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  1. Hey Ladies- Mirena And Acne?

    aloha all Alright, so I know I'm only 23, but I feel like this issue might be more applicable to the "adult" population. More specifically, adult women. I had very mild, but extremely persistent acne that started when i was 18. A year later, a derm finally put me on accutane (highest dose was 40mg). It went great and my skin responded fabulously. Fast forward to 5 months ago. I decided to get the IUD mirena. It's got very low hormones (that i needed for my horrible periods) which are slowly released. According to my doctor, these hormones are released into the uterus, and do not enter the blood stream. A month after having it inserted, I started breaking out like crazy. I couldn't keep it under control. As a full time grad student, I didn't even want to go to class. I contemplated getting it removed, but other than what it's doing to my skin, I love it! I went to my derm and he agreed that he thought it was the mirena causing my acne. It's funny how doctors constantly disagree about the cause of acne! Anyways, have any of you ladies out there experienced this? If so, what did you do? No one i've met with the IUD has had any issues with it. I'm on a second round of accutane at the moment, and it's working great as it did the first time. I'm just scared as soon as i go off of it, the acne will come back because I still have the mirena. BEING A WOMAN CAN BE SO FRUSTRATING! mahalo for reading! have a great day
  2. I have read about this on other posts, but have never seen a solid answer. I follow the regimen pretty well, I use everything at night and some night i replace the moisturizer with AHA or use the AHA as a spot treatment and moisturize after. In the morning i use a good amount of BP, and one pump of moisturizer, as anymore seems like a TON on my face. My friends have all been asking if I have been going tanning/ comment on my face looks a little red. My face looks way darker than my neck and this is really embarrassing. Could it be the moisturizer, the AHA, the BP. I do not know what to try as my results have been good and I do not want to break out, but I want to get rid of this fake tan look. I do not use SPF in any products, and I am not outside a lot these days as it is cold. I will get a new moisturizer with SPF soon if I can not find a solution. I also have never used jojoba oil, could this help? My skin feels a little dry during the day, but never looks dry or bothers me really. Any suggestions?
  3. Success With Retin-A

    I don't post in the forums often but I thought I'd share a success story. I discovered Dan's regimen about 4-5 years ago, the time before spawned Daniel Kern products. I used the BP regimen faithfully for about 4 years with great success. Then got on BC (Yazmin) and cleared up my skin even more. For a good while, I had pretty much found a consistent, useful routine to keep my skin relatively clear with no major breakouts (my acne has always been mild to moderate) and quick fading of brown marks. That is until a year ago. The year when I had the most stressful experience in my life that not only wreaked havoc mentally and emotionally but re-ignited my battle with acne. I immediately just went back to vigilant and precise use of Dan's method to no avail. After about 5 months or so, I literally through my BP away. I had to start from ground zero with my anti-acne experimentation which included, many OTC products to no avail including AHA lotion, African black soap, salicylic acid pads (Oxy) and apple cider vinegar (these did help with small forehead bumps and a few deeply ingrained marks). I was getting desperate and finally went back to the doctor to get put back on Yasmin. The BC helped some but didn't get my skin back to normal. Not wanting to continue to pay co-pays for every derm visit to do the same kind of experimentation on my face, I went rogue. I finally opened up a now expired tube of 0.05% tretinoin cream (at least by 6 months!) my dad had brought back from a trip from Mexico nearly a year before. I think it costs him about $15-20 in US dollars for the tube (40g). I never really tried it because I never needed it and then by the time my acne had resurged I forgot about it. I had read some studies that said most meds don't expire and that you can use any drugs that you don't necessarily have to work at 100% effectivity. So, I went for it. And started using the cream as most derms direct: Gentle face wash 30 minutes prior, pea-size amount, every 3 nights, then every 2, then every night once your face acclimates to the drying factor. It's been about 3 months and my face is FINALLY started to return to normal. I experienced the intial purging at about week 3 but nothing abnormal just a moderate acne breakout on my cheek and chin that dried and faded rather rapidly. And then week after week, a few little bumps would come to head and then heal and fade quickly. The process still seems to be happening with much more time in between the mini-breakouts and the pimples drying up faster and faster each time. At this point now, I have 5 tiny little whiteheads that are already drying out. But the most noticeable difference is that my skin feels generally smooth to the touch with none of those pesky, deep bumps that usually recur on my face. I only have dry patches when I use too much medicine. I have quite a bit of cream left in the tube and won't expect that it will need to be refilled for a quite sometime (about 9 months) unless I notice a decline in its effectiveness as time marches on. So far so good though so keep that in mind if you have left over prescription. Once my breakouts end completely I plan on adding AHA lotion back into my routine in the mornings as I hear that the one-two punch of glycolic and retinoid acid does wonders. Good luck to you all who are starting a retinoid acid regimen. I hope you have similar success! Here's my log: Morning: Wash with Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash Clarifying Cleanser using the soft side of the Sephora Ultimate Dual Exfoliating Face Brush Tone with Apple Cider Vinegar-Water (1:3 ratio) Wait 30 minutes Pea-sized 0.05% Tretinoin Cream Wait 30 minutes Moisturize with Rosewater-Glycerin Spritz Protect with Coppertone Faces 30 Spf Lotion Night: Wash with Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash Clarifying Cleanser Tone with Apple Cider Vinegar-Water (1:3 ratio) Wait 30 minutes Pea-sized 0.05% Tretinoin Cream Wait 30 minutes Moisturize with Rosewater-Glycerin Spritz if normally dry or The Body Shop Nutriganics Night Cream if extra dry
  4. When I encountered back in December 2005, I was depressed and desperate. I had recently turned 20 and I had worse acne than I did back in high school. Birth control didn't help get rid of the painful red bumps scattered all over my face, six months of Proactiv didn't help, medicated washes didn't help, spot-treating didn't help, masks didn't help, salicyclic acid lotions didn't help, and I was terrified of the prospect of going to a dermatologist to be prescribed antibiotics that would cause me painful yeast infections. I was dubious about the regimen because I had used benzoyl peroxide in the past as part of Proactiv, but I also didn't have any other accessible acne treatment options, and I was completely sick of my skin. I read all about Dan's gel, browsed dozens of reviews and testimonials, and decided to open up my wallet and take a risk. I ordered two tubes of Dan's gel, figuring that I didn't have much to lose besides a little money. The regimen sure enough ended up working for me, and so I keep coming back here to help out other people who feel angry/depressed/confused/frustrated about their skin. I can't say enough about getting yourself into the right state of mind to try the regimen, so I want to use this thread to prepare people for it in an honest, realistic way. The DKR works wonders, but if your expectations are too high, you are impatient, or you experiment with other things at the same time, you will run into problems. Start off on the right foot with recommended products, and get rid of your old acne topicals. Just because you have the Proactiv acne scrub or your mom's face cream lying around doesn't mean that you should try them with the regimen! I know it's frustrating to spend money on things that don't work, but it's better to get rid of your old ineffective products than to try to start the regimen with them. Wait until you can get all the proper supplies and then begin the regimen, rather than using some 10% BP you have lying around or other old products that might interfere with your results. If you can't bear to throw them away, put them somewhere where you won't be tempted to use them while you try the regimen. I strongly recommend ordering Dan's gel to begin with so that you start with the best (and most cost-effective) product available. If you live outside of the US or aren't comfortable ordering off the internet, then pick up another 2.5% benzoyl peroxide (like Neutrogena On-the-Spot) from a drugstore, but Dan's gel is so much gentler, better-textured, and cheaper that you should try to start with it if possible. I believe I saw good results relatively quickly because I started off with Dan's gel. Your acne will not clear up instantly on the DKR. If you actually do see miraculous clearing within days of starting (as some people on the boards claim), please realize that you have likely not seen the last of your acne. BP dries out your acne at first, but then you aren't using enough during your first week or two to actually prevent future breakouts, so they will probably come back until you have upped your dosage enough and held it at that level for a while. I still had breakouts for the first 6 or 7 weeks on the regimen, and many people take even longer before they clear. My pimples started disappearing more quickly and weren't as severe at that point, but acne is still acne. Be prepared to give the DKR a three month trial, and be prepared to still have acne for most of that time. It is more important to get your skin used to the benzoyl peroxide for the first month or so than to actually achieve clear skin. It is better to go slowly and take more time to work your way up to a full-finger application than to use too much gel too soon and backpedal because of irritation and dryness. Even if you've used benzoyl peroxide before in other systems, you probably were not using nearly as much BP as you will be on the regimen. I had used both the Proactiv face wash and lotion twice a day for six months and plenty of 10% BP creams in the past, and still, my skin took time to adjust to the small amount of BP I started with. Follow Dan's recommendations for BP dosage--or use even less if you feel that your skin is overly irritated. You might not clear up as quickly as you want, but you can avoid many of the problems that new regimen users complain about by going easy with the BP. Try not to think about your skin. When you start clearing up a little but not completely, you might hold your skin to a higher standard than you did before and become more frustrated with it. If you are constantly obsessing over a new breakout or thinking about how you're not clear yet, you might even do things that interfere with the regimen. Resist the temptation to check your skin out in mirrors all the time or to pick at active acne! Aside from reapplying moisturizer as necessary, you don't want to be touching your face; the best way to do this is to not think about you skin at all. Don't dwell on why you're not clear yet and don't worry about some visible flakes or redness. Think about what your skin will be like in a few months, not how it is now, and know that breakouts or dryness right now won't matter at all in a short time. Peeling, redness, and flaking will eventually go away, but it may take a couple of months and some product changes. Let's be honest: your skin just probably won't look that great while you are beginning the regimen. You'll still have active acne, your skin will be drier, you might have flakes or areas of redness, your skin might look parched, it's just not a pretty picture at the start. Many people think that it gets worse before it gets better, and I agree. You just have to power on through it and look to the future. You can try switching cleansers and moisturizers to help with flaking or redness problems, but please realize that you can only do so much while you are still adjusting to BP. Even with the best recommended products, for the first few months you will still deal with some degree of redness, dryness, and flaking. Those problems do go away eventually! Again, try not to dwell on the state of your skin or do things that are counterproductive in the meantime. Don't be tempted by other treatments while on the regimen. Other acne treatments like salicyclic acid (beta hydroxy acid) or sulfur can compoud your irritation with the regimen, so don't touch those at all, especially while you are still adjusting to the regimen, In fact, BP deactivates topical retinoid products aside from Differin, so you definitely can't have those on your face at the same time! When you see an acne face wash at a store, just skip right over it and purchase something unmedicated. Even though you think you might get clear faster by using multiple treatments, you'll just end up with lots more irritation and perhaps even more acne than if you had just stuck with BP. Other kinds of skin treatments tend to do more harm than good. Scrubs can tear up your skin, masks are overdrying, and homemade facial concoctions are ineffective at best. Some people really like the idea of natural skincare and want to incorporate in things like aloe vera and tea tree oil, but the results from adding in extra steps like these to the regimen seem to be by and large unsuccessful. Just keep in mind that if you insist on using more products and aren't getting the results you hope for, the first thing Dan, Brandy, and other regimen veterans will tell you is to get back to basics and ditch the extras. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as lactic acid or glycolic acid moisturizers really do help with flaking and dryness, but you should wait until your skin is used to the full dose of BP before trying these. The more complicated the regimen, the harder it is to figure out where it goes wrong! If you can't make time to do the regimen morning and night, then the DKR is not for you. Twice a day, every day. If you do the regimen only once a day, leave out steps, go through the process hastily, or miss applications, then you should expect less than ideal results. I skipped a couple non-consecutive applications due to late-night partying and timing of washes recently, and what do you know--even after nine months of straight DKR use, I still got some small pimples by my mouth. Slacking off is fine so long as you are willing to pay the price, but again, it is an actual price. If you balk at setting aside a good half-hour each morning and evening to wash your face, apply BP, allow it to absorb, and moisturize, then you should look into other acne treatment options. Patience and diligence is absolutely key. Don't expect a flawless complexion when all your acne is gone. Many people complain about redmarks and scars and how the regimen doesn't address these acne artifacts. It's simply not that easy! An AHA used once or twice a day over several months can help fade hyperpigmentation, but it might not be enough to get your skin completely mark-free, especially if you had moderate-severe acne before the regimen. I didn't even know I had acne scarring until I had cleared up, and then I had a whole new skin problem that I had never thought about before! Now I have accepted that I can't do much about my mild scarring without spending lots of money on treatments, and that even so, my skin still looks so much better now than it did a year ago. So when you do clear up, please don't expect to have baby butt smooth, unblemished skin. Have realistic expectations about what your acne-free skin will look like. I much prefer easily concealable light marks and minor dents over big red inflamed pimples, but if you feel otherwise, then don't bother treating your acne. Breakouts can still happen. I still get small pimples nine months later when I slack off, as I have not grown out of acne. The regimen can keep virtually all acne at bay when you follow it diligently, but even so, you might still get little pimples in problem areas once in a while. The more persistent your acne, the bigger the consequences of missing an application and the more likely minor breakouts might continue. In order to maintain clear skin, you will need to keep buying cleanser, BP, and moisturizer, keep making time to do the regimen morning and night, and keep being gentle with your skin. The regimen effectively prevents acne, but if you stop, your pimples will come back (unless you have grown out of acne). It is up to you to decide if you can stick with the regimen for the long haul.
