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labellavita1985

For mild acne scars, are treatments worth the risks?

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Hello everyone, many of you have told me that my scars are "mild," but they bother me SOO much. I've been thinking about treatments for a while now but I'm so terrified of side effects like hyperpigmentation and texture damage. I'm such a "perfectionist" (lol) with my skin that I freak out if I get a little redness or a blemish on a day to day basis. This makes me think I could not bear the side effects of treatments like TCA, microneedling, etc. It would be one thing if I knew the redness/other problems would for sure 100% subside, but my understanding is that that is never a given (depending on your skin's natural healing abilities, etc.)

So my question is, for mild acne scars, are treatments worth the risks? If you had mild acne scars, would you take the risk?

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I also have mild scars, and they annoy me too. I've decided to have TCA 35% peels + dermaneedling. I'm gonna do both on my own so I'm also a bit afraid as I don't want to mess up. For the moment I'm not gonna try DIY TCA cross.

Could you post a pic to see what your scars look like? Mine are mild but deep enough to be seen, especially under certain types of lights.

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Mine are totally visible too, sound like they are worse than yours, but many people on this forum have told me they are mild.

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Are you starting out with TCA at 35%? That's crazy to me.

I have this paranoia that my skin is not good at healing, so I can't bring myself to take the risk with peels and microneedling. It intuitively makes sense to me that if my skin was good at healing, I wouldn't have these scars, so the idea of injury/damaged induced repair doesn't make sense. I know there's research behind it, but that's just my opinion.

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I'm starting out TCA at 35% but I'm having 40% glycolic peels and since I finished accutane 3'5 years ago I've been using glycolic 15% lotion everyday, so my skin is used to acids so to speak...

I don't think there is any link between sensitive skin and acne scars. I've acne scars and I can tolerate glycolic, retinoid and other acids other people can't tolerate (these people had acne and no scars were left)

It is difficult to damage your skin microneedling it unless you do crazy things. You can start at 1mm and increase the depth if your skin response is good. The same with TCA, you can start 1t 10-15 % and you can test the acid under under the ears to see how your skin reacts. 

My scars are different than yours but overall I've more than you. I've icepicks and boxcars. 

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You both have very mild scarring and both of you look great. It may be a big deal for you, but I highly doubt other people you interact with in real life are going to think twice. It wouldn't affect your ability to date, etc. 

Doing at home treatments on your mild scars is crazy in my opinion. Best of luck though. 

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Just give yourselves plenty of healing time,carry out the treatments correctly but the magic is in the healing.
:smileys_n_people_82:

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Toni, I think your skin looks totally fine, and I don't think it's worse than mine at all, only difference is you have a few scars on your forehead and I don't. I used to hate when people said this but it truly does add character to your face, and you're a good looking guy and have youth on your side. But I totally understand the need to try and correct the scars.

Also I didn't necessarily mean sensitive skin is problematic for scar revision. I use tretinoin 0.1% (highest concentration) with no problems other than dryness and occasional peeling. It's more like the body's ability to heal injury is compromised if one has acne scars. However, this is totally just my interpretation because people on this forum have told me that's not necessarily the case. 

Also, speaking of tretinoin, I can't recommend it enough. It's truly the absolute gold standard in anti-aging and resurfacing IMO. It doesn't do much for icepicks and boxcars scars, BUT it greatly improves the overall appearance and texture of the skin and evens the skin tone. I don't ever want to be without it. They will have to pry it out of my cold dead hands. 

Please keep us updated on your progress (especially on your experience with the 35% TCA.)

ScarRight, thank you so much for your input, this is exactly the type of response I was looking for. Thanks so much! Your response validates my refusal/failure to try and correct my acne scars thus far.

Candy, thank you so much, that means so much to me. I'm speechless.

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1 hour ago, ScarRight said:

You both have very mild scarring and both of you look great. It may be a big deal for you, but I highly doubt other people you interact with in real life are going to think twice. It wouldn't affect your ability to date, etc. 

Doing at home treatments on your mild scars is crazy in my opinion. Best of luck though. 

Thanks. Of course there are worse cases but acne scars, even mild, make my skin ugly. I dream of having perfect skin but that is something that won't happen. 

1 hour ago, Quadboy said:

Just give yourselves plenty of healing time,carry out the treatments correctly but the magic is in the healing.
:smileys_n_people_82:

Thanks Quad!!

35 minutes ago, labellavita1985 said:

Toni, I think your skin looks totally fine, and I don't think it's worse than mine at all, only difference is you have a few scars on your forehead and I don't. I used to hate when people said this but it truly does add character to your face, and you're a good looking guy and have youth on your side. But I totally understand the need to try and correct the scars.

Also I didn't necessarily mean sensitive skin is problematic for scar revision. I use tretinoin 0.1% (highest concentration) with no problems other than dryness and occasional peeling. It's more like the body's ability to heal injury is compromised if one has acne scars. However, this is totally just my interpretation because people on this forum have told me that's not necessarily the case. 

