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Advice For My Scars- Pics Included

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#1 RoseOrALilly

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:32 PM

Hi everyone, 

 

Just a tiny bit of background. I am a 22 year old female. Breakouts started a year ago but didn't get really bad until about Nov-Dec 2013. Noticed the scarring early April. I think the scarring is definitely from breakouts this year, mostly around late Feb early March.

I haven't been on accutane-and don't really want to.

 

My skin doesn't have much active acne (other than some clogged pore types). I do have a few pimples on my upper cheeks that you will see.    

I also have a LOT of redness. Basically every spot I have gotten in the past months has left a nice red mark!

I am obviously not wearing makeup in the pics. Make-up does cover the redness but I feel that it makes the scarring and texture issues more obvious.

I may post some make-up pics later on.

I would like some advice.

Most of my pics are my right side as that is the worst. They're in various lighting.  

The first is my right side under the heat lamp lighting in the bathroom-pretty much the worst lighting I think. Under heat light-right side-cropped.JPG

 

The second is my left side under the same lighting. Yes I am aware of the active spots. Under heat light-left side- cropped.JPG

 

The third is my right side taken outside but under cover. And it looks like only redness. outside but under cover- right side.JPG

 

Fourth, right side is inside but in front of a window. You can see the pores and bad texture there. Again it just looks like red marks. front of window-right side-shows pores texture.JPG

 

And the last pic again is my right side in front of a window but lighting is different. Pores and shitty texture with what look to be just read marks. front of window-not reallt direct light-right side-shows pores texture.JPG

 

So what do people think? What type of scarring is this? And recommended treatments?  

 

To me they don't seem too deep, as you can't really see dents in most lighting, just the redness. Obviously harsh overhead lighting is not my friend.

Some days I even think that most of what I consider 'scarring' is just bad texture. But then some days I feel like a total monster. Its very disheartening stuff but I do my best to remain positive. But that is hard to do when only 12 months ago my skin was fine in comparison to this. Hell even 6 months ago my skin was nothing compared to this.

 

Thanks again guys 

 

 

 

  



Sorry they're so big!! Didn't realise!

You may need to take a step back from your computer to see them properly. Its good detail up close but hard to see the whole situation.

 

Also, these were taken on the same day very recently.

Its hard to believe that those ones under the heat lamp lighting is the same face as those in the window pics!  



#2 *Inspired*

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:56 PM

Are you under the care of a dermatologist for your acne? If not, you really should see one ASAP to get whatever is causing your acne under control. I did not experience acne until my mid 20s. By the time I hit my 30s, my cheeks were covered in scarred pores, ice picks and boxcars. My texture was also horrible. Sadly as I aged, every pimple seemed to leave a scar. With that said, I would get your acne clear before even trying to determine the actual damage. Based on your photos (I hate to say this), I see active acne. It may not be at its worst but it is still active and can easily become worse if you try to treat your scars. In your skin's current state, it is hard to say what the actual damage is, but I do see some atrophic scars, pih and scarred pores. Lighting, angel and digital quality can also be deceiving.

#3 RoseOrALilly

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:15 AM

Are you under the care of a dermatologist for your acne? If not, you really should see one ASAP to get whatever is causing your acne under control. I did not experience acne until my mid 20s. By the time I hit my 30s, my cheeks were covered in scarred pores, ice picks and boxcars. My texture was also horrible. Sadly as I aged, every pimple seemed to leave a scar. With that said, I would get your acne clear before even trying to determine the actual damage. Based on your photos (I hate to say this), I see active acne. It may not be at its worst but it is still active and can easily become worse if you try to treat your scars. In your skin's current state, it is hard to say what the actual damage is, but I do see some atrophic scars, pih and scarred pores. Lighting, angel and digital quality can also be deceiving.

Yes I know I do have active acne still. 

I believe I have some hormonal imbalances which a dermatologist really can't help me with. And most just give accutane which I don't want to do as I have read about it causing depression and scarring. And I already struggle with my mood and clearly already have scarring. 

I could go to a dermatologist to get an opinion I guess. I don't have to take what they tell me to. But I fear they won't have anything to say other than 'Here, take this very strong drug'.  

