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topgun24

Looking for advice on my scars

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Hey I've been looking around on the forum but I'm still not exactly sure what kind of scarring I have. Here's some quick background info...

M/23

I've had acne since I was about 14 years old and still get a breakout here or there but now I'm mostly just left with scarring. I had really bad redness on my cheeks for a long time but I've been using the AHA off this site for about a year now and it's done wonders.

So I just need help with what kind of scarring I have and what would be the best treatments for them. Thanks!

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This one's "harsher" lighting

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Hey, first off you hardly have a scarring problem.

I just gave another user named degausssr a long response. I'm going to copy and paste what I wrote for her, as it will probably answer your questions also.

here it is, copy and pasted :

for your own reference

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitzpatrick_scale

Now your skin, you deffinately have a combination of scars. I see some rolling, some boxcar, and looks like ice-pick also. This means you need to taylor your treatments to each type of scarring.

for your own reference

http://www.acnescars.com/types.aspx

Okay so what are your options:

Dermabrasion. This uses either a wire mechanical tool or sandpaper(sometimes called dermasanding) to abrade your skin. This is a very very deep treatment, and complications can occur, such as scar formation or pigment problems. I've had this done, and I could honestly say it took 2 years for my skin to fully heal. I had shiny-waxy-orange peel skin for almost two years.

TCA peal 10-30 percent full face, this is relatively safe, pigment issues can occur, and this is applied to the entire area, or full face. You can get some mild improvement. I have had full face TCA, I liked the results, however very mild improvement.

TCA-Cross.. This is using 100 percent tcal applied with a wooden aplicator predominatly to ice-pick scars. This is NOT applied full face. Over the course of a few months, the ice-pick begins to fill in. There is very little research behind TCA-Cross, 1 initial study was from asia, and promised great results with no complications. A subsequent study has shown 100 percent TCA can have complication including scarring, and that 50-60 percent TCA should be used instead to avoid complications. I've had TCA-Cross done, I did it myself, I had scar formation and pigment problems occur. Other people on this forum swear by it and love it.

Phenol Peel. There are two kinds, traditional phenol which causes hypopigmentation(permanent skin bleaching), and a safer buffered phenol peel with less complications. Phenol peels melt the skin, while TCA burns the skin. Melting gives a better result. If this was 5-6 yrs ago, I would reccomend buffered phenol, however today with fractionalized lasers with great safety reputations, I suggest you not do a phenol. Even safe buffered phenols can have complication. I've done this procedure also.

Subcision. There are 3 kinds of subcision. I will focus on traditional subcision with a 18g Nokar needle. Subcision is a process by which a doctor slides the needle under your scar, and uses a back and forth sweeping motion to cut the fibers holding your scar down. The scar plumps up. You need typically 3-5 treatments for satisfactory results and this basically does not work on ice-picks. It works on boxcar and rolling. I've had this done, I LOVE IT. Complications include long term bruising, over-correction, and nodule formation. I've had over-correction due to improper doctor technique. Also had nodule formation. You need to pick your doctor carefully, done in the right hands you will have great improvement with little risk of complications.

Full Face Lasers. I've had full face traditional resurfacing. This is not the same as full face fractional. Full face traditional means 100 percent of the skin is ablated. I do not reccomend this, and most doctors no longer do this.

Fillers. I've never had filler done. However, I do believe it can give dramatic results. I would NOT do a permanent filler, such as silicone. Instead choose something that lasts 6months to a year, just to be on the safe side.

Skin Needling/derma-rolling. So this is a strange procedure, there isn't any reputable studies that I can find, i'm talking top not studies that show histology of skin. There are two ways people are doing this. One way is having a tattoo artist tattoo your entire face without any ink. second way is purchasing a needle roller, and rolling the needles over your face. I've had tattoo needling done on my entire face. Waste of money. Before people on this site attach me, THIS IS MY OPINION. I have also purcahsed a roller, I am on my third roll as we speak, I'm healing. So far i've had no improvement in scars or skin texture. When I finish healing from my current roll, I'll let you know if I saw any improvement.

Fractionalized lasers. These lasers apply beams to your face in tiny dots, leaving surrounding skin intact, this speeds healing and prevents problems associated with full face 100 percent lasers. You can get erbium ablative, erbium non ablative, or co2 ablative done in the family of fractionalized technology. I have not done this, I am considering fractionalized co2 done in about 3-4 weeks. Initially fractionalized was advertised as totally safe. However, there are now documented cases of pigment problems and scarring from these lasers. Usually you need several treatments done.

