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Updated: Second Erbium treatment 3/18/2021; read the thread for more info. 

Acne Scar Journey from 2017 - 2020 so far (before and after photos)

 

I have too many pictures to post of the journey through out the years but for now I will post the beginning photo (December 2017) and the current result (December 2020) 

 

Treatments I have done: 

(5) Microneedling RF less than two months of each other (July 2019 - May 2020) 

(2) subcisions (2017, 2019) 

(1) fraxel laser (2017) 

(1) erbium laser (June 2020) 

(30+) derrapen treatments at home, I stopped around December 2019 (2018-2019) 

(2) TCA cross 80%  (2019)

(2) vi peel treatments (early 2019) useless, don’t waste money

(1) hydroquinoine cream before and after erbium laser, stopped after one month

My last treatment was in may of 2020 (Erbium laser)

 

Skincare: tarzarotene cream every night (similar to retin-A) , if I had a treatment done it would be when I was healed, sunscreen in mornings, going to start vitamin c + vitamin e moisturizer for mornings

 

Treatments I will continue to do: erbium laser or laser that is equivalent unless doctor recommends another route. 
 

**I have maintained the same weight; no weight gain. No fillers. No fat graft. I have followed Dr. Davin Lim for some time and the forums here. I have gone to different doctors each time, no specific one. I go by procedures, depth and cost so the doctor who does it often does not matter to me. 
 

Please let me know if you have any questions. 

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224241BC-6EF2-4CA0-B22E-BD2B5E914BE3.jpeg

Edited by Dontgiveupitsonlyscars
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woah , amazing improvement. How deep did you do your microneedling? I've stopped doing microneedling at home because I did it at 1.5mm and ruined my skin texture on my left side of my face. Not too sure if its solely due to that one microneedling session but it looks as if that side is less firm than the right side of my face.

In regards to subcision and TCA cross how much did each of the respective treatments give % wise?

I plan on doing subcision and TCA cross but need to travel the world to find a good acne scar doctor.

Cheers.

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Looks like u got nice improvement, congrats and thanks  for sharing this with comunity, TCA cross 80% at home ? Wow , u did it for Icepicks ? How they responded ? Got wider ? 

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8 hours ago, chingym8 said:

woah , amazing improvement. How deep did you do your microneedling? I've stopped doing microneedling at home because I did it at 1.5mm and ruined my skin texture on my left side of my face. Not too sure if its solely due to that one microneedling session but it looks as if that side is less firm than the right side of my face.

In regards to subcision and TCA cross how much did each of the respective treatments give % wise?

I plan on doing subcision and TCA cross but need to travel the world to find a good acne scar doctor.

Cheers.

Microneedling: I started at 1.5mm and gradually increased up to 3.0mm, used hyaluronic acid as a glider. Yes I know what you mean about the appearance of firmness. Perhaps I remedied this concern by going to a doctor and getting RF or laser. I stopped microneedling, I don't know if it helped or not but I stopped completely as of May 2020. I think it makes the skin very sensitive, every time I would get a procedure with a doctor it would be unreasonably painful and I think it was due to the microneedling sessions causing the skin under my cheeks to still be somewhat raw.

TCA Cross: It made some of my scars appear wider and I had pigmentation until I got laser and/or Hydroquinone cream was prescribed. 

I understand, there is a doctor in Korea that does burn scar victims but he uses the "PINHOLXEL" method and I think his method and results are interesting for scars, including acne scars. If I was able, I would more than likely travel to this doctor because I think his method of attacking scars is promising. Here is the link: 

 

Subcision: I think subcision did a vast improvement. It lifted the scars to a surface level. I did Subcision with combination of an RF in 2019, subcision first then RF. 

There is a doctor in Utah (United States) by the name of 'Mark Taylor' who also seems promising by his method of attacking scars, look for him on realself.com to see his patient results + procedures he incorporates. 

I would like to also note that I am against permanent filler, and doctors who usually offer that as a solution to me are more often than not experienced with acne scarring procedures. 

 

2 hours ago, gynoscar said:

Wow congrats! What do you think improved the most out of all those treatments?

