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adella

too many years- fighting scarring- my story

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Hello everyone

Some people here know me, others dont, so I think it best to quickly intoduce myself to the newcomers.

There is a good reason I speak with authority about a few treatments available- it is because I have tried them.

I had some acne in my early twenties, resulting in pitting scars on my cheeks- STUPIDLY I had full face co2.

The laser was the worst idea of my life.

Co2 laser full face- back in 2001- I was badly burned as a result. By 2002 I began seeing a leading cosmetican for pigmentation problems, I ended up on a national currant affairs programme, looking for answers on how to treat disfiguring burn scars....and new break outs.

This lead to my being involved with the company 'Isolagen' in 2003 the company that bought Isolagen also tested the clearlight BLUE light therapy on me, with amazing results.... having that treatment done with success and was aired on television also. I did see some amazing results from isolagen, however, I was still searching for more... I was treated by 4 different doctors_ I had 4 sessions of isolagen. The technique of the doctor directly affected the resluts- and I decided at the point that plastic surgeons do a better job with subsicion and delicate scar removal work. I was safisfied for a while....again I was featured in magazines and media releases.

Then in 2007 began using enzymes and discovered needling, saw Dr Mcaffery again although I was suffering minor infection under the skin, so in 2008 I had my second session of blue light therapy resulting in clear skin again. I also discovered CPs.

Then I moved to a remote location, with no access to doctors near by, so I knew id be needling myself. More research more emails with Drs discussing my next move.

Over time I have become a 'face' of scar treatment. I know several leading dermatologists and have personal friendships where I can contact and gain their opinions anytime. I never paid for any treatments, except the first nightmare of co2. I have been very fortunate in this way.However I also agreed to media and PR IF it worked.

Extensive talks with Dr. Phillipa Mcaffery resulted in my new self needling routine. We worked together to find a way to needle that suited MY SKIN and the goals in mind.

I waited for life to calm down, and early 2009 began my new routine, the result of all my research... I saw results that I am amazed with. Right now I am in a happy place. There are a few scars that needling wont fix I plan to see a plastic surgeon for some minor work. I choose not to go public again for a few personal reasons.

But I have a wealth of experience and can offer advise that is made up of my own personal opinion, experience and also knowedge gained from my time spent with doctors over the years. My skin will never be porcelain again, but it is 70% improvement from where I started with severe laser burns. The journey is almost over in my healing.

This is why I visit here sometimes....I recall when I used to stay up all night, searching for answers, finding hope in shoddy before and after pictures... I want my experience to be of benefit to others if possible.

Healing is possible, but happiness comes from within.

Adella

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Guest Timehealsall

good post. Was your scarring a result of picking at it or did you have the severe cystic kind?

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Aha a fellow aussie is see Frida.K.

Im happy to share more details regarding publicatins and pr I have done.

Also the doctors I have seen, although most are based in Sydney or Isreal.

I can also advise aussies in choosing reccomended doctors for the treatments available here, as I have dealings with a medical equipment company who supplies to cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists.

Adella

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Hello everyone

Some people here know me, others dont, so I think it best to quickly intoduce myself to the newcomers.

There is a good reason I speak with authority about a few treatments available- it is because I have tried them.

I had some acne in my early twenties, resulting in pitting scars on my cheeks- STUPIDLY I had full face co2.

The laser was the worst idea of my life.

Co2 laser full face- back in 2001- I was badly burned as a result. By 2002 I began seeing a leading cosmetican for pigmentation problems, I ended up on a national currant affairs programme, looking for answers on how to treat disfiguring burn scars....and new break outs.

This lead to my being involved with the company 'Isolagen' in 2003 the company that bought Isolagen also tested the clearlight BLUE light therapy on me, with amazing results.... having that treatment done with success and was aired on television also. I did see some amazing results from isolagen, however, I was still searching for more... I was treated by 4 different doctors_ I had 4 sessions of isolagen. The technique of the doctor directly affected the resluts- and I decided at the point that plastic surgeons do a better job with subsicion and delicate scar removal work. I was safisfied for a while....again I was featured in magazines and media releases.

Then in 2007 began using enzymes and discovered needling, saw Dr Mcaffery again although I was suffering minor infection under the skin, so in 2008 I had my second session of blue light therapy resulting in clear skin again. I also discovered CPs.

Then I moved to a remote location, with no access to doctors near by, so I knew id be needling myself. More research more emails with Drs discussing my next move.

