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shei514

CO2 laser in treating acne scars - ultrapulse & Subcision of Acne Scars W/ Dr Lim Dr Rullan and Other Drs - Success Story in Progress

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This was pretty recent right?  I'm assuming it's still swelling.   Please continue to update us on your progress!

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I love the updates. You mentioned that Dr Lim suggested you were borderline excision. What does that mean? 

I think you still have swelling, but your skin is healing very well. I would love to see your skin in three months. Well done. 

Are those last pics from your treatment on Thursday? 

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Girllllllll your improvement looks great. After a couple more treatments you probably wont think about your scars anymore. Completely jealous! Congrats!

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MY RIGHT CHEEK: OCTOBER 2018. I'm still obviously very red and healing still, but most of the swelling has gone down considerably. 
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MY LEFT CHEEK 2018: I'm obviously still red here too. 

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LEFT CHEEK 2018: MY SCARS IN HARSH SUNLIGHT
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MY LEFT CHEEK BEFORE ANY LASER PROCEDURES 2016: 

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My right cheek October 2018 in more natural lighting:

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This was taken in Feb 2018 but I thought I'd throw it in here anyway! 

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Hi everyone - it’s been a good six months since I posted last and if anyone is interested, here’s what’s happened since: 

 

I was treated with CO2 Ultrapulse laser in May, and the doctor did not want to do anything more to my skin after that and told me to come back three months later once I had healed - of course, this makes perfect sense as the treatment was quite aggressive. I have significant fibrosis which must be broken down first. Ultrapulse was used for this reason. I returned to Brisbane at the end of September and he performed subcision and then treated me with CO2 CORE in the same session. I then went back to my hotel and saw him 6 days later where he spot treated a scar on my right cheek - with CO2 CORE. I returned to NZ and here we are! It’s been nearly four weeks since this all took place and I’m contemplating returning to Brisbane this November to see what’s next.I’m going to post photos of what I look like right now and some photos of my skin immediately aferCO2 core - I’m sorry I can’t keep lighting consistent but I will try my best 

 

Mental update: I think the hardest part about severe scars is what it does to you mentally. Obviously, I’m super grateful for my progress and everyone that has helped me along the way. But I’m constantly looking in the mirror. I look at myself and pick apart everything. It’s so exhausting and I wish I could stop. Whenever someone looks at me I wonder what they see. I wonder if they see what I see. I have over 2,000+ photos of my skin, from random angles, different lighting conditions and so on. I can never relax and be present at any moment because it’s always “I wonder if I look bad right now”.  I’m so obsessed with myself and my appearance in the most unhealthy way and I desperately need to fix that but I don’t know how. But whenever I feel bad I remind myself I’ve changed, my face has changed considerably and will continue to change, and that gives me a sense of hope and courage to move forward even if I don’t always feel happy. 

 

Important things to note:

Cost of subcision, CO2 core was 1,400 AUD. 

 

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@shei514

Thank you for updating us.  You've made really good progress, and from what I can tell, your boxcar scars have softened, and your skin texture looks more even.  Obviously there is more room to improve, but also should be happy with the progress you've made.

Re: the mental component - I agree with you and have felt the same feeling of being so preoccupied with the thought of my skin that I forget to be present and enjoy my life. It's a shame, because I guarantee it nobody else thinks about our scars as much as we do. I think a little bit of ignorance is bliss here. Don't constantly look at and evaluate yourself in the harshest lighting and use that as the benchmark for which you think others see you. Others will notice scars, but after 5 mins of conversation, most people don't focus that much on any one characteristic and will become more engrossed in who you are / the energy and vibes you put out. 

Most of all, commend yourself on the courage and mindset you've cultivated to undertake this treatment. Not many people have to deal with this specific problem we on this subforum deal with, but our response can manifest in two ways: 1) depression and relinquishing hope on what life can be like or 2) a fierce determination to improve the baseline as much as we can. I love that you've chosen the #2 option, as I've seen so many people on this board get dejected and complain about absolutely insignificant scarring. Whereas you've got the right attitude and drive to fix your problem. It will spill over into other aspects of your life and make you a stronger person in the long run.

