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I have been following this forum for about three years, and after experiencing about 85% improvement in reducing my scars I thought I would share my story. I am 40 years old, male, and I live in SW Missouri.

I began getting acne around age 19 which transitioned to cystic acne, no more than 1 or 2 pimples at a time. Never a bad enough breakout to see a dermatologist. My first scar developed in an area which became infected because of a repeated in grown hair. When the inflammation subsided, I noticed under overhead lighting the depression in my upper check about the size of a enlongated penny. Unfortunately over the next 2-3 years I gradually began "collecting" more scars, box car type. I had (have) about 6 on one check and about 5 on the other and began developing on orange peel complexion which about 25 ice pick scars the size of the tip of a tooth pick.

I would lie in bed at night before falling asleep and wish I had a magic wand to eliminate them, so I could be happy and not as self-conscious. Most of the time I would feel OK, but than there would be times when I would catch a glimse of my reflect in car windows in the evenings or in the rear view mirror of an old jeep wrangler with the top down, and I would get this incredible sinking feeling. I hated going to the mall because of the lighted reflection in stores and changing room mirrors. When I was in college studying in the library, I would read books on acne scar removal and being the "old man" that I am, all that was offered in those days was dermabrasion and deep phenol peels,neither of which I could afford, but I would still dream.

In 1993 after graduating from graduate school, I am marriage and family counselor, I went to a plastic surgeon near my home town. We discussed options primarily dermabrasion, what he ended up doing was a Z plasty excision on the biggest depressed area on my upper left cheek. He charged me 250 dollars because I was a poor college student. During my follow-up appointment to have the stitches removed, the nurse left my chart in the office I was in and I read his note about me; the patient (my name) is a pleasant young man with severe acne scarring. Wow, this was the first time anyone else had ever commented on my scarring, which now made it real not just a vain obsession. I loved the effect of the swelling but in the end got maybe 50% improvement in that on large depressed area.

I didn't pursue any other treatments until 2002 when I went to a different plastic surgeon who decided to excise about 12 of my box car scars, in two seperate surgeries because he didn't want the surrounding stitches to pull on each other. He used a hole punch excision on three or four, excised three or four and did a subcision on my deepest scar which was about the size of a new pencil eraser. That subcision totally eliminated that scar with no noticable surgery line, leaving only a slightly elevated area. All in all I achieved about 15% improvement, the one eliminated, and one made much worse as the stitches loosened up. He charged me about 1,000 dollars. After the areas healed he used an erbium laser on a "test scar area" about the size of a half dollar, initial swelling gave me false hope, no improvement but I now have a hypopigmentation area not real noticable unless I get a sun tan.

Shortly after finding this forum, I tried Radiance, 1,000 dollars, lasted a few weeks, never went back for follow-up injections. Read about TCA Cross from Maya and decided to try it. Made an appointment with Dr. Ridenour in St. Louis, actually his assistant did the treatment, the technique really is as simple as it sounds, the swelling and scabbing gives you a temporary psychological vacation from seeing the depressed shadows on your face. I purchased some TCA from an internet provider and did 4 rounds myself, it really does work on icepick scars almost eliminating mine. It softened the edges of some of my boxcar scars with about 15% improvement. I did make some worse by using the same tooth pick, not realizing the the TCA liquid caused the end of the tooth pick to expand getting it on the outside of the scar leaving a saucer shape depression. If you do TCA Cross use a fresh sharpened tooth pick for each scar, but don't be afraid to re-dip and hit the center of each scar twice, in other words be aggressively conservative. The down side from my TCA experience is that the areas which were treated became hypopigmentated, I now have white spots all over my face, but hey, how many guys do you know with white spots on their face, add to my "one of a kind" personality, and who knows the aging process may have caused my scars to whiten anyway. I also used Protein drops for about 10 months, was a nice placeb for a while.