Topicals. I've tried every topical, every over the counter topical, and presciption topicals including .1 percent retin-A for scars, this is the strongest retin-A you can get. SAVE YOUR MONEY. topicals will not provide anything dramatic for your scars.

Color problems with acne scars such as redness can be zapped with Vbeam laser. It works. Complications can include bruising. Ive had Vbeam done, I think it works well.

Other options include excising the scar, and punch grafts. Again I think these are bad treatments because they replace 1 type of scar for another. You will find people who had good results, but I would do this as last restort. I have not done this procedure, and this is my opinion only.

There are also treatments being studied and available in other countries like stem cell. I would not get this done. I have a science background, and I know the science, and traveling abroad to get this done is dangerous. You can have teath starting to grow in your skin, hair can grow, another body part tissue can start to generate, or tumor causing agents can be activated. This is because the stem cells they are using are not truely totipotent cells. If you want me to get into the science email me, I can scan pages from my textbooks and email them to you. However, when the united states finds a resolution using proper stem cells, then this will be safe. Do not trust stem cell research from all over the place, basically don't travel to get this done, wait till the US provides this as a therapy.

Quick addition, there are radio frequency treatments. Thermage, stay away. Now there is a new one called eMatrix. I don't know the science behind it, I have to say do your own research on this, and make sure eMatrix is nothing like thermage which can cause facial fat atrophy at high settings.

I think I covered everything that is important. I left out minor procedures like microdermabrasion because I don't think they help deep scars. Left out some laser treatments like smoothbeam, because I don't know much about them.

I think your scarring is not bad, You have areas of beutiful skin. Remember every treatment has risks and complications can occur. NOTHING is safe. Also once you start this journey into scar revision, your skin will change, the skin can just handle so much tampering. I think it is important you know these warnings, because as a young boy 10-11 yrs ago, nobody told me about complications.

If you need support or more advice feel free to email me on here.

take care

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What kind of scarring do you have sanjose?

I ask because I am considering trying derma rolling very soon.

Id also like to know how many times you can use a derma roller if you disinfect it properly before each use?

As for you topgun, your scarring is minimal but perhaps you should give derma rolling a shot!

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sanjose, thats a long and detailed post. thanks for putting so much effort into it. you seem like really trying to help people on here. we really appreciate it :)

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What kind of scarring do you have sanjose?

I ask because I am considering trying derma rolling very soon.

Id also like to know how many times you can use a derma roller if you disinfect it properly before each use?

As for you topgun, your scarring is minimal but perhaps you should give derma rolling a shot!

11 years ago I had deep boxcar and deep rolling scars. With few ice-picks here and there. Today 2010, I have minimal scarring left. I would say i'm on the road to being scar free. My current scarring includes texture problems, scars that have plumped up but still have jagged edges, and I do still have some boxcar, and superficial rolling.

I have worked with virus' and bacteria in a lab, so I am kind of paranoid about disinfection. After using my derma-roller I let it soak in hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide creates a bubbly action and loosens up the blood and skin cells. Next I do alcohol rinses using 91 percent alcohol, and not 70 percent alcohol. Less water and more alcohol, means less risk of rust formation. Then after alcohol rinse I do an alcohol soak. Finally I remove the roller and store it. When I am ready to use it again, I again do a quick hydrogen peroxide bath, followed by alcohol rinse, followed by alcohol bath. Then I let the alcohol air dry, but not in open air. If you just leave it out in open air, bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens will just settle on it. So you need to create a field or zone of pathogen free air. In the lab this is usually done using a bunson burner. You have about a foot radius around the bunson burnor. In this area you place your petri dish, and innoculating tools. THe fire from the bunson burnor does two things, creates an up-draft preventing bacteria from falling down in your work zone, and also kills bacteria in the immediate fire zone. So at home, you need a gas range. I turn on the gas range on one burner, then next to this burner, I disinfect the dish with alcohol and quickly place it next to the open flame. Then I take my roller, place it on the dish next to the open flame, and let it air dry. Dries quickly and I use my roller soon. Never put the dish in the flame, or the roller in the flame, or get alcohol near the flame. You should prolly not do this at home, it is over kill, and I have experience in a lab. You get alcohol anywhere near the flame, or alcohol vapors, and you explode. So another option for you is finding sterile water, or get "distilled" water from your grocery store, its not sterile but its better than nothing, and better than playing with fire. So after you do the alcohol bath, rinse with distilled water then use your roller. I think thats the best option, I will prolly do that in the future myself.

How long does the roller last? Honestly, I purchased the Dr. Roller. I think it is a cheap piece of korean junk. It comes in pretty packaging and looks nice, but out of the box, I thought the needles were already too dull. You have to apply too much pressure to puncture your skin. I am very curious to see what a medical grade roller that a doctor uses looks like. I'm curious to see if the needles are sharper or not.

