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What Else Should I Do About My Scars?


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#1 rx500

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 05:33 PM

Previous Treatments:

 

Fraxel laser: 6 treatments, currently 6 months post the last treatment

Overall: Was worth it, scars look less deep (almost surface level, which was not the case last year), but scars are still there. Cost me under $4K.

 

Injectable filler: Led led to a crater effect which emphasized the scars more (made them puffy and swollen looking), the only benefit was that they looked softer, which faded out in a few 2-3 months.

Overall: It was ineffective, and a huge waste of money. If it was effective however, I would have zero hesitation in spending $5K a year on refills if it guaranteed me good results.

 

What else is left for me? Of course, I've been told by many to "move on", which is appearing to be my only real option at this time. I have ruined the majority, if not all of my youth due to this (and the acne before it left scars). I haven't had active acne for years, not since accutane at 19. I am going to be 23 at the end of this year.

 

I have tried using hand lotion, sunscreen, and contemplated makeup, but they all produce an effect similar to the injectable fillers: they overemphasize the scars and make it look like I "did something to cover them up but failed". So none of the temporary methods are viable. 

 

I have already given up (never started) on socializing and dating, but my fear is these scars hurting me professionally. I can't grow a large beard (stubble doesn't hide it) since it's a white collar environment, I have never been good at job interviews, and this can only hold me back further, but what can I do?

 

Pictures attached of left (temple and upper cheek) and right (temple and mid-upper cheek). The left is by far worse, in all the pictures I have taken. Right is much softer, if my left looked like the right, I wouldn't be worried.

 

Also, I noticed that the time of the day and maybe blood flow impacts the appearance. The redness (after shower etc) is worse than the scars themselves. That's why I'm going to shower and shave in the evening before work in the morning, to avoid being red in front of others.


Edited by rx500, 26 May 2013 - 11:58 AM.


#2 Anthonytong

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:18 PM

maybe you can try laviv and subcision together, as it seems that money is not a big problem for you. good luck. many of us in the board is fighting with their scars.



#3 Binga

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 09:38 PM

subcision suction/needling together with prp or fillers is something you can look into.



#4 siodyne

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:49 AM

You did 6 rounds of Fraxel, I'm assuming the non-ablative Fraxel Restore?  Maybe you should try ablative lasers.



#5 acnescar123

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:32 AM

You did 6 rounds of Fraxel, I'm assuming the non-ablative Fraxel Restore?  Maybe you should try ablative lasers.

 

This. If you had improvements from the erbium non ablative lasers, maybe you should try the re:pair or other fractional co2 lasers.



#6 rx500

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:57 AM

Yes, I had something called "fraxel dual", which is non-ablative and I think 1550

 

A few months ago I was consulting with a dermatologist about injectable filler (before I got it done elsewhere), and she recommended her pro fractional laser. It is an ablative laser costing more than fraxel, I'm looking at another 5k. She basically said that for my scars I needed something deeper than the non-ablative lasers.

 

However, I see weak and mediocre reviews for pro fractional laser and I fear it would just be another waste. Also the risk of damage, I have darker skin and don't want to have complications. With the treatments I already had + more treatments, I'm getting scared.

 

Will an ablative laser really be a significant step up from what I already had? After going through the procedures I did, I started to realize that there is no solution, you can easily spend $30K on all the methods out there and still look ugly, it's all a low-probability gamble. Is that how you guys feel as well? I just think if there was a real solution, nobody would still have scars and be on here complaining. Anyone can get $10k to get treatments, but they end up complaining a year later since it didn't do much. That's why I have no expectations of ever improving my skin, there isn't any real solution. The before/after pics that doctors use are either stock photos or playing games with the lighting (I can take pictures of myself to look perfectly clear just by lighting).

 

I'm still not convinced that the ablative laser is any different and worth the risk.

 

As for the subcision, it seems even less viable than the ablative laser.



#7 siodyne

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:32 AM

Regarding your statement "I just think if there was a real solution, nobody would still have scars and be on here complaining", its more likely that a person posts on the Internet about a failed treatment than a successful one, at least that's what I think.  If they are satisfied with a successful treatment they'll be busy enjoying their life instead of discussing it online.
 
I don't understand why you claim that ablative lasers and subcision are ineffective when there are many encouraging posts in this forum made by people who have received positive results.  Their improvement looks to be slow but stable (maybe 20% each time), so multiple treatments over a year or two will add up.  Go search for their threads and judge their progress by yourself.  But since you have dark skin you should be careful with ablative lasers.  Oh, and 5k sounds like a total rip-off (unless its for like 3 sessions).

Edited by siodyne, 23 May 2013 - 10:36 AM.