Ok, now for the reason I finally decided to register and share my story. You can make your scars "go away". I decided last February 2005 to take the plunge and use a permanent filler. After months of reading peoples experiences on this forum and my own research I scheduled an appointment with a Doctor in New York City, hoped on a plane in Kansas City, got a connecting flight in Chicago stayed in Queens, the next day hoped on the subway to Manhattan. Pretty cool experience for a guy from the mid-west. Not really scary at all. The Doctor recommended liquid silicon micro-droplet technique, saying he would use it on his own family members, because he trusted the technique that much. Had my first round done that morning, mild stings, more intense around my nose area below my eyes. He treated every depressed area he could find under harse lighting, little pricks at a time, the procedure took about 20 minutes, payed 600 dollars and off I went sight seeing. My reflection in the mirror was awesome because of the swelling effect each area he treated had mild redness, which went away after a few days. The improving effects didn't become noticable to me until about 4 weeks with a gradual improvement for the next 3 months. I had my second treatment in late May 2005, with the two treatments combined giving me about 60%. I was satisfied with the level of improvement I achieved from those treatments, but knew that a couple more would almost eliminate my scarring. So in July 2006 I went back for a third treatment a "touch up" as the Doctor described it. It was so cool because when I asked the Doctor for his objective evaluation, he said "I would think this guy spends too much time looking at his skin", a learned trait from years of being self-conscious about my "severe acne scarring". He did comment on my hypopigmentated spots, stating that there is a laser treatment, but he didn't know if it actually works or not. If it did, I don't know if I want to give up being known as the guy with white spots!

I am now seeing the effects from that third round of injections, ironically, I'm now also seeing the effects of father time, little wrinkles here and there, or maybe I notice things like little wrinkles now that my scars have been so minimized. I still have a general "orange peel" complexion and always will, but with my salt and pepper facial hair, it adds to my rugged character. I probably will use getting one last touch up next spring as an excuse to re-visit New York City as it really is an awesome place.

Although I am glad for the successes in reducing my acne scars, as I get older I'm not sure I want them to totally go away, because in some ways they are legacy to times in my life that were very meaningful. Even though the reflections of my scarring really brought me down. The reflects often occured during special times and travels and stages of my life. It is those wonderful life experience that really matter/ed not the texture of our skin. I have never met another person whose acne or acne scarring ever detracted from how beautiful they are as a person. Sorry for my spelling or poor grammar, not on of my strengths.

I wish all of you success in your various treatments, let it be a hobby, not an obsession!

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I have been following this forum for about three years, and after experiencing about 85% improvement in reducing my scars I thought I would share my story. I am 40 years old, male, and I live in SW Missouri.

I began getting acne around age 19 which transitioned to cystic acne, no more than 1 or 2 pimples at a time. Never a bad enough breakout to see a dermatologist. My first scar developed in an area which became infected because of a repeated in grown hair. When the inflammation subsided, I noticed under overhead lighting the depression in my upper check about the size of a enlongated penny. Unfortunately over the next 2-3 years I gradually began "collecting" more scars, box car type. I had (have) about 6 on one check and about 5 on the other and began developing on orange peel complexion which about 25 ice pick scars the size of the tip of a tooth pick.

I would lie in bed at night before falling asleep and wish I had a magic wand to eliminate them, so I could be happy and not as self-conscious. Most of the time I would feel OK, but than there would be times when I would catch a glimse of my reflect in car windows in the evenings or in the rear view mirror of an old jeep wrangler with the top down, and I would get this incredible sinking feeling. I hated going to the mall because of the lighted reflection in stores and changing room mirrors. When I was in college studying in the library, I would read books on acne scar removal and being the "old man" that I am, all that was offered in those days was dermabrasion and deep phenol peels,neither of which I could afford, but I would still dream.

In 1993 after graduating from graduate school, I am marriage and family counselor, I went to a plastic surgeon near my home town. We discussed options primarily dermabrasion, what he ended up doing was a Z plasty excision on the biggest depressed area on my upper left cheek. He charged me 250 dollars because I was a poor college student. During my follow-up appointment to have the stitches removed, the nurse left my chart in the office I was in and I read his note about me; the patient (my name) is a pleasant young man with severe acne scarring. Wow, this was the first time anyone else had ever commented on my scarring, which now made it real not just a vain obsession. I loved the effect of the swelling but in the end got maybe 50% improvement in that on large depressed area.

