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mr. matt

Man in the Mirror: Pre and Post Subcision Photos

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I don't believe that microdermabrasion will do much, if anything, if you have deep rolling scars.

Subcision is the best option for people with tethered rolling scars.

As far as topical creams are concerned, prescription strength Retin-A will help improve the texture of your skin but won't remove your acne scars.

I use a topical cream from Reviva Labs which contains ester C, alpha lipoic acid, and DMAE. It moisturizes and tightens your skin while providing your skin with powerful antioxidants.

If subcision is not performed in your country, consider buying a dermaroller. I think that dermarolling is as powerful as some lasers.

Matt

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Hi Matt,

I had my 7th subcision six weeks ago and I used the suction method right from the start. I already used suction for my previous subcision and it really helped the improvement.

However, I feel a couple of "lumps" under the skin where the skin was treated. I do not know if they result from the more aggressive treatment by the doctor who performed a "fanning" technique which is different than the techniques he did for my previous subcisions.

These lumps have improved over the last weeks but have not yet gone away. They cannot be seen, only felt when touching the skin. They are a bit harder than the surrounding skin. I´m afraid that they could stay and form a kind of keloid below the skin.

Did you experience the same? How long did your swelling last?

Thank you!

Edited by Frax1

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I did have some 'lumps' from my last subcision treatment. I'm not sure if they were directly from the subcision procedure itself or from suctioning or a combination of both.

If I remember correctly, it took about eight to ten weeks for the lumps to subside.

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Thank you for your quick reply, Matt!

Do you plan to do more subcisions or would you rather go for other treatments?

I am asking because my doctors doubted that I would see improvement from this and my last subcision. However, I had additional improvement because of suctioning.



In my country - romania - we don`t have lots of options for acne scar treatments and the one that are available are very expensive, but I want to try one of these :

1. Microdermabrasion with cristals

2. Microdermabrasion with diamonds

Hi Alex,

Scar treatment in Europe really sucks (I am from Europe too). I had my subcisions done in the US when I have been there for vacation. If you can go the US, I would do this first. I would not recommend doing the aggressive dermabrasio methods some still do in Europe, it does not help much with scars, the downtime is very long and your skin takes forever to heal.

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Right now, I am satisfied with how my complexion looks.

As I've mentioned in the past, my skin is not perfect today even after all of the subcision treatments, laser treatments, TCA CROSS

peels, etc.

I still have some visible scarring that doesn't show up very well in photos which I think tells me that I've had considerable progress over the four + year journey of acne scar revision that I've been on.

I'm going to still dermaroll every six weeks, do two TCA Peels a year, apply antioxidant cream to my face and sunscreen everyday to maintain what progress that I have enjoyed so far.

Going into this, I knew better than to expect 100% improvement especially with the deep type of scarring that I had in certain areas. All in all, I would say that I've had at least 70% sustained improvement. That's improvement that I can live with. hifive.gif

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I have tried Microdermabrasion with crystals. I started off getting it done every 2 weeks ($85 each time...pretty pricey) for about 2 or 3 months and then I went down to once a month for a few months but it didn't help my scars. I have ice pick scars and a couple of boxcar type scars near my mouth (on both sides of my mouth). It did not help get rid of the indented scars but it did smooth out the rough skin nicely. After 3 treatments, it got rid of the red marks so my skin looked so much better plus the shadows from the red spots were gone so my scars didn't look as deep.

I have been dermarolling for over 2 years and that is what has given me the most results. You can literally see the new skin where it has grown. micro helped to smooth out the new skin because it was bumpy in that area.

It does take time to see results. I have a blog about it but can't post the link here but I have posted pictures of the results. It works.

What I learned from my experience is that dermarolling works great on icepicks and boxcar type scars and older scars. My new scars are harder to get rid of for some reason. I still suffer from cystic acne so I am always getting new scars :( but all the old icepick ones have filled in completely and I have one big scar (not huge but it was the biggest) that filled in by about 50%. I also have one rolling scar that has not filled in :( and a line scar that looks like a wrinkle (underneath my freakin smile line so it looks bad when I smile and makes my smile line look longer) that has not filled in at all.

I just discovered that it works great on wrinkles too. :) I was not able to roll the left side because of a cyst that never went away but I rolled the other side and included my smile line. Well, the smile line on the right side is almost gone but the left side is deep so yeah I look uneven now. lol Oh well.

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Right now, I am satisfied with how my complexion looks.

As I've mentioned in the past, my skin is not perfect today even after all of the subcision treatments, laser treatments, TCA CROSS

peels, etc.