  5. Looks like this post has died but I'll just make my own experience starting today 29/11/2015 Day 1: Haven't done it today so it's already day 1 :D
  6. this is an updated version of the original post. most has been unchanged, but i have changed some parts to make them clearer, and i added the tips section at the bottom to answer many questions people have. first off i want to say that i'm not a salesman or here to sling a product. i have had acne for approximately 10 years. from my early teens until recently (i'm in my early 20's). i have tried everything and nothing has worked. neutrogena products are crap. i have finally stumbled upon an absurdly simple regimen that has cleared me completely. my hope is that i can help 1 other person get a clearer face, if not a completely clear one. i know what acne can do to a person mentally, i am that person. it has destroyed my self-esteem and confidence as it does so many others. sorry if this post is very long, just trying to be helpful. so anyways, here's what i did. a friend of mine several years ago recommended a product to me that he said worked well for him. thinking not much of it, since i had tried everything else i figured i would give it a try. so i bought the tube. it is called "clean & clear continuous control", made by johnson & johnson. here is a picture of the stuff so you know exactly what it looks like.. ( ) i began using the product and within about 2 weeks my face had cleared significantly. this product remained in my regimen for about 2 years and did a really good job. i only got a pimple every now and then. nothing big at all. of course after a while i got greedy and figured there was something out there that would clear me 100%. i stopped using the C&C continuous control for about a year, and had disastrous results with other products. nothing else worked. then i started reading stuff about the acne cure. i was reading how it is important to use salicylic acid AND benzoyl peroxide both. the reason of course is that salicylic acid (or BHA, beta-hydroxy acid) has a couple of functions. one, it promotes healthy exfoliation by making your dead skin cells shed off. it clears the surface of the skin of dead skin and oil. second, it is oil-soluable, so it has the added ability of being able to loosen and remove oil and dead skin cells from the inside of the pore itself. benzoyl peroxide's purpose is to create an oxygen reaction which kills bacteria on the skin (and if you're lucky, in the pores too). the problem is if you use only one, it won't work 100%. the salicylic acid does not kill the p. acnes bacteria. also, without the salicylic acid, the benzoyl peroxide usually stays at the surface, killing only surface bacteria. this is because the pores are still clogged with dead skin and oil, and the BP cannot penetrate the pore. with this knowledge in hand, i realized i had to do both. the BP i chose was a product i knew worked about 90%. it was of course the C&C continuous control. now this is 10% BP, most people tell you to avoid something with that high of a concentration. ignore it. i can tell you from personal experience, 10% works better than 3.5% or 2.5% (or, at least this product does, which so happens to be 10%, coincidence, who knows, but 10% is the only choice for this product). sure it is more irritating and drying. but that's only at first. any irritation or dryness you experience will go away within 2-3 weeks, max. so i knew i had to get a salicylic acid product. i first tried the neutrogena oil-free acne wash cream cleanser. crap. didn't work, plus it was way too drying to use in conjunction with the BP wash. finally i figured i trusted the clean and clear line, so i decided to get a second product from them. this is the C&C blackhead clearing scrub. here is a picture of the stuff.. ( ) this is for three reasons, one it's the C&C brand which i know is good, second it contained 2% salicyclic acid, and third, it has microbeads to scrub away dead skin. the microbeads are probably bunk, but they look cool at least, and the product still does its thing. anyways, since this is so long, i'll get to the point. i started using these products together and i have been 100% clear since they began to work. i have been completely clear for months and months. (completely unheard of for me) my acne is cured with these two amazing products. that's it! here's the simple regimen i follow: wet my face with warm/slightly hot water. wash with the C&C blackhead clearing scrub (salicylic acid), massage around/into my face for about 45 seconds to a minute. wash it off. immediately apply the C&C continuous control (benzoyl peroxide) and GENTLY massage that into your face for about 30 seconds to 45 seconds, then wash it off. pat dry with a clean towel. you will notice that when you apply the BP cleanser to your face, after the other wash, your skin will feel SUPER smooth. it feels so nice. then, after you wash off the C&C continous control, you will feel your pores tingling deep inside for a bit after you wash. kind of like noxema if you've ever used that. it's a good feeling. you can really tell it's working. that is ALL. in the morning, use ONLY the SA wash. then, at night before bedtime, use BOTH. this regimen is SIMPLE and there is only TWO PRODUCTS for a reason. i believe less is more when it comes to treating your skin. putting too much crap on your face can be bad and make you break out more. i know i talk about these products like they're god, but i truely believe in them. they are the only two things that have worked for me in 10 years. the C&C product line is GOOD STUFF. plus, it's cheap (about $4.50 USD for each tube). i hope this helps someone out. i really do. NOTES & TIPS: -the SA wash is not drying or irritating. almost the opposite, it makes your skin smooth and nice feeling. the BP is the drying/irritating one. that is why you use it only once a day. -it is not neccessary to scrub these products in. in fact, scrubbing hard will irritate your skin more and it won't work as well. being GENTLE and massinging it around softly works just as well, if not better. -some people may need to modify this regimen. this is what works best for me and most people. some wash with both products 2x a day, because their skin can handle it. it is up to the individual to judge. for me, using the BP wash only once a day works just as well as using it twice a day. -when you use the BP wash, i squirt about the amount of toothpaste i would put on my toothbrush (for estimate). then, i DO NOT apply this paste directly to my skin. i rub it around my palms until it's spread around and i can put my hands on my face and massage it around the skin, evenly. applying it directly to the skin will cause much more irritation. -this regimen works MORE the LONGER you use it. it takes a little while to reach the full effect. you will begin to see very noticable results (almost clearing of complexion) around 1 month, for some it is less time.. 1 month is a good average. at this point, you may get 1 or 2 pimples every now and then. much less that you normally get. keep using it. at the 2 month mark, it will be fully working and you should never get any new marks, and any bumps under the skin or blackheads should be gone. by three months, your old marks should have completely faded and you skin tone evened out. you will be extremely surprised how much your skin looks like that of (insert your favorite celebrity here). now, months later after i started this regimen, i still look in the mirror and it puts a smile on my face. it is still amazing to me, even after time. -this one is a HUGE one. here it goes: DO NOT PICK OR SQUEEZE. if you continue to do this, your face will never get better, and you won't see nearly as much improvement. TRAIN YOURSELF OFF OF THIS. so many times i would go to the mirror every morning or night and get up close and pick at every single thing (even things that weren't noticable unless you get right up to your face). of course i'd end up with red marks all over my face and look 10x worse than i did before i started. this is just something you have to force yourself to stop. as much as you want to, do NOT let yourself pick or squeeze. (unless it is completely obviously ready to be popped, for example, an obvious white head that you can open with a pin). if you must pop it, be as gentle as possible, and STOP as soon as you see any clear liquid come out. if you can get over the initial month without picking or squeezing, you will naturally stop within time. when your face becomes clear, you will have nothing to pick or squeeze at. it kinda works for itself. i know it's hard to stop, but this is one of the most important points. -some people seem to have sensitive skin, and SOME people experience an initial breakout. most, it seems, do not. this shouldn't last past a week or two. most people get scared and bail at this point. unfortunate, because quickly thereafter everything will quickly clear up. those who stick with it past an original breakout end up very surprised of how it clears things up and begins working right after that. don't be scared of this, i would say judging by responses that only about 25% of people experience an initial breakout. -for guys, i shave immediately before the evening or morning regimen. after i finish shaving, i got straight into washing my face. -add things to this regimen at your own risk. some people want to add in other things like AHA lotions, this and that. i do not think that other products besides this are necessary. these two work enough. using AHA or other acids on your face often times just irritates it more than anything. i know when i use AHA lotion, it makes me break out. so if you're using my regimen but also using 5 other things on your face, don't blame me if it doesn't work.
  7. I've noticed many threads where people say they become clear, vanish away. They have so much potential to help many people but become spread apart in the midst of many other threads. They list exactly what they did and it's good advice. So I figured I would make a thread that will link to the threads in which people have had success. This way anyone who is interested has a variety of diets and regimens to try right from the get go, and also it lets people become aware that there is hope in holistic health and also other means in combination. So if you do remember any threads, please link them here and I can start updating the first post and begin linking. __ I don't have much right now, but this will build with time. Threads: User: Healthoid Title: What Can Be Achieved Using Holistic Methods, Before and After Pics Summary: After many years of acne, even after going through accutane with acne still coming back, taking out grains and dairy was his underlying cause of acne. Detailed with complete regimen and pictures. User: Antony Title: My Acne Program, This Is What Worked For Me Summary: A highly detailed multi-section acne program, dealing with cleansing, flushing, diet, supplements, general tips. Including before and after images. User: crevin Title: Everyone here needs to take a careful look at what you are eating, There is a reason why you have acne Summary: Acne since the age of 15. At 25, finally found out that eliminating grains and anything that raises blood sugar levels kept him completely clear.;#entry2062016 User: SCAR Title: i stopped it. after 10 years, i stopped acne from coming, seriously Summary: After 10 years worth of acne, at 24 he stopped acne because he realized the root of his problem to be diet. He has tried antibiotics, creams, and most of what everyone has before. Now he avoids dairy, processed carbs, and many sauces that contain dairy etc. Lost acne, and lost weight. User: Xec Title: I am CLEAR because of DIET change Summary: After following a strict dietary regimen based on fish oil, cocunit oil, avoiding some meat, processed foods, grains, and high GI foods. He cleared his acne completely. With pictures;#entry1710298 User: sicr2000 Title: Acne Free Diet...No gimmick, no profit seeked, just clearer skin!, A simple, affordable diet that really helps prevent acne Summary: After a trip to China, his acne cleared up, but came back upon coming back to the USA. He found that it is the food that he ate which caused it. He lists exactly what to eat, and what to avoid, and why to avoid it. Many images in his gallery of before and after. User: bfg9000d Title: Folks Please Read this on getting clear skin, This is not a joke. Summary: A 500 post thread. After a talk with his grandmother, she told him people would eat raisins and clear their skin. After a few years, he tried this and within 2 weeks he was 100% clear, even after trying many other regimens. User: Clear At Last Title: Clear after 15 years..., commercial products Summary: After following a super akalinic diet, he cleared his acne after 15 years. Detailed with diet, what foods to avoid, and a regimen of how to do it. User: SweetJade1980 written by Healthoid Title: (no title, individual post) Summary: Follow a Gluten-Free, Trans-Fat Free, Dairy-Free and No Added Sugar diet. She believed the main cause was rooted from Leaky Gut Syndrome.;#entry1570320 User: xxbobmckeexx Title: Foundations of Clear Skin, what makes a person have it and what stops others from not... Summary: In depth, highly detailed, analysis and regimen of what it takes to have clear skin. He has been on Accutane 3 times as well as various other holistic methods before finding out what it takes to clear up for good. A lifestyle change based on diet, supplementation, and much more. User: KT Title: Amazing! I'm clear Summary: After 14 years of acne, with moderate acne and a course of accutane, clarity came after trying a combination of herbs which cleared her up within a month. User: LivesInABox Title: Very very very nearly clear!!!!! Finally!!!!, And the flowers are still standing... Summary: After 19 years of acne, he finally figured out his triggers, including no grains and dairy. Detailed wth a summary of supplements and dietary tips. User: cassiopeia Title: (no title, individual post) Summary: After Accutane, the acne eventually came back. A combination of Fish Oil and topicals such as Paula's Choice products, AHA, and Glycolic facials kept her clear. User: TheX Title: i've gotten clear from coconut oil, yes, my acne was related to candida. Summary: Finally found his acne was related to candida. By taking coconut oil, he cleared his acne.;hl=chromium User: confessions Title: I beg all of you to try Zinc + Chromium Summary: After adding in zinc and chromium to his diet, within two weeks he became completely clear. At one point and time this had also worked for Dan here:;hl=chromium User: KancerStick Title: Im clear, and it sure as hell aint from benzoyl peroxide., come see how i did it without BP Summary: With a strict diet, supplementation, and exercise regimen along with good personal hygene and general tips, his face cleared up. Included is a detailed regimen of what to do. User: sadcaroline Title: What has cleared me 99% in one week, anyone with acne,read! no pills/creams Summary: She had suffered for acne for 10 years, while being on antibiotics for about that length of time. She went from white heads, to cystic acne. she finally found complete relief by not drinking water 2 hours before, during, or 2 hours after so she can effectively break down the food. User: dudeman Title: Almost clear Summary: After 7 years of acne, his acne subsided with a dietary organic regimen of beating acne. User: Mr.Envious Title: I am clear, for the last 3 weeks Summary: After going vegan, and avoiding grains and junk food his acne completely disappeared User: h20 Title: Whats keeping me clear, maybe 2-3 small pimples a week now.. Summary: After 8 years of acne, he has finally maintained relatively clear skin. After adding in fish oil, acv, and cutting out grains, dairy, saturated fat, and refined sugar, his acne is now manageable.
  8. Trying to make the connection with masturbation and acne. Anybody can join in, but there are a few rules and conditions. 1. No masturbating for one month (30 days). 2. No cheating/lying; if you can't make it to 30, then simply start over from day 1. 3. You must check in everyday in this thread with your day count at the top. Share how you are feeling, what your face looks and feels like, techniques you use for abstaining, anything else you feel is relevant and helpful to others. Now don't get me wrong, I believe sex is a very normal and natural act. However it is obvious that without sex, none of us would have acne haha. The main purpose of sex by nature is for reproduction, and technically you can only reproduce every 9 or so months. Sex and masturbation are two different things. One is necessary, the other is...well...something you do when you're bored or can't get any... I am not asking you to surrender all sexual activities forever, only until your skin clears up. Then you can start doing it again in moderation. If you haven't given this a serious effort, then you are cheating yourself. It will cost you nothing but some effort and self-discipline, if you see no changes to your acne and aren't happy with your increased mood and energy then I'm sorry for wasting your time; but if you start feeling better, and your skin starts clearing up, then geeze, isn't it worth a try? For those of you serious about this and want to find a solution to your acne, here are a few tips: >wear tight underwear (this reduces sperm count and hormone levels) >eat chocolate (it releases endorphis which make you feel happy and helps cancel out the urges) >eat a healthy diet (include more raw fruits and veggies into your diet, it will make you look and feel better) >stay away from porn, any sexual content if you can help it, movies, music videos, seductive songs (this will be tough at first, but will be easier with practice) >distract yourself (do something fun, play a game, go for a run, lift weights, hang out with friends; really anything that can get your mind off porn and masturbation) best of wishes.
  9. Not sure if info like this has been posted before. My wife recently stumbled upon an article here. Basically, it connects gluten to acne. And since gluten is in so many of the things we eat, it would be quite hard to get rid of our acne if it is gluten that affects our outbreaks. After seeing this article, I have been cutting out the gluten in my diet (which has been extremely difficult for me because I loved so many things that contained gluten) and I have been noticing clearer/better skin. My point is though, let's try cure our acne from the inside. Start from the core rather than the outside. I understand that it can be difficult because I have been fighting acne for the past 12/13 years. But the products sold on this site contain many chemicals that are extremely harmful in the long run. Not just from the sun (AHA and benzoil peroxide) but from themselves. Take propylene glycol, for example, which is in the products. I don't know too much about it but I've heard it is really bad for us. And accutane? I don't even need to say anything about that. Instead of treating our bodies, our skin with chemicals, let's treat them with love/respect/goodness and I can promise that your acne will be cured. The products on this site may help "cure" your acne but it is through the whole western medicine philosophy, "treat the symptoms, not the root of the problem". There may be many other things that help make acne worse. I don't know what they are and so I'm not going to state them without any backing. But eating better and living a more healthy lifestyle (no fast food, no junk food, drink raw milk, eat GRASS fed beef, don't eat corn, M&M, potato chip fed beef, etc.) has helped a lot. My wife is starting a blog soon on nutrition, health, and parenting. If any of you would like the link, let me know and I'll post it here as soon as it is up. She isn't a traditionally "educated" nutritionist, but one that learns out of pure interest, for her kids and her family. There are many things she's read that have just shocked me. Hopefully, you guys are interested to learn as well. So if you guys still "need" to use the products (I still use them occasionally), I fully understand but I just wanted to let you know what I've heard. But if you could eventually get off these products, I promise that you will live a much healthier life. In the end, it is up to us to look for information. It is hard and time consuming, but my wife does it because she wants our children to grow up healthy. Read her blog if you don't have the time, but don't believe everything in it. I sure don't believe everything she says until she really backs it up. But trust me, we've had arguments because I didn't believe her. But if you really care about your skin, research, research, research.