I didn't pursue any other treatments until 2002 when I went to a different plastic surgeon who decided to excise about 12 of my box car scars, in two seperate surgeries because he didn't want the surrounding stitches to pull on each other. He used a hole punch excision on three or four, excised three or four and did a subcision on my deepest scar which was about the size of a new pencil eraser. That subcision totally eliminated that scar with no noticable surgery line, leaving only a slightly elevated area. All in all I achieved about 15% improvement, the one eliminated, and one made much worse as the stitches loosened up. He charged me about 1,000 dollars. After the areas healed he used an erbium laser on a "test scar area" about the size of a half dollar, initial swelling gave me false hope, no improvement but I now have a hypopigmentation area not real noticable unless I get a sun tan.

Shortly after finding this forum, I tried Radiance, 1,000 dollars, lasted a few weeks, never went back for follow-up injections. Read about TCA Cross from Maya and decided to try it. Made an appointment with Dr. Ridenour in St. Louis, actually his assistant did the treatment, the technique really is as simple as it sounds, the swelling and scabbing gives you a temporary psychological vacation from seeing the depressed shadows on your face. I purchased some TCA from an internet provider and did 4 rounds myself, it really does work on icepick scars almost eliminating mine. It softened the edges of some of my boxcar scars with about 15% improvement. I did make some worse by using the same tooth pick, not realizing the the TCA liquid caused the end of the tooth pick to expand getting it on the outside of the scar leaving a saucer shape depression. If you do TCA Cross use a fresh sharpened tooth pick for each scar, but don't be afraid to re-dip and hit the center of each scar twice, in other words be aggressively conservative. The down side from my TCA experience is that the areas which were treated became hypopigmentated, I now have white spots all over my face, but hey, how many guys do you know with white spots on their face, add to my "one of a kind" personality, and who knows the aging process may have caused my scars to whiten anyway. I also used Protein drops for about 10 months, was a nice placeb for a while.

Ok, now for the reason I finally decided to register and share my story. You can make your scars "go away". I decided last February 2005 to take the plunge and use a permanent filler. After months of reading peoples experiences on this forum and my own research I scheduled an appointment with a Doctor in New York City, hoped on a plane in Kansas City, got a connecting flight in Chicago stayed in Queens, the next day hoped on the subway to Manhattan. Pretty cool experience for a guy from the mid-west. Not really scary at all. The Doctor recommended liquid silicon micro-droplet technique, saying he would use it on his own family members, because he trusted the technique that much. Had my first round done that morning, mild stings, more intense around my nose area below my eyes. He treated every depressed area he could find under harse lighting, little pricks at a time, the procedure took about 20 minutes, payed 600 dollars and off I went sight seeing. My reflection in the mirror was awesome because of the swelling effect each area he treated had mild redness, which went away after a few days. The improving effects didn't become noticable to me until about 4 weeks with a gradual improvement for the next 3 months. I had my second treatment in late May 2005, with the two treatments combined giving me about 60%. I was satisfied with the level of improvement I achieved from those treatments, but knew that a couple more would almost eliminate my scarring. So in July 2006 I went back for a third treatment a "touch up" as the Doctor described it. It was so cool because when I asked the Doctor for his objective evaluation, he said "I would think this guy spends too much time looking at his skin", a learned trait from years of being self-conscious about my "severe acne scarring". He did comment on my hypopigmentated spots, stating that there is a laser treatment, but he didn't know if it actually works or not. If it did, I don't know if I want to give up being known as the guy with white spots!

I am now seeing the effects from that third round of injections, ironically, I'm now also seeing the effects of father time, little wrinkles here and there, or maybe I notice things like little wrinkles now that my scars have been so minimized. I still have a general "orange peel" complexion and always will, but with my salt and pepper facial hair, it adds to my rugged character. I probably will use getting one last touch up next spring as an excuse to re-visit New York City as it really is an awesome place.