Over time I have become a 'face' of scar treatment. I know several leading dermatologists and have personal friendships where I can contact and gain their opinions anytime. I never paid for any treatments, except the first nightmare of co2. I have been very fortunate in this way.However I also agreed to media and PR IF it worked.

Extensive talks with Dr. Phillipa Mcaffery resulted in my new self needling routine. We worked together to find a way to needle that suited MY SKIN and the goals in mind.

I waited for life to calm down, and early 2009 began my new routine, the result of all my research... I saw results that I am amazed with. Right now I am in a happy place. There are a few scars that needling wont fix I plan to see a plastic surgeon for some minor work. I choose not to go public again for a few personal reasons.

But I have a wealth of experience and can offer advise that is made up of my own personal opinion, experience and also knowedge gained from my time spent with doctors over the years. My skin will never be porcelain again, but it is 70% improvement from where I started with severe laser burns. The journey is almost over in my healing.

This is why I visit here sometimes....I recall when I used to stay up all night, searching for answers, finding hope in shoddy before and after pictures... I want my experience to be of benefit to others if possible.

Healing is possible, but happiness comes from within.

Adella

Hello, I just wanted to thank you for posting your journey, it has truely given me hope. I thought I was the only one who spent 24/7 looking at before and after pictures, I mean I have seen every possible before and after result there is on the web!!!! Everyday I look at the best before and afters just to get through my day, it gets so freaking old. Anyway, I want to congratulate you on your success and perseverance, it's truly amazing. I am trying to decide what type of procedure would benefit me the most, so I'm thinking that I should do a little subcision and maybe a TCA cross. It's nice to know that we can get some helpful advice.

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@timehealsall I had some very superficial scarring BEFORE I had full face co2 which left me with burns and extremely thin skin, pigmentation problems and caused breakouts like id never even imagined possible.

During this time I suffered the most scarring, because laser burned skin, scars so easily.

Thats what led me to trying the BLUE light treatments...Id used retin A, dianne pill, all creams lotions and potions, dietry changes...nothing worked until I discovered Blue light Therapy.

I recall when I was battled active acne...I was so desperate for ANYTHING to work. I tried some whacky things as well as all the usual that beauticians advise. I recall I even bought an ebook one night- it promised to stop acne within a week!!! I paid $70 for a book that told me to eat goats milk yoghurt!! LOL... I can laugh now...but back then I felt miserable and willing to try ANYTHING.

@hopeful I understand your struggles 100% and thats why im looking at any possible way I can be of assistance others.

My only real qualification is being a certified counsellor :) LOL

Adella

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Hey Adella,

Great post. It's good to get feedback from someone who has actually "been there, done that" so to speak and not have to rely on advertisements or Derms telling us what to do and end up wasting our money on things that just don't work. I have tried many different treatments for my rolling, boxcar scarring and have had co2 smartdot laser done (3 months ago now) and considering a second one. Have you heard anything about this kind of laser and how it compares to the laser you had? Congrats on finding a treatment that is working for you. It can take years, I know!

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@nessie

I have not tried smart dot laser, but I have *heard that is comparable with fraxel re pair or restore. There are many brands of lasers now, I have encountered about 5 different brands... all have new names ...I know of the *pearl laser...a non albative one, some doctor tried to use on me. I know that this type of laser would have been of minimal benefit and would have led to dissapointment.

The main thing when choosing a treatment and weather to have another or not is.. how has it worked for you? Are you pleased with the results?

Ablative lasers Co2 will produce more signifigant results than non ablative lasers.

The most important message I can ever try and spread is DO YOUR RESEARCH. Know exactly what laser you are being treated with, and what to expect, and well as all possible side effects.

And, choosing the right DOCTOR or SURGEON with a reputation for being the best in the feild of scar treatment- is often the difference between acheiveing great results, or getting disfiguring scars.

Cosmeticians are famous for promising the world, and delivering dissapointing resluts- mainly because of lack of experience and resources for treating signifigant scarring.. Having said that, IF you choose carefully and go by reputation you can find some fantstic ones who are passionate about helping us.

Goodluck with whatever treatment you choose, I hope it works well! If it does, be sure to let me know. I will put your experience in my mental knowledge bank ;)

Adella

Edited by adella

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Great post, Adella. You truly are a inspiration to many of us here, and if you've gone that far, perhaps, we can get there too:D. What's the blue light thing, is it an LED?

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I'm just surprised Dudley hasnt barged in with his promotion of fraxel repair lol.

Adella, you're an asset to this site. Please stay around.

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The Blue light I refer to is this one...

http://www.docshop.com/education/dermatolo...cial/blue-light

I have tried the clear light, and omnilux and they both give amazing results.