I still have some visible scarring that doesn't show up very well in photos which I think tells me that I've had considerable progress over the four + year journey of acne scar revision that I've been on.

I'm going to still dermaroll every six weeks, do two TCA Peels a year, apply antioxidant cream to my face and sunscreen everyday to maintain what progress that I have enjoyed so far.

Going into this, I knew better than to expect 100% improvement especially with the deep type of scarring that I had in certain areas. All in all, I would say that I've had at least 70% sustained improvement. That's improvement that I can live with. hifive.gif

Hi Matt, you are one of the lucky few who have achieved good results. I often wonder why so few people do. Maybe it's practitioner skill? Has your derm / plastic surgeon told you whether he has success like yours with most of his patients?

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I think that a practinioner's skill certainly plays a role in one's improvement.

I took sort of a holistic approach and became my own best advocate:

1) I did a lot of online research about acne scarring

2) I found this website and learned from others

3) I changed my diet - today, I consume very little junk food. Some of the foods that I had been eating (i.e. junk foods/soft drinks) promote inflamation, glycation, etc.) and damage the skin

4) I take supplements that promote collagen development

5) I didn't rely one single modality for improvement (i.e lasers only). I had subcision, laser, chemical peels, dermarolling, topicals, etc. all in an effort to improvement my skin.

6) I have an excellent dermatologist who is highly skilled, honest, and cares about his patients.

7) I had realistic expectations and didn't expect to have perfect skin after all of these treatments

8) My friends and family know that I am very persistent - I don't give up easily. I fought the good fight and have enjoyed some success. If I had given up after my three Laser Genesis treatments, I would not have seen any improvement.

Hope this helps.

Matt

I

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Hi Matt - great info on this thread! Thank you for continuing to visit it and answer questions. My issue is that I cannot find a doctor that performs subcision!! ANy tips for tracking one down?? From what I can tell, I'm going to have to travel to NYC (a two hour train ride).

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1) do an online search for derms or plastic surgeons in your state who perform subcision

2) start calling as many derms in your area and ask for the name of a referral

3) do what I did: take copies of how the subcision procedure is performed and give them to your dermatologist and ask him/her to perform the procedure on you.

This is precisely what I did. I have a great dermatologist with over 20 years of dermatological surgical experience and asked him if he would consider performing this procedure on me. I told him that I would be totally willing to be a 'guinea pig' and he agreed to do the procedure.

I have not regretted having that 'courageous' conversation for a single day. Four years later, my doctor has performed this procedure numerous times on patients.

According to my dermatologist, this is an easy procedure for a trained physician to perform.

Hope this helps.

Matt

Edited by mr. matt

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1) do an online search for derms or plastic surgeons in your state who perform subcision

2) start calling as many derms in your area and ask for the name of a referral

3) do what I did: take copies of how the subcision procedure is performed and give them to your dermatologist and ask him/her to perform the procedure on you.

This is precisely what I did. I have a great dermatologist with over 20 years of dermatological surgical experience and asked him if he would consider performing this procedure on me. I told him that I would be totally willing to be a 'guinea pig' and he agreed to do the procedure.

I have not regretted having that 'courageous' conversation for a single day. Four years later, my doctor has performed this procedure numerous times on patients.

According to my dermatologist, this is an easy procedure for a trained physician to perform.

Hope this helps.

Matt

Hi Matt,

Who was your derm?

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Hi Matt! I have been reading your posts and was inspired by your success. I have been suffering with what looks like the same type of scarring from the severe cystic acne I've had. I would like to ask do you have an updated routine of skincare regimen? How often do you apply glycolic peel and TCA peels? Do you have a break of using tret-A before using the peels and when do you resume your daily routine of DMEA and tret-A? May you specify what is your detailed rolling process? Do you apply any numbing cream before rolling? What do you apply after rolling?

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Last month marked the five year anniversary since my first subcision treatment in March of 2009.

I wanted to provide people who are interested with a five year update since I am not aware of any 'long-term' studies of subcision and long-term results.

Here is a brief synopsis of my journey:

My mother suffered from terrible cystic acne which completely disfigured her face. She underwent two dermabrasion treatments but they didn't do anything to truly improve her scarring because her scars were tethered. By fourth grade, I got my first pimple and began to get cysts beginning in eighth grade. I suffered from cystic acne from eighth grade through my 30's. I went on antibiotics and used topical BP with limited success.

Finally, I decided to go on Accutane in 1998 and my face EXPLODED with cystic acne all over my face. I looked like a leper and wanted to crawl under a rock. Before this time, I had some scarring on my right cheek, but that was about it. Now, I had scarring on both cheeks, my chin, and a few scars on my temple.

