About this blog

Description of the treatments I am using along with dates and progress

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Lillya

A word of encouragement :)

I know how difficult that dealing with acne or acne scars can be so I wanted to post a word of encouragement for everyone :D

Staying optimistic

I want to start by saying that I am a PhD student in the field of psychology and have spent years learning about how important it is to stay positive. Of course, there are always times that warrant a negative reaction and I am not trying to downplay that. Mainly, I just want to encourage people to try and keep an optimistic outlook when possible.

For example, if you are seeing progress using a new scar treatment, rather than dwelling on how many scars you have left, think about how many you have improved. Ruminating about the negatives won't make your skin any better - and neither will staying positive - but if you can manage to make an optimistic interpretation the whole experience will be more pleasant.

Now, I know that is easier said than done - and optimism can only go so far - the main point is to try and catch yourself when you are ruminating about the negatives and replace those thoughts with the positives.

Don't let it get to you

The other point I wanted to make I think can best be illustrated by my own personal experience. I have struggled with acne for most of my late teens and adult life. Around a year ago I finally conquered my acne and was extremely happy with my appearance for a few months. I was confident about how I looked and was overall more comfortable interacting with other people because of that.

After a few months of this, I randomly decided to look at my skin using a magnified mirror. To my horror I noticed I had indents all over my face from acne scars. Even when I used a regular mirror, there they were - seemingly out of no where! Now of course, they had been there all along - I just hadn't taken notice of them because I was so proud my acne was gone.

Upon noticing my scars, my self-esteem plummeted. I regularly found myself crying at night and feeling uncomfortable letting other people see my face. I think my discomfort even led me to meet less people and not get to know people that well because I was afraid of what they would think of me.

This experience made me realize how central our own views about ourselves are in this whole process. In my case, I looked exactly the same before and after I noticed my scars, but the way I interacted with others was totally changed and my overall mood was dramatically worsened.

I know that my situation is unusual and I am not recommending that we all "ignore" our scars and pretend they don't exist. I just hope that we can all keep in mind that we may in many ways be our own worst enemy. Now I try to keep reminding myself that I probably care more about my scars than anyone else does. In fact, it has really helped and I am slowly starting to regain my confidence and get to know people better - even though I still have acne scars.

Take home message

So what I hope you take away from this post is this: Try and stay optimistic and remember that people will love you and care for you based on what is on the inside, not what is on the outside :D

Lillya

Since my last post, I have had my second and third saline injection treatments with Dr. Sire. My 3rd and last treatment (until I get more money...) was about 2 months ago now, so the results that I am seeing are certainly not just left over micro-swelling.

The Treatment

The 2nd and 3rd treatments were pretty similar to the first. They put numbing cream on my face for around 40 minutes and then the injections themselves only took 10 minutes or so. I could still feel a prick here and there when the needle went to deep, but otherwise it was not painful at all. The swelling and redness was gone within a day so there was virtually no down time.

My results

Onto the important stuff - my results. I have to say that I am extremely happy with how my skin looks right now! I certainly still have indented scars left, but they have definitely improved. I would estimate around 30% improvement in my deeper scars while some of my very shallow scars have all but disappeared.

I am thinking about trying the saline injections myself over the holidays. It didn't seem like Dr. Sire was using any special technique for the injections so I kind of think I could do it myself. I will let you know how this goes if I end up attempting it on my own :D

Lillya

Topicals I am using

I thought I would also post a quick entry about the topicals I am using for anyone who is interested. It took me a while to figure out which products I wanted to use and at what time of day - here is what I am using now:

Everyday

Concha Nacar de Perlop Natural Bleach Cream #3: I try and use this everyday (but I don't always have time to do so...). You can buy this on Amazon or at your local CVS. It is a natural bleach cream I use to fade my acne scars. I REALLY like it a lot - it seems to immediately brighten my skin and also makes it very soft - and it is only $5. I use it as a mask for about an hour at a time.

Purpose cleanser: I use this every time I wash my face because it is so gentle. I don't have to worry about any of the ingredients bothering my skin or interfering with any of the other products I use.

