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My acne has cleared but I need some advice (pics attached)

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Posted

Hi, 

To make it easier for people who wish to skip ahead, I have divided this thread into two sections:

(i) MY BACKGROUND
(ii) ADVICE I NEED


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(i) MY BACKGROUND
I was a long time lurker on this forum before I decided to join in 2018 as part of my new year's resolution to beat acne. I am a 21 year old South Asian male, who has had acne for the better most part of my life. Since 14 years old, I started breaking out and although I thought it was the worst thing ever back then, trying to hide it from my girlfriend and all, it really wasn't that bad compared to what has become several years later. When I turned 18 my acne just became full-fledged ewwy (for lack of a better word to describe it). I had tons of hyperpigmented marks from old acne, as well as existing spots from active acne, and it has pretty much been this way for me until I turned 20 and I said to myself, "$h!7 I can't go on like this much longer. I need to fcuking get rid of this acne and go out and enjoy my life like the rest of the kids!" I mean don't get me wrong, the reason I didn't try treating my acne when I was younger was because my elders and school teachers always used to tell me that my acne will go away by itself when I become an adult (which is, let's call a spade a spade here, just a myth they want us to believe to make us feel better) and of course, it never did. So then I decided to take matters into my own hands. Come 2018, at 20 years old, I started researching the internet to educate myself about acne, that's when I stumbled across you guys at acne.org, which was kind of like the first step for me in realising that I was not alone in what I am experiencing and what I feel, but all in all, my research left me even more confused about my acne because there were so many options, costs and side effects to consider and there was no one size fits all solution. So, I was like fcuk, what to do now? So, in January I decided that the first wise step would probably be to visit my GP and talk to him about my acne, so I did and in the course of that time (January until now), I have been trying to do everything under the sun to get rid of my acne, and now I am almost 100% cleared from all ACTIVE acne. I don't want to go over the specifics of what products or treatments I used in this thread because that's not what this thread is about, I just wanted to give y'all some quick background info about me as a person and an overview of my journey thus far, but I will be HAPPY and HONOURED to share the products I used and more in another thread if anyone is interested. Until then, what I will say to anyone out there who suffers from active acne and is seeking treatment or currently undergoing treatment, is never give up because believe me, there IS a treatment or 'lack of treatment' (because treatment is not always the answer) out there for you which will CURE your acne, you just haven't found it yet, but as long as you don't give up and become more cognisant of your body day by day, one day you will find out what truly works for you and as much as I hate to say that because I firmly believe the world would be much easier if one solution worked for all, unfortunately that's not the case for most things in life and acne just happens to be one of those things where something might work for one person but it might not work or even worsen the results for another person. So by trial and error, identify the foods, products, treatments or other bad habits that flare up your acne and eliminate them from your life completely. I hope that helps. :)
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(ii) ADVICE I NEED
As I mentioned, I am almost 100% clear from all ACTIVE acne, which from what I have read on the forum, is the first step of this two step process towards achieving clearer skin. Now what remains for me is hyperpigmentation and I believe some scarring (I can't really determine how bad my scarring is beneath all the red marks.)

For the record, I have never been on accutane or antibiotics before, and the last time I used a benzoyl peroxide cream was 27 days ago, and I have not taken any acne medication since then.

After observing my pictures, I want some advice on the following things:

1. How bad is my hyperpigmentation (be honest, I don't mind), and would you recommend me to take laser treatments for my hyperpigmentation or should I just let it heal up naturally (which takes a very long time for my South Asian skin)? Any experience, thoughts or recommendations on lasers would also be appreciated.

2. From what you can see, how bad does my scarring look and would you recommend me to take laser treatments for my scarring or is my scarring okay enough to go unnoticed by people in a social setting? i.e. Should I be concerned with my scarring or not, is it really that bad? 

3. And lastly, are the laser treatments for scarring and hyperpigmentation different? Is it safe to combine the two treatment processes and do any derms/clinics (any country) offer both in one package at a reduced price?

Thank you.

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Posted

1) your hyperpigmentation is very minimal, and if I were in your shoes, i would just let it be. Give it 6 months, and watch them fade.  If it bugs you after that, then consider using chemical peels to take the top layers of skin off. Personally, I never worry about PIH because its transient, and will not stick around forever

2 & 3) scarring is not bad, but too early to tell, as your skin is still healing. I think you have mainly ice pick and boxcar scars, which don't respond well to laser (especially given you have south asian skin tone).  My advice would be to wait until your post acne wounds are done healing, and then when ready to address scars, do some research in the scar forums on this site. There's a lot of good info there. But you may also find that after healing, your scars are negligble, and you could live with them. That is also a good outcome :)

BTW, out of curiosity, how did you heal your acne? Sounds like you did it holistically / with otc products rather than prescriptions, so I'm curious what worked for you? 

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