 

I am obviously going to get the acne under control before I do anything for the scarring. I won't be doing anything until I am spot free I just wanted people's opinions on how my scarring looks, what type it is, have severe, and what treatments I should look into. I want to know all this now so that I can do research so that as soon as I am clear I can get treatments. 

 

What treatments have you seen good results with? 



#4 *Inspired*

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:45 AM

For your type of scarring, which is very similar to how mine looked (see my gallery), I would go with fractional co2 laser and then dermastamping. I don't recommend wasting your time with peels as I have never received any permanent improvement from them. I don't see why you would need acutane and think you might actually benefit from antibiotics and Retin-a. If it is hormonal, they may be able to get it under control with birth control or another prescription. You really should see a dermatologist. You may be kicking yourself in a year or two if you don't because permanent scarring can get so much worse quickly. At this point, your scars aren't bad but you have only experienced acne for a year. Imagine where you could be in another year if it is not properly treated.

#5 RoseOrALilly

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:02 AM

Thank-you.

I will certainly try to find a good dermatologist in my nearest city. 

I will also look into the hormonal stuff. 

Maybe I could do antibiotics and some hormonal treatment as well. 

 

Retin-a is a vitamin a derivative, right? I have heard people say it made their skin thin and made them more prone to scarring. But I am actually not sure what its meant to do. 

I already have a bit of regret. I was prescribed the BC pill last year but never took it because I read some horror stories of strokes and things. Now I wish I had have just taken it. I could be 100% clear with no scars. But I don't think about that stuff because it really brings me down. I just have to do the best I can right now.

Still don't really want to go on the BC pill but I have read lots about some other natural things that balance hormones.

 

Lasers scar the s**t out of me! I will do some research though and hope that others have advice also.

Thanks again.   



#6 mrsrobinson

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 04:26 AM

for the retin a, if your skin can handle it, go with tazorac gel...I find the cream clogs pores, but the gel is more drying

 

that will help keep pores clean and slowly help with the redness...so if you do that at night, then I would do a mild acid in the day, again if your skin can handle it, like glycolic acid lotion or I love mandelic acid, I use the one from the garden of wisdom site

 

and of course avoid a lot of sun exposure

 

and I've gotten very good with coverage of my dents and depressions, I put a light foundation on the use a mineral powder concealer with a small brush and sweep over any spots or carefully inside the indents

 

good luck to you, your acne is mild to moderate, no cysts so thank your lucky stars there-  but you should get a routine that works and I agree with the other poster, I did a series of fraxels and now I use a dermastamp and do my own scar remodeling



#7 RoseOrALilly

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 04:44 AM

for the retin a, if your skin can handle it, go with tazorac gel...I find the cream clogs pores, but the gel is more drying

 

that will help keep pores clean and slowly help with the redness...so if you do that at night, then I would do a mild acid in the day, again if your skin can handle it, like glycolic acid lotion or I love mandelic acid, I use the one from the garden of wisdom site

 

and of course avoid a lot of sun exposure

 

and I've gotten very good with coverage of my dents and depressions, I put a light foundation on the use a mineral powder concealer with a small brush and sweep over any spots or carefully inside the indents

 

good luck to you, your acne is mild to moderate, no cysts so thank your lucky stars there-  but you should get a routine that works and I agree with the other poster, I did a series of fraxels and now I use a dermastamp and do my own scar remodeling

Thank you so much for your reply. 

My skin is quite sensitive, I can't really handle BP or salicylic acid so I don't know how I'd go with the topicals you mentioned. 

In regards to your treatments, how do you find dermastamping? Do you get good results with that? I'm pretty wary of laser. I suspect I don't heal quite as well or as quick as most people, so I am thinking this is problematic when it comes to lasers and possibly needling. 

 

Also, what type of scarring do you think I have? 

 

About 1 month ago, not long after I noticed the scarring, it looked like rolling. So from front on, in harsh lighting, it looked like more shallow, wider, wave like scarring, but now in the same lighting etc it looks more like really crappy texture, not so wavy, more smaller a bumpy or something. This is with make-up on. I don't know why or what this means... 



#8 michi31

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 07:15 AM

I forget if I already asked you this on the hormonal forum, but have you looked into Spiro? It makes me sad so many adult women struggle with this when there is such an effective solution. It really does need to be resolved hormonally.



