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CherrySoda08

In Need Of Wisdom And Advice For My Scarring (With Pics)

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dudly did u ever post any before after pics?

I don't have any good before pictures. Saw a PS on Monday about a facelift ( I am older than all of you), and he said he considers my face as normal aging now and not acne scars so after many years of treating acne scars I am moving into another area. I will post my worst before picture (which really does not show the extent of my scarring) after the facelift.

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dudly did u ever post any before after pics?

I don't have any good before pictures. Saw a PS on Monday about a facelift ( I am older than all of you), and he said he considers my face as normal aging now and not acne scars so after many years of treating acne scars I am moving into another area. I will post my worst before picture (which really does not show the extent of my scarring) after the facelift.

So, in other words, you no longer have to even think about treating your acne scarring, and it's time for you to move on to combating the aging process?

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dudly did u ever post any before after pics?

I don't have any good before pictures. Saw a PS on Monday about a facelift ( I am older than all of you), and he said he considers my face as normal aging now and not acne scars so after many years of treating acne scars I am moving into another area. I will post my worst before picture (which really does not show the extent of my scarring) after the facelift.

So, in other words, you no longer have to even think about treating your acne scarring, and it's time for you to move on to combating the aging process?

Basically that is it, although I still look for imperfections, and see myself at 90%. When he said that I thought really, and he did an extensive examination, he was pinching and pulling and using magic marker on my face, so I guess we never see ourselves the way other people do.

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dudly did u ever post any before after pics?

I don't have any good before pictures. Saw a PS on Monday about a facelift ( I am older than all of you), and he said he considers my face as normal aging now and not acne scars so after many years of treating acne scars I am moving into another area. I will post my worst before picture (which really does not show the extent of my scarring) after the facelift.

So, in other words, you no longer have to even think about treating your acne scarring, and it's time for you to move on to combating the aging process?

Basically that is it, although I still look for imperfections, and see myself at 90%. When he said that I thought really, and he did an extensive examination, he was pinching and pulling and using magic marker on my face, so I guess we never see ourselves the way other people do.

Your PS also told you he thinks you're at 90%, as far as acne scarring goes?

The day I'm at 90% is the day my dreams come true. I don't need 100% to be happy. rolleyes.gif

You said you had boxcar and rolling acne scars. What type of acne scars do you think are the hardest to treat; boxcar, rolling, or ice pick?

Like my pictures show, I have mostly shallow ice pick scarring. Maybe a couple of what I consider to be boxcar. The ones I think of as boxcars are a little longer, and look more like deeper cat scratches (best way I know of to describe them). I went ahead and got the Obagi peel, and I am very happy with the results. The texture of my skin is so much better. It is firmer, plumper, and now nearly completely even-colored. I definitely know (and even was beginning to realize a couple weeks before I got the peel that I would have to have lasering done, anyway), but I have noticed that the one rolling scar I had on the left side of my face, near to my chin is now basically gone. It makes me wonder if perhaps the rolling type of scar is a little bit easier to treat.

And no, we never do see ourselves the way others do. This can be either a good thing or a bad thing.

Edited by CherrySoda08

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your scars give you character cherry :-d

You have GOT to be kidding me! I'm sorry, but what woman wants noticeable scars on her face? Let alone acne scars. I'm not really sure if I should be insulted, or just plain baffled as to why anyone would be silly enough to say that to someone who is on a SCARS forum, asking people about ways to make them less noticeable.

What are you smoking? Seriously!

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Finding a doctor is so tough that it is good that you start looking now. Remember the doctor will try to sell what he has to offer, so don't be sold a bill of goods. Choose the laser you want after careful research and then find a doctor who offers it.

Dudley,

Not sure if you would know about this, but is it possible to have a filler injected underneath the area in my left cheek in which my largest scar was located?