The last treatment I had was in 2008 and I have been very clear ever since. My skin is prone to break out just by typing the word, so for me, blue light has been a lifesaver.

Treatment isnt cheap, granted, but you wont be buying lotions and potions for over a year, or battling break outs. For me, this represents, value for money.

I have never tried a home style one. These machines cost a few hundered thousand dollars, and emit the highest possible amount of light, as approved by the FDA.

It IS BORING though! having sessions is painful, because you are doing nothing. I ended up using the time to take a nap.

The only effects are a tingling sensation and a few break outs mid way through treatment. Its like some gunk HAS to come out, the rest is KILLED.

If you book in for these treatments, becareful, ask questions, like how long have they had the machine, and have they ever needed to change the 'light'. I do know that the lights are only 'good' for about a year of use. So ideally your best bet is to try and locate someone with a relativley new machine ;) or someone who is happy to tell you about bulb replacement and how their machine works. Never be afraid to ask questions, no matter how annoying it might seem.

Adella

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Hi adella, thanks so much for sharing ur journey. I consulted a sydney based cosmetic surgeon a year ago who adviced me for CO2 laser, luckly i didn't go for it. I have many boxter and deep pitted scars on my cheeks, have been seeking for treatment over the years. i wonder if you could send me your msn so that i can ask you for further information. thanks!

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Re:fraxel

I have never had it done, Dudley has, so for anyone who is wondering about fraxel, he probably knows the most and has experience. Personally I never went down that route, 'something' held me back- probably my past nightmarish experience with lasers!

Although for ANYONE about to begin ANY treatment, I advise doing your OWN research and reach your OWN conclusion about what is your best option... ;)

My way of healing has taken time and patience, mistakes and triumph to find what worked and what didnt. I took this route(rolling with cps) after speaking with a leading Dr, and a plastic surgeon who both informed me that the needling was the best way to renew skin without complications that they had on offer at this time. I then tailored a routine to suit me, and my skin.

I know that not everybody is lucky to have honest medical pratictioners to consult with, and so I gladly share what I have learned :)

Adella

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@hopeful... sorry I missed replying. Opps! Before and after photos are a total sham IMO ... I can manipulate photos to make my skin clear...so easily. Be sure to research whatever treatments you choose to have, and let us know of your results.

@anitaying I will be around for a while! I am on a personal mission to help enlighten people about the realities of the results of treatments, what to look for in doctors, and how to research expected outcomes.

Also people have to remember, that it is human nature to stop visiting these forums, once you find a solution. Surfing the net in regards to acne treatments suddenly isnt a priority.

Treatments do work, when done by skilleddoctors, with a reputation for dealing with acne scars.Or when patience and time is taken to renew the skin- like with regular needling and mild dermabrasion.

Hope is all we are seeking here, the hope of feeling 'normal' I understand this.

Something SO important to me is reminding people of their worth, regardless of skin issues. I speak with many people about skin problems, and most everyone agrees that beauty is not only skin deep. Everyone with skin problems needs to occasionaly take a step back and assess just how much time is spent obsessing. Try to take a longer look at your flawless eyes, and lips, your smile... I spent way too many years, not living my life to the full, because of my skin. What a waste!

Adella

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Hi Adelia,

I know you mentioned getting a full face CO2 laser done and having problems afterwards. I had 3 full face fraxel restore treatments and am having problems more than 3 years later. My pigmentation looks odd, like I have brown spots and certain areas on my face. Also, I am extremely sensitive to the sun, like my face will just heat up and these brown/red spots on my face will randomly appear. When I run and exercise or even get flustered at work my whole face sometimes gets red. Would you possibly have any suggestions on what I can do? Even if youre not sure maybe some ideas you have I could always research and see if they might help. Thanks so much.

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Hey Adella,

Great post. It's good to get feedback from someone who has actually "been there, done that" so to speak and not have to rely on advertisements or Derms telling us what to do and end up wasting our money on things that just don't work. I have tried many different treatments for my rolling, boxcar scarring and have had co2 smartdot laser done (3 months ago now) and considering a second one. Have you heard anything about this kind of laser and how it compares to the laser you had? Congrats on finding a treatment that is working for you. It can take years, I know!

DOT is NOT comparable to Re:store, nor is regular Co2 the same animal as fractional ablative Co2. http://healthy-aging.advanceweb.com/Editor....aspx?CC=112180

Not everyone can handle any type of laser and these people should avoid them at all costs. I even posted the case of Christine on my thread. http://www.realself.com/review/fraxel-laser-horrible I want everybody to know there are risks going into this.