Long winded rant, but cheers to your improvement, and keep us posted!

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You look amazing and it's fantastic to see results with actual evidence. A big thank you for continuing with the updates. 


With the Ultra Pulse, how long did your skin stay red with this? How long do you have to wait before you can conceal the redness with makeup? 

And the Ultra pulse was $1400? Not a bad price considering you're seeing one if the best scarring specialist in the world. 

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Thanks for your updates! It’s awesome you have been able to see Dr. Lim and have achieved noticeable results. I think your skin will continue to get better and better. 
Mental: I’m sorry to hear this is giving you so much grief. Know you are not alone! If we’re not careful, our imperfections can become all we think about, and see in the mirror. Something to try is acting “as if”. (As if you had perfect skin). Here is a link about that:
http://cogbtherapy.com/cbt-blog/2013/8/26/act-as-if
 I think if we are realistic, this problem doesn’t stop us from doing anything in our lives. Most of us weren’t going to be supermodels or actors anyway. That’s pretty much the only profession where it would matter.  We just have to stop obsessing. I like to remember too, most everyone has their own flaws or problems they are fixated on, rather than ours. You are a very pretty girl and I promise people see your overall beauty, not a zoomed in focus on skin texture in harsh lighting. 

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11 hours ago, ScarRight said:

You look amazing and it's fantastic to see results with actual evidence. A big thank you for continuing with the updates. 


With the Ultra Pulse, how long did your skin stay red with this? How long do you have to wait before you can conceal the redness with makeup? 

And the Ultra pulse was $1400? Not a bad price considering you're seeing one if the best scarring specialist in the world. 


Hey, thanks! I'm thinking of seeing the dermatologist again this November (late) so I'll keep the updates coming :D 

Honestly, with ultrapulse, it was a good 10 days before a lot of the swelling went down. But after that, it was ok to conceal with make-up. I was still very red over the following months but of course, that's to be expected. Yes yes, $1,400 is a very reasonable price! I find his rates pretty reasonable IMO which is great!! 
11 hours ago, okmichelle said:

Thanks for your updates! It’s awesome you have been able to see Dr. Lim and have achieved noticeable results. I think your skin will continue to get better and better. 
Mental: I’m sorry to hear this is giving you so much grief. Know you are not alone! If we’re not careful, our imperfections can become all we think about, and see in the mirror. Something to try is acting “as if”. (As if you had perfect skin). Here is a link about that:
http://cogbtherapy.com/cbt-blog/2013/8/26/act-as-if
 I think if we are realistic, this problem doesn’t stop us from doing anything in our lives. Most of us weren’t going to be supermodels or actors anyway. That’s pretty much the only profession where it would matter.  We just have to stop obsessing. I like to remember too, most everyone has their own flaws or problems they are fixated on, rather than ours. You are a very pretty girl and I promise people see your overall beauty, not a zoomed in focus on skin texture in harsh lighting. 

Hey, thanks for the resource, I’ll definitely check it out. And yes, I have to remind myself people don’t have a microscope on my skin 24/7 and will usually see me at  distance. And yes, I agree this condition we suffer with here shouldn’t stop us from living our lives. It’s super easy to slip into depression and hopelessness though, but I’m glad we have communities like this one. 

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On 5/14/2018 at 9:32 AM, ScarRight said:

I love the updates. You mentioned that Dr Lim suggested you were borderline excision. What does that mean? 

I think you still have swelling, but your skin is healing very well. I would love to see your skin in three months. Well done. 

Are those last pics from your treatment on Thursday? 

Sorry for the late reply! I think he was contemplating excising the boxcar scars I have given how much scar tissue and fibrosis I have there but ultimately decided to treat me with lasers and subcision where needed. I think excising scars is ultimately a more risky procedure (but I'm not 100% on this).  