  10. Ok lets just get straight down to business. I've had acne for not even a year and it has already amounted to this. Cystic acne started developing within 5 months of me getting acne and they haven't stopped since. I currently have 15 cysts on my face and I cannot touch my face without a pinch or throb of pain. Started Roaccutane (or accutane) 11 days ago and would like to share some photos with you guys to show you my progress throughout the 6-9 month course. I'm currently on 10mg for 1 month then bumping to 20mg. I am currently experiencing an initial breakout (or flare) like reaction and my lips are starting to dry up. This photo here ^ is well before I started accutane and was when I decided to do something about my acne. This is my first day on minocycline ^ , it had no effect - in fact (not the drugs fault) it got worse. I was getting acne on my jaw line I was so disappointed and made me so anxious to start accutane and get rid of this awful acne. So I did it's been 11 days, here is my week 1 progress photo(s). Please stay tuned for the weeks to come! Week 2 has arrived here are the photos for my second week of accutane, dry lips, dry eyes and very itchy legs. xD I don't know why but yeah.
  11. So I started the regimen a little over a month ago mainly to clear up my back, but to get rid of the little bit of acne on my face as well. Everything has been working great. My back has been getting progressively clearer and my face has stayed clean. I've been impressed with all the products I've bought, and as a result of my great results, I've bought all of them. Starter kit, AHA, Body buddy, and most recently, Jojoba oil. This is where I've become worried though. The night after using the Jojoba both my back and face broke out pretty bad. It's like I just undid all the work I had been putting in for the past month. I even was sure to use a small amount of the oil as to not overdo it. Not only this, but I've had some strange sideffects. I've gained large dark circles under my eyes as if I wasn't sleeping. And on of of my eyes, it looks like a bruise. Kind of like a black eye.. Nothing happened to my eyes. I just started using the Jojoba.. What's going on here? Everyone seems to love the Jojoba oil, but something about it isn't working with me..
  12. I tried to find a pH list of OTC products in the forums and haven't had any luck. I have seen some lists online, but thought I would list ones that I have tested here at home, for anyone interested. If you have tested any yourself or have called/confirmed with a manufacturer and would like to add product pHs here, please do so. I am just now learning about how pH affects the skin and have found that what I've been using has been too high! I figure I can help my skin if I keep it at a more satisfactory level. At least that will be one less variable! Note: All water listed below is filtered from my tap through a simple cheap Pur system Products that are not inherently liquid, I added a bit of water to them, thoroughly combined, and then tested. I used pH strips, so a little guessing is in order. I can't list the exact pH, but I could tell what the range was from the color. This is not a lab created testing, and I'm not portraying it as 100% accurate. However, it is informational enough to give you an idea. Straight ACV: 3 Diluted ACV in water: 4 Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control: 4-5 Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control with water: 5-6 Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion: about 7 Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion + dilute vinegar: 5 Tea Tree Oil (Spring Valley brand) 100% undiluted: about 4 Tea Tree Oil (Spring Valley brand) 100% undiluted with Derma E Vit A Wrinkle Treatment Moisturizer gel + water: about 6 Derma E with water: about 6 Oxy Clinical Clearing Treatment 5% BP: about 5/6 Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser with water: 7 Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser with a little straight ACV: about 4 Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser with Glycolic acid peel liquid: between 4 &5 Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash original: 8 Skinceuticals Retinol .3 : 7 Dickinson's Witch Hazel (blue bottle): 5 Stridex Maximum alcohol free (red jar): 4 Epsom Salt and water: 7 Epsom Salt + little straight ACV: 4 Skin Biology (Diana Yvonne) SA 2% @3.2ph (also called exfol serum): 3-4 (was hoping this would be almost dead on the 3) Alexandre Saint d'Marquis Beverly Hills 25% Glycolic acid, medical grade pure: 1-2 Reviva Labs 10% Glycolic acid cream (glycolic polymer from extracts of pumpkin, sugar, rhubarb): 2-3 ======================= These are pH values from either the company websites or from company reps through email inquiries: Skintactix products: Green Tea Poultice: 3.8 Antibacterial Cleanser: 3.6 Glycolic Cleanser: 3.7 Septicide Cleanser: 3.6 Cucumber Scrub: 3.3 Pineapple Scrub: 3.4 Glycolic Exfoliator: 5.5 Gentle Follicle Exfoliator: 3.3 Inhibiting Gel: 3.9 Blackhead Dissolver: 3.6 Treatment Moisturizer: 3.7 Titanium Dioxide Sunscreen: 3.7 Paula's Choice Earth Sourced Cleansing Gel PH is 6 RESIST Perfectly Balancing Foaming Cleanser PH is 6.2-7 RESIST Daily Pore Refining 2% BHA Treatment PH is 3.5-3.9 Dianna Yvonne Exfol Serum 2% Salicylic Acid 3.2 pH - very very gentle exfoliation 2% Salicylic acid 1.9 pH - gentle exfoliation, will penetrate the pore for oiliness and breakouts 5% Salicylic acid 1.9 pH - mild exfoliation, best for oily areas and breakouts Stridex Stridex Maximum Strength Pads alcohol free (red box) 3.0 - 4.5 Derma E Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Moisturizing Gel pH is 5.5 Reviva Labs 10% Glycolic Acid Night Cream pH 3-4 Note: pH is important in glycolics. The pH (acid level) in our glycolic line is 3-4 pH. Above 4.5 pH, the acid level would be too weak to do much good. Here is a spreadsheet link that someone else compiled with many more pH values for cleansers: Cerave Hydrating cleanser: 5.2-5.8 Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser: 5.5 CeraVe AM: 6.0-6.5 CeraVe PM: 5.0-6.0 CeraVe Moisturizing Cream: 5.0-6.0 ======================================= From what I understand, using a too high pH will damage your skin and cause it to lose it's ability to naturally fight off acne and other germs, etc. It will degrade the acid mantle. Normal skin range is 4.5-5.5 with an optimum (as I understand) 5.5pH. Many topicals rely on pH to be effective. Even if you get an acid (BHA or AHA) at the correct pH for maximum effectiveness, if you put it on skin that has a high pH, the acid will lose it's ability to properly work. I didn't know this and while I've been using mild topicals, I've never bothered to make sure they were used in the correct environment. I used to use the Desert Essence wash, but wow that's an 8! I did use teh Stridex afterwards (not knowing the pH then) and I assume that if nothing else, it brought the pH down in my skin. At least it is useful for something (since the pH is too high for the SA to work as I understand it). I am currently using the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle, and while it is still high at 7, it is an improvement. I have been using diluted ACV as a toner afterwards to help lower the pH back to normal. I let this dry before applying any acidic topical. I am wondering, though, if I might be able to mix a bit of my glycolic acid peel into the Neutrogena. In the experiment above, it effectively brought the pH down to a 4-5. Of course, at this level, I expect that I'd see no exfoliation properties, and that's ok because it's a cleanser and I don't intend to leave it on long enough anyways. But, it will work to bring the pH down. I have not tried this on my face, however. I am wondering if it would be ok to add? I found a product called sebamed which is formulated to 5.5, but i can't find it in any local store and it is back-ordered online. Also, it's more expensive than the Neutrogena. I'm so far happy with my current cleanser (it is listed under the 100% non-comodegenic list in the forum)--It would be perfect if the pH was optimum. Hence the curiosity if you can manually lower the ph by adding the glycolic peel liquid (this is an actual peel--not leave on. You use for a few mins and then must neutralize). I would assume since the neutrogena is higher in pH and the combined pH is only 4-5, surely no need to neutralize and the acid won't have any exfoliating effect..or very little. I'd love to hear any thoughts on that!
  13. Hello, I posted on these boards before regarding my acne scar treatments. I was doing Lux 1540, but I will be heading back into school this fall and, thus, will have much less time for treatments, thus I wanted to try something faster. As such, I turned to the Mixto laser as done by Dr. David Rahimi in Beverly Hills, CA. He proposed a Mixto + minor subcision followed by a touch-up after healing. He warned that I would not get rid of all of my scars, that the scars would mostly return by the end of the first month but then get better by around the third or fourth month, at which point he'd do the touch-up. I am posting this as a blog for my progress and to answer any questions people may have about the procedure itself. By the way, Dr. Rahimi is probably the most honest doctor I have ever met. When I told him I was already undergoing Lux 1540 procedures, he encouraged me to actually keep going with those procedures at my older dermatologist. But, when I told him about my upcoming schedule, he understood and immediately gave me a bunch of options, out of which I chose Mixto. His process, as he explained to me, was a little different than others, because he uses a different head on the Mixto laser to "shave down the edges" of the ridges of the scars as well as the Mixto itself. He also did a subcision immediately after the procedure to raise some bound-down scars, which I think was very necessary on the left side of my face. Also, btw, when I say "harshest lighting I could find," I mean that, each time I took a picture, I went out of my way to find the worst lighting possible for my scars at that particular time with a light coming down from straight above. My bathroom has a single 120 watt pure-white light bulb, which is kind of like a weaker version of the side lights that dermatologists use to find acne scars. This does mean that the angles are possibly off with each picture, but this is the most objective way I can figure to do it, since there is no way the scars can actually look "worse" than they are with the angles I took them. April 27, 2012: Day before procedure. Had to take some sort of Doxycyclin the night before in order to prevent infections. I was also given two microdermabrasions each spread a week apart before this point in order to prep my face for the procedure. I took these pictures under the harshest lighting I could find. April 29, 2012: One day after post-op. Here is what it looks like with Aquaphor and crap slathered on. And yeah, it's a ghastly red, I know, haha. May 9, 2012: About five days after stopping applying Aquaphor, which means it's been 11 days since the procedure. I've mostly finished peeling. The scars look better, especially on the left side of my face, but they are still pretty evident in the right. It is difficult to wait for the full three or four months to see how these scars will develop. Some acne broke out, and I was given an oral antibiotic to treat it, but it hasn't worked too well (I've always been pretty resistant to antibiotics). Forutnately, the outbreaks are pretty minor, nothing even approaching the levels that caused the scarring in the first place. Again, harshest lighting I could find. The left side really is much better. I should add, it LOOKS like there is no redness, but there is. The automatic color-corrector on the camera kicked in for the second picture. The first picture is a better indication of the redness. May 28, 2012: Happy Memorial Day! It's been exactly a month to the day since I had my procedure done, here's how it looks so far: First my left, reflected in a mirror as always. yeeeeeeah, check out that grody acne. Seriously, though, not much has changed here. Here's the real interesting side, the right side (again, reflected in a mirror): This is the WORST angle I could find for my scars. I tried moving in and out, side to side, shifting my head, etc., this is the worst angle I could get. Now, it LOOKS like there has been a lot of improvement, and there has, but really, it's not as much as it looks compared to my older picture. My older picture was a little blurred, made the scars look worse than they actually were. What you can REALLY notice is the bridge of skin between my two scars clusters, that was not really there before. Exciting stuff. Anyway, in case you were wondering, this is has been my post-op treatment routine: Morning: Shower. Wash face with cold water and glycolic cleanser. Pat dry. Sunblock. Spot treat any acne with Acanya (2.5% benzoyl peroxide/1.2% clindamycin mix). Night: Wash face with cold water and glycolic cleanser. Pat dry. Acanya all over face. Kojic acid all over face. Neocutis Bio-Gel all over face (this is my moisturizer, essentially). Every week, I will forego all of my topicals in the night treatment for a treatment with Atralin (topical tretinoin .05%) So yeah. Steady as she goes, but there is definitely improvement. Also, the redness is much more noticeable in these pictures because I took off the color correction. Hope ya'll had a great long weekend. June 28, 2012 Pretty much exactly two months since I had the treatment. I took these photos last night, when my scars are at their worst after a long day: Left side (reflected in mirror): Right side (reflected in mirror): As you can see, left side still pretty much the same (I'm still wondering why the left side resolved so damn well) whereas there is still room for improvement on the right, but it's definitely getting a bit better. I also have a bit of active acne still ongoing, but it appears to be on its way out, as far as I can tell. There are some days where they look worse. For instance, on the left side of my face, a slight crater may show up at the end of the day, and on the right it'll look a bit messier, but overall this is generally how they look at their worst. I scheduled my touch-up for July 28. After consulting with Dr. Rahimi some more, I have confirmed that it is, indeed, basically another regular Mixto treatment (in fact, he said he would be going more aggressively on my right side than last time), except he'll be attacking only the scars and not the entire face. He also said any subsequent treatments, if I would want any, would be $500 each. However, considering that I'll be starting grad school, I don't think I'll have time for more treatments until at LEAST winter vacation, so yeah. August 11, 2012 Had my second procedure exactly two weeks ago. It was a TCA Peel + Mixto + Subcision, and it was free. Check it out. (pictures deletes to make room for new pictures) August 28, 2012 A month after my second Mixto:
  14. Hi! My skin is not perfect and it never will be. I still have a bit of active acne (easily only 10% of what is was, maybe even less) and i have some scars and a LOT of red marks. I am not saying that i have the secret to perfect skin. I am posting this because there are some things i wish i had known back when i first got severe acne, and because i have been able to see 90% improvement with completely holistic methods. So, just a quick re-cap of my journey - last may (2010) i got REALLY really bad severe cystic horrible disfiguring acne. I refused to do accutane and tried a bunch of cleanses and really restrictive diets (candida diet, no dairy, no soy, no gluten, etc) as well as lots of topicals and SO MANY EXPENSIVE SUPPLEMENTS. I had another log at that time if you want to look at it. Around November my skin started to slowly improve. I think that what helped me more than anything was improving my attitude and reducing stress levels, as well as completely removing industrial meat/dairy from my diet. I discovered that eggs were a HUGE trigger for me, so i stopped eating them, too. My skin continued to improve although it was really a roller coaster with my menstrual cycle. This summer i apprenticed with Susun Weed and my skin improved tremendously during those 3 months! Right now i have reason to believe that i have PCOS. I have acne - it's in my genes, its how my body expresses internal problems. But now it is so so much better and i haven't touched a drug! I am going to begin taking herbal remedies for PCOS and hopefully that will help to clear me up 100%. Oh, also, i was using a LOT of essential oils when my skin was really bad and i think that that may have overloaded my system. I used to think of essential oils as being benign and just as "safe" as using a whole herb. Really they are extremely concentrated and drug-like, and are only one constituent of an herb. Now i use extracts of the whole herb like an oil or tincture or infusion instead of essential oils. A lot of the things on this board and in health food stores today are "heroic" - the extreme cleanses, the severely restricted diets, the intense supplements. Often they do more harm than good. I do not want to go into it too much right now, but (for example) liver cleanses are really bad for you. Ask anyone who has done one - they feel like you are going to die (because you will if you keep it up)! The heroic tradition says "the worse it feels the better it is for you" that is not sound advice, in my opinion. This summer, i apprenticed with herbalist Susun Weed. She is the contemporary voice of the wise woman tradition. Whereas the heroic tradition 'heals' through cleanses, purges, restrictions, and punishments (it's your fault you've got acne, if you just followed the rules better you wouldn't have acne!) the wise woman tradition heals through nourishing (nourish your body so it can heal itself). So, here is what i believe helped my skin to heal so much: 1. nourishing herbal infusions This is hands down what helped me the MOST. I've been drinking nourishing herbal infusions every day for 4 months and i feel amazing. My hair is thick and shiny and healthy, my skin is really doing better, i have more energy, i'm more calm. I will explain this part a little bit here, but for anyone who is really interested in drinking nourishing herbal infusions, go check out - there is a free online class that explains all the logistics. EDIT- the free online class is actually on sorry. lots of good info on the other website though! an herbal infusion consists of 1 ounce by weight (which is a LOT) of dried herb in 1 quart of boiling water, steeped for 4-6 hours or overnight. This allows for maximum mineral extraction. Then you strain the herb (squeeze all the good stuff out and compost the herb!) and drink up! It's best to drink a whole quart a day but even a cup or 1/2 cup will do you good. Nourishing herbal infusions have TONS of extremely bioavailable minerals, vitamins, and protein so its even better than vitamin supplements. Seriously, i haven't taken a supplement in months and i used to take like 15-20 a day! And, drinking 1 quart of nourishing herbal infusion a day costs around $1 a day (f you buy herbs in bulk which is WAY less than i was spending on supplements. don't make infusions out of aromatic herbs like peppermint or chamomile because the high amount of essential oils are not good for you (if you've ever let chamomile tea steep overnight by accident you know that nasty taste). Also, its best to only make one kind of infusion at a time and then have a different kind the next day, don't mix a bunch of herbs in one jar. There are a lot of herbs which can be made into infusion. I will list the 5 that Susun reccomends and personally drinks and then others which i have been drinking in addition for my acne. Nettle leaf: nettle is AMAZING. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals, has a rich, deep earthy taste, and is known as a purifing herb. It is especially good for your skin and hair as well as your kidneys and adrenals and thyroid (which aids in detoxifying). It is also energizing . Red Clover: red clover is known primarily as an anti-cancer herb but it is also extremely good for balancing hormones and has TONS of minerals - known as an herbal multivitamin! It tastes very mineral-rich and adding a tiny pinch of peppermint to the ounce of red clover will make it more palatable. Comfrey Leaf:comfrey leaf heals your skin from the inside out. it builds strength and flexibility in and soothes and heals your mucous membranes, the inner lining of your digestive tract, your tendons and ligaments, your outer skin, and it also aids your short term memory! You can also apply this externally to speed up wound healing. It is both mucilagenous (soothing property) and astringent, so it has a strange feel in your mouth, and it tastes a bit like grass. I like drinking it warm with honey, but you can add it to juice or whatever makes it palatable for you. it's worth it! Linden flower: Linden is the world's leading cold and flu remedy. It is EXTREMELY anti-inflammatory and it tastes great! can also be applied topically. oatstraw: oatstraw is a nerve tonic and a sexual tonic (good for ED, just a side note). It builds calm strength and is extremely and deeply nourishing. It tastes really sweet and mellow, like oats! my extra infusions: cleavers - I drink a quart of cleavers infusion once a week. They are good for lymphatic circulation and are generally known as a detoxifying herb for the skin. has a mild pleasant taste. burdock root- i drink a 1/2 cup of burdock infusion a day. It is a slow but thourough detoxifier and it works on all of your internal systems - liver, kidneys, lymph, etc. and really increases your body's ability to detox. It's known for working on skin issues. has a mild earthy taste. Dandelion root - dandelion is wonderful for your liver and roasted dandelion root tea is soooo yummy! It is also a digestive stimulant. I could write a lot about dandelion but i won't. So, there we go. Nourishing herbal infusions. They are not just good for people with acne, they are good for EVERYONE. And the great thing about this is that even if you don't change your diet or lifestyle, and all you do is drink a cup to a quart of nourishing herbal infusion a day, you will notice a difference in the way you feel and look. 2. not picking! I didn't pick at all for the three months i was apprenticing because i was so busy and also because i was happy and not obsessing over my looks all the time, and i'm sure that helped. I would just put some faerie organic mineral therapy on as a spot treatment during the day and some NZ naturals manuka honey cream at night and not think about it. If i got sweaty or dirty i would use witch hazel and a cotton ball. I only washed my face every couple of days with himalaya neem and turmeric non-soap cleanser. So it was pretty minimal. Not focusing on my skin really helped me to not stress,too 3. lowering stress levels - this is one of the most important things that anyone can do. I know for me acne is extremely related to stress. Not looking in mirrors all the time, doing things i enjoy, being with friends who love me as i am, spending time outside and with my pets, etc. all helped to reduce my stress. Also, not being on this website all the time haha. It's a great resource but it can become an addiction lol. Also, taking stress away from food was really helpful . I used to get so worked up when i had to go to a restaurant... well, read below. 4. balanced diet - don't be scared of food! mostly organic non-industrial food. whereas before i could hardly eat anything - my list of forbidden foods was sooo long - now i am eating whole wheat gluten products and organic dairy, chocolate, even ocassionally ice cream. The only things on my restricted list now are: eggs, soy. that feels really really good. I don't have to OBSESS over what i am going to eat anymore! I don't see food as scary and potentially dangerous, but as nourishment. No, this whole wheat bread is not going to break me out. On the other hand, eggs are so i'd better not eat that yummy quiche. And yes, if i go on a sugar binge it will probabally break me out as well. I'm not saying that you can eat anything without consequences - i'm saying that not everything does have consequences. I think that the nourishing herbal infusions have really reduced my sensitivity to the common allergens. Many people avoid them all because they are either paranoid (the mindset that is promoted by the alternative/heroic tradition) or because they are hypersensitive at that time. I never had a reason to think that gluten caused acne for me, but i wasn't eating it just in case. Now i am not scared of it. Everyone is different and for some people gluten does cause acne and for some people eggs do and for others its dairy or corn or citrus. Elimination diets are the only way to figure out what really does affect you, and they are grueling but worth it because once you find out what you are actually allergic to, you can eat other things! The insanity is when you are on an elimination diet indefinitely - just in case. That leads to less than optimal nutrition, and creates so much stress around food! some other nutritional tips - cook your fruits and veggies - plants have a hard cell wall which contains their nutrients. Unless that cell wall is broken, you don't have access to those nutrients. Ways to break the cell wall include: freezing, cooking (boiling baking roasting etc.), marinating in oil, and dehydrating. Chewing doesn't cut it. That is why raw food diets are so bad for you. It gives you a feeling of being energized because you are going into starvation mode and your brain is producing feel good chemicals. Also, fructose is difficult for many people of European descent to digest - cooking fruits makes it easier on the system. Anyway, cooking fruits and veggies liberates nutrients so that you get optimal nourishment from those foods. avoid peppers! i used to LOVE peppers but after not eating them for a while, now i can see that they really do make my skin so much more inflamed. From bell peppers to cayenne pepper as a spice. It makes sense, they are a very stimulating food. Try avoiding them for a month and see what happens. (this is not just because they are nightshades - tomatoes and potatoes don't effect me like peppers do) and in general, don't eat a lot of processed foods and refined sugar 5. getting some excercise just moving around really helped me feel better and gets the lymph and blood circulating. Not a ton. I do yoga, hike, walk, dance. whatever is fun for you. Something else of interest: the 6 steps of healing: 0. do nothing - sleep, rest, meditate, leave your skin alone (for a specific time period ex. 2 weeks) 1, collect information 2. engage the energy - homeopathy, positive affirmations, laughter. 3. nourish and tonify - herbal infusions, nourishing food, tonifying herbs, excercise, stretching. 4. stimulate/sedate - stimulating/sedating herbs, hot/cold water, etc. 5. use supplements - synthetic/concentrated vitamin/minerals 5b. use drugs - benzyl peroxide, accutane, etc. 6. break and enter - surgery many people skip the first 4 or 5 steps and just go right to supplements or drugs. The first 4 steps are really important. doing nothing prepares you to heal, and for some people it may be all you need! Engaging the energy may be enough for others. For me, nourishing and tonifying cleared me up 90%. Now i am going to move on to step 4 by using a stimulating/sedating drug to treat PCOS. If that does not work, then i will consider supplements and then drugs to normalize my hormones. In an extreme situation i guess getting my uterus removed would be the last step, although i'm not really down for that lol. The point it, as you go up in steps, it becomes less safe and the recovery period is longer. Of course the lower steps take more time to work. But, if meditating every day for 6 months clears your skin, isn';t that better than doing accutane for 6 months and dealing with the potential side effects without even trying more gentle remedies? (just as an example) So, this is what helped me. I am really really happy about this and about how my skin is doing. This whole journey with acne has helped me to grow so much and i am truly thankful for it (although i could do without the scars and PIH...). I really think that if someone who was in my position last May started drinking infusions and de-stressing, that it would make a big difference for them and they wouldnt even get scars. I would urge anyone to try this nourishing and tonifying approach. By definition, it can't hurt you! Nourishment is nourishment! Tonifying herbs make your body better at healing itself. With an optimally nourished body and the help of tonifying herbs, your skin will improve. Acne has really taught me to love myself and treat myself well, instead of punishing my body by restricting my diet or doing harsh cleanses. I really hope that this helps someone! sept 2010 Sept 2011 and again, i know my skin now isn't perfect but rather than focusing on the scars/red marks focus on the lack of inflamation and active acne. I didn't discover the things i posted here until this summer, and had severe acne for more than a year before that (which i tried to treat with heroic methods) so the scars are not because what i'm saying doesn't work, they are because the restrictive diets i tried didnt work. sending love!
  15. I have been on the regimen for two weeks now. I got to the full amount pretty quickly, and fortunately I am not experiencing any redness or flakiness. Even though the regimen worked pretty well at clearing my acne, I have a lot of acne scars which seem resistent to go away. I have decided to add the AHA+ into my regimen, and I have a few questions about it. 1. Is it true that AHA+ helps with acne scars? 2. Will AHA+ cause initial breakouts at first? 3. I am probably going to switch from the moisturizer to AHA+. Does AHA+ works well as a moisturizer? And since I add jojoba oil in my, can I add jojoba oil in the AHA+?
