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Rominika

I need advice to improve my scars (with pictures)

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Hello everyone, 

I'm 21 years old and have suffered from acne since I was 11 or 12 years old. 
My acne started to go away when I turned 18. Sometimes I still get a few pimples but it's not as bad as it used to be. My skin is a bit oily and sensitive. 
Acne has destroyed my skin and therefore I'm left with a lot of scars.
I have tried these treatments:
- 2015: One fraxel laser treatment 
- 2016: Glycolic acid peelings at different strengths and microdermabrasion
- 2017: TCA peelings at different strengths and microdermabrasion

Recently I started microneedling (only one treatment so far) but I'm not sure if that's effective for my scars.

What else could I do to improve my scars?

Right side of my face:
sketch-1527598780109.thumb.png.079b44b3836121ec49882e33214f48a4.png

Left side of my face:

sketch-1527598851513.thumb.png.2a14d4bfd3e75b7786059412904a5ff0.png

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5 hours ago, Rominika said:

I have tried these treatments:
- 2015: One fraxel laser treatment 
- 2016: Glycolic acid peelings at different strengths and microdermabrasion
- 2017: TCA peelings at different strengths and microdermabrasion

Recently I started microneedling (only one treatment so far) but I'm not sure if that's effective for my scars.

What else could I do to improve my scars?


Most of them look like very shallow icepick or boxcar scars. Either way, light scars. How much improvements have you seen from Fraxel or TCA? What type of microneedling are you getting? I believe combining RF microneedling like Infini and TCA peel will help a lot.

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I have your exact same scarring almost scarily identical. I know you don't want to hear this but I have not found any sort of viable solution yet.

I tried the following:

Dermabrasion (deep): 65-75% improvement (when my scars were not as shallow as yours etc)
TCA Cross (10-12 dots): 2 new small scars, 10-15% worsening on a few.
Microneedling: 15-20% worsening overall.

TCA and Microneedling were the worst decisions, because they worsened things and opened up a little "weak skin" that the Dermbrasion helped mask I guess.

So I stopped everything two years ago and just accept that I've found nothing that works well, or is worth the risk. 

I wish I could give you a solution but I have not found one for the same exact scarring. I'm very resigned at the moment because society seems to discriminate constantly if you don't have normal facial skin. It's not all bad, but it's really tough. At the very least, at least mine/yours are very shallow.

Edited by harmlessboy1441

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I know you say you had a fraxel treatment in 2015. I was researching lasers but I did not want to make things worse and have read so many hit or miss stories with laser.

For us, I think lasers might be the only thing worth researching because we have a lot of shallow yet numerous tiny scars. Seems like only some sort of laser procedure would be effective with.

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I have similar scarring as well to your right cheek, and microneedling gave me some good results (they used to be quite deeper). The problem is that the texture itself is quite a bit rough, and those small dings and dents are very shallow but quite numerous, so it looks like quite rough texture.

I've been thinking of ablative laser, but I'd need to travel quite far to get one (like literally go to another country), which isn't really feasible for me given the costs of travel, treatment and stay. I've also been thinking of fractional lasers, but from most accounts here, it isn't that good for acne scars.

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Raster, that's basically my conclusion. I have the literal exact same scars as her, same size and place on cheek and everything.

Microneedling gave me the worst results but It could be because of my skin or history prior. In hindsight, maybe people who get dermabrasion have such thin healing that needling effects it somehow. That's my only guess.

I have read a ton of hit or miss with lasers, both ablative and fractional. I went to three reputable doctors for consults 2-3 years ago and they said that ablative/fractional was probably not for me in general, which I still don't understand. How can lots of tiny shallow scars not be good for lasers?

The third doctor said she would perform fractional but I was not sure and did not want to make things worse.

I read/looked at things like college guy's 4-5 fractional with great results and am wondering If I should just gamble and try it. I don't mind the cost, I just don't want to make things worse or pick the wrong thing to do (again).

Edited by harmlessboy1441

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Yeah, it's quite dismaying in direct sunlight. I think I'd even have preferred deeper but isolated scarring with overall smoother skin texture. Have you considered dermabrasion again? Was it a spot derma (only the scarred areas), and did you experience any side effects like hypopigmentation, etc.?

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Oddly enough, I felt Dermabrasion worked the best. I got it around 2001 or 2002 I forget (when lasers weren't even being talked about). I was literally a teen so I guess I also healed well. Now, they talk about Dermabrasion like it's an ancient thing that does damage versus these "miracle" lasers.

Dermabrasion literally helped me 75-85% I'd say, but even though everything was super shallow and almost invisible a good deal of the time, I noticed that over time (which I later termed 'decay') my scars both dilated and irritated and caused lots of issues. I noticed that throughout the day they gradually became more visible, opened up a little, and became messy and uncomfortable, until I washed my face constantly again etc. It was like going from invisible to disfiguring over a period of 6-12 hours until I kept washing my face or got rest or both. Needless to say I thought I was losing my mind for years.