 

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You have done well, I follow Dr Lim on Instagram as well and he always says treating severe scarring is 50% mental strength and 50% physical treatments. ' Acne scarring is more than skin deep ' is his quote. The mental component is VERY significant, and most doctors overlook this. You are a positive thinker, and I think the running time line you have posted is indicative of what realistic scar revision is like. Slow steady marathon, and not a sprint, especially if one has to break down fibrosis. BTW Dr Lim's prices are not fixed from my research, namely his standard pricing is fixed, but he does charity work as well- I think in your case due to your flights and all, he takes all this into consideration as I have heard him talk in lectures about the ethics of scar revision in medical cases whereby he takes both mental and physical scarring into consideration, some patients receive free treatments but he does not say this in his website- he does charity work in the Pacific islands annually.

is YouTube videos are rather controversial as other dermatologist like to sell packages, advertise and see how much they can get from scar patients. Like I said, I have seen many of his presentations, and he actually teaches and encourages other doctors  to perform his procedures- he holds no secrets back. 
Once again thank you for sharing your story.

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On 10/27/2018 at 10:37 AM, Obi wan said:

You have done well, I follow Dr Lim on Instagram as well and he always says treating severe scarring is 50% mental strength and 50% physical treatments. ' Acne scarring is more than skin deep ' is his quote. The mental component is VERY significant, and most doctors overlook this. You are a positive thinker, and I think the running time line you have posted is indicative of what realistic scar revision is like. Slow steady marathon, and not a sprint, especially if one has to break down fibrosis. BTW Dr Lim's prices are not fixed from my research, namely his standard pricing is fixed, but he does charity work as well- I think in your case due to your flights and all, he takes all this into consideration as I have heard him talk in lectures about the ethics of scar revision in medical cases whereby he takes both mental and physical scarring into consideration, some patients receive free treatments but he does not say this in his website- he does charity work in the Pacific islands annually.

is YouTube videos are rather controversial as other dermatologist like to sell packages, advertise and see how much they can get from scar patients. Like I said, I have seen many of his presentations, and he actually teaches and encourages other doctors  to perform his procedures- he holds no secrets back. 
Once again thank you for sharing your story.

Hey thanks! Exactly, the consensus here is that scars are usually never fixed in one session or treatment (maybe in some less severe cases) and usually take time - definitely in my case! 

As for Dr Lim, he often charges me less and doesn’t charge me for follow up appointments, or will charge me less than usual. I definitely appreciate it, and think he’s fantastic! Obviously what he does is extremely lucrative but I’ve never gotten the impression money is his priority in what he does. 



For anyone curious, this is my left side in normal daylight lighting.
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And this is the right in more natural lighting 
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Shei514, I wish you all the luck in the world! Your story and progress make me cry.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being most severe, I was maybe 0.5 when I got dermabraded (I wanted perfection). Dermbrasion put me at a 2. When I went back to the doctor and cried, he applied phenol, which made me a 7. I honestly thought that my life was over and seriously contemplated suicide.

At the two year post-phenol mark I started consulting with plastic surgeons. Nobody would touch me, they all said no to CO2 and Erbium which was all they had at the time.  One said my skin would never be ask good as I wanted it to be and advised me to stick with home remedies: tretinoin, vitamin C, light peeling, sunscreen.

So I did that. I also got a dermaroller when they came out. And during this time I read thousands of papers. If you have a friend at a university you can ask for papers.

It too me about 15 years to make it almost ok. It still isn't where I want it to be but I did improve dramatically. Progress was slow but steady.

There is an upside to all of this. When you are my age your skin will be in much better shape than that of your your peers who did nothing (provided that you are really diligent with sunscreen) and you will be accused of having facelifts, being a vampire, selling your soul to the devil, having a painting in the atttic that gets uglier and uglier, etc.
 

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Acne scars really do warp one's ability to think objectively sometimes.  I completely relate to your comment about not being "present" because of one's mind being distracted thinking about lighting, angles, and other people's perception.   It's absolutely mentally exhausting.   I think the mental part is as hard to treat as the scars themselves.   

The good part is that you're making progress.

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That's true. Did you know that before I had scars myself, I didn't even notice people's acne scars? They could have some really bad acne scars, and I wouldn't even notice that they had them. 