That scar was caused by a very large cyst, which I got before I really understood that I had cystic acne, and was treated properly for it. When it healed, I realized that I had some collagen loss in the left cheek. It's not a big amount of collagen loss, or even very noticable. But I notice it, and that's what matters to me.

I know you are pretty knowledgeable about procedures for acne scarring, so I was wondering if perhaps you knew if it would be possible to one day get a bit of filler in my left cheek underneath the site where the cyst was.

Thanks again for all your help.

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Cherry, I have no experience with fillers. I am sort of a one dimension guy.

Well, it was worth a shot asking you this question. You have been extremely helpful so far, and I just wondered if you might know. rolleyes.gif

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So, for someone with similar scarring to Cherry (mild to moderate ice picks and boxcars), would one get good results with just Fraxel Repair, or would excision or punch floats also be needed to achieve results??

I'm sorry if I'm hijacking the thread, but I just found this very interesting as my scarring is very similar, though possibly somewhat worse since I've never had anything but TCA cross done on them and I don't think it's that effective for me.

What you're doing seems to be working for you Cherry, and I also believe (based on others' posts here entirely) that you'll be very happy with your results after getting a laser treatment. :)

I wish I could have the same procedures done, but I have no idea if they are available in my country. After a day of googling with no results, I'm starting to suspect they are not. :( They do offer Fraxel, but they don't specify which kind (i.e. probably Restore) and that I wouldn't spend my money on. Sigh.

Best of luck with your treatments, Cherry. :) Your skin is looking pretty good already.

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So, for someone with similar scarring to Cherry (mild to moderate ice picks and boxcars), would one get good results with just Fraxel Repair, or would excision or punch floats also be needed to achieve results??

I'm sorry if I'm hijacking the thread, but I just found this very interesting as my scarring is very similar, though possibly somewhat worse since I've never had anything but TCA cross done on them and I don't think it's that effective for me.

What you're doing seems to be working for you Cherry, and I also believe (based on others' posts here entirely) that you'll be very happy with your results after getting a laser treatment. smile.png

I wish I could have the same procedures done, but I have no idea if they are available in my country. After a day of googling with no results, I'm starting to suspect they are not. sad.png They do offer Fraxel, but they don't specify which kind (i.e. probably Restore) and that I wouldn't spend my money on. Sigh.

Best of luck with your treatments, Cherry. smile.png Your skin is looking pretty good already.

Hey hon,

Don't worry about hijacking this thread if you're asking relevant questions. I believe that as long as one is respectful, and is able to write politely and thoughtfully to those participating in the thread, then it really isn't hijacking.

Actually, I would rather have people ask those sorts of questions on a thread, rather than PM-ing me, and to ask about my procedures, and how I cleared my cystic acne, because it could possibly benefit other people who come across this thread.

Thanks for the lovely comments. I think my skin has improved vastly, considering how it looked about two years ago. I don't believe I will have to have too much done to it, now. My last treatment (a strong, 5-layer TCA peel) has helped improve the appearance of my scarring even more. There just isn't much more room for improvement, scarring-wise, which makes me very happy.

In regard to your questions about which types of procedures you ought to have, I can tell you that I have never had any lasering done. I'm sure you know that, since you read the thread. I have only had punch floats and punch grafts. I think the results have been pretty good, but that it helps even more to have a procedure done after the punch floats and grafts have healed to smooth the texture of the skin even more. Make sense?

I hope you are able to find the right physician to help you with your current skin issues. What country do you live in, if you don't mind my asking?

Edited by CherrySoda08

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i was thinking you hadn't done that when u first made the post ....any after pictures yet? are you healed up ?

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i was thinking you hadn't done that when u first made the post ....any after pictures yet? are you healed up ?

No, I had not had the Obagi peel at the point in time in which I first posted a topic on Acne.org.

No after pics yet. I'll post 'em around the 6 weeks post-procedure mark. I am also going to have my cosmetic derm e-mail me all pics taken of me in her office. Meaning, from the point in time in which my scarring was still nice and pitted-looking, to now, which is over one year since my initial procedures.