Did I hyper-pigment? Not really. A doctor said I did vaguely, but again I think it's again when periods of the day cause irritation and this weird effects. I had my scarred area turn 'peaked' or pale at times. But most of the time it was totally normal/white and looks so good.

Anyway, this discomfort and lack of being able to function normally without those areas breaking down throughout the day and feeling and looking messy caused me to seek the procedures that inevitably worsened them from 85% to maybe 65%. In hindsight I wish I just stopped but I couldn't handle the anatomical effects I thought the remaining 15% was causing. 

Essentially, scarring (and perhaps then the Dermabrasion) changed the anatomy of my cheeks, as all scaring seems to do to people. Even worse, no doctors have any sort of classification or advice on any of this stuff. They have no idea, and I'm a PHD compared to them apparently, from trial and error and deduction.

Three years ago (before I worsened things) I used Elidel cream thinking this decay was eczema. In 2-3 hours I looked like a model with flawless skin. A bit later it looked disfiguring, the scars were prominent and red. Clearly it reacted with the skin or scar area or the anatomical change. It's such a strange thing I can't even describe it really. Scarring clearly causes massive anatomical changes, not just cosmetic. 

Am I considering another Dermabrasion? No. I'm more confused and resigned than anything. I have no idea how to proceed or reconcile all of these things. I'm afraid if I try something else it might reverse more of the Dermabrasion's effects or mess with the already changed anatomy of my cheeks. 

Edited by harmlessboy1441

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I understand about the "breaking down" of the scars. There will be weeks when they're almost invisible even after a busy day, then one day, they will look really deep and red and irritated and messy. 

Thanks for the information on dermabrasion. I've been considering that as well (more available than fully ablative lasers), but hesitant due to the horror stories.

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All I can say about dermabrasion is it helped me a ton and I can't readily see any major negatives but who really knows whats going on anatomically. Perhaps it did cause a more prone sensitivity or discoloring at times or that breaking down more easily no idea. Certainly when I took a microneedler to it, it reversed 15% which makes me think it was thin healing or a bunch of things going on that I still can't figure out. I suppose logically that makes sense that if you microneedle it would break down but still, I wrongly assumed my skin was stronger there or something.

I tend to think most of the problem anatomically is the scars, but maybe if you do ablatives it turns everything into flux or something, where there's now like 3 moving parts instead of just scars.

Either way I don't regret dermabrasion. I sometimes wonder if I should do it again but I'm looking at lasers and praying I'll find something eventually. In the end, we have minor/moderate little, highly shallow scarring, but numerous. It's not 'that' bad, and could be worse. Still rough though in a society like this.

For the record, they say redness from Dermabrasion takes like 3-6 months to heal/fade. I had something like 12-14 months of redness to slight pink to totally faded, because I think he did deep, which is (I've been told) a long period of redness. But hey, it looked really good.

And yes it was only on my cheeks, and I think one spot on my forehead.

Edited by harmlessboy1441

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19 hours ago, Sirius Lee said:

How much improvements have you seen from Fraxel or TCA? What type of microneedling are you getting? I believe combining RF microneedling like Infini and TCA peel will help a lot.

Thanks for replying. 
Fraxel and TCA only improved my hyperpigmentation scars. 
Last week I got normal microneedling (2mm) done without RF. It was a very bloody experience.
I will definitely look into infini rf microneedling.

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13 hours ago, harmlessboy1441 said:

I have your exact same scarring almost scarily identical. I know you don't want to hear this but I have not found any sort of viable solution yet.

I tried the following:

Dermabrasion (deep): 65-75% improvement (when my scars were not as shallow as yours etc)
TCA Cross (10-12 dots): 2 new small scars, 10-15% worsening on a few.
Microneedling: 15-20% worsening overall.

TCA and Microneedling were the worst decisions, because they worsened things and opened up a little "weak skin" that the Dermbrasion helped mask I guess.

So I stopped everything two years ago and just accept that I've found nothing that works well, or is worth the risk. 

I wish I could give you a solution but I have not found one for the same exact scarring. I'm very resigned at the moment because society seems to discriminate constantly if you don't have normal facial skin. It's not all bad, but it's really tough. At the very least, at least mine/yours are very shallow.

I know you say you had a fraxel treatment in 2015. I was researching lasers but I did not want to make things worse and have read so many hit or miss stories with laser.

For us, I think lasers might be the only thing worth researching because we have a lot of shallow yet numerous tiny scars. Seems like only some sort of laser procedure would be effective with.


Yeah it really sucks to have so many small scars, I always feel so uncomfortable when I have to leave the house. 

Fraxel laser didn't do much for my scars, it only helped with my hyperpigmentation scars. That's why I'm kind of skeptical when it comes to laser treatments.

You say you had dermabrasion done, would you recommend dermabrasion to me? Most people who had dermabrasion done don't seem to be satisfied with the results. There are so many bad reviews about it.
12 hours ago, Raster said:

I have similar scarring as well to your right cheek, and microneedling gave me some good results (they used to be quite deeper). The problem is that the texture itself is quite a bit rough, and those small dings and dents are very shallow but quite numerous, so it looks like quite rough texture.