It is hard for me to say. If I were to do it again, I guess I could do the RF treatments and lasers. If I was not olive skinned, I would do CO2. Since I am olive, I have plans to do erbium laser at least 5 or 6 times if not more spaced out every two months. I have asked doctors to do a co2 one pass low density on me because I read a medical journal stating that it is a solution to acne scarring for olive skin but when I asked a few doctors in my area, they told me its less profit for them and I have more chances of hyperpigmentation issues. I don't see the issue with hyperpigmentation, if the scars are more prevalent to me. They say hyperpigmentation is hard to treat but it usually reduces after a few months especially with using a lighting agent a month before and after co2 procedure so I am still confused. In either case, erbium laser produces decent results, of course, not as much as co2 would but again since I am olive skin I would need to do up to 15 erbium lasers to get the result of 4 co2 lasers. 

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7 hours ago, Miro said:

Looks like u got nice improvement, congrats and thanks  for sharing this with comunity, TCA cross 80% at home ? Wow , u did it for Icepicks ? How they responded ? Got wider ? 

TCA should be performed by a doctor but yes quite naive on my part. Some scars got wider and red for a while. I did RF microneeding such as Infini RF after a month of TCA procedure. I would not do TCA again unless by knowledgable doctor. 

4 hours ago, BabySteps said:

Thanks for sharing your journey and pictures, your scars have been reduced by a lot.

Thank you, perhaps three years from now they will look better after getting a few erbium laser treatments starting in 2021. The journey is long and sometimes feels hopeless but I research procedures and doctors and then ask local doctors in my area to perform a procedure and negotiate the price (of course). My message to everyone is to not let it rule your life and make you depressed that you forget to live. Be guided by knowledge and the right doctor (for the time being) will help you with your journey.

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U did 5 MRF ? What type of machine was used ? Infini ? How was your satisfaction factor with those 5 treatments ? It mus have been expensive .

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2 hours ago, Miro said:

U did 5 MRF ? What type of machine was used ? Infini ? How was your satisfaction factor with those 5 treatments ? It mus have been expensive .

(1) secret Rf with subcision 

(4) Infini rf

had to take anti-viral medication. Each RF treatment was $500. Originally the doctor was trying to charge me $950 each but I negotiated fairly well. The erbium laser was $600 but the doctor expressed her desire to charge more but I expressed I had very limited means, in which case both times we met in the middle. Most doctors bullshit about the finances, I walk away if the price does not match. 

I can’t tell if it helped or not but I gave it a chance and it might have helped. I found the most notable improvement with erbium laser but of course that is with after having done all those prior treatments. Perhaps some of those treatments contributed to my improvement in small amounts and I only noticed the present result after further evaluation.

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On 12/15/2020 at 8:55 PM, Dontgiveupitsonlyscars said:

(1) secret Rf with subcision 

(4) Infini rf

had to take anti-viral medication. Each RF treatment was $500. Originally the doctor was trying to charge me $950 each but I negotiated fairly well. The erbium laser was $600 but the doctor expressed her desire to charge more but I expressed I had very limited means, in which case both times we met in the middle. Most doctors bullshit about the finances, I walk away if the price does not match. 

I can’t tell if it helped or not but I gave it a chance and it might have helped. I found the most notable improvement with erbium laser but of course that is with after having done all those prior treatments. Perhaps some of those treatments contributed to my improvement in small amounts and I only noticed the present result after further evaluation.

May i ask u ? What do u think of laser treatments u underwent ? Any problems ? Healing was Ok ? How did those treatments contributed to your overall improvement ?

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Guest

What a nice improvement of your scars! Congrats and thanks for sharing with photos! And with a few more treatments your skin might improve even more. 

Can I ask you about the Erbium laser? I also have olive skin and it's the only laser that's safe for me I think. Do you know what it was exactly? Was it the Erbium glas, the non-ablative, or the ablative Erbium? How was your recovery after the laser? 

On 12/15/2020 at 8:55 PM, Dontgiveupitsonlyscars said:

(1) secret Rf with subcision 

(4) Infini rf

had to take anti-viral medication. Each RF treatment was $500. Originally the doctor was trying to charge me $950 each but I negotiated fairly well. The erbium laser was $600 but the doctor expressed her desire to charge more but I expressed I had very limited means, in which case both times we met in the middle. Most doctors bullshit about the finances, I walk away if the price does not match. 