To get those pictures she took of me, I'll have to sign some HIPPA release forms, so it might take a little while to get them.

And no, I am not healed yet.

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so your liking the improvements huh ? i need to try some kinda peel ....how long are you out of commission from going outside etc?

Edited by Rob_X_22

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The improvements have been great. However, I had surgical procedures beforehand. And I have been instructed to have very limited sun exposure for six weeks. Which is fine, because I'm a student, anyway, and stay indoors most of the time.

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Hey Everybody,

I have my final consult with my current cosmetic dermatologist on Friday, September the 7th. She is going to evaluate the current condition of my skin since I had my 5-layer, 90% Obagi Blue Peel on July, 10th.

During that final consult, I plan on signing some HIPPA release forms so that I can acquire the photos my cosmetic derm has taken of me throughout all of the procedures I have undergone for my scarring. The photos should span approximately a year's time. I believe I got my first punch float procedure in either May or June of 2011.

Once I receive the photos my cosmetic dermatologist has taken of the changes that have taken place in my skin, I plan on sharing them with you all on Acne.org.

I still have a little ways to go. I believe that I am going to need some lasering done in the near future, but I do recognize that the Blue Peel has reduced the appearance of my scarring.

Just wanted to share this update about my acne scarring journey with you all. Looking forward to sharing my pictures soon.

Cherry

Edited by CherrySoda08

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Hello all,

Going to my consult with the cosmetic derm tomorrow so that she can evaluate the current status of my skin. I called my doctor's nurse to make sure the HIPPA forms are ready for me to sign so I can acquire the digital photos of my scarring's progression throughout this past year (from May/June 2011-Present).

Hopefully it won't be too much of a hassle to get those pictures.

I want to thank those who have been willing to give me support and advice, even when I'm sure I asked them far more questions then they wanted to answer all at once. These forums have mostly been so positive for me. Some threads have even been like a lifesaver. I am truly grateful. rolleyes.gif

Cherry

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Hey there guys,

Just wanted to touch base with you all, and let those who follow this thread (and those who have an interest in scar treatments for acne, and happen to be reading my story for the first time) that I have not yet received my Before and Afters via e-mail, and that I have consulted with my current cosmetic derm and two other doctors in the Atlanta area about further treatment for my acne scarring, particularly the scars on my left cheek. Honestly, I have been so busy with school, and taking 3 exams a week on average, that I sort of lost track of time and nearly forgot about wanting to have those pictures fairly soon. It wasn't until another member on Acne.org sent me a personal message about the photos that I realized that my current cosmetic derm told me 2 weekends ago that she would e-mail them to me. I'm not pleased that I don't have them by this point, and a little annoyed to be quite honest. However, I'm going in to my cosmetic derm's office tomorrow for an appointment to speak with her about the possibility of further subcision on one scar that seems to require it. During the appointment, I plan on asking her to please e-mail me the photos so that I can hopefully encourage and educate those who have suffered with cystic acne, and want to know how to reduce the appearance of the scarring from it.

And, like I stated before, I have spoken with my current cosmetic derm, and two other doctors near me about what steps they recommend I take to treat the scarring on my face. I wanted to include what they talked to me about, and see what the educated opinions of those who have undergone acne scarring procedures are, or what those who are currently seeking treatment for their scarring might be. The suggestions from the three doctors I've spoken to are as follows:

1. My current cosmetic derm- When I last saw my current cosmetic derm, she recommended that I undergo another Obagi Blue peel + lasering. I have to admit that I did see some improvement from the Blue Peel, but not as much as I'd hoped for. My doc tells me that after another Blue Peel, she thinks that she can help make my more severely scarred left cheek look more like my close-to-normal-looking right cheek. Afterward, she wants to use a laser called an Ultrapulse laser to the scarring. I had never heard of this laser before, and am wondering if someone out there has heard of it, and could perhaps tell me a little something about it. My cosmetic derm tells me that the laser will help to repair the surface of the skin, and the tissue below the skin's surface, as well (down to the dermis? I'm not sure...). This all can be (supposedly) achieved for the ridiculously low price of $600.00. Super kind to the wallet, to be sure. However, I am just incredibly unsure as to what improvement these treatments will make, or if I should go with a full-face laser treatment to possibly achieve more improvement faster. Any input would be so very appreciated.