#9 RoseOrALilly

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 08:16 AM

I forget if I already asked you this on the hormonal forum, but have you looked into Spiro? It makes me sad so many adult women struggle with this when there is such an effective solution. It really does need to be resolved hormonally.

I can't remember either. I have not looked into Spiro other than what I have read here. I have looked into herbal treatments such as DIM, inositol etc though. 

Spiro is an anti-androgen, yes? Is it prescribed by doctors or dermos?

I know, I have a lot of regret. I have suspected hormones was my problem for several months now but GP's wouldn't really help. Saw a naturopath but she wouldn't do anything til I had blood tests...then she moved away. Then I decided I would treat myself but didn't know where to start or what to do...

So now here I am. My acne has got a bit better, maybe its the diet changes I made months ago or my supplements, but I have scarring now.

I don't like to think about that though, what could have been, that's just depressing and not healthy. I just look forward, to what I can do now. Or I try to.  

I have booked into see a GP that is really open to natural treatments ie. won't just but me on BC pills like every other doctor would. But that appointment is a month away. 

Just have to cross my fingers that my skin doesn't get more scarred in that time, that I don't get any more big breakouts. 

I am a bit panicked about the long wait though...



#10 michi31

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:32 PM

Yes Spiro is an anti-androgen that is prescribed by derms usually, although I got mine through an endocrinologist. I really suggest you skip all that nonsense with the over the counter stuff and just go get a prescription. Google it and there is lots of information and reviews.



#11 420blazeitfgt

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 04:52 PM

Please don't let all the negative hype about accutane scare you out of taking it. I took it for 6 months and its an absolute cake walk in comparison to having acne. People talk about how it causes depression, its total crap. Having acne causes depression. My skin was almost identical to yours, actually worse. I stopped taking it about 6 months ago and have had maybe 4 or 5 insignificant little whiteheads since then. The best part is that because my skin isn't always in distress they no longer leave red marks. Seriously, the only side effect I had was dry skin. Hundreds, if not thousands of people on this forum have taken accutane and recorded it in the section called "accutane logs". Look through them before you decide its not for you because it was a life saver for the vast majority. Good luck in whatever you decide.



#12 sga14

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 06:47 PM


Are you under the care of a dermatologist for your acne? If not, you really should see one ASAP to get whatever is causing your acne under control. I did not experience acne until my mid 20s. By the time I hit my 30s, my cheeks were covered in scarred pores, ice picks and boxcars. My texture was also horrible. Sadly as I aged, every pimple seemed to leave a scar. With that said, I would get your acne clear before even trying to determine the actual damage. Based on your photos (I hate to say this), I see active acne. It may not be at its worst but it is still active and can easily become worse if you try to treat your scars. In your skin's current state, it is hard to say what the actual damage is, but I do see some atrophic scars, pih and scarred pores. Lighting, angel and digital quality can also be deceiving.

Yes I know I do have active acne still. 

I believe I have some hormonal imbalances which a dermatologist really can't help me with. And most just give accutane which I don't want to do as I have read about it causing depression and scarring. And I already struggle with my mood and clearly already have scarring. 

I could go to a dermatologist to get an opinion I guess. I don't have to take what they tell me to. But I fear they won't have anything to say other than 'Here, take this very strong drug'.  

 

I am obviously going to get the acne under control before I do anything for the scarring. I won't be doing anything until I am spot free I just wanted people's opinions on how my scarring looks, what type it is, have severe, and what treatments I should look into. I want to know all this now so that I can do research so that as soon as I am clear I can get treatments. 

 

What treatments have you seen good results with? 

Don't be scared of Accutane. I started getting acne junior year of high school. I am now 32 years old and it was not until 2012 that I finally went on Accutane. I also was frightened by all of the horror stories, but I'll be honest with you, not much compares to having bad acne for that long. I tried every product/procedure/prescription between that time and NOTHING worked. I can rattle off just about every medication that's been out there (duac, differin, all types of antibiotics, retin-a, tazorac, aczone, lasers, every peel [glycolic, salicylic, pumpkin, TCA] blue light, birth control, facials) They would "help", but never make it go away. I've seriously done it all and spent a lot of money doing it.