I ended up going on a second round of Accutane later and I have not had any cysts since then.

However, I now had a lot of deep scarring that made me feel horrible about myself. So, I began to do research online about how to treat acne scarring and I stumbled upon this website. I chronicled my journey on this site, so anyone interested can go back and read the threads.

I wanted to let people know that I have maintained the results that I achieved through earlier my earlier subcision treatments. One thing that I have done, however, since beginning this journey was to do the following:

1) radically change my diet. I have cut out nearly 90% of junk and fast food over the past 4.5 years and I believe that the results show on my face. I eat a lot of organic foods and take multivitamins.

2) began to use antioxidants both internally and externally. I use sunscreen seven days a week during the day and use a facial cream containing ester c, DMAE, and vitamin e.

3) I also began dermarolling and recently started using a dermastamp and have seen improvement using this modality, too.

4) I also have done NUMEROUS chemical peels and have found a 25% TCA peel to be the most effective peel that I have ever done.

Acne scar reduction is a journey and improvement does not occur overnight. It took me several years of subcision treatments, chemical peels, topicals, dermarolling, etc. to see improvement.

As good as my photos may be, I did not obtain 100% improvement. Some of my scars are still visible under certain lighting conditions, but they have improved to such an extent that they are no longer the first thing you notice when you see my face. All in all, I would say that I have experienced 70-80% improvement in the reduction of my scaring and I am content with how I appear today; I do not plan on pursuing any further subcision treatments at this point in my life.

I have uploaded three photos in my gallery to give people an idea of how my skin appears today.

I wish anyone reading this post tremendous success on their journey. There are definitely 'ups' and 'downs' along the way, but it is certainly worth it.

Matt

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Thanks Matt for continuing to update us on your journey. And indeed it is a journey. As hard as acne scarring is to deal with, at least today there are options that were not around during your mother's time. Reading about her struggle with severe, disfiguring acne scarring is heartbreaking.

You've done a great service for the community, and I'm sure you will continue to give other's hope.

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Last month marked the five year anniversary since my first subcision treatment in March of 2009.

I wish anyone reading this post tremendous success on their journey. There are definitely 'ups' and 'downs' along the way, but it is certainly worth it.

Matt

Hey there, Mr. Matt

Do you mind telling your approximate age when you first began getting your acne scarring repair procedures?

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Matt;

You sound like an identical twin to me for my life experience with acne and im 45 yrs old. As I said b4 in my post thank you so much again for all the commentary

and tips youve provided to this forum. Absolutely invaluable!

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I totally agree with others when they say how valuable your posts are. It is so admirable of you to come back and give people hope as many do not. You have inspired me to take the brave step and go for various surgeries. Your results are the best I have seen. If you could answer a couple of questions I would very grateful:

  1. What collagen tablets do you take?
  2. What other supplements do you take?
  3. I have wrinkled like skin all over my cheeks where I scarred - a weathered look like a sun worshiper that look better when stretched. Do you think the TCA peel helps greatly with the overall texture of skin?

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I totally agree with others when they say how valuable your posts are. It is so admirable of you to come back and give people hope as many do not. You have inspired me to take the brave step and go for various surgeries. Your results are the best I have seen. If you could answer a couple of questions I would very grateful:

  1. What collagen tablets do you take?
  2. What other supplements do you take?
  3. I have wrinkled like skin all over my cheeks where I scarred - a weathered look like a sun worshiper that look better when stretched. Do you think the TCA peel helps greatly with the overall texture of skin?

1. I don't take collagen tablets. I do, however, eat a diet rich in protein and I was taking food grade diatomaceous earth for a while. It contains silica which is a building block for collagen.

2. Supplements: multi-vitamin with minerals. 50mg of zinc each day, 2,000 ICU's of vitamin d, and Tumeric.

3. If you have sun damaged skin, a 25% TCA peel should help you. However, I encourage you to make it a habit to wear sun screen everyday of the week. I also use Avalon C cleansing wash which contains ester c, and green tea. I also apply a product from Reviva Labs which contains alpha lipoic acid, ester c, vitamin d, and vitamin a.

I've learned that it takes a multi-pronged approach to improve one's complexion. People tell me all the time how much younger I look today than I did five years ago. The acne scarring had destroyed a lot of collagen and had accelerated the aging process. As I mentioned, I changed my diet and I've been working on improving my skin from the inside/out.

Hope this helps.