  16. has anyone tried using all three? i didnt know of the benefits of combining all three and ive begun to try it today. ive used bp before and hated it, used retinol, went off of it, then AHA, and then back to retinol again. ive tried using AHA and retinol together before to protect my skin and prevent acne, but needed something to more aggressively fight the acne. but ive never thought of using all three of them together until i read this one article online. it made sense to combine all three of them together. ive heard that a combo of AHA and retinol is great for preventing/treating signs of aging, and no one suggested adding bp to the mix. it's only been a day since i used all three at once so ill keep you guys posted if any of you guys want to try. my skin feels baby soft right now though, it's a different feeling. i wish i educated myself when i started breaking out. btw here's the LINK to the pg it looks like the best topicals for acne so far are retinol, AHA, and BP. the article also talks about accutane. they say that the only way to cure acne is to stop the oil production completely or something along that line. read it. since i already have a retinol and AHA product, i first apply my AHA, let it sit, then retinol, let it sit, then the Oxy 5% bp which i ran out and bought today. im planning on buying RoC which is a product that has both retinol and AHA in it, but im not sure if that's what i want to do since the separate retinol and AHA that i have now are probably more strong and effective. i know for sure the retinol that i have right now is stronger than the retinol that is in RoC, but since im young i dont need to use strong retinol and AHA, so i might buy RoC. hmm...ill just use up what i have now and decide later
  17. Hello guys, Just wanted to give you guys a heads up, this thread will be extremely detailed and thorough because 1) It is for myself to keep as notes just to make sure I do not forget to do anything Pre-Op/Post-Op after my Mixto laser surgery I am planning ot have on 12/15/12 with Dr. David Rahimi, located in Beverly Hills, CA. 2) So that in the future, anyone who is planning to have fractional laser surgery for acne scars will know the in and outs of what to expect, what needs to be done for preparation of the laser, and what needs to be done after the laser. 3) And most importantly, if it actually works or not. Brief History: I am currently 23, suffered with acne ever since I hit puberty at the tender age of 13. I suffered with extreme acne break outs during my high school years. I am not a doctor or expert in this field, but I can tell I have multiple conditions that seem to make me break out more than the usual person. first of all, genetics. My mom and dad (especially my mom) have pretty horrible skin, and had bad acne when they were teenagers as well. My mom still breaks out to this day, and not only that, my mom's whole side of the family have really bad skin in terms of acne, acne scars, and dark spots. So one of the main underlying reasons I have had bad acne is simply due to the genetics. Secondly, my second condition that seems to exacerbate my first condition is that I have hyperhydrosis, in laymen terms, known as "extreme sweating disorder". Simply put, I sweat A LOT on my face, whether I am working out in the gym, or simply in a state of rest, if their is any kind of heat or temperature above 80, than I will start sweating. When I mean I sweat a lot, its not like a normal person, simply put, after a work out, you would not be able to tell whether my work out clothes was soaked with a hose or if I was just working out. It is extreme, and I believe this has exacerbated my acne issues. Lastly, like an idiot that I was, I picked/popped my pimples during my high school years, unfortunately. Why you might ask? I was naive, stupid, and friends told me to do so...and I totally regret it. People, DO NOT Pick/Pop your pimples! It will cause acne scarring. I wish I knew this before and I wish I could have been more patient with my acne, but that is the past, and I have to move on from it now. So after stating all of that, here is where I stand currently, (see below for pictures, please excuse me for the quality, using my IPHONE, which isnt the great of quality): Current Things I Have Done to help with the acne scars is doing extreme needling with HA (hyaluronic acid) injections as well as some seaweed facial peeling done with an esthetician. I have been doing the needling 2/month for almost a year now, and the seaweed acidic facial peeling just once. All in all, i believe the treatments did help with some of the acne scars in terms of depth, but in terms of visibility and shape, it is unfortunately still there. Therefore, 11/16/12, I went to go see Dr. David Rahimi for a pre-op appointment. I mainly chose him due to a recent thread that had been floating around this forum where User name "Dragz" performed 2 mixto treatments from Dr. Rahimi and was happy with his results. His Post is listed below: Anyhow here is a summary of how the appointment went with Dr. Rahimi. 1) Cost: 3000 for two treatments, second treatment 3-4 months after the first treatment. 2) 3rd treatment, if needed, would cost an additional $500. 3) Settings he plans on using on mixto: 7/20/9 or 7/20/10. With the 180 micrometer, not the 300 microumeter (300 micrometer I believe is for superficial scars/wrinkles/fine lines, while 180 micrometer is for deeper acne scars). further, not sure what the equivalent MJ that is? Ive read from other posts fraxel repairs goes as high a 70 MJ? Not sure how many MJ the mixto will go with those settings he quoted me. 4) Current medications that I am currently using for my acne are: Dan's Kit (facial cleanser, BP, moisturizer, AHA), Mint Julep Sulfur Masks, tazorac. I was on accutane twice, first round was about 4 years ago and second round was about 2 years ago. Definitely helped my acne and cleared everything up, but I feel it may have exacerbated my acne scars. 5) Additional medications that he prescribed for me that I will need to start taking two weeks before the surgery: 8% Hydroquinone cream 4% hydrquinone cream twice a day, Differin Retin A, doxycycline. 6) will need to take Vicodin ES Acyclovir tabs (400 MG) one day before the surgery and one day after the surgery to prevent cold sores and possible viral infections. 7) Possible use of Benadryl/1% hydrocortisone cream after Facial peeling is done (usually 5-7 days after surgery) just in case of itchiness. 8) Heavy use of Aquaphor and cetaphil facial wash for the first 5-7 days so that the skin can stay hydrated and heal properly. 9) Esthetician (from my needling sessions, which I do go see once a week to help with my acne) also provided me with EGF Blemish Balm self moisturizing sun protection infused foundation to use 2-3 weeks after the surgery to cover the redness that will probably persist. She also provdied me with Dermaesthetics EGF UV SHIELD SPF 50 to apply for sun protection, since obviously my face will be extremely fragile to the sun. 10) Vicodin ES prescribed just in case the pain is too unbearable. Doctor told me 90% of the time tylenol will do the job, but just wanted me to have the Vicodin just in case. (Might decide just to take one just for the heck of it, never took vicodin before but am curious since I use to watch House the main character was addicted to it lol!) Planned date of surgery will be on 12/15/12. I will update this post with pictures and my progress. If everything runs smoothly, I will most likely go for my second, and possibly third treatment throughout times next year. If so, I will be updating this thread periodically. I am not looking for 100% improvement, since I know that is not possible. But will be extremely happy with even 50% improvement. Anyways, I would like to thank this board and community for helping me become more knowledgeable about acne and acne scar treatments. I hope that this thread will help future people like me who would like to get rid of their acne scars. Anyways best of luck to you all, Ill keep you guys posted within a month. God Bless. 12/15/12 Update: I just got back from the mixto laser surgery at Dr. Rahimi's office. I posted up pictures of myself slathered with aquaphor. Ill post cleaner pictures once all the skin is peeled off (most likely in about a week or so). But the surgery went great! I think he went a little conservative this first time around however, just to see how my skin will react to the laser. I have no hyperpigmentation whatsoever, and the pain of the laser was very bearable. It didnt even hurt as much as i thought it would. Then again, he did give me these 2 pills to take (not sure what they were), also injected some liquids in my mouth near the upper jaws, probably some kind of sedative/anasthetic? Also, i was slathered with numbing cream all over my face for about an hour or so. And his assistant was so amazing! She was so nice....we were just having random conversations and just talking about the most randommest things, she was a cool cat. But anyways, ill try to post up clearer pictures next week once there is no more aquaphor needed on my face. But ya surgery went great, barely any pain, no hyperpigmentation, and we will see how the results turn out! God is good! Also i forgot to mention, my face is extremely swollen which is why i can barely see my scars, i know once the swelling goes down my scars will most liekly appear, but hopefully they will continue to get better overtime. Also, he performed about 3-4 subscicions, which is why you might notice some huge bumps on my face. 12/17/12: Just woke up, today is the beginning of my 3rd day after the Mixto Laser. Im still on the regime of slathering aquaphor all over my face and then washing it off 4 hours later with a light cetaphil cleanser. I took off two weeks of work, so ill just be managing my face and also doing some work at home. Anyways, ive uploaded 4 new pics below (2 on each side of the face). I know its way to early to judge, but a lot of the scars seemed to have diminished, and are barely noticeable. But I have read in other cases that its just due to the micro swelling which is why the scars seem invisiible. So ill wait a little longer before I judge, but right now my scars look soo much better! I wish it will stay like this lol. However, one thing is my skin texture feels horrible, it feels like rough sand paper. Im hoping that will return to its normal state after fulling healing. 12/18/12 Day 4 After Mixto: So apparently, the day 3 to day 4 transition is when the skin peeling really starts to begin. I uploaded 4 new photos (2 on each side) to show you the dramatic difference between day 3 to day 4. I woke up with a bunch of skin residue all over my face ready to get peeled off. Also, yesterday i mentioned my skin felt like rough sand paper, well that is apparently because the outer most layer was the skin layer that was on the transition of getting ready to get peeled off. So underneath that layer of skin, is a silky smooth brand new skin that will be apparent after a couple of more days. Further, I just got back from a post op appointment with Dr. Rahimi. He examined my face and told me that everything is going according to plan, and that I will need to stick with the aquaphor/cetaphil treatment for another 3 days. He then notified me after the next 3 days, most of the peeling should be complete. I will then have bright pink spots (the brand new skin basically), and told me to spot treat those areas with 1% hydrocortisone because that will help reduce the redness. After 3 days of applying the 1 % hydrocortisone, he said I could start applying my SPF 50 sunblock. Another thing i should note is that i have been taken 4x the dosage of doxycycline ( ~400 MG). I actually didnt ask the Doctor if this was okay, but Ive been taking 4 times the dosage (2 after breakfast and 2 after dinner) because I really really do not want to break out from this aquaphor treatment. and so far, havent broken out yet! so pretty happy with that. Furthermore, Dr. Rahimi also mentioned that although my face looks pretty good right now (scars are barely evident), they will come back, but told me not to be discouraged because overtime they will start to heal, fill in, and essentially look better. Also, he notified me after all my healing is done, we can start talking about a time frame for a second touch up, most likely in about 3 months. Anyways, steady as it goes, ill keep yall posted. 12/19/12 5th Day After Mixto: Hey guys, just wanted to give you an update on how my face is looking, I posted 6 new pictures below. NOTE: The pictures i uploaded dont seem to be portrayed in a chronological order in the thread for some odd reason, even though I have been uploading all the pictures chronologically. So some photos may be mixed from different days, hopefully you guys will be able to decipher which photo corresponds to which day I have been documenting. So moving on with my update, apparently, The 4th to 5th day transition period (at least for my case) is when all the shedding of the skin begins and swiftly ends. As you can see a dramatic difference in the day 4 and day 5 pictures, where all my skin has shed. However, inevitably and foreshadowed, is the fact that all the scars have reappeared, unfortunately. The positive note is that even though I can see all my original scars, they seemed to have faded somewhat and look less prevalent, which is what I was looking for. I know its way, way, too early to judge because Ive read in many cases that it takes 6 full months until you can actually start to see the changes, so Ill wait patiently before I come to a quick judgment. But in any case, the initial observations I do see is some improvement, which I am happy with. Secondly, there is some hyperpigmentation in the regions (mostly the cheeks and temple area) where Dr. Rahimi probably went over the most with the laser in terms of strength and quantity of passes. Originally, before the surgery as I was going reading a lot about the lasers and other people's journeys, I was really really scared about the hyperpigmentation issue. But to be honest, it Really isnt that bad. It is definitely noticeable, but luckily, if you recall, my esthetician gave me this concealer type lotion/cream to use to cover my face which matches my skin tone. So once my skin is ready and I do go out for work and other activities, I will definitely be applying that. That being said, hyperpigmentation should not be a concern for me whatsoever, luckily. My current regime as we speak is the continuation of aquaphor/cetaphil combo, and will do this for another 3 days. Then I will start the hydrocortisone treatment shortly thereafter. Ill keep yall posted, maybe in about a week or so, God Bless. 12/22/12 Day 7 After Mixto: Hey guys, I posted up 4 new pics (2 on each side of the face) to give you guys a sense of where I am at Post 7 days Mixto. Nothing has changed much from my previous post, other than that some more old scars did come back, but it seems like they have faded somewhat. But from an overall perspective, my face does look better (scars look slightly more diminished), and I still have some hyperpigmentation @ the cheeks/temples, but definitely can be covered up with some concealers. I am currently on the regime of 1% hydrocortisone and cetaphil face wash, will do this for 3 more days, and after that I will just be using my SPF50/lotion/concealer/cetaphil cleanser for about 2 weeks before I start back on my acne regime (2% BP, Tazorac, Retin A). 12/29/12 Day 14 After Mixto: Hello, its been officially 2 weeks since my first highly anticipated mixto sx laser surgery. I have not posted up new pictures yet, because it is currently raining right now in SoCal, so the lighting in my bathroom will not be the same (it will tend to hide more of my acne scars without the sun reflecting through my window). So once the sun gets back up, ill take some new pictures. Anyways, the results have been somewhat disappointing as of now. 2 weeks post mixto, I have finished peeling completely, and do have some minor hyperpigmentation still. But all in all, after the micro swelling disappeared, all of my original acne scars have returned . The improvement has been extremely minimal, if you were to ask me what %, I would say maybe like between 5 to 10%? No where near the 50% Dr. Rahimi quoted me. although, like I have diligently mentioned in my previous posts, Ill need to wait 3-6 months to let the collagen do its work to help restore most of my ice picked acne scars. I was even talking to my mom yesterday, and as we were talking she checked out my face and even mentioned to me she doesnt see any improvement whatsoever, none, 0%. But I told her I need to be patient, and the process with these lasers is that it takes time for the results to show. anyways, Im not sure if this is true or not, maybe other people who have done fractional CO2 lasers chime in? Did you get NO improvement whatsoever 2 weeks post laser? Because, unfortunately, that is the case with me. But I DO think that Dr. Rahimi went conservative this first time around with me. For my touch up, I will ask him to go more aggressive. There are other things I should also mention, during weeks 1-2 post mixto, I did experience some negative side effects such as bruising near the eye, but that has all faded away, nothing permanent. Another thing is that there is this one region right between my cheeks and temple zone (couple of inches from the eye) where he may have made a mistake with the laser. What I mean is that either he went into deep or it didnt fractionalize, because there is a patch of skin where ALL the entire surface area got ablated, not fractionated. And right now its currently scared it may be permanent hypopigmentation. I emailed Dr. Rahimi my photos and he thinks it should heal back to its normal skin color and blend in with the rest of the skin, but he's not sure, and that he will need to take a look. Luckily, this mark is on the side of my face, nowhere in the front of my face, so the only way you would be able to see it is if you look at me from the side and look closely. But if you do look, it is noticeable and quite disappointing to see, It was evident from the first day of the procedure. WHen I saw it, I was like hmm in my head, why is there this one localized region of skin that is totally ablated? During the healing process, I was hoping it would heal and cover up, but 2 weeks post mixto, it has not. Basically, it doesnt look right, and I am hoping it is not permanent. Those are just two negative side affects I have been experiencing. Anyways, Ill come back on this post in another 2 weeks to keep you guys updated on my progress. God bless. 