Finally I decided enough is enough and found a derm to give me Accutane. They make you take a pregnancy test, sign a bunch of papers, jump through a bunch of hoops and finally put you on it. You have to get blood work every month. If anything gets sketchy, your derm will pull you off. I also did not get any depression at all. I was on it for about 5 months. I would use chapstick, but my face didn't get super dry either. Sometimes my eyes would sting at night and feel dry, but that's it. The acne immediately started going away and so did the oiliness. If acne bothers you or is affecting your self esteem..I say give it a go. My face is covered in scars from not dealing my acne swiftly and in time. Don't do the same.

I've been off it for about a year and a half now. With the use of a topical, clay mask and exfoliating - I haven't had any breakouts. Now I just have the scars to deal with, which is why I'm on this forum.



#13 mrsrobinson

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 06:24 AM

my scars are rolling, so the dermastamp is really good for those

 

read up on the owndoc.com forum and jump in, the improvement is slow but in 6 months you'll really notice it...don't overdo it though, start slow and see how your skin reacts and go from there

 

I did have fraxel treatments (4 of them) to smooth things out, and then I've been stamping the rolling scars since then, just moved up to the 1.0mm stamp, no question about the improvement, I did the 0.5mm for at least a year.



#14 RoseOrALilly

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 06:37 AM

my scars are rolling, so the dermastamp is really good for those

 

read up on the owndoc.com forum and jump in, the improvement is slow but in 6 months you'll really notice it...don't overdo it though, start slow and see how your skin reacts and go from there

 

I did have fraxel treatments (4 of them) to smooth things out, and then I've been stamping the rolling scars since then, just moved up to the 1.0mm stamp, no question about the improvement, I did the 0.5mm for at least a year.

Thankyou for your reply.

Based on my pictures, do you think that dermastamping will improve my scarring? 

I am not even sure what type my scarring is. 

Does this method help skin texture and plump the skin up. 

Really appreciate your help. 


 


Are you under the care of a dermatologist for your acne? If not, you really should see one ASAP to get whatever is causing your acne under control. I did not experience acne until my mid 20s. By the time I hit my 30s, my cheeks were covered in scarred pores, ice picks and boxcars. My texture was also horrible. Sadly as I aged, every pimple seemed to leave a scar. With that said, I would get your acne clear before even trying to determine the actual damage. Based on your photos (I hate to say this), I see active acne. It may not be at its worst but it is still active and can easily become worse if you try to treat your scars. In your skin's current state, it is hard to say what the actual damage is, but I do see some atrophic scars, pih and scarred pores. Lighting, angel and digital quality can also be deceiving.

Yes I know I do have active acne still. 

I believe I have some hormonal imbalances which a dermatologist really can't help me with. And most just give accutane which I don't want to do as I have read about it causing depression and scarring. And I already struggle with my mood and clearly already have scarring. 

I could go to a dermatologist to get an opinion I guess. I don't have to take what they tell me to. But I fear they won't have anything to say other than 'Here, take this very strong drug'.  

 

I am obviously going to get the acne under control before I do anything for the scarring. I won't be doing anything until I am spot free I just wanted people's opinions on how my scarring looks, what type it is, have severe, and what treatments I should look into. I want to know all this now so that I can do research so that as soon as I am clear I can get treatments. 

 

What treatments have you seen good results with? 

Don't be scared of Accutane. I started getting acne junior year of high school. I am now 32 years old and it was not until 2012 that I finally went on Accutane. I also was frightened by all of the horror stories, but I'll be honest with you, not much compares to having bad acne for that long. I tried every product/procedure/prescription between that time and NOTHING worked. I can rattle off just about every medication that's been out there (duac, differin, all types of antibiotics, retin-a, tazorac, aczone, lasers, every peel [glycolic, salicylic, pumpkin, TCA] blue light, birth control, facials) They would "help", but never make it go away. I've seriously done it all and spent a lot of money doing it.

Finally I decided enough is enough and found a derm to give me Accutane. They make you take a pregnancy test, sign a bunch of papers, jump through a bunch of hoops and finally put you on it. You have to get blood work every month. If anything gets sketchy, your derm will pull you off. I also did not get any depression at all. I was on it for about 5 months. I would use chapstick, but my face didn't get super dry either. Sometimes my eyes would sting at night and feel dry, but that's it. The acne immediately started going away and so did the oiliness. If acne bothers you or is affecting your self esteem..I say give it a go. My face is covered in scars from not dealing my acne swiftly and in time. Don't do the same.

