will say that I do get acne still but small breakouts- here and there and it isn't cystic. I will get some cystic around my jawline occasionally BUT I never touch it- I put cream on it and it goes away with no scarring.
I love using benzoyl peroxide cream- my derm recommended this. I believe this is most effective over the counter tx cream. Salycic acid has never been effective on my face - in fact, most cleansers with this product has dried out my skin and/or caused a breakout.
I am 24 years old-- had scarring since about 18-19 years old (since the acne has cleared). I've had hyperpigmentation (since I'm half korean- my skin tone is olive/tan and I had many red/dark marks). I also have pitted acne scars on my cheeks/forehead. To be honest, I have no idea if it's rolling, boxcar, ice-pick, etc. due to the merging of some. No doctor has ever told me but I've never asked. I try to avoid conversations that make me feel even worse about my skin.
Treatments I've tried (may not be accurate in order):
Chemical peels, microdermabrasion, topical creams from Clean&Clear or Neutrogena. Those actually have helped fade the marks. I've tried lemon juice/baking soda, etc. The marks have faded due to time. I realized time and patience works on some things. But my pitted scars are still alive. I then have tried silicone injections (this isn't FDA approved yet, I've had an experienced doctor but not many treatments as this was not effective and read that it can have bad effects in the future), CoolTouch laser (not many tx as this was not effective at all- just expensive), and lastly DOT laser. I was very excited about DOT laser but due to my skin tone, I could not use the hardest setting in case of dark spots being left/side effects. However, after three treatments and hard down time, I was left with more scarring. If you want more info on each tx, I would be more than happy to share those experiences. I think lasers can be effective for some people but my skin scars so easily that I was left with worse scarring and a lot less money.
My derm had called me after a year of not staying in touch- and he mentioned he had a patient who was using helichrysum oil and rose hip oil for her pitted scars and it was helping signficantly. I ordered both through his office and it was around $90. I know that helichrysum oil is much more expensive than rose hip. I used both together but only used this for about 2-3 months randomly. I will say that I am not giving up on this solution because I have done massive amounts of research on helichrysum oil and the benefits are amazing. I was cautious as I believed oil would make my skin break out but it actually clears it! It soaks into the skin and it creates an unbelievable soft texture after. I will actually use rose hip oil when I break out because it helps the healing time and prevents scarring. I will update the effects of this when I order more and use it as a routine. I am disappointed I gave up on this because I should have kept track of the progress and committed. However, this is what has lead me to where I am at now.
Most doctors/derms/etc. do not believe that topical treatments will help scarring. In fact, it's crazy that we have so much technology today, etc. and yet we still can't find 'the solution' to pitted scarring? It's very frusterating! However, upon researching the benefits of oils-- I wanted to try topical treatments naturally- the oils were already more effective than any laser/peel/etc.
One day I was praying and did a random google search and found a blog about MSM cream and scars. I immediately purchased MSM lotion (which also has jojoba oil in it) and purchased MSM supplements. MSM is used for joint issues but also collagen.
I started using MSM cream on my face on Saturday- only at night and used the vitamin supplement once at night also.
It has been five days now and I have been tracking one specific scar on my cheek and I already see improvement. I have so many scars, so it's hard to tell the 'overall' improvement, especially in a week, but this one scar is already shrinking. I don't believe it's a 'tightening' effect as the shape/hole is getting smaller. I am not saying this has removed the scar or helped but it looks smaller. This is encouraging - and I am going to stick with this treatment for at least one month and probably throw in oils once or twice a week. I made a commitment to trying this because I realize things take time.
I don't want to give false hope but only give my results and my journey as encouragement. I will be truthful in my updates as I want to help or give any encouragement as I can.
I will try to update every week on my progress.
Also--I researched a product called 302 drops (www.302skincare.com) and found some have had effective results on pitted acne scarring. I will say, I am not big on the 'testimonials' as I know anyone can make up a false testimonial. But I also will not dismiss positive feedback. I am in the process of ordering the cleanser and 302 drops because this is topical and they use a patented avacado oil base. I will also be using this and giving results. Not sure when I will receive this as you have to contact a professional either via phone or in person to order. I've heard if you use an ultrasound (heated device) on your face when using oils/creams or even this product, it will speed up the process. I may purchase this as on amazon it's only about $40 to $50 dollars. I may try this in a month or sooner but I am trying to find an effective routine in my regimen as I want to see what is effective alone before combining products.
I don't want to hear any negative feedback, please. This is only a documentation of my journey and I want to stay as uplifting as I can. Once again, this is not to give false hope but I want to be truthful and still stay hopeful. If you have had any positive experience with topical tx for pitted scarring- please share. I also will be here to answer any questions on anything I've mentioned.
Edited by jay24s, 02 May 2013 - 09:37 AM.