1/13/13- Day 30 Post Mixto, Hello guys, just wanted to give you my post one month update. Ive uploaded 6 new pics (3 on each side of my face @ the cheeks and temples). So, apparently, laser results do have a time lag in terms of results, I am happy to say that I have noticed some improvement from Week 2 to Week 4 after the mixto laser. Although results have been very subtle, slight improvement, nothing drastic in any way. If you were to ask me what % of improvement do you see thus far? I would say anywhere ranging from 15-20% improvement, in terms of overall complexion and look. But all my scars are still there, but look less prominent. If you were to ask me are you happy that you did the procedure? I would say yes, because I do see some potential in this laser to help improve my scars. But let it be known, that if you have ice pick scars, dont expect any dramatic improvement just after one treatment. Just by judging my results after one mixto, I probably will need 3-4 more procedures, and I will ask the Dr. To be more and more aggressive each time. On the other hand, if you have superficial scarring, or scars that are not very deep at all, I definitely believe this laser can help. And if your worried about the side effects, dont, because the side effects have been extremely minimal for me so far at this point. One of the biggest concerns about lasers were the side effects other people were experiencing such as textural change of the skin from smooth to rough, long lasting hyperpigmentation, extreme acne breakouts after laser, possible hypopigmentation marks. I have experienced none of these except for the last one, where I had an extremely minor and small area where it looked different in the sense that it looked a bit white, like a hypoppigmentation spot. Right now, after checking myself out in the mirror, it is slowly fading away. Although, it is some what of a disappointment to have, I do not think much about it since it is small and not very noticeable. the spot has actually turned from a pinkish/whitish color to a darker brown/tannish color. Hopefully it will fade over time, and will not be permanent. Anyways, I did not experience any other adverse effects like hyperpigmentation, right now, the hyperpigmentation is very very minimal and is easily concealed by my color lotion and sunblock. skin texture did not change whatsoever, skin feels pretty smooth, and i have only minor acne breakouts thus far. Anyways, I cant wait until my next procedure because i definitely see the potential in this laser. Judging by my pics, you can definitely notice improvement, but i hope you all agree with me that it is minor. Ive come to the realization that my scars will always be with me, but my main goal is to lessen the severity and make them look less prominent on my face, that is my end goal here. Anyways, im probably going to go back and do the procedure in 2-3 months, hopefully i will be less busy at work during that time, since I will be taking 2 weeks off. Also, i should mention my daily facial regime has been pretty basic and simple, cetaphil facewash, cetalphil face lotion, dermaesthetics SPF50 sunblock, and dermaesthetics color lotion (brown). I have also been going to my esthetician every tuesday and saturday for the past 2 weeks, and will continually do so. Shes been treating me with an array of different types of treatments ranging from facial massaging with this cold metallic piece while applying serums such as anti aging serums, hyaluronic acid, facial moisturizers, etc etc...stuff you get for facials lol. And also been doing some acupuncture on my face with these very fine needles, collagen masks, and other stuff haha. But ya, I think if any of you plan on doing lasers, AFTER CARE is extremely important. Always use SPF50 ++ sunblock, and if you can afford it, go see an esthetician to help with your healing after lasers. Luckily my insurance covers seeing my esthetician since its at an acupuncture clinic. Also, ill update my post in about another month to give you guys a 60 day post op update. Take cares. Saturday 2/9/13: 8 Weeks / 56 days Post Mixto Update- Hey guys, just wanted to give you guys an 8 week update on my progress so far from my first mixto treatment. Ive uploaded 5 new pics. The healing has been going well, my current regime has been the cetaphil face wash/cetaphil ultra hydrating lotion, with a dermaesthetics sulfur mask used to spot treat acne that flares up. Also, been going to my esthetician twice a week, she has been popping my pimples that flare up by using a very fine needle to poke a hole in the pimple and squeeze out the insides of the pimple, face acupuncture, facial massage, and applying other varieties of ointments. With all that, not much has really changed since my last update, improvement from day 30 to day 60 has been minimal, and I still stand by my 15% improvement, not much more. Also wanted to make a note that since I havent been using any acne prescriptions on my face such as tazorac for a while, one day I did use it due to some acne flare ups and man, my face reacted really badly to it, I put on a bit too much for my face to handle, so I was dealing with some pretty bad hyperpigmentation for about 3-4 days, so just remember, when you do stop acne prescriptions after the laser treatment, make sure you let your face get acclimated to the prescriptions once your face is ready...meaning put on a little bit and gradually put a little more every night. Other than that, still somewhat disappointed after this first laser, and I hope the second one can bring upon more improvement, which leads me to my next topic. I have scheduled a second mixto laser session with Dr. Rahimi on March 9th. I am excited to go at it once again, but that date is tentative as I am pretty busy at work, and I am unsure Ill be able to take 2 weeks off of work, so I may need to schedule to a later date. Ill keep you guys posted, take cares. 3/2/13: Week 11 Update. Hey guys, ive uploaded 4 new photos to show where im at 11 weeks 1st post mixto. I had some bad acne breakouts due to my I stopped working out for the past 2 weeks and have been swimming to maintain my cardio fitness. I hope the acne subsides by next week because I will be getting the 2nd mixto treatment next Saturday. Luckily my manager has given me the green light to take 2 weeks off of work. I also saw Dr. Rahimi last week just for a check up. He stated to me that he went medium-level the first time, but will be going aggressive this time around. He stated that he will probably be using the same settings but will just go over my face with more passes with the laser. Judging by my pics, i would say after one mixto treatment, I got 15-20% improvement. I'm pretty excited for my second treatment hope it goes well. Take cares. 3/10/13: 1 Day Post Mixto #2: Hey guys, Ive uploaded 4 new photos. 2 Photos are from right after the surgery, and 2 are from today in the morning. I had my second mixto done yesterday, went very smoothly. I arrived there around 8 am, he gave me these 2 small pill/tablets to leave under my tounge, applied numbing cream, applied a heart rate monitor on my middle finger, then injected about 8 shots of some kind of sedative (i forget what its called), 2 on my right arm, 4 in the 4 quadrants of my mouth, and another 2 above eye brows. I asked him to go more aggressive this time and to focus mainly on the cheeks/temples since those are where my scars are localized. Unfortunately, this time around, I wasn't knocked out like last time. If you recall last time I was literally unconscious for the whole procedure. But this time around, i was at a state of semi-unconsciousness, meaning i could feel the laser burning my skin. luckily, it didnt hurt whatsoever, it literally felt like how you could imagine, this light beam of high intensity heat in small fractionated diameter holes burning through the surface of your skin). but it didnt hurt fortunately since the combination of numbing cream and sedatives were working blocking the pain receptors. If anyone is wondering how long the procedure takes, it takes about 30-60 min for the numbing cream and sedatives to take settle in, and the procedure takes about another 60 min. So total about 2 hours. If you want to leave immediately right after the procedure, you will need someone to take you back because it takes approximately 4 hours for the sedative to wear off enough to the point where you will be able to drive back home. If you cannot find a ride, you will probably just have to wait 4 hours after the procedure in one of his waiting rooms. I will probably not be journaling my experience from day 1 - day 7 like i did last time, because it will probably be the very same. But ill be back in a week or so to give a Week 1 Post Mixto # 2 update. Anyways steady as it goes, God Bless. 3/16/13: 7 Days Post Mixto #2 Hey guys, ive uploaded a ton of new photos which i took along this entire week to give you a glimpse of how my face looked as I was going through the first week process after the mixto. Please note that some pictures may not be in chronological order. I am not going to go into too much detail because the experience was identically the same as the first mixto (scroll up near the beginning to read about my experience during the first week of my first mixto treatment). Anyhow, Ill state some main points however in this blog entry. Make sure you continuously apply aquaphor, wash it over 3-4 hours later, and apply again. Extremely important during the peeling process. And yes the peeling process (Days 1-4) is very irritating and uncomfortable when you sleep. Because you have all this aquaphor on your face and it starts to produce a not too pleasant stench during your sleep, and it does dry it up after 3-4 hours (especially if you roll your face around on your pillow unconsciously during your sleep), which will than dry out your face and it will force you to wake up because it feels like your skin is crushing your face...and will need to wake up in the middle of the night and reapply some more aquaphor and hopefully will be able to go back to sleep again. Anyhow, other than that, after the peeling, it is smooth sailing from there. I finished peeling around Day 4, and day 5 - day 7 , i started my aquaphor/1% hydrocortisone combo. Further. today (day 7) i started to apply a dermaesthetics DNA Serum that my esthetician provided for me. Not sure exactly what it does, she explained to me it will help hydrate and heal my skin, so ill be applying that as well. So i think around day 7 you do not need to apply anymore aquaphor because all the peeling is definitely done by than. So I will just be using the 1% hydrocortisone until i finish the tube, as well as the DNA serum until i finish the bottle. Also, Ive been living like a vampire in my room, blinds closed, no lights, for this past week. Trying to stay away from the sun rays as much as possible. But ya steady as it goes....ill be back in a month to give a 1 month post mixto # 2 update and will check periodically if any of yall have any questions, God bless. 3/25/13 Day 16 Post Mixto #2 Hey guys, ive uploaded 4 new pics. Healing has been going well, hyperpigmentation is still active, but has been deterioriating slowly. I actually went back to work after one week, although i was still a bit red, it was good enough for me to go back to work. Since the doctor went a bit harder this second time around, ive been noticing some better improvement. Although not major, and not microscopically better, when I do look in the mirror from a distance, my face does look like its improving, which I am very happy with. I do hope that 2-3 more times of these sessions will get my face where I would like to be ultimately. But as of now, healing has been going great and hopefully ill see some more improvement in a month or so. God bless. 4/7/13 Day 30 Post Mixto #2 Hey guys, I put up some new pictures up. Ive basically healed up, still slight hyperpigmentation @ the temple region, but other areas of my face no longer have any hyperpigmentation. Healing went well, no negative side effects. But unfortunately, a lot of my acne scars did reappear, havent noticed any significant improvement after 1 month from this second treatment (relative after my first mixto). Ill need to wait a little longer around month 2 - month 3, ill probably see some gradual improvement like I did from my first mixto. Still not satisfied however, and will definitely be going in for a third treatment by month 3-month 4. Per someones request, I have uploaded my pictures within a gallery, please see the link below. 05/04/13 Week 8 Post Mixto #2 and Around Week 20 Post Mixto #1 Hey guys, Ive uploaded some new pics today shown below. I did not update the imgur though cause kind of lazy, ill update that one next time (or when I have some more free time on my hand). also excuse me for my acne! i dont know why i keep breaking out (most likely due to stress from work, studying, lack of sleep, etc). Anyways, just to give a quick update, Ive definitely noticed improvement, it might be hard to gauge from the photos, but I do notice slow and gradual improvement. As of now, I would say Im around 30-35% improved from the beginning. There is definitely a lot more work that will be needed, but it makes me happy to see how Im improving gradually and slowly, I even notice some of my deep acne scar marks filling up with tissue, which was very exciting to see. But like i said, microscopically, All the scars are still there, but macroscropically, my face does look better. I plan on going in next month again for my third treatment, Ive scheduled a date for June 8th with Dr. Rahimi, but that is tentative as i might need to go travel for work, so i may push it off to a later date that month when i do come back. Furthermore, Ive had a lot more confidence lately when i do go out such as for work or going out with friends, I know this may sound really girly, but Ive been using this neutrogena liquid foundation (non comedogenic of course) which gives my face an even skin tone (not rugged like my pics), and tends to mask some of my acne scars. My sis introduced me too it since I was desperate to find something to cover up my scars when i do go out for events/leisure, date nights, glad i found that, haha! but HOPEFULLY, these procedures will start to improve my skin more and more so that in the future i wont need to rely on that. But anyways, steady as it goes, Ill come back with another update sometime next month. Happy May guys! hope everyone else is doing great, God Bless Take Cares. 06/01/13 Week 12 Post Mixto #2: Hey guys, ive uploaded some new array of pics. Healing has been going well, acne has been subsiding a bit. I would say overall improvement has been only 30%, IMO has been minimal. Unfortunately, all my acne scars are still there, they do look a bit better, but are still pretty evident. I dont know, I am having really mixed feelings about this treatment so far. Like Ive Noticed improvement, dont get me wrong I am totally grateful for the improvement, but I was talking to my family last night during dinner and they were saying they notice only 10% improvement and that it was NOT worth $3,000 for you to do this procedure. And furthermore, although i do notice minimal imrpvoement, it doesnt seem like this treatment will get rid of my ice pick acne scars, it will only be able to improve upon them. Anyone suggest another method that can get rid of my ice pick scars? (Possibly TCA or Excision?). I know it is still too early too tell, and maybe Ill need to do some more treatments to ultimately get it to where I would like it to be. But as of now, the improvement hasnt been all that great. I am scheduled for a third mixto next week (June 8th), im going to let Dr. R know of my concerns (of how I havent seen the improvement that I would have liked to see so far), and ill ask him to go a little harder with the Mixto so that I can start seeing some better improvement from my ice pick scars. Im pretty sure he will respond by telling me to be patient, which is probably correct. But as of now 3 months post mixto #2, I am a bit disappointed, sadly. But I will keep going at it, and luckily since Dr. R gives a cost reduction after the second mixto, it is a bit more affordable to say the least. But someone did PM me asking me if it is actually worth $3.000 in terms of the results, I would reply "Maybe", in a sense where I think it is a purely subjective response (depends on the person). Since i do see improvement it was sort of worth it, but the improvement has only been around 30%, which is a bit disappointing. Anyhow, Ill keep going at it with this mixto, maybe giving it 2 more sessions and wait a bit longer before I ultimately come to a final conclusion, so if you all can stay patient with me, Ill be able to give you guys a better feel of where I stand maybe a year from now. But as of today, sort of disappointed with the results, and maybe I just need to learn to accept my scars and live with them? I do not know, if others can shed some light of what other possible procedures i can do to help my ice pick scars i would greatly appreciate it! June 8th, 2013: Day 1 Mixto #3 Session- Hey guys, just gonna give a quick update, I went to have my third mixto today, i asked Dr. R to go harder since I still see lots more room for improvement, which he did oblige......because my face has A LOT more pin point bleeding on my cheeks/temples. Ill post the pics up tmw, pretty tired and drained out right now, but ill be back tmw to give a more thorough update. Im feeling pretty excited cause Dr. R definitely went a lot harder this time around. June 10th, 2013: Day 3 Post Mixto #3 Session- Hey guys, Ive uploaded a whole bunch of pictures to show you guys what my face looked like during the first 3 days of Mixto #3. I went into the office on June 8th (saturday) around 12:00 PM. I sat down with Dr. R to let him know my main concerns of how my deeper ice pick acne scars havent been responding as well to the laser, which is most likely attributed to the lack of depth in the settings of the laser in which Dr. R was using. He admitted that he wasnt going in too deep because he did not want to leave permanent damage to my skin (e.g. hypopigmentation or white spots). And I can totally understand where he is coming from, because obviously who would want white blotchy spots on their facial skin? So I understood why he wanted to stay conservative (especially since I have ethnic skin). But I let him know I was still unhappy with my results, especially the right side of my face where the deeper acne scars lie. He told me he will try to go a bit deeper this time around, but not to max settings. He quoted me he will use the same setting 7/20/10 with 3 passes, and where the deeper ice pick scars he may decide to go 7/20/13. Also, I hope people do not take one of my previous posts the wrong way (the post where I was pretty unhappy about the results). I do believe these Co2 Fractional lasers are of tremendous help and great benefit if you have shallower scars (i.e. rolling/box scars, or shallow ice pick scars). I say this because my face does look cleaner because some of the shallow scars I did have seemed to have disappeared and have been responding pretty great to the treatment thus far. On theo ther hand, if you look at my pics very closely, I have a lot of riddled ice pick scars , which are the dominant types of scars on my face. Furthermore, if you compare my left and right side pics, you will notice my left side has been responding very great to the treatment, thisi s because my left side had shallower ice pick scars and shallower scars in general. On the otherh and, my right side still needs A LOT more imporvement because they are where my deepest acne scars lie. I let Dr. R know of my concerns and you guys can judge yourself with the new pics I posted up. I do believe he did go more aggressive this third time around because my face had a lot more pin point bleeding, which i did not see from my first two mixto treatments. Ill be back after a week to give you guys my progress. EDIT: I forgot to mention, before my third mixto when I was having a short pre - op conversation with Dr. R, I inquired to him about the possibility of doing punch excision or TCA Cross for my deeper acne scars. He told me from his own expert opinion, that the Mixto is the best solution, even for my deeper acne scars, especially since I have a bunch localized on my cheeks. On a side note- I recently figured out the underlying cause of my acne break outs. This whole time (these past 10 years or so), I always thought that my "hyperhydrosis" was the main underlying cause of my acne break outs. But recently, in order to prevent my sweating, I started to swim instead of running and playing basketball. It was strange that even when I was swimming , my face still kept on breaking out. So after talking with my esthetician about why i still break out so much, and she told me because I have very high internal body heat. I looked up my condition , and figured out because I have high internal body heat, it leads to hyperhydrosis. Therefore, the reason why i still break out so much isnt because of my hyperhydrosis, but because of my high internal body heat. I did a bit more research and found out that bacteria "thrive" in warm blood, and therefore since the warm blood always circulates around my body (through the face, through the brain, etc) face is more prone to acne because of this. This can also become exacerbated through working out (since blood starts rushing through the brain, sweat starts to come out of my pores) as well as when i drink alcohol. Therefore, I decided the best thing I can do to help with my acne is to try to keep my blood at a normal temperature range. Im planning on doing this by staying away from things like caffeine/alcohol, eating more fruits/veggies (to keep my blood cleaner), staying away from meats, swimming more often, not stressing out as much, etc. Just wanted to post this to help anybody else who may be in the same shoes as me. anyways, God Bless. June 15th, 2013 Week 1 Post Mixto #3- Hey guys, ive uploaded a whole bunch of pics of what my face was going through this past week. The doctor definitely did go harder this third time around because it took an 1-2 extra days than to peel completely relative to my first two Mixtos. To elaborate further, i think the Day 4 to Day 5 transition is when the peeling usuaally finished for my first two mixto. But this time around it was between day 5 to day 6 when the peel was completely done. Im not going to go too much in detail because the recovery procedure was the same. But just to recap: 1. It really is like a part - time job, taking care of your face for the first week. Constant application of aquaphor, washing it off with light cetaphil cleanser, reapplication of the actually is a lot of work. 2. Something new - Try to wear very soft gloves/mittens when you go to sleep. This is something I WILL have to do for my fourth mixto session. You will notice some "scratch" marks all over my face, I must have unconsciously during my sleep scratched my face constantly, because you do get itchy during the recovery process! Wear Mittens/Soft Gloves when you go to sleep. 