#8 rx500

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:14 AM

Regarding your statement "I just think if there was a real solution, nobody would still have scars and be on here complaining", its more likely that a person posts on the Internet about a failed treatment than a successful one, at least that's what I think.  If they are satisfied with a successful treatment they'll be busy enjoying their life instead of discussing it online.
 
I don't understand why you claim that ablative lasers and subcision are ineffective when there are many encouraging posts in this forum made by people who have received positive results.  Their improvement looks to be slow but stable (maybe 20% each time), so multiple treatments over a year or two will add up.  Go search for their threads and judge their progress by yourself.  But since you have dark skin you should be careful with ablative lasers.  Oh, and 5k sounds like a total rip-off (unless its for like 3 sessions).

 

Well, much of the results are just a result of angles and lighting. I could easily post a positive review with the right pictures, but the reality is I still have scars as shown in the pictures, 1 year after my non-ablative treatments.

 

Are ablative treatments much more effective than non-ablative? I guess I should have started on that course a few months ago, I didn't because I felt like it would be the same as the laser treatments I already had, I didn't want to "fall for the trap" again. Feels bad to have to get ablative now that I realize that non-ablative didn't do much and wasted money and a year. 

 

It was $900 per session I think, and I would need about 5. The dermatologist said my skin color should be fine, and showed me a before/after of someone with the same color.

 

I've had no improvement over the last 4-5 months, so nothing is going to change. Should I try it out anyway? I would, but what's really holding me back is that I am not convinced that ablative treatments are going to be significantly better on my scars than the many non-ablative ones I had were. They all claim to stimulate new collagen growth, etc. It just seems like the same thing, repackaged with a different name, so that I can continue to rack up more expenses only to look much the same at the end.



#9 acnescar123

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 07:25 PM

It's a personal decision to make. You have to analyze the risks, costs and methods yourself and decide what you want to do. CO2 laser is the gold standard and probably the "best" thing we have - there isn't much else out there. Are you willing to spend 10k for the chance at 60% improvement (but at the same time the risk of no improvement is there as well)? If not then stick with needling once a month and you'll get some improvement after a year.

 

Lasers do have the potential to improve, but its impossible to predict how you'll react. There has been studies done with spectrometers and with biopsies after laser. This is probably the best improvement i've seen from lasers on here:

 

http://www.acne.org/...cars-on-cheeks/

 

Cheap, good, fast. Pick two of three.

 

Cheap and good = needling, but it will be slow

Good and fast = fractional co2, but its expensive

Cheap and fast = other methods, but it won't be good



#10 rx500

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 07:39 PM

It's a personal decision to make. You have to analyze the risks, costs and methods yourself and decide what you want to do. CO2 laser is the gold standard and probably the "best" thing we have - there isn't much else out there. Are you willing to spend 10k for the chance at 60% improvement (but at the same time the risk of no improvement is there as well)? If not then stick with needling once a month and you'll get some improvement after a year.

 

Lasers do have the potential to improve, but its impossible to predict how you'll react. There has been studies done with spectrometers and with biopsies after laser. This is probably the best improvement i've seen from lasers on here:

 

http://www.acne.org/...cars-on-cheeks/

 

Cheap, good, fast. Pick two of three.

 

Cheap and good = needling, but it will be slow

Good and fast = fractional co2, but its expensive

Cheap and fast = other methods, but it won't be good

 

those results look good, assuming the improvement didn`t fade over time after the skin fully healed

 

am I really looking at $10k for Co2? I can get the money within a year or so, but I am scared about the risks, I have a middle eastern skin tone which might lead to complications.

 

what do you think of pro fractional? It can't find much about it, it's the ablative treatment a dermatologist that I went to offers.



#11 4meracneguy

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:08 PM

Injectable silicone, in the right hands, would work really really good for you.



#12 rx500

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:21 PM

Injectable silicone, in the right hands, would work really really good for you.

 

I tried hyaluronic acid dermal fillers ("injectables") already, just made it a puffy area like I got punched there. 2 months later, it dissolved. I heard bad things about permanent fillers, and not sure which doctor could offer them.

 

You see, I've tried the laser and filler path, to almost no avail, that's why I'm pretty convinced that all of these other methods won't do anything. I had the patience of 1+ year, and a few thousands, but now I am no longer patient. I'd rather keep what I have rather than waste my time or get my hopes up again, after all, I have nothing to lose since I've lived with acne till 19 and scars till now, my life can't really get worse and it would take much more than fixing those acne scars to make it significantly better. I'm starting to not care much any more. All of these procedures are there to make doctors rich, and ugly people like us, poorer.