Although I am glad for the successes in reducing my acne scars, as I get older I'm not sure I want them to totally go away, because in some ways they are legacy to times in my life that were very meaningful. Even though the reflections of my scarring really brought me down. The reflects often occured during special times and travels and stages of my life. It is those wonderful life experience that really matter/ed not the texture of our skin. I have never met another person whose acne or acne scarring ever detracted from how beautiful they are as a person. Sorry for my spelling or poor grammar, not on of my strengths.

I wish all of you success in your various treatments, let it be a hobby, not an obsession!

What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing the story of your journey. I would love to know the name of the doctor you visited. I'm not all that far from NYC, and maybe after I dabble a bit longer with fraxel that's how I finish up this crusade. At some point, it'll have to be good enough.

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i am really curious as to the beneficial results of silicone. is there any way you could post a before and after picture....i know that many would not want to post their own pics but if possible you could block out any distinguishing features and just forward pics of scars. thanks.

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I will obtain a "before" picture from the Doctor that did my excisions, and have a friend take a current picture, and attempt to submit them, but please have patience with me, as I am definitely not a "21st Century Digital Man". However, it is time for me to attempt to become one.

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ty for posting. indeed very ispiring. I am very happy for your success and cant wait to see the before an afters too. :)

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Congratulations on your improvements. Am I reading this right... that each session only costed $600?

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My first two rounds of injections were considered "full rounds" in which I was charged 600 dollars for each round. The recent third round was considered by the Doctor to be a "touch-up", he charged me 150 dollars. However it did cost 220 for my round trip ticket from Kansas City to New York by way of Chicago. My stay at the Pan American Hotel in Queens was about 120 dollars each night. I am at the 7 week point since the third session and continue to notice gradual improvements.

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Thanks for info. Costs in this range is very attractive.

Was a trial injection required first to test for reactions, or were you able to jump in immediately?

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He did a full treatment, but ignored my request to be "aggressive" and "fill 'em up". During the first 2 rounds he took his time and was methodical, sometimes going back to a previously injected area. Before the third round "touch up" , he handed me a mirror and asked me to show him areas I wanted treated, but I could tell he was also treating areas he could see were still depressed.

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Very inspiring, honest and informative post....

So the permanent filler didnt give you any side effects? i am brown-skin,olive and dont want end up with red spots either. I always wonder could it be possible that you can get an excess swelling due to improper placement or worst, the filler can be misplaced somewhere else and now you get a bump that is hard to remove. Well, i seen cases on tv.

How would you rate the success of the filler vs TCA method?

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I have been following this forum for about three years, and after experiencing about 85% improvement in reducing my scars I thought I would share my story. I am 40 years old, male, and I live in SW Missouri.

I began getting acne around age 19 which transitioned to cystic acne, no more than 1 or 2 pimples at a time. Never a bad enough breakout to see a dermatologist. My first scar developed in an area which became infected because of a repeated in grown hair. When the inflammation subsided, I noticed under overhead lighting the depression in my upper check about the size of a enlongated penny. Unfortunately over the next 2-3 years I gradually began "collecting" more scars, box car type. I had (have) about 6 on one check and about 5 on the other and began developing on orange peel complexion which about 25 ice pick scars the size of the tip of a tooth pick.

I would lie in bed at night before falling asleep and wish I had a magic wand to eliminate them, so I could be happy and not as self-conscious. Most of the time I would feel OK, but than there would be times when I would catch a glimse of my reflect in car windows in the evenings or in the rear view mirror of an old jeep wrangler with the top down, and I would get this incredible sinking feeling. I hated going to the mall because of the lighted reflection in stores and changing room mirrors. When I was in college studying in the library, I would read books on acne scar removal and being the "old man" that I am, all that was offered in those days was dermabrasion and deep phenol peels,neither of which I could afford, but I would still dream.