3. Been taking doxycycline twice a day. 4. After peeling was done around day 5-6, I went on a different regime. Wake up, wash face with light cleanser, Dermaesthetics DNA serum, 1% hydrocortisone, reapplication of aquaphor. The reapplication of aquaphor is something new, something i didnt do after my first two treatments, Dr. R said you Do not need to apply aquaphor after your peeling is done, but I just felt that it wouldnt hurt for my skin just to keep some aquaphor on my face even after the peeling process. I just rationalized that it probably will enhance and help the skin heal faster. Overall, I think i might see some nicer improvements this third time around, im already starting to see remnants of improvement, although it is still to early to judge since my face still has some micro swelling, I think by month 1, Ill be able to gauge how much this third treatment has helped, but early signs point up, since I am seeing some improvement right now. I took a week off work, probably will go back to work Monday, hopefully the hyperpigmentation subsides a bit more by Monday, it is still pretty evident on my face, but definitely good enough to go into work (probably will use some concealers). June 30th, 22 Days Post Mixto #3: Hey guys, so ive uploaded a couple of more pics. Healing has been going well but hyperpigmentation has been a big issue!!! It seems that since the Dr. R went a lot harder this time around, the hyperpigmentation is lasting a lot longer relative to my first two mixto treatments. Although it sucks to have this long lasting hyperpigmentation (and very embarrassing going to work with a red face), I know that I will see better results because of this and I am already seeing better results, which I am very happy with. So I guess it comes with the territory, if you want results, doctor must be aggressive, this wiill thus lead to longer lasting hyperpigmentation. I have no worries that it will fade over time, but this experience is new relative to my first two mixtos. Goes to show that the first two werent as aggressive, because I recall the hyperpigmentation fading at around 2 weeks. But this third one , the hyperpigmentation hasnt faded yet! It has been embarrassing at work, but oh well this is what I must go through in order to get results. August 18th, 2013 Around 2 months Post Mixto #3: Hey guys, ive uploaded a whole bunch of pics of what my skin went through these past 2 months. Sorry for the lagging, Ive just been super busy (as well as lazy) in updating this blog. Anyhow, Im glad to see that I have noticed significant more improvement from this third mixto. I am really starting to nice a difference in the scars in terms of depth + width, both are smaller. However, I am still not yet satisfied, because all the scars are still there unfortunately. I believe my left side of my face has seen much greater improvement than my right side because my left side had the shallower scars. Overall I notice around 60 % improvement on my left side where as i notice about 40-45% improvement on my right side. All Scars are still on my face, but are definitely less prominent and less noticeable. Although if you were to see me face to face, you will definitely still notice the scars. That being said, I believe i should repeat important things that should be done after the procedure. ALWAYS use high SPF sun block, if you can afford it go to a skin care clinic. I went twice a week of the first month after my third mixto, and have been going once a week since. She has been doing these collagen masks, and applying other ointments to help heal my skin. Further, HP was REALLY REALLY bad this time around, because he went so much harder. Since he went so hard, the HP lasted a good 2 months. I was literally tomato red from week 2 - week 6. There was a time lag in the HP, meaning the first 1-2 weeks after the mixto 3, my face looked sunburnt red, but than week 2- week 4 my face was literally tomato red. IT was embarrassing at work, and im pretty sure next time around I will need to take off a month from work. Anyways, ill come back on month 3 to give another update. Take cares. September 14, 2013 Around 3 Months Post Mixto #3: Hey guys, just wanted to give an update. Posted some new pics of where I am currently at. Im definitely noticing more and more improvement, but ultimately its not where I want it to be yet. Its definitely has improved in terms of both depth and width. Some things to note that i may have forgotten to mention before, HP really sucks the first 2 months...Im a huge gym guy so it sucks walking around the gym with a SUPER red face between months 1 and months 2. And the first month, it was so bad that I did not even dare show my face around the gym, so i just did some mini workouts at my home. Also, dont have such big expectations that your scars will Disappear completely, because they wont. But they do get better after time and after more sessions, especially if you have deep embedded scars like I do, which I believe are the worst ones to have. But like i said, I am starting to see some nice improvement, even my esthetician said she notices around 40-50% overall improvement before I started any of the treatments. I plan on doing some needling sessions with her like 1-2 times a month, and most liklely in december I will go for my 4th mixto treatment. October 12, 2013 Around 4 Months Post Mixto #3: Hey guys, just wanted to post up some new pics of myself 4 months after mixto #3. There definitely has been some improvement over the last month, slow, gradual, and subtle. I still stand by my overall 50% improvement (prob around 60% on my left cheek, around 35-40% on my right cheek). Still a lot more room for improvement, but I am somewhat satisfied with the results thus far. I know I have mentioned this in many previous posts, but Ive come to the realization that my deep ice picked scars will never ever return to normal, something I am starting to accept now. However, I do believe that treatments can improve the appearance of these deep ice picked scars such as the laser. I am completely healed from the treatment, face color has returned back to its normal color. Ive been swimming to maintain my cardio fitness (i try not to do any other types of intense workouts because i do believe the sweating leads to breakouts). Also another thing to note is that, I am starting to get a couple of dark spots (sun spots) around my face, not a lot maybe 4 spread out over my face. It does seem to me that the laser does weaken the skin, leading my skin being more proned to sun spots. I have been using SPF50++ sunblock everyday, but it still seems like weakened skin can still lead to black spots. Its not that bad since i only have like 4, but i do hope i do not start to get anymore, as it is not very appealing to have. This is something worth of note, just note that after lasers make sure you wear a lot of sun protection and try to stay away from the sun as much as possible. Anyways, take cares. November 28th, 2013 Around 5-6 months post mixto #3: Happy thanksgiving to everybody! Sorry for the lagging, just really busy with life now and I am happy to say that the scars are not bothering me as much anymore! I think its a mixture of both actual improvement and also improvement from a psychological perspective. I really think that this laser has definitely improved my face, because I can totally see it now. It is not at 100% though, but im fine with that because like i mentioned previously in my previous posts, any types of improvement will satisfy my desires of skin improvement. That said, I think I have improved about 55-65% on my right and 60-70% on my left, and I think maybe 1 or 2 more treatments will get me to the point of where I want to be with my face. I think the deep embedded acne scars will ALWAYS stay on my face, but Im actually fine with it because I noticed a lot of the other smaller acne scars are really going away, which is making my face look a lot lot lot cleaner. And to clarify, a lot of my scars are still there on my face, but they look A LOT less noticeable and less prominent, its much harder to see them now. My acne has also IMPROVED tremendously. Ive been seeing an esthetician every week who has been helping me with my scars and my acne. Further, I have kept up with my swimming routine, eating healthy, not worrying/stressing, and just trying to be a happier person. And Im glad to say I have been very very happy just with life in general. I even asked this really cute girl out last week and she said yes! I dont mean to be gloating here, i just wish and hope for everyone on this board to realize that even with acne scars, you can always try to improve it in whichever ways you feel the most comfortable, but dont let these acne scars hinder your quality of life. Just remember everyone goes to struggles, and that even with acne scars, we cant let that affect other aspects of our lives. We should always be nice, courtesy, respectful, humble, helpful, kind, gentle with others with or without acne scars. And just live your life to the fullest the best you can and be confident with yourself. Yes i know it really sucks having acne scars, I believe there are ways to improve it like this laser treatment. I really have seen tremendous improvement this past year, and I am extremely grateful for it (grateful to Dr. R, and others on this board who taught me a lot about acne scars). Anyways I wish everyone the best of luck on your endeavors in trying to improve your acne scarring, but just remember, to live your life to the fullest with or without acne scars. I am planning for my four mixto session with Dr. R in Dec. 23rd time frame, so I will keep you guys up to date on that as well. Also one thing i would also like to mention, Ive been drinking green tea with lemon and honey 3 times a day during work , and its really helped my skin as well, something to just consider. December 28th, 7 days post mixto #4- I got my 4th mixto done with Dr. R one week ago. Its been a week and I've healed extremely fast. Dr. R stated to me this is the hardest he has ever gone on anybody with the laser, but judging from my pics, I may have to respectfully disagree with his assessment. I think with this 4th mixto, it was probably at the intensity level between the 2nd and 3rd mixto treatments. I think the 3rd mixto i had with him was definitely the hardest he went on me thus far. You can come to this assessment just by looking at my photos, if you look at my photos right now after my 4th mixto, the redness has mostly already dissipated! Whereas after my third mixto, the redness lasted a good 6 weeks. The quick reduction in redness may also be attributed to my consistent usage of the hydroquinone cream weeks before this 4th laser, as well as my after care....applying aquaphor, hydrocoritsone, and other ointments that my esthetician gave me. How do i feel? I feel okay about it, I was hoping that Dr. R would go as hard or even harder then my third mixto level of intensity, because it is quite obvious that the harder you go, the better results you will most likely get. I do believe Dr. R is trying to fine that right balance of level of intensity and at the same time not going tooo hard and causing permanent damage to my skin in terms of hypopigmentation spots. So Ill let the Professional do his thing, and trust him with what he think its best for my skin. But like i stated, i only have minor hyperpigmentation right now, i can actually go out already and go back to work within a week which isnt what i was expecting. So its also a blessing in disguise i guess, cause the downtime after this laser has only been a week. I actually do see remnants of improvement of my face, looks cleaner, but i think that may be more attributed to the micro swelling that has not gone down yet. Hopefully in a couple of months ill continue to see gradual improvement over my skin, ill keep yall updated. thanks. February 22nd 2014, 2 months post mixto #4- Hey guys, its been a while since ive updated the post. Just wanted to give out an update to everyone. Glad to say that things are going well . Ive uploaded photos throughout these past 2 months to give you guys an idea of what my skin looked like throughout this 4th mixto session. Like I stated previously in one of my posts, I do feel that he didn't go as hard as my third mixto, but just a bit lesser in strength. Also, I would really like to point out that there is a lag in HP. What I mean by that is, for the first 2 weeks, or one week after you finish completely peeling, you will have no HP. Unfortunately, by week 2, the HP starts to surface and it will last a good 2 months. Throughout these next two months, it will slowly start to fade week by week. Just a heads up to everybody who is considering this procedure, you will be red for a good 2 months. I would also like to mention that the most latest photos taken today , that I have uploaded, are from a different light setting. Ive finally moved out of the nest egg, and am living on my own, so the lighting is a bit different. More importantly is the fact that I do have a lot of sun block on and a bit of a light concealer (yes I know its very girly... but gotta do what i gotta do lol), so you will notice a slightly different skin tone, and some of the scars concealed a bit more than usual. Although I do have ointments on my face, my scars arent too much different with the ointments or without the ointments, my next update ill update the pics without anything on my face. Anyhow, in terms of results, Im glad to say that I have noticed significant improvement. I should note that the scars are still noticeable, if you were to see me in person, you would definitely notice the scars, but I do feel like the appearance of the scars have reduced, which I am very happy and grateful for. I do not think more laser sessions will completely eradicate all the scars, its just the nature of the beast and that my ice pick scars are simply hard to fill , and a laser isnt the best treatment to fill ice pick scars. That being said, my face has improved with these treatments, and I am proud to say that I would really would recommend this laser to anyone that is interested in getting improvement of the "appearance" of their scars. I really do feel a lot more confident with myself and I do not feel as nervous/scared when I meet new people. Anyhow, Ill come back later for more updates on my skin, take care everyone! May 17th, 2014 - 5 Months Post Mixto #4 Hey guys, its been a good while since I've been back on these forums, glad to be back and update you guys on the progress of my skin. I apologize for not updating more frequently, unfortunately life has taken over, and I have much much less free time, and much less time to worry about my skin and updating this my mini-blog here in Anyhow, I will still continuously do my best do update these posts from time to time, but please dont expect them to be on a monthly basis, just FYI! So now on with my post.... I've uploaded 4 new photos of my face. Note that the lighting for the past few pictures have been different, I recently moved out of my parents home and moved into my own new place (I think i mentioned this in one of the previous posts). Anyhow, that is the reason why the lighting is different if any of you guys were wondering. I tried to do my best in terms of getting the harshest lighting angle so that my scars would be more apparent, but this is the best I could do. I do think that the pictures do not accurately reflect my true scarring, it makes it seem like my scars are less noticeable and apparent. Do not get me wrong, my scars definitely have improved! But, the pictures seem to make my scars look A LOT better than it really is, if you were to see me in person. Ill try to do my best next update to give you a better angle and picturing of my scars. That being said, there definitely has been more improvement over these past 3 months since my last update. I truly believe that there definitely is a time lag in results, you definitely get gradual, incremental improvements as time moves on. I do believe that incremental improvement probably caps out after around 6 months after a laser treatment (i.e. 6 months after a laser treatment, the way your face looks is probably where it will stay), but anyone that disagrees can correct me if I am wrong, this is just my observation from the empirical data that I have been noticing on myself. Life quality has definitely improved, I feel a lot more confident when going out to events, and talking to people. That being said, unfortunately, the scars are still noticeable. If you were to see me in person, you would notice my scars right away, it is still not normal. It definitely looks better and more