Clarisonic skin care brush - delicate: I also use this every time I wash my face. I LOVE this brush and think it went a long way in helping to clear up my acne. I don't think it necessarily helps with my acne scars per se - but it does help to exfoliate my skin which can only be beneficial for having the topicals sink deeper into my skin!

Pure Jojoba oil: This stuff is great - super moisturizing and it doesn't clog pores! I use it at the end of my routine in the morning and the evening. My skin feels a bit slick for a few seconds after I apply it, but this disappears pretty quickly and then my skin just feels nice and soft! Plus, you only need a few drops for each application so a bottle will last for a really long time.

Every morning

Finacea (azelaic acid) Gel, 15%: My dermatologist prescribed me this to help with my acne scars. It is typically prescribed for rosacea (which I do not have) so I am not totally sure how it will help my skin. I use it everyday and I am not totally certain whether or not it is doing anything good for my skin. Only time will tell :cool:

Philosophy Vitamin C Powder: I mix in one spoonful (the spoon that comes with the powder) of this stuff with a few drops of jojoba oil everyday. I like this powder a lot because it doesn't expire as quickly as the serum versions of vitamin C. I think it also does an overall good job at protecting my skin from environmental damage.

Every evening

Retin-A Micro .1: This is the first thing I apply after I wash my skin in the evening. I like how it helps my skin exfoliate - I can really tell it helps with cell turnover because I often go through periods where my skin seems to be cleansing itself and just sheds like crazy! For anyone out there who might be thinking about using this product, make sure you ease into it slowly! I made the mistake of jumping right in because my skin is pretty used to these types of products, but it is a mistake I will forever regret. I totally overworked my skin and it just looked horrible for quite a while. I am convinced it is only because I used too much too soon - now the product just helps my skin look better!

Super Copper Peptide Serum: I bought this from the skin biology website after reading a lot of favorable reviews. I am not completely sure if it is helping my skin or not since I haven't been using it that long. It definitely seems to help in the healing process though - I used it on a small cut I had on my cheek and it healed extra fast! I am just not sure if that translates into helping to heal acne scars since they are not really active injuries. I think that in combination with dermarolling or saline injections this could be really helpful because in that case there are lots of mini-injuries to the skin.

Lillya

So, it has officially been two weeks since my first saline injection with Dr. Sire. From what I have read about this procedure, the micro-swelling should have subsided in over the first week. If that is the case then wow am I happy with my results so far! My rolling scars certainly have come back since the swelling subsided, but there seem to be less of them - and they are also not as deep as before!

I am trying not to get my hopes up because I have a feeling my skin is just taking a little longer than usual to return from the initial swelling. However, I am still optimistic and think that only time will tell!

I am also in the process of trying to figure out when to reintroduce dermarolling back into my routine. I don't want to overwork my skin during the saline injections so I am thinking about just waiting until my saline injections are done in a few months to start up again. I am not totally sure, but that seems like the safest strategy.

Tomorrow is my second appointment for saline injections with Dr. Sire. More updates soon!

Lillya

I tried my first saline injection treatment on Aug 31st at Dr. Sire's office in Fullerton, CA.

The procedure

Dr. Sire injected saline into scars on both of my cheeks - I would estimate about 20 different scars on each. The process was relatively painless. The nurse put on numbing cream about 40 minutes before the injections and this took away pretty much all of the pain. I bled a little bit during the procedure but nothing too bad.

(As a side note, I have a suspicion that the injection was not 100% saline - when I asked Dr. Sire a question about the injection his reply was that is was "mostly saline")

Immediate effects

After leaving the office I had small red marks on my face which kind of looked like little bug bits. The numbing cream wore off in about 3 hours and the red spots healed that night. I had a small amount of pain as the numbing cream wore off that evening but it was extremely mild.

Long-term effects

At this point it has been 4 days since my treatment. My scars are still totally filled in. I expect this to last a few more days before my scars start to reappear again. I have another appointment in two weeks, so expect more updates soon!

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