In 1993 after graduating from graduate school, I am marriage and family counselor, I went to a plastic surgeon near my home town. We discussed options primarily dermabrasion, what he ended up doing was a Z plasty excision on the biggest depressed area on my upper left cheek. He charged me 250 dollars because I was a poor college student. During my follow-up appointment to have the stitches removed, the nurse left my chart in the office I was in and I read his note about me; the patient (my name) is a pleasant young man with severe acne scarring. Wow, this was the first time anyone else had ever commented on my scarring, which now made it real not just a vain obsession. I loved the effect of the swelling but in the end got maybe 50% improvement in that on large depressed area.

I didn't pursue any other treatments until 2002 when I went to a different plastic surgeon who decided to excise about 12 of my box car scars, in two seperate surgeries because he didn't want the surrounding stitches to pull on each other. He used a hole punch excision on three or four, excised three or four and did a subcision on my deepest scar which was about the size of a new pencil eraser. That subcision totally eliminated that scar with no noticable surgery line, leaving only a slightly elevated area. All in all I achieved about 15% improvement, the one eliminated, and one made much worse as the stitches loosened up. He charged me about 1,000 dollars. After the areas healed he used an erbium laser on a "test scar area" about the size of a half dollar, initial swelling gave me false hope, no improvement but I now have a hypopigmentation area not real noticable unless I get a sun tan.

Shortly after finding this forum, I tried Radiance, 1,000 dollars, lasted a few weeks, never went back for follow-up injections. Read about TCA Cross from Maya and decided to try it. Made an appointment with Dr. Ridenour in St. Louis, actually his assistant did the treatment, the technique really is as simple as it sounds, the swelling and scabbing gives you a temporary psychological vacation from seeing the depressed shadows on your face. I purchased some TCA from an internet provider and did 4 rounds myself, it really does work on icepick scars almost eliminating mine. It softened the edges of some of my boxcar scars with about 15% improvement. I did make some worse by using the same tooth pick, not realizing the the TCA liquid caused the end of the tooth pick to expand getting it on the outside of the scar leaving a saucer shape depression. If you do TCA Cross use a fresh sharpened tooth pick for each scar, but don't be afraid to re-dip and hit the center of each scar twice, in other words be aggressively conservative. The down side from my TCA experience is that the areas which were treated became hypopigmentated, I now have white spots all over my face, but hey, how many guys do you know with white spots on their face, add to my "one of a kind" personality, and who knows the aging process may have caused my scars to whiten anyway. I also used Protein drops for about 10 months, was a nice placeb for a while.

Ok, now for the reason I finally decided to register and share my story. You can make your scars "go away". I decided last February 2005 to take the plunge and use a permanent filler. After months of reading peoples experiences on this forum and my own research I scheduled an appointment with a Doctor in New York City, hoped on a plane in Kansas City, got a connecting flight in Chicago stayed in Queens, the next day hoped on the subway to Manhattan. Pretty cool experience for a guy from the mid-west. Not really scary at all. The Doctor recommended liquid silicon micro-droplet technique, saying he would use it on his own family members, because he trusted the technique that much. Had my first round done that morning, mild stings, more intense around my nose area below my eyes. He treated every depressed area he could find under harse lighting, little pricks at a time, the procedure took about 20 minutes, payed 600 dollars and off I went sight seeing. My reflection in the mirror was awesome because of the swelling effect each area he treated had mild redness, which went away after a few days. The improving effects didn't become noticable to me until about 4 weeks with a gradual improvement for the next 3 months. I had my second treatment in late May 2005, with the two treatments combined giving me about 60%. I was satisfied with the level of improvement I achieved from those treatments, but knew that a couple more would almost eliminate my scarring. So in July 2006 I went back for a third treatment a "touch up" as the Doctor described it. It was so cool because when I asked the Doctor for his objective evaluation, he said "I would think this guy spends too much time looking at his skin", a learned trait from years of being self-conscious about my "severe acne scarring". He did comment on my hypopigmentated spots, stating that there is a laser treatment, but he didn't know if it actually works or not. If it did, I don't know if I want to give up being known as the guy with white spots!

I am now seeing the effects from that third round of injections, ironically, I'm now also seeing the effects of father time, little wrinkles here and there, or maybe I notice things like little wrinkles now that my scars have been so minimized. I still have a general "orange peel" complexion and always will, but with my salt and pepper facial hair, it adds to my rugged character. I probably will use getting one last touch up next spring as an excuse to re-visit New York City as it really is an awesome place.