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Hey everyone - I have updates, yay! It’s been roughly two and a half months since my last procedure and I saw Dr Lim today (30/11). He performed subcision (quite aggressively I might add but hearing the bonds break and pop is sooo satisfying!!!) and he used CO2 core on both my left and right cheeks. I’m really happy with my treatment plan and what’s happening, I’m excited to see how my skin heals and I’ll keep posting here. I’ll also request my patient notes so I can post them here for anyone curious (I’m a layman I don’t know all there is to know about scars). Within the next week or so, I’ll post more detailed descriptions of what he actually did (I sometimes forget all the terminology) and photos. He has continued to comment on how soft my skin feels now to the touch whereas a year ago it was really hard given the extensive fibrosis. 

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I’m going to post some photos now and this is just 24 hours post-op so obviously I’m red and swelling heaps. I probably won’t post everyday but in about a week I’ll show some photos of how my skin has healed throughout the week. Dr Lim said my skin should be less red and (mostly) healed in about a week. He also posted a time lapse video of him treating me on his Instagram - some people might find the video a bit gross because of the blood but I’ll link it in case anyone is curious. I’m also taking doxy twice daily for three weeks. 

Cost of treatment: 1,490 AUD

 

Video: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqy91GSAzph/?hl=en

 

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Edited by shei514

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Well I wish you all the best with this current stage of treatment. It has only been 24 hours so that's a bit too early to tell results, especially with all the redness and swelling present. Thank you for coming back and providing us with more updates.

Just as a matter of curiousity, does Lim notify you before hand that he will use you in one of his Instagram videos? Congratulations on being famous.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, ScarRight said:

Well I wish you all the best with this current stage of treatment. It has only been 24 hours so that's a bit too early to tell results, especially with all the redness and swelling present. Thank you for coming back and providing us with more updates.

Just as a matter of curiousity, does Lim notify you before hand that he will use you in one of his Instagram videos? Congratulations on being famous.

 

 

Hey thanks! Yeah of course, I'll be posting more regularly when I have more progress pictures to share and more information concerning my procedures. 

He asked me if he could film and if it would be okay to post on ig beforehand. I thought "why not" and it was actually really cool to see, the sped up footage. 

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Hey everyone - I have some pictures to attach from day 1 to day 7 post-op if anyone is curious. As of right now, I had the procedure 10 days ago so a little early to see the full results but I can already see less texture.  I requested my patient notes today just so I can include any sort of detail that might be lacking here. Right now I’m feeling super happy with my progress and so happy I chose Dr Lim as a specialist to treat my acne scars. My boxcar scars on my right cheek look a lot less noticeable already which is great and there is less texture on my left check. The subcision really helped with this. I will post more photos as time goes by probably at the one month stage. 

If if I didn’t mention earlier, Dr Lim wants to see me again for treatment in 3 months.

 

 

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Dr Lim has also requested that I look into microneedling and I purchased a couple of single use dermarollers from Ebay that I will use in the interim. 

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42 minutes ago, DamagedSkin said:

Wow amazing progress. I’m surprised that he suggested mivroneedling because in his posts on IG, he wrote that he doesn’t believe in the hype. 

Yeah I watched his YouTube video on the subject - he doesn’t think they will give you dramatic results or nothing but I think it’s worth a try. He also suggested using retin A every now and again too. I have a prescription for it so will give that a go. 

 

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On 3/12/2019 at 3:02 AM, Ikus903 said:

Hi shei514, any update on your progress? 

Hey everyone - life is crazy. I have some updates but I don’t know how satisfying my updates will be. I’ve taken a step back from my acne scars and have almost distanced myself from them for mental health reasons. I don’t spent as much time snapping pictures of myself from every angle and then hating myself (which is great). As far as future treatment with Dr Lim goes, I don’t think I can continue seeing him as I will be moving abroad very soon. I don’t really know what to do right now in terms of treatment. I’m thinking of possibly meeting with a new scar specialist. I won’t be anywhere near Australia for a while. But then I’m not sure if this is a good idea or what. I wish Australia wasn’t so far away from literally every country except NZ lol 

I’ll post more pictures for anyone who is curious - let me know! 

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