I've been off it for about a year and a half now. With the use of a topical, clay mask and exfoliating - I haven't had any breakouts. Now I just have the scars to deal with, which is why I'm on this forum.

Thankyou for your post. 

I have an appointment with a doctor that was recommended to me. I believe I have a hormonal imbalance as I have other symptoms.

I have read some people who tried accutane and it worked for a bit but their acne came back because they still had the hormonal imbalance.

So I think I'll explore that option first. 



#15 tracy521

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 12:05 PM

good luck and i agree you should look into spiro first and go from there. if you take it with a good antibiotic you should avoid any sort of initial breakout. the stuff works wonders!



#16 blahblah82

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 05:52 AM

The thing about the internet and forums like this is the freely available information, good and bad.   I've been in exactly the same situation as you, feeling completely conflicted about acne treatments.  I kept going back and forth on Accutane for years until my cystic acne got so bad, that I had reached the end of the line and gave in.  Surprisingly, I didn't not get any of the dreaded side effects other than severely chapped lips and dry skin.  And I took a very high dose for someone of my smaller build.   Accutane effectively cured me of cystic acne, other than the odd pimple once every 6 months.   It changed my life really.  

 

In your case, Accutane might be a little aggressive, however if the acne is starting to scar it's worth consideration.   Regardless, I would trust your doctor instead of what you read on the internet from armchair experts.   Luckily I would classify the scarring as still minor, and the redness is making things look worse than it is.   You are in the best position now to control the acne aggressively and prevent further scarring.  



#17 RoseOrALilly

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 07:58 AM

The thing about the internet and forums like this is the freely available information, good and bad.   I've been in exactly the same situation as you, feeling completely conflicted about acne treatments.  I kept going back and forth on Accutane for years until my cystic acne got so bad, that I had reached the end of the line and gave in.  Surprisingly, I didn't not get any of the dreaded side effects other than severely chapped lips and dry skin.  And I took a very high dose for someone of my smaller build.   Accutane effectively cured me of cystic acne, other than the odd pimple once every 6 months.   It changed my life really.  

 

In your case, Accutane might be a little aggressive, however if the acne is starting to scar it's worth consideration.   Regardless, I would trust your doctor instead of what you read on the internet from armchair experts.   Luckily I would classify the scarring as still minor, and the redness is making things look worse than it is.   You are in the best position now to control the acne aggressively and prevent further scarring.  

Thank-you very much for this! 

I think like most people, I see my scarring as being worse than it really is, so what you've said about my scarring being minor has really helped me.

I have a lot of hope for my appointment with my doctor. I may even ask her about scarring and treatments as she may know a good derm.

Thanks again.  



#18 5beauty

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 09:57 AM

Ok, first of all your pics are sooo close and i think they enlarge your problem. You have moderate to severe acne to me. I would suggest you to pop the white heads carefully( i see you have some). This will make the pimple fall. My suggestions are all natural, as i see they work for my situation. Have a baking soda peeling and some masks with turmeric( takes the redness away), yoghurt and honey. I pray on turmeric, its really miraculous. Licorice too in similar mask. Use sudocrem on pimples to make them come to a head. Even if you follow a derm prescription, you can do this stuff additionaly. Good luck and let us know of your progress!!!

#19 blahblah82

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 12:58 AM

I agree with the above statement.   When I zoomed out with your pictures and looked at them from a normal distance, your scarring if very very minor.   Blowing a picture up 12 x 12 in on a computer monitor will make things look hideous.  That is not how people see you in real life.   No one is zooming in on your skin like that.   



#20 Shellz18

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 01:41 AM

My skin looked very similar to yours! I was so desperate with my dematologist I wanted to try anything at this point! I asked to be on accutane but she refused. She prescibed me tazorac 0.5%gel in the last 3 months and honestly I've never got so many compliments. Everyone has noticed a difference. I can tell as we'll. my face is not so angry. I have tried everything I thought I had given up. My dermatologist told me I need to stick to my ointment for more than a couple months to see if it works and it had. I thought I would share my knowledge because I've been in your shoes! Goodluck!




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