Although I am glad for the successes in reducing my acne scars, as I get older I'm not sure I want them to totally go away, because in some ways they are legacy to times in my life that were very meaningful. Even though the reflections of my scarring really brought me down. The reflects often occured during special times and travels and stages of my life. It is those wonderful life experience that really matter/ed not the texture of our skin. I have never met another person whose acne or acne scarring ever detracted from how beautiful they are as a person. Sorry for my spelling or poor grammar, not on of my strengths.

I wish all of you success in your various treatments, let it be a hobby, not an obsession!

AH HAHA!!!! I KNEW THAT WOULD WORK, i CAN'T WAIT! do please post those be4 and afters though, but that will be verrry interesting to see. Maybe jaws will finally drop around here. I just had excisions on my temples and was very disappointed.

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Is it permissable on this forum to ask where this doctor is located?

I know the doctor is located in NYC, but what is the address?

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I feel like I have experienced comparable success between TCA Cross used on scarred pores and ice pick scars, and the silicon injections for boxcar and depressed areas left over from excisions and loss of "volume" from areas in which I had repeated cystic acne and an infection. I don't believe that too much would cause a "bump" because such small amounts are injected during each round. Over correction would be minimal because he encouraged me to not schedule rounds too close together ( 3-6 months apart) allowing enough time to observe how my scars would react to each treatment.

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I feel like I have experienced comparable success between TCA Cross used on scarred pores and ice pick scars, and the silicon injections for boxcar and depressed areas left over from excisions and loss of "volume" from areas in which I had repeated cystic acne and an infection. I don't believe that too much would cause a "bump" because such small amounts are injected during each round. Over correction would be minimal because he encouraged me to not schedule rounds too close together ( 3-6 months apart) allowing enough time to observe how my scars would react to each treatment.

Can this treatment really make the scars level, or does it just soften their edges? Im sorry, I find it SOOO hard to believe that it works that well!!!

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Treatment success and or improvement is subjective to each individuals realistic expectations. I have experienced "leveling" to the degree possible for each type of scar or area treated after 3 rounds. I am becoming more and more subjectively satisfied with the results, also recognizing and accepting, that I will not have the complexion of someone who has had no severe acne scarring. Ultimately, one has to undergo each treatment procedure themselves to accurately evaluate the degree to which it effects/improves their scars.

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Treatment success and or improvement is subjective to each individuals realistic expectations. I have experienced "leveling" to the degree possible for each type of scar or area treated after 3 rounds. I am becoming more and more subjectively satisfied with the results, also recognizing and accepting, that I will not have the complexion of someone who has had no severe acne scarring. Ultimately, one has to undergo each treatment procedure themselves to accurately evaluate the degree to which it effects/improves their scars.

So what you're saying is that u still have indentation, or shadowing effects from where the scars were? I posted a be4 and after I found online, and to me that looks TOTALLY level with the LIS. If that's the result I am going to get, as I have the exact same type of scars this guy in the photo had, I would never have to worry about catching bad lighting again>

AQlso, keep in mind the guy in the photo had 5 rounds spaced 3 months apart. Something tells me u would get better leveling that way because the doctor has more room to predict/gauge your body's collagen production, making the final result much more dramatic.

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Some of my cystic acne destroyed deeper tissue, and the excisions removed additional volume as well. Silicone is injected relatively close to the surface of the skin and did a great job of leveling my scars, but in a small area which was scarred more severely, there is still a "rolling scar" appearance. That is why I think 1 more touch-up round would be helpful. MCK

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Some of my cystic acne destroyed deeper tissue, and the excisions removed additional volume as well. Silicone is injected relatively close to the surface of the skin and did a great job of leveling my scars, but in a small area which was scarred more severely, there is still a "rolling scar" appearance. That is why I think 1 more touch-up round would be helpful. MCK

Will you PLEASE post be4 and afters? I would love to see your improvements and noone here on this board really believes it works, which is getting me down.

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