Background: had acne from 14-15, which became severe on both cheeks and temples by 15-17. At 17 I finally got accutane and no pimples since then, but scars were left (both cheeks first and foremost, some on temples, and very minor on forehead. You can see the scar area compared to my un-scarred skin in the pics). I have thin sensitive skin so I think that must have contributed to the residual scars.
Forehead & Transformation: http://imgur.com/a/rxDBY
Last April 2012, I was 21, and I had 6 fraxel non-ablative treatments done (I think 1550nm), they spanned from April-November 2012 about 6 weeks apart. They said I would "continue to heal and improve 1 year after the last 6th treatment". Right now it's about 1 year past the last treatment. Was it worth it? I guess, the pictures do show improvement and my skin does look just somewhat acceptable if not irritated and reddened. The improvement is that the scars are less deeper and now look like a piece of burnt plastic instead of just big holes.
I am almost 23 now. These scars, and of course the acne prior, have held me back significantly from moving forward in life. I know they are still visible to anyone who will be close to me (co-workers, women, etc.) so I don't want to lie to myself that they are OK the way they are. I noticed that they are red after shaving, so I shave at night and don't look red in the morning (but still scarred).
- Profractional laser: I have heard terrible reviews and it is quite expensive (not a major concern but still..). The dermatologist offering profractional basically told me that the reason fraxel didn't do much was that it was non-ablative and I needed to go deeper. I have heard several horror stories about profractional (long healing, pigmentation, no improvement) and terrible reviews of that dermatologist as well. Overall I am likely to never use this.
- Other ablative-lasers: I do think that deeper ablation can help at least in theory, but I have olive skin (III or IV) so I don't want to take risks having un-even pigmentation, that's as bad as acne scars.
- Acid peels: I have read good things, but I recall my fraxel clinic saying fraxel is much stronger than this, which means that it's far too weak for my severity.
- Other procedures: They all seem to have limited effectiveness but I am very open to trying things out at this point as long as the reviews aren't devastating.
- Concealers and specialty face washes: I have used a st ives fresh skin which tightens the skin, however it doesn't last long and doesn't hide redness. As for other concealers, I would be happy to try them out but I don't want them to be detectable since that looks bad on a male. I am assuming that most makeup won't do anything and just look stupid, but I have to try something at this point. I honestly think this is my best option at this stage, finding a product that can make me look human for a day before re-application the next morning.
What do you guys think I should do, is there any improvement possible from this point?