I can’t tell if it helped or not but I gave it a chance and it might have helped. I found the most notable improvement with erbium laser but of course that is with after having done all those prior treatments. Perhaps some of those treatments contributed to my improvement in small amounts and I only noticed the present result after further evaluation.

Aren't these docs supposed to have fixed prices, a price list or something? It's insufferable how we have to bargain with them about prices, as if we are at the street market!

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This is really inspiring. You give me hope. Would love to see more pics of the progress in between and of the rest of the treatment area. 

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Your progress is great. I am very glad for you. Your skin texture has improved too much. Please also share your next erbium treatments.
Have you received nonablative or fractional ablative erbium treatment? You gave me hope, thank you.

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How much improvement would you say you got % wise (How much % improvement did every session give and how much % overall did you get). In terms of improvement with collagen remodeling after how many months from the procedures do you see the most improvement? 

Cheers.

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On 12/27/2020 at 10:10 PM, Cool.username said:

Is the lighting similiar with these photos? Looks like maybe the lighting is just bad in the first pic. Good improvement either way, just curious.

Yes, different lighting

On 12/30/2020 at 5:07 AM, Ktseads said:

Wow that's amazing! Your dedication has paid off and your skin texture has improved greatly! 

Thank you

On 12/30/2020 at 6:44 AM, Guest said:

What a nice improvement of your scars! Congrats and thanks for sharing with photos! And with a few more treatments your skin might improve even more. 

Can I ask you about the Erbium laser? I also have olive skin and it's the only laser that's safe for me I think. Do you know what it was exactly? Was it the Erbium glas, the non-ablative, or the ablative Erbium? How was your recovery after the laser? 

Aren't these docs supposed to have fixed prices, a price list or something? It's insufferable how we have to bargain with them about prices, as if we are at the street market!

I think it was Erbium non-ablative. The recovery was three or four days. Maybe even five days. No, prices are not fixed for every doctor, the negotiating is not that bad just stress that your finances are tight and if they can do it for a smaller amount. 

On 1/13/2021 at 10:41 PM, myhojpoj said:

This is really inspiring. You give me hope. Would love to see more pics of the progress in between and of the rest of the treatment area. 

Will do!

On 1/14/2021 at 7:24 AM, colorful said:

Your progress is great. I am very glad for you. Your skin texture has improved too much. Please also share your next erbium treatments.
Have you received nonablative or fractional ablative erbium treatment? You gave me hope, thank you.

I think it was non-ablative erbium laser, of course I will share more. 

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On 1/18/2021 at 12:58 AM, chingym8 said:

How much improvement would you say you got % wise (How much % improvement did every session give and how much % overall did you get). In terms of improvement with collagen remodeling after how many months from the procedures do you see the most improvement? 

Cheers.

Improvement... 30% if I were to guess. My skin water volume increases and decreases a lot and so does the fat on my face, but with all factors equal I would subjectively say a 30% improvement overall. I am quite critical though but if I continue with this journey I should eventually reach a much more comfortable level of skin texture. It is hard to say with accuracy which skin procedure did the most improvement, at times I think these doctors don't go as strong as they could (without severe skin damage or extreme unwanted side effects). It is hard to find a doctor that is quite knowledgable in scars, skilled, and does not prioritize maximizing profits over maximizing patient improvement. 

4 minutes ago, suvvolo said:

absolutely amazing. your improvement give me hope

There is always hope, don't ever lose it. 

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I am about to get my second Erbium laser treatment in a few minutes. Here is my current photos before the laser. I will post results of this procedure as my skin settles. The glossy photos is my skin with numbing cream which made my skin red and puffy because the doctor rubbed it with alcohol to prevent infection. I’m logging this for you as well as myself. 

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Here is the after procedure of the Erbium laser treatment I got in the afternoon. This time the doctor didn’t use numbing shots, I had taken two pills (prescribed by the doctor for laser) an hour before the procedure for anxiety and pain and then the doctor numbed topically and I waited for 45 minutes. Once it was time for the procedure, the doctor took of the numbing and iced my face. Then the laser started on one cheek, which to my surprise I didn’t feel much. I felt some pain around the nose area, the top of the cheek area and the jawline. Other than that, it was relatively painless. I’m such a wuss so I figured I’d state the pain level. 