Ideally I would say replace your roller after each use. If you use dull needles you can tear your skin instead of nice punctures. Of course we are all too cheap on here to replace after each use, at least I am, which is stupid, I admit it. I've used my roller for 3 full rolls, and a few spot rolls inbetween use.

There are companies that sale rollers for like 200 bucks or 300, I have no idea if these are any better. I would say, if you can find a company that provides rollers to doctors, try to purchase one through them, maybe you can pretend to be a doctor so they sell it to you, lol I dunno.

Read this article, it talks about all kinds of scars and techniques. On page 4, talks about needle rolling, and gives the name of "Grace medical Equipment" as the distributor of the roller. I assume this is who is distributing to the doctors. I went onto grace medical equipment website and found nothing about rollers. You might contact them and purchase through them, prolly best bet to spend more money and get good quality, something that a doctor uses.

here is the link, page 4 is the roller.

http://www.medestheticsmagazine.com/pdfs/0...ng-the-mark.pdf

hope I was of some help

Edited by sanjoseskin
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sanjoseskin, you seem to know what your talking about.

What would you say gave you the most improvement on your scarring?

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sanjoseskin, you seem to know what your talking about.

What would you say gave you the most improvement on your scarring?

multiple subcision treatments, combined with some sort of safe effective resurfacing. but the key is plumping from beneath

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Did you have any fractionated laser treatment?

no fractionated treatment yet. i'm doing some intense research on the technology as we speak. go back to the topics, and read what i wrote under "jerk"

tell me what you think of this jerk

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Wow thanks for the awesome detailed response sanjose! Glad to hear that many of your scars are gradually being eliminated! I see most people do not like to use their rollers more then 2-3 times before replacing them. I can afford to replace it maybe 2-3 times which should give me 6-9 sessions of rolling.

The dr roller was the one I was looking at buying, simply because I am keen to buy the 3 line roller which would do less areas at a time on my face as it has only about a third of the needles then a normal roller. This is because I mainly have ice pick scarring. Would you recommend derma rolling for ice pick scars? I have individually needled a few of my scars and have had up to 50% improvement in 1 or 2 but others have yet to change.

I believe a normal roller (2cm wide) would be to large to use on some of my icepick scars and it would certainly needle alot of my healthy skin which I dont think is necessary.

Do you suggest I purchase a 1.5mm 3 line roller? They are only made by the dr roller company as far as I know... but are at a hefty price of 70 bux!

One more question on forhead scarring, do you or did you have any?

I have some icepicks above my eyebrows and all the way across my lower forehead left by large blackheads. I have a bad feeling this will be the hardest place on my face to get results but do you recommend rolling these areas?

Cheers!

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Wow thanks for the awesome detailed response sanjose! Glad to hear that many of your scars are gradually being eliminated! I see most people do not like to use their rollers more then 2-3 times before replacing them. I can afford to replace it maybe 2-3 times which should give me 6-9 sessions of rolling.

The dr roller was the one I was looking at buying, simply because I am keen to buy the 3 line roller which would do less areas at a time on my face as it has only about a third of the needles then a normal roller. This is because I mainly have ice pick scarring. Would you recommend derma rolling for ice pick scars? I have individually needled a few of my scars and have had up to 50% improvement in 1 or 2 but others have yet to change.

I believe a normal roller (2cm wide) would be to large to use on some of my icepick scars and it would certainly needle alot of my healthy skin which I dont think is necessary.

Do you suggest I purchase a 1.5mm 3 line roller? They are only made by the dr roller company as far as I know... but are at a hefty price of 70 bux!

One more question on forhead scarring, do you or did you have any?

I have some icepicks above my eyebrows and all the way across my lower forehead left by large blackheads. I have a bad feeling this will be the hardest place on my face to get results but do you recommend rolling these areas?

Cheers!

i'm sorry for the short reply, i will answer in more depth later.

Don't use the roller on your forhead. I've had a disaterous result. I hate tampering with my forhead, the skin there and the skin around your eyes are sensitive.

In a nut shell, the roller has left the track marks on my forhead that have yet to fully fill in. Thank god I didn't roll my entire forhead

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No worries, perhaps pm me!

Ah as I suspected, the forhead skin is a sensitive area when it comes to scarring... Sorry to hear you found out the hard way.

Funnily enough I have had some nice improvement to some forhead scars that I have individually needled so I will continue to do that for now and see what happens in the future.

I look forward to your in depth response soon!

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