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GregJ

Dermatologist made ice pick acne scars worse, what are my options?

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Hello,

 

I am newcomer here and I thought I would tell you my story. I am sure you have heard stories like this before and so I apologise for writing as much as I am about to. 

I write here after suffering immense pain and psychological distress after a dermatologist's improper treatment made my acne scarring far FAR worse.

I would have never considered before that I had BAD acne scarring on my face (my back however is a different story). I have about 4-5 ice pick scars and a rolling type scar on my face that had always bothered me. I know, doesn't sound that bad does it? Don't get me wrong, I know some people have far worse acne scarring and I really feel for those people. I wanted to get these ice pick scars treated and made less worse. I knew in expectation that courses of surgery wouldn't be a magical healing device, but i would have appreciated that they be made better, at least anything better. As for my acne, I found a course of accutane promptly stopped all my acne many years ago.

I went to see a dermatologist at the Adelaide Skin and Eye Centre in Adelaide, Australia for treatment of these several ice pick scars back in 2017-18. The dermatologist recommended a fractionated radiofrequency treatment, basically where I would put a numbing cream applied to my face for two hours before treatment and then she would run a laser device over my skin to apparently balance out the scarring.

I had about 3-4 treatments of this over 2017-18. She didn't just do the ice pick scars but my whole cheeks and I don't know why as this wasn't my complaint areas. I probably had some mild scarring on my cheeks but the attention i wanted were to be on the several ice pick scars. The first courses were light then ramped up for the final 2 courses. I highly regret this course of treatment which I now see was an improper treatment for the ice pick scarring on my face.

I found that the treatment widened out my ice pick scars and made them about 25-30% worse and far more noticeable than before. Even worse yet, I now notice that people will sometimes stare or look over my several enlarged ice pick scars whereas this was not happening before. One ice pick scar in particular on my left cheek is much worse and now very noticeable in certain light and it bothers the hell out of me.

In fact I would go as far to say that the dermatologists course of action was completely inappropriate and unprofessional, almost like she was doing it to pay the bills for her clinic and the machinery they purchased. It's all easy realizing this in hindsight, but I wish i had got a second or third opinion and not relied on a dermatologist to be a complete hack.

I went back after the fractionated radiofrequency treatment, having found it unsuccessful and saw a different dermatologist (the original was unavailable) and asked about TCA cross, which I had read about being the best typical course of treatment for ice pick scars. The doctor gave me about 4 to 5 treatments of TCA cross, which i noticed did not do too much except bleach my skin white around the edges of my larger ice pick acne scars. She stopped at about 5 sessions and didnt recommend any more, even though I feel like my scarring is worse and TCA didnt do that much. When I told her that the other dermatologist's radiofrequency treatment made the scarring worse she dismissed my opinion and said that the fractionated radiofrequency needed about 6 sessions or more. I doubt 6 sessions would have been beneficial at all for my ice pick scars.

I am told by those that love me and I can talk to about such things, that my enlarged scars are not noticeable and not a big deal and "not that bad", but I feel something far worse. I feel like people will now notice the scars on my face. Sometimes I will catch people looking at my scars and then they look away embarrassed or they look on in curiousity. It greatly pisses me off that some people are rude and stare at my scars not like I have not noticed. People see something unusual and like to check it out, I get it. Having a few deep ice pick scars on your face is unusual and can put people off as they don't usually see this.

I have suffered greatly after the radiofrequency treatment and now my ice pick scars bother me MUCH MORE than before.

It has caused me great psychological distress than has done much to wound my self esteem and confidence in social settings. I probably need to see a therapist to get a better view of myself. Perhaps i have a distorted view of my acne scarring... All i know is that i am in pain from what the treatment did to my scarring. People who were not really looking at my scars before now look at them, especially the larger deeper one, and it bothers me a lot.

And now I dont know what to do? I dont know who to go to to make it better, if that is all even possible? What avenues are there for any treatment to make my ice pick scars better? Does anyone have any ideas on what I can do? The dermatologist treated me with the worst possible course of treatment.

Sorry for writing too much, I appreciate you listening to my story. I appreciate any help or advice you may have. and I also know that I need therapy or something else too, as this is pretty much getting close to being an obsession and painful experience for me, not helped by the current times that we live in.

 

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12 hours ago, GregJ said:

I went to see a dermatologist at the Adelaide Skin and Eye Centre in Adelaide, Australia for treatment of these several ice pick scars back in 2017-18. The dermatologist recommended a fractionated radiofrequency treatment

Obviously, this doctor isn't worth her salt when it comes to acne scar.

 

12 hours ago, GregJ said:

saw a different dermatologist (the original was unavailable) and asked about TCA cross, which I had read about being the best typical course of treatment for ice pick scars. The doctor gave me about 4 to 5 treatments of TCA cross, which i noticed did not do too much except bleach my skin white around the edges of my larger ice pick acne scars. She stopped at about 5 sessions and didnt recommend any more

What was the concentration used? Depending on the severity, anything under 80% will not work for icepicks. But unless you can post a picture of your scars, it's hard say. 

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On 10/10/2020 at 1:26 AM, Sirius Lee said:

  

Obviously, this doctor isn't worth her salt when it comes to acne scar.

 

What was the concentration used? Depending on the severity, anything under 80% will not work for icepicks. But unless you can post a picture of your scars, it's hard say. 

Can %80 used for darker skins? 

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2 hours ago, can i get a new life please said:

Can %80 used for darker skins? 

Obviously dark skin types (Fitzpatrick 4 and up) should exercise caution when using high % TCA unless pigmentation is not an issue. But again, you cannot expect to see much improvement with lower % TCA.

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1 hour ago, can i get a new life please said:

Its permanent right

Not sure I follow. But any improvement to the scar will be permanent, whereas the hyperpigmentation (redness) will be temporary. Redness can linger for up to 6 months but it'll gradually fade over time.

But the point I want to get across, yet again, is that you shouldn't expect to see any improvement from TCA less than 50%. Even 50% is considered mild.

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