The doctor did one pass on each cheek, perhaps with a strong strength and also probably to reduce the chances of hyperpigmentation or other side effects. Then iced my face some more when needed and then after the laser was done, the doctor applied Aquaphor generously. Here are some photos that may be sensitive to the viewer but I want to be as transparent as possible. 
 

Luckily with the mask mandate, I got to escape the doctors office with ease. I doubled layers with a disposable mask and then a larger fabric face mask, cover both my cheeks and then wore a hat with sunglasses. I drove home and I even ordered from a take out place without anyone suspecting anything, which eased my anxiety. 
 

I have instructions to wash my face with water and hydrogen peroxide and cetaphil in a bowl tomorrow twice a day I think. I’ll double check after this post. I’m about to watch a movie in bed to pass the time. 
 

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. 

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184D16C5-656C-480B-B0DF-5EBED15D652A.jpeg

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4 minutes ago, Dontgiveupitsonlyscars said:

Here is the after procedure of the Erbium laser treatment I got in the afternoon. This time the doctor didn’t use numbing shots, I had taken two pills (prescribed by the doctor for laser) an hour before the procedure for anxiety and pain and then the doctor numbed topically and I waited for 45 minutes. Once it was time for the procedure, the doctor took of the numbing and iced my face. Then the laser started on one cheek, which to my surprise I didn’t feel much. I felt some pain around the nose area, the top of the cheek area and the jawline. Other than that, it was relatively painless. I’m such a wuss so I figured I’d state the pain level. 

The doctor did one pass on each cheek, perhaps with a strong strength and also probably to reduce the chances of hyperpigmentation or other side effects. Then iced my face some more when needed and then after the laser was done, the doctor applied Aquaphor generously. Here are some photos that may be sensitive to the viewer but I want to be as transparent as possible. 
 

Luckily with the mask mandate, I got to escape the doctors office with ease. I doubled layers with a disposable mask and then a larger fabric face mask, cover both my cheeks and then wore a hat with sunglasses. I drove home and I even ordered from a take out place without anyone suspecting anything, which eased my anxiety. 
 

I have instructions to wash my face with water and hydrogen peroxide and cetaphil in a bowl tomorrow twice a day I think. I’ll double check after this post. I’m about to watch a movie in bed to pass the time. 
 

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. 

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184D16C5-656C-480B-B0DF-5EBED15D652A.jpeg

Was this a fully ablative or a fractional ablative Erbium? Also, If you don't mind what's your skin Type?

Edited by HellishDuffel
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33 minutes ago, HellishDuffel said:

Was this a fully ablative or a fractional ablative Erbium? Also, If you don't mind what's your skin Type?

I believe it’s fractional ablative erbium laser here is the one my doctor used https://sciton.com/physicians/profractional/

Unfortunately I don’t know of hand if it’s fully ablative or non ablative but I went on the doctors website it says Erbium ProFractional. 
 

I think someone else asked me this earlier in the thread and I said nonablative but I’m not really sure if it is. 

21 minutes ago, Dontgiveupitsonlyscars said:

I believe it’s fractional ablative erbium laser here is the one my doctor used https://sciton.com/physicians/profractional/

I’m not fully aware of what you mean by skin type but I am olive skin some doctors refer to this as ethnic skin type, and I am very oily most of the time. Any Vaseline or oil treatment will break me out. 

Edited by Dontgiveupitsonlyscars
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Speedy and safe recovery! That's some very good improvement of your scars so far!

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18 hours ago, Dontgiveupitsonlyscars said:

Luckily with the mask mandate, I got to escape the doctors office with ease. I doubled layers with a disposable mask and then a larger fabric face mask, cover both my cheeks and then wore a hat with sunglasses. I drove home and I even ordered from a take out place without anyone suspecting anything, which eased my anxiety. 

As horrible as this pandemic has been one of the positives has been the ability to easily travel for treatments and not worry about the aftermath or downtime. That is something that stopped me before but with the cultural acceptance of masks even flying back after a treatment same day is easy. 

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