Matt

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3) do what I did: take copies of how the subcision procedure is performed and give them to your dermatologist

hey mr.matt, where i can find such copies on the internet? and which copies did you use to convince your dermatologist?

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On 4/14/2014 at 12:57 AM, Emhfali said:
Quote

3) do what I did: take copies of how the subcision procedure is performed and give them to your dermatologist

hey mr.matt, where i can find such copies on the internet? and which copies did you use to convince your dermatologist?

 

I am sure that there are other articles out there, but this is the type of information that I shared with me and I am so glad that he agreed to perform subcision on my face.

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That's really helpful, thank you. I have stocked up on vitamins and I have ordered sunscreen and the product from Reviva Labs. It's always better to go by recommendation than trusting the brands own claims, which are normally nonsense!

Good stuff :)

I totally agree with others when they say how valuable your posts are. It is so admirable of you to come back and give people hope as many do not. You have inspired me to take the brave step and go for various surgeries. Your results are the best I have seen. If you could answer a couple of questions I would very grateful:

  1. What collagen tablets do you take?
  2. What other supplements do you take?
  3. I have wrinkled like skin all over my cheeks where I scarred - a weathered look like a sun worshiper that look better when stretched. Do you think the TCA peel helps greatly with the overall texture of skin?

1. I don't take collagen tablets. I do, however, eat a diet rich in protein and I was taking food grade diatomaceous earth for a while. It contains silica which is a building block for collagen.

2. Supplements: multi-vitamin with minerals. 50mg of zinc each day, 2,000 ICU's of vitamin d, and Tumeric.

3. If you have sun damaged skin, a 25% TCA peel should help you. However, I encourage you to make it a habit to wear sun screen everyday of the week. I also use Avalon C cleansing wash which contains ester c, and green tea. I also apply a product from Reviva Labs which contains alpha lipoic acid, ester c, vitamin d, and vitamin a.

I've learned that it takes a multi-pronged approach to improve one's complexion. People tell me all the time how much younger I look today than I did five years ago. The acne scarring had destroyed a lot of collagen and had accelerated the aging process. As I mentioned, I changed my diet and I've been working on improving my skin from the inside/out.

Hope this helps.

Matt

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Thanks Matt for your efforts in posting. I have read every single thread for 20 pages. I'm keeping your post as my reading list.

I will be doing subcission soon in Singapore. Been doing dermarolling and second tca peels.

Taking good supplements as well but not on vitamin D and zinc. Although I could have goggled them up, but I would like to hear from your personal experience,

1) what do you feel about how the zinc and vitamin D supplements been helping you so far?

As for the topicals, I cannot apply retin A. It was retin A that led me to start my dermarolling sessions. First few months of retin A was good. Skin was plump, scars all looked shallower but after few months, all haywire. Open pores, lines connecting pores, few indents, waxy skin that shine even after a thorough wash, skin look like leather. It was hell. I'm now trying to recover from it naturally through soft topical and healthy eating.

Hope my dermarolling will sort out the things retin a gave me.

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ANewHaven:

So sorry for the delay in responding to your post;I didn't realize that there had been an update to my thread.

Zinc

Zinc is vitally important for the overall health of your skin and promotes collagen development. Here are a couple of links:

http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/information/nutrition/zinc-benefit-skin.htm

http://www.zinc.org/info/zinc_essential_for_human_health

"Zinc – vital for skin, hair and nails
Zinc accelerates the renewal of the skin cells. Zinc creams are used for babies to soothe diaper rash and to heal cuts and wounds. Zinc has also proven effective in treating acne, a problem that affects especially adolescents, and zinc has been reported to have a positive effect on psoriasis and neurodermitis.

Zinc is also used as an anti-inflammatory agent and can help sooth the skin tissue, particularly in cases of poison ivy, sunburn, blisters and certain gum diseases."

Vitamin D

http://www.youbeauty.com/skin/vitamin-d-and-skin

" Having sufficient vitamin D in the skin helps minimize acne, boost elasticity, stimulate collagen production, enhance radiance, and lessen lines and the appearance of dark spots, he says. It’s this laundry list, plus anecdotal evidence from seeing patients day in and day out at his NYC office, that led him to create skincare with D right in the bottle. “Many of my patients have vitamin D deficiencies as a result of avoiding the sun and wearing a daily sunscreen in fear of premature aging and cancer,” he says. “Together, we noticed that their skin had a sallow and dull appearance, which I believed to be an adverse effect from low levels of vitamin D.”

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Hy Matt,

Thak you for posting your story and giving me hope. :))

How much time do you wait between dermarolling and peeling? Can you recommend me some page where i can order peelings?

Best regards.

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