bearable, manageable, and less noticeable, but still apparent to any observer. I do think people "notice" it, but it does not bother them at all or think much about it. This is just what my friends/family members have been telling me (at least just my close friends). Its funny because I recently met up with a college friend, and haven't seen him in 3 years, when he first saw me, he was completely shocked, he said quote on quote "dude Scott you look so good now". I think he was referring mostly due to a procedure that I did about 3-4 years ago, I had an underbite, and I got that fixed (it definitely changed my facial appearance). I also think he was referring to my skin as well, because my acne has definitely subsided, I still get the occasional pimple from time to time, but definitely not anywhere near what I went through that caused me to have these acne scars. (I had full blown out BAD ACNE, like literally every pore on my face was a pimple, thats how bad it got throughout my teenage years). Further, I do believe that the acne scars definitely look better and has definitely improved. You can notice quite a dramatic change from my first pictures to my most recent uploaded pictures. If you were to ask me how much improvement do you see so far just on the acne scars alone, I would respond by saying my left cheek with the more shallower acne scars has improved about 70%, and my right cheek with the much more apparent and deeper scars at around 60% improvement. If you were to ask me how i feel just in general, I feel so much better, not just because of the improvmeent of my acne scars, but the fact that I do not break out anymore. I do think that my esthetician i see once a week has definitely helped with my acne. Getting acne in any prominent areas on your face , IMO, is so much worse because it is the most noticeable thing on your face, more noticeable than the acne scars. I hated having big humungous zits and having to go out to social events with friends, definitely lost a lot of confidence. My esthetician has been placing this "blue light" thingy on my face for about 15 minutes every session, not sure what it is called, but if anyone has acne issues, they should look into this "blue light" technology, it has TRMEENDOUSLY helped my acne. Anyhow, after all that being said, I am still not quite satisfied completely with my skin, I still do not feel 100% confident with my skin, and that is natural for me and I would assume for everyone on this board. I will never be satisfied until I get 100% improvement, unfortunately, we do not have the technology that can produce such results. The only thing that we can do is improve upon them in the current procedures that are out there. I truly would like to have 100% flawless skin, but I know that it is not attainable, so I am still seeking ways to obtain that goal. I know I previously mentioned that even if i got 50% improvement, i would be satisfied. And I am satisfied because I have obtained that goal and I am there now. But, now that I am there, I still yearn and crave for more improvement, I really truly want my face to get to a point where a person viewing me will barely notice the acne scars, because I still feel that I am in a point where people notice it. Basically I am trying to get at around 85-90% improvement of my acne scars on both sides of my face, mainly on my right side which is the trouble side. The reason why I am saying all of this is because I have been debating on what my next steps should be to obtain this goal. I mentioned in some previous posts and replies on this thread that I am unsure if I want to continue on with these laser sessions because I do not quite fully understand the long term ramifications of continuous laser procedures on asian ethnic skin. If the doctor was to tell me there is no long term ramifications, I may consider doing 1-2 more of these procedures in the future. But then again, I am not fully sure If i want to trust his word, and would definitely like to do more of my own research. The other viable options that I have in front of me is to do the needling sessions with my esthetician, maybe once a month. I havent had much time on the weekends to do such sessions because doing one of those sessions will keep me from doing anything on the weekends (i would need to stay in my room for the entire weekend), so its been hard trying to find time for this. Another option ive been contemplating is trying out TCA, the reason why Ive been contemplating this is because the deeper acne scars on my right side have not responded as well to the laser. The deeper scars have definitely improved from the laser, but I feel like from what I've read about TCA, it will do a much better job in "filling" up the deep holes , or craters on my skin. The reason I have not done this treatment yet is because Ive been getting a lot of mixed reviews both on this board, as well as multiple dermatologists recommendations. One dermatologist recommended it to me, whereas 2 did not recommend it. Therefore, Ive been "stuck on the fence" about this treatment, so i guess any viewers on this forum, if you have any recommendations I would really appreciate it. But I do think I will try to start the deep needling sessions with my esthetician to try to get more improvement for right now, and look into the TCA somewhere in the near future, and possibly additional laser treatments. Anyhow, sorry for the long rant, I just wanted to let you all know where I stand and I wanted to be perfectly clear with everyone of you. I do understand the pain and agony that we go through with these acne scars, so I try to do my best in giving out advice, being clear with my messages, and updating my progress as best as I can. I'll keep you all posted in future progress and treatments, take care. December 6th, 2014- 12 months post mixto #4 Hello All, its been a while since ive been on this board, felt like today was the perfect opportunity to give everyone an update on the progress of my acne scars. First, I would like to apologize for not updating as frequently as I used too. Quite frankly put, I've had other priorities that needed my fullest of attentions, and quite honestly, ive been somewhat lazy. That said, I do still plan to update this post from time to time, but it will not be frequently as it used too. Anyhow, as for the progress, reference the two latest pictures I posted up. As you can tell from the pictures, my scars have improved, they are still evident on my right side but not as visible on my left. Even though they are still evident, they definitely have improved in appearance. That is, they are a lot less aggressive, hence less noticeable. Further, luckily, my acne has been improving, i do not break out as much as before, so that is a big plus. Lastly, I do still believe the picture shown is actually better than what it really looks like, it seems like the camera on my phone doesn't have HD quality, so it tends to masks the scars within the pictures. But, at the end, the pictures do show fairly accurate representations of where I currently am. Its been a whole year since my mixto #4, how fast time flies by. I can honestly say with great confidence that these procedures have definitely improved my skin. I definitely would recommend doing these types of procedures if you want to see some improvement in your acne scars. I am of the position that these types of treatment are most beneficial for people with shallow acne scars, since I do believe the procedure will help with the shallow ones. I do believe this treatment definitely improves upon the deeper type acne scars, but will not *cure* them. Evident from my photos, my deep acne scars are still there. As of now, my final conclusion would be that my face has seen about 75% improvement on my left side (the side with the shallower acne scars) and about 50% improvement on my right side. I do not plan on doing anymore of these procedures because I do think I am at the point where the improvements from an additional one of these types of procedures will not be as beneficial. For the right side of my face, I am starting to accept I will have to live with these scars , and just accept them. It is actually somewhat liberating in a way because after accepting them and realizing that they are not as bad as I make it sound to be, I do not think or worry about them that much anymore. I definitely will be open to future procedures if any new innovations appear in terms of dealing with the deeper type acne scars In conclusion, I plan to just accept my scars with where they are at now, and will move on with my life and not think/worry about them any longer. Good luck to everyone on these boards, ill definitely try to come back in the future to give you guys periodic updates. Take care everyone. May 17, 2015 - 17 months post mixto #4 Hi all, its been a while since Ive been on these boards. I have uploaded two new photos of where my face stands today. Not much change from my last post, like I stated in my previous post, I believe the improvements have plateued, and where my face stands today is most likely how it will be forever (unless I perform any other procedures in the future). The deeper acne scars have not improved since my last post, and I would just like to reiterate that these procedures I pretty good for shallow superficial scars, but not as good for deeper acne scars, although the deeper acne scars have somewhat improved. All in all, I still stand by my final conclusion that 50% improvement for my right side and about 65-70% improvement on my left side. The scars still do bother me everytime I look in the mirror, but like I stated previously, I am starting to accept them for what it is. Anyhow, hope you all are doing well and I hope that my journey has helped others. Like I stated previously, I'll drop from time to time to update this blog, but I do not expect to see any more improvement. Take cares.
  18. AHA on whiteheads

    Is applying AHA to whiteheads a good idea? Whenever I put it on an area of my face with tight skin (under the eyes, around the nose) it seems to shrink the whitehead or even make it completely disappear is 1 or 2 days. However when I apply it to a whitehead on any other area of my face (chin or cheek for example), I get mixed results. Though usually, it seems to do nothing, or even make the whitehead bigger? Any advice on this would be appreciated.
  19. Hello, This is my first post, but I've been reading here a lot, looking for a solution to my adult acne. I've had it since I was 19, but it's always been sort of moderate. I had a lot of stress about 10 months ago (I am 31 now) and my acne just exploded. I started getting deep cysts on my jaws, those are the worst because they change the shape of my face. Also my cheeks were just covered in big bumps and pimples and even my forehead started getting them. They just started showing up like mushrooms after rain, and really painful and deep, leaving deep scars, etc. you get the idea. I am a professional now so it really sucked going to work like this. No makeup can cover big woozy bumps. I tried getting regular facials, but things only got worse. I bought the Regimen products. I am very happy with the Cleanser, the moisturizer and the AHA cream. The benzol also seemed to help to heal bumps faster, but they were just so bad that they would pop and bleed as I was washing my face. I guess I was no longer "moderate" and didn't see results, too many new pimples all the time. I started antibiotics too. Again - I can't say whether that was working or not, because I was too desperate for results at this point to wait 6 months to see a difference. Then I accidentally came across a Cosmetic surgery clinic, offering Acleara treatment. It's a new machine, just released in 2010 I believe. One treatment was $150 - I am usually suspicious but I decided to try it. I just finished my 6th treatment (completed them within 2 and a half months, last one was free). I saw results even after the first treatment and the results were like magic. I know this sounds like advertising, but I really have no words to describe how happy and relieved I feel. After the third treatment I was completely clear. But not just clear - my skin is totally smooth when I touch it. Nothing gross underneath, no bumps. The blackheads and whiteheads are pretty much gone. It's amazing. In between treatments I was getting a pimple or two, but very small ones, nothing like before. Now they are just gone. The downtime is minimal. I started pretty severe and I was a little red for a couple of days. Now that my skin is clear, it only lasts an hour or two. I didn't get a lot of bruising, because they would adjust the strength to suit the sensitivity of my skin. There were some bruises at times from the suction, but that's only temporary and a small price to pay for the results. Besides, when there are no bumps, I could easily cover up with a little bit of powder or tinted moisturizer. I know it's expensive, but this is the best spent money in my life. I wish I never had to deal with acne, but that's how it is for some of us. Now I have scars and some red spots left over. I am expecting them to fade some more. I am also considering some peels and microdermabrasion to further improve my skin. Haven't tried it yet, so don't know if it will work. But I feel so relieved, my friends and family can't believe my results and I tell them it's a miracle. Anyways, hope I helped someone out there who is of working age and also struggling like this. Also, it is important that results are FAST! So if you are worrying about an event you want to look good for - it's worth trying. I just don't see how this treatment could fail, but I know there are different types of acne out there. Still, in my experience - if you do one procedure you will know if it has worked for you, Well, that's all for now. I hope the results will last. I am not planning any more Acleara for the next few months. I was told I may only need 2-3 times a year from now on if the acne persists. Will see. Good luck to all!
  20. AHA for flaky skin?

    Hi ive been on the regimen for about 7 weeks and Im still getting horrible flaky skin, Ive read somewhere that you can use aha to get rid of it quicker, but other people have said that it gave them even more flaky skin. Im goin to try it tonight but I want to know how I sh0uld use it: I cleanse then add BP then moisturize, should I just replace the moisturizer with aha or should I skip the BP and just use the aha after cleansing? Any advice will be appreciated.
  21. Everyone talks about how moisturizing it is and how it removes flakes, but for me it seems to do the opposite. When I wash my face the next day, my face is more dry than it is on the days where I don't use it.
  22. Hyaluronic Acid!

    OH MY GOD. This stuff is AMAZING. My face has been sooooooooooooooooooo dry. I was on Differin for a few months and now accutane, but this stuff is helping! My face isn't dry, nor is it oil. So I guess its "normal". Something I've never been blessed to experience, haha. I used to have super oily skin, then super dry skin... Anyway, I purchased this bottle from Amazon. Its 2 OZ and comes with a dropper. What I've been doing is after washing my face is applying it all over my face. It comes with a dropper. I drop the contents into my hand (after washing them) and apply it all over. After it absorbs I then apply my moisturizer. I've seen improvements in the short week that I've used it. Thanks to VPM and CALIFORNIAESTIE for the advice. Very much appreciated!
  23. To start off I remember when I was younger I always used the Dove unscented sensitive skin beauty bar (long name) for washing my face and I had no problems with acne. So far it has done a decent job.. It's been just over a week since I started using it again (8 days). My skin has evened out and feels/looks softer. It also has helped with oily skin. Currently this is the only thing I'm using unless I get a whitehead then I put some tea tree oil onto it. Anyway. My question fir those if you that have used Dove soap is that if you went through a purging process? I'm telling myself that's what's going on but I'm not really sure... I searched and could not find anyone that went through a purging process while using Dove soap. My skin looks great in spots where I don't have pimples. I don't really have many to begin with but yeah... This is the kind where they are not there in the morning come home look in the mirror and get mad haha. If I do pop them.. small inflamed blackheads and whiteheads.. then they disappear pretty quickly. I'm 21 and it's embarrassing to still have some acne. I really want to believe in Dove soap and hope that it's just a purging process.
  24. Hi everyone. My name is Ben, and I'm a 19 year old from Singapore. I've suffered on and off from acne for about 4 years. My skin is *extremely* oily and acne-prone, which leads to frequent breakouts since my country is hot and humid all year round. Last month, I was hit by another massive breakout after almost a year of clear skin, and I'm determined to find a way to defeat my acne once and for all. In the past, I had kept my acne in check with antibiotics and manuka honey masks, but the drugs made me dizzy and the manuka honey masks seemed to lose their effectiveness over time. After stumbling upon, I was attracted by the positive reviews and community, so I've decided to contribute by updating my journey weekly. I will try to make this thread as informative as possible, and maybe touch other aspects of acne (lifestyle, psychological). Hopefully, someone can relate to this and find this helpful or motivational My current regimen Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 After applying 2 full pumps of BP twice a day, my acne has improved noticeably. I have less than 10 papules on my face now, and all of them are in the midst of healing. Also, for the past week, I only got 2 new ones, which is an incredibly low number for me. Although I've adjusted my lifestyle habits, I'm certain that its the BP thats doing wonders. After putting it on and letting it dry, my face feels "calmer" as well. Another positive sign I've received is that my face seems to be getting used to the regimen. It is much less tight and painful, even though I've ramped up the amount of BP significantly. The only problem I'm facing now is the flakiness, which doesn't seem to go away even though I apply AHA+ every other day. On a side note, does anyone have any recommendations for a better moisturiser? Cetaphil's Moisturising Cream feels thick and oily and makes my face look shiny, yet it doesn't do a great job of relieving tightness and dryness. I'm looking at Cerave's or Dan's moisturiser, and will probably pick up either one over the weekend. Stay tuned for weekly updates
  25. 2 years ago I had a cyst on my chin. It was pretty big and painful, and after a couple of weeks pus came out and the inflammation subsided. This in itself is not unusal for me, as I often get cysts just on my chin area. However usually they just leave the red/browny hyperpigmentation, which eventually fades. This, however, has turned into what I assume is a hypertrophic scar, but it doesn't look like any photos I have seen. It is like a mini callus - raised, hard, scraggy textured skin. The top of it is white, like hard dead skin, and if you pinch it is stays put. But below is more red. It doesn't hurt. I have to cover it with concealer everyday which then just makes it look like a big spot (even though it isn't!) The dermatologist told me (about 1.