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girl3900

Some questions about surgeries

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I have very severe acne scarring and it's come to the point where I need to do something about it. I've been looking into getting laser surgery but I can't find anyone who's had it done. I'm going in for a consultation pretty soon so i know i can ask the questions there but i want to know some things in the mean time.

Is there any hope for severe scars? Are there usually payment plans for this type of surgery? Where can i get more info and before/after pictures? What is the best surgery for severe scars? Any info would be appreciated.

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Hi, Girl. Welcome to the board and congratulations on your newfound determination to improve your scarring. The good news is there is so much that can be done out there now if you are willing to be patient, to keep your hopes up, and to spend a bit of money. And, in my experience, most cosmetic surgeons' offices do have some sort of financing plans. Also, I don't know about you, but I am always getting offers for new 0% APR credit cards (often for up to a year) out there and you could open one up that you use only for this purpose.

I'm not sure what type of scarring you have (ice pick, rolling, boxcar, hypertrophic or raised), but each one responds to different treatments and often it is a two or even more step process. Fillers seem to work well for rolling scars or soft scars that are more about underlying tissue loss than about surface irregularities (one test for these types of scars is that they dissapear or almost disappear when you pull your skin taught). Some fillers are claimed to be permanent, but most at this point are temporary. These types of scars also sometimes respond well to other collagen stimulating procedures, such as needling, subcision, or non-ablative lasers. Resurfacing methods (laser, dermabrasion, or a deeper chemical peel such as TCA or exoderm) seems to be the way to go if you have surface or texture problems. Some people have both, and so might combine these two approaches. Ice pick scars often do not respond well to either of the above approaches, but they do seem to be helped by punch excisions or punch grafts, in which the defective skin, is cut out and either stitched back up or replaced with a plug of normal skin from somewhere else, usuallly behind the ear. The newest, lastest, and seemingly greatest treatment for ice-pick scars is TCA cross, which essentially reinjures that skin, causing a healing response of the skin and often it fills in the hole bit by bit (may take several times to do it). Often after treating ice picks, people opt to finish it off with some sort of re-surfacing method.

And as for topicals, my humble opinion is that no topical is really going to help an already formed scar, but they can have great effect in the wound healing process (i.e., after you are recuperating from a procedure). So, I think they should be a secondary as opposed to a primary treatment.

So, as you can see, there are a plethora of ways to improve your scarring. This board can be overwhelming in the amount of informaiton, but it is very well organized, so you should spend a week or so sifting through the different threads. It will give you great hope and motivation.

I, for instance, have just had 2 excisions and will see the results of that tomorrow when the tape comes off, and then in about a month I will have regional dermabrasion to my forehead. I'm excited.

Best of luck to you and take heart--there's much that can be done.

--leo

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Thanks for all the information. I used to see this procedure all the time in the newspapers, magazines and on tv but now that I actually want to get it done, I can hardly find any info about it.

I'm going for my consultation tommorow. I've very nervous because I'm really embarrassed about my scars...I won't even let my family members see me without makeup but I'm sure dermatologists are used to it. I feel like I have the worst skin in the world and the doctor is going to tell me there's no hope. It's going to be hard. I just know this is something I need to do. I'm sick of trying to cover the problem instead of curing it.

I don't have many indented, pitted scars. They're just big, red ones all over my cheeks. I'm very nervous about tommorow. I called the office and they said the procedure ranges from $100 - $500 which seemed too cheap seeing as how i've heard it being as high as $3,000. I'd be willing to pay almost any amount of money for this though..i just need an income, lol.

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HI,

From what ypu have described, it sounds like you have more red marks than anything. Am I correct? If that is the case you may just want to wait since they go away on their own.

I don't know what kind of laser you are getting, but if it is mostly red marks, I hope it is non-ablative.

Please consult with more than one Dr. before committing to anything. It is sad to say many of these Dr's just want your money, although there are some whom are wonderful as well.

Keep us posted on what you decide to do.

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What exactly does non-ablative mean? I'm new to this whole thing. The only thing I want done is to improve the look of these huge red marks all over my face. The tiniest pimple will leave a mark and my cheeks look bad. Is most acne scar removal surgeries just for those with icepick scars? Am I hopeless? I've dealt with horrible scarring for 5 years now and it shows little to no improvment. I don't want to have to wait another 5 years and keep apply all this disgusting makeup.

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Non- ablative laser is basically laser that doesn't take off the layers of your skin. For example, CO2 IS ABLATIVE. There is a lot of downtime involved with CO2 as well.

You need to find out what laser they are suggesting to you. I do not think it is CO2, because the price doesn't fit.

Do you have any scars besides red marks?

Did you read the FAQ's? They break down all of the types of scarring in there, and describe various treatments.

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