I've been thinking of ablative laser, but I'd need to travel quite far to get one (like literally go to another country), which isn't really feasible for me given the costs of travel, treatment and stay. I've also been thinking of fractional lasers, but from most accounts here, it isn't that good for acne scars.


When did you start seeing results from microneedling? 
I think I will try microneedling for awhile. 

Yeah fraxel laser isn't really worth it. It didn't really improve my scars, it only helped with hyperpigmentation. 
 

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On 29/05/2018 at 3:35 PM, Rominika said:

Hello everyone, 

I'm 21 years old and have suffered from acne since I was 11 or 12 years old. 
My acne started to go away when I turned 18. Sometimes I still get a few pimples but it's not as bad as it used to be. My skin is a bit oily and sensitive. 
Acne has destroyed my skin and therefore I'm left with a lot of scars.
I have tried these treatments:
- 2015: One fraxel laser treatment 
- 2016: Glycolic acid peelings at different strengths and microdermabrasion
- 2017: TCA peelings at different strengths and microdermabrasion

Recently I started microneedling (only one treatment so far) but I'm not sure if that's effective for my scars.

What else could I do to improve my scars?

Right side of my face:
sketch-1527598780109.thumb.png.079b44b3836121ec49882e33214f48a4.png

Left side of my face:

sketch-1527598851513.thumb.png.2a14d4bfd3e75b7786059412904a5ff0.png

Hi Rominika

How well do skin wounds heal for you?

Do you have any long term medical conditions?

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"You say you had dermabrasion done, would you recommend dermabrasion to me? Most people who had dermabrasion done don't seem to be satisfied with the results. There are so many bad reviews about it."

My initial impression would be yes a lot if it works the same way as me. It weirdly took almost 12 months to fully fade the redness on my cheeks, which was called "very long". I have a feeling he went quite deep with it due to my scarring. The first 4-5 months red, another 5 months pink, 2 months fading to white.

But for the record, even 15 years later I cannot reconcile whether it anatomically changed my cheeks or if it's just normal with the same level of scarring we have/had after ablatives, be it dermabrasion or laser. At times I do feel it gets slightly pale or discolored or just decays throughout the day but I have a feeling it's mostly from the scarring dilating or something. I wash my face and it clears up a lot.

Cosmetically dermabrasion improved me like 80-85%. But my face still felt weird and it still was visible even though it was far better. The worst part was over the day it became more visible. 

I think dermabrasion worked really well for me, really well indeed. You may be a candidate if you find a good dr and/or he goes deep enough I guess. Consider it and let me know if you have any questions. 

I too am really leary of laser and am doubtful it would work or may reverse some of the dermabrasion. Thanks for sharing your experience on fraxel.

Edited by harmlessboy1441

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Most laser procedure and microneedling involve some sort of slight injury to the skin to encourage collagen growth. Therefore, you won't see instant results but should see improvement over a few weeks to a few months.

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I saw some results maybe 2-3 weeks after my first microneedling. Do note that this was medical with a dermapen device.

I forgot to mention that I also had subcision done a week ago. It's kinda strange since subcision is supposed to be for deeper scars, and I have shallow surface scars. However, I heard lots of pops and snaps that are the signs of breaking tethers, which means that subcision was actually doing something. Still too early to say how much improvement I get.

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22 hours ago, Benjamin94 said:
Hi Rominika

How well do skin wounds heal for you?

Do you have any long term medical conditions?

I would say skin wounds heal pretty well for me.
When I started getting acne I used to pick on my acne alot. I am pretty sure that's the reason why I am left with so many scars now.

I don't have any long term medical conditions. 
21 hours ago, harmlessboy1441 said:

"You say you had dermabrasion done, would you recommend dermabrasion to me? Most people who had dermabrasion done don't seem to be satisfied with the results. There are so many bad reviews about it."

My initial impression would be yes a lot if it works the same way as me. It weirdly took almost 12 months to fully fade the redness on my cheeks, which was called "very long". I have a feeling he went quite deep with it due to my scarring. The first 4-5 months red, another 5 months pink, 2 months fading to white.

But for the record, even 15 years later I cannot reconcile whether it anatomically changed my cheeks or if it's just normal with the same level of scarring we have/had after ablatives, be it dermabrasion or laser. At times I do feel it gets slightly pale or discolored or just decays throughout the day but I have a feeling it's mostly from the scarring dilating or something. I wash my face and it clears up a lot.

Cosmetically dermabrasion improved me like 80-85%. But my face still felt weird and it still was visible even though it was far better. The worst part was over the day it became more visible. 

I think dermabrasion worked really well for me, really well indeed. You may be a candidate if you find a good dr and/or he goes deep enough I guess. Consider it and let me know if you have any questions. 

I too am really leary of laser and am doubtful it would work or may reverse some of the dermabrasion. Thanks for sharing your experience on fraxel.


Thanks for your advice.
I think I will try microneedling for the next 3-4 months and see how well that works for my skin. 
If it doesn't work I am definitely going to consider dermabrasion. 

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