It is good that there are alternative treatments that work for some people. I advocate Repair, but it is surely not for everybody.

Edited by DudleyDoRight

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@doggydog Ouch!! This is one of the reasons I avoided fraxel...too many people seem to suffer pigmentation and or discoloration.

Id try and find a specialist dermatologist and see what their opinion is. Maybe all you require is a few deep peels to restore an even skin tone.

Have you been SUPER careful with sunblock ever since the treatment??

Many doctors fail to warn us, prior to laser, that SUNSCREEN will be a daily necessity for life.

Never leave home without it.

And @dudley, I said id *heard that information...meaning I have not done any research about the dot laser myself. I have only spoken breifly with a cosmetican about it. Do you know anything about it? would you condsider using the DOT laser on acne scarring? I also said you are the expert in this feild of lasers.

Thank you for posting that link too- the poor girl....I was left looking similar after co2. Fraxel works for some...without issue.

All I know is lasers can be of great benefit, when used correctly in the right hands. I have had co2 as you know, and will only speak about this type of laser with any authority.

Adella

Edited by adella

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@liquid..Its been a few years since I was on tv...I appeared on Today Tonight twice 2003 once regarding botched laser, and once for isolagen. The links were available years ago, but now...i have no idea- they are not on page 1 of a google search!! I have been featured in a magazine 2004 the days before each article was linked up online.

At some stage I might scan the magazine article, its a great example of a bs before/after shot!!

Adella

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Adella, I am by no means an expert. I suggest people try other treatments before considering laser. Lasers should be reserved for the more difficult cases, and as I illustrated with the Christine link, not everybody can do lasers. Christine and I had our first Re:pairs at about the same time and we were posting on RealSelf(my name is dazed on that site). As far as I know the reason for Christine's reaction has never been determined. For those who can handle fractional ablative Co2 I believe there is nothing that compares to it. I have done dermabrasion and regular Co2, and although I recovered properly, I did not see the desired results. I have not tried subscission, and perhaps I did not give Copper Peptides and dermaroller enough time to work. I have used the dual array LED, but have no comments on that. Re:pair is the one thing that has worked for me. Good luck to everybody on whatever treatment they try. We all have the same desire.

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@dudley You know alot more about fractional lasers than I do. I know this doesnt make you an 'expert' but you have put in the miles, got the tshirt to prove it, and from what I know have done extensive research too. Theres no debating that everyone is not suited to laser, im a prime example, however, I sometimes think that my issue was because of the so called 'doctor' who disfigured me, not the laser itself.....hmmm.

This is why I always tell people to RESEARCH- dont take my word, or anyones, make up your own mind re:treatments, based on alot of reading...UNDERSTAND how and why a treatment is designed to work. No two people are exactly alike, and what works for me, may not work for others.

There is a wealth of information out there- all we need do is locate it. Google is your friend people, use it!!

Adella

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hey adella,

I am a long term scar sufferer and had fractional laser once which didn't help at all, I'm thinking of subcision or scalpel excision. I know you have done subcision, would you recommend it?

Also, I came across with a post from this forum, a guy had scalpel excision and the result was pretty good, although it'll leave a thin line after the excision, I think it can be covered with make up, and I would rather have the thin line than a dented scar. Do you have any information on this type of procedure?

I'm in sydney, wondering if you can suggest any good surgeon/specialist?

Thanks so much!

Edited by anitaying

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hey adella,

I am a long term scar sufferer and had fractional laser once which didn't help at all, I'm thinking of subcision or scalpel excision. I know you have done subcision, would you recommend it?

Also, I came across with a post from this forum, a guy had scalpel excision and the result was pretty good, although it'll leave a thin line after the excision, I think it can be covered with make up, and I would rather have the thin line than a dented scar. Do you have any information on this type of procedure?

I'm in sydney, wondering if you can suggest any good surgeon/specialist?

Thanks so much!

Im sending you a PM. :)

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Dudley how are you supposed to know if youre going to react badly to the laser before it's too late. Aside from having dark skin and even then, some doctors are willing to try lasers.

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Hi Adella,

Great post.

Any advice to people in general of how to choose a dermatologist and ascertain whether a doc is good for treating scars or not?

I have had a mixed experience as well and was wondering what methods of research etc you would use.

On some doctors that seem great there is relatively little knowledge or testimonials on scar treatments that they perform... so hard to find good feedback...

Also, what is your stance on Fraxel Repair specifically? And fraxel in general?

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