Also, speaking of tretinoin, I can't recommend it enough. It's truly the absolute gold standard in anti-aging and resurfacing IMO. It doesn't do much for icepicks and boxcars scars, BUT it greatly improves the overall appearance and texture of the skin and evens the skin tone. I don't ever want to be without it. They will have to pry it out of my cold dead hands. 

Please keep us updated on your progress (especially on your experience with the 35% TCA.)

ScarRight, thank you so much for your input, this is exactly the type of response I was looking for. Thanks so much! Your response validates my refusal/failure to try and correct my acne scars thus far.

Candy, thank you so much, that means so much to me. I'm speechless.

haha you also look very nice thanks! 

tretinoin is amazing, the problem is most people use things for a while and then grow tired of them. Used over the years tretinoin can make wonders on a person's skin. The problem is that it doesn't do a lot for acne scars. 

Yeah I certainly will keep you updated when I have the peeling. I have to decide when to do it as sun starts burning and I don't wanna be at home :( Edited by Toni94

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On 3/25/2018 at 12:04 AM, labellavita1985 said:

Hello everyone, many of you have told me that my scars are "mild," but they bother me SOO much. I've been thinking about treatments for a while now but I'm so terrified of side effects like hyperpigmentation and texture damage. I'm such a "perfectionist" (lol) with my skin that I freak out if I get a little redness or a blemish on a day to day basis. This makes me think I could not bear the side effects of treatments like TCA, microneedling, etc. It would be one thing if I knew the redness/other problems would for sure 100% subside, but my understanding is that that is never a given (depending on your skin's natural healing abilities, etc.)

So my question is, for mild acne scars, are treatments worth the risks? If you had mild acne scars, would you take the risk?


To be brutally honest, in both your cases no.  I can tell from your description that you don't have the personality for it.  You will obsess about it and it will torment you.  If you do anything, maybe CAREFULLY done TCA Cross and some peels.  There is no reason to mess with almost perfect skin.   You're asking for mental anguish.  

Honestly I've read through enough personal stories to pinpoint the people who do / do not have the mental toughness it takes to deal with the treatments. 

Here's the thing people have to understand.  If you actually did have bad scars people WILL point them out.  People are generally assholes intentionally or unintentionally.  I've had complete strangers comment about  my scars.  If that's never happened to you, you should save yourself the stress.
  Edited by dazzed

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@dazzed but if we have mild scars maybe we can get rid of them and have almost perfect skin. Those with severe scars aim to have a bit of improvement and take for granted they are not gonna achieve 100% improvement. In my case, if I treat my skin I may have it almost even.

I'd be so happy if I could have my skin like it was before adolescence...

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Dazzed, I appreciate your honesty. You're totally right. I'm completely obsessed with my skin. I'm leaving it be for now. The only thing I might do is add adapalene (Differin) on the nights I don't use tretinoin (which I use 3x/week.) I posted a thread linking to a study with adapalene on acne scars and the results are impressive IMO. Although I doubt adapalene will do anything the highest concentration of tretinoin hasn't done in 3 years. Thank you for your response.

Toni - this is exactly the type of thinking that at times makes me think "I want to give treatments a try," because you're right, with milder acne scars, revision feels less daunting/impossible. But I could never ever forgive myself if I ended up with permanent or semi permanent hyperpigmentation or textural issues, after everything I've been through in the last three years to clear up my acne/PIH. I came across some old pictures the other day from when I had moderate to severe cystic acne and could not believe the severity of it. I'll try to upload one later. I try to be grateful because I could still have cystic acne, or I could have much worse acne scars.

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8 hours ago, Toni94 said:
@dazzed but if we have mild scars maybe we can get rid of them and have almost perfect skin. Those with severe scars aim to have a bit of improvement and take for granted they are not gonna achieve 100% improvement. In my case, if I treat my skin I may have it almost even.

I'd be so happy if I could have my skin like it was before adolescence...

Sure, and you could also do TCA and your scars widen.  When someone says "they can achieve 100%" it's a sure sign of expecting too much.   You may get good improvement but that mindset sets off red flags tbh.

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I'm having the same dilemma and can't really forsee what kind of impact would isotretinoin/retin A would have on mild acne scars.


p.s I've used adapelne/differin 0.1% in the past for PIH but am not really sure if it improves the appearance of scars.

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I don't think the fact that you have scars necessarily means that your skin is bad at healing. And, it's very personal whether or not they bother you. They obviously do, so you should see what you can do about them. 

If you haven't talked to a dermatologist about them, you should. The best treatments are and what to expect in terms of results, healing time, and side effects. The may even suggest microneedling, a laser treatment that has gotten really good results. Cutera makes the Secret RF which is a good one. I'm a fan of the device, but do your research and see what is right for you.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

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If the scars bother you that much, whether mild or severe, then get them fixed. As my old lady used to say, don't just sit around fretting and bitching...DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

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Omg, our scars look exactly alike! :) But to be honest, I wouldn't mind them. You are hot, damn girl 

Edited by ManuelTeman

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