2.Plastic surgeon in Atlanta- The plastic surgeon I had a consult last month with in Atlanta about Fraxel Re:pair suggested I go for a full-face treatment, and use pre-procedure products including one (that I thought sounded quite interesting) made from my own blood cells to help with the healing process. The cost of this was much more, at around $4,000.00. However, I anticipated that the cost of this treatment would be around this amount, from the research I'd done, and the discussions I've had with those experienced in laser treatments for acne scarring. I got to see some of the plastic surgeon's work on the body, and it looked fantastic. Sadly, I wasn't shown any before and afters of her facial work, so I don't really know quite what to expect.

3. Dermatologist north of metro Atlanta- I spoke with a dermatologist on Tuesday who I personally liked quite a bit. He recommended that I undergo full-face treatment with an erbium yag laser, and then wants to perform CO2 on the individual scars. I loved the fact that this doc was honest with me, and told me that my skin will never be "perfect", and that the ratio of people who are happy with his treatment is 50/50, due to their expectations of what their skin will look like post-procedure. I told him I never expected "perfect", that my previous acne was far too severe to ever believe that my skin would be flawless in the future, but that I want it to look as good as I can make it. The doc was very kind, and showed me a portfolio of Before and Afters of laser work that he personally performed. He spent a very good amount of time talking to my mother and I about the skin's healing during and after the lasering process (kind of like a science lesson). He even made the effort to demonstrate which layers of the skin are affected, and how on a diagram. This is so, so much more than any doctor I've consulted with before has done for me. He also told me that he may or may not decide to perform additional subcisions on my scars. Whew. He seemed very detail-conscious, which I like.

This doctor has been working with lasers in the Atlanta area for 25 years, and told me that at his clinic, the estheticians give about 3-4 days of aftercare to the patients after lasering. I hadn't ever heard of that before. According to all the research I've done, wound care after lasering has always been the patients' responsibility. If I'm wrong about this, somebody please correct me. However, I was so very pleased to hear from this derm that I wouldn't have to bother with taking care of my skin for those first few crucial days after treatment. rolleyes.gif The doc is only 15-18 minutes away from my house, so this wouldn't be a huge hassle for me to go see him everyday for the first half-week or so. Finally, this particular derm only charges $3,000.00 for the procedure, plus the aftercare. The only extras I'd end up paying for would be Valtrex (had to do that before with my first Obagi Blue peel), and I think the supplies to take care of my skin after that first half-week.

So, those are the doctors I've spoken with thus far about which direction I ought to head in for my scarring. What do you guys think? And, do you think I ought to perhaps consult with even more dermatologists? Based on past (successful) experience, what route do you recommend that I choose? Any suggestions, and/or input would be so very appreciated.

Hope everyone's having a great fall so far. I know I am. It's gorgeous here!

Cherry

Edited by CherrySoda08

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Utlrapulse is the laser used for Total FX, Active FX and Deep FX. I'm a bit confused. When did your cosmetic derm start offering laser? Does she have any experience with the machine or are you one of her initial guinea pigs? What are the benefits to doing an Obagi peel, prior to laser treatment, when a laser penetrates deeper? Is she offering Deep FX or just Active FX?

The third doctor sounds interesting. Would he be using traditional, fully ablative Co2 laser on your individual scars? What did you think of his before and after photos?

How deep are your scars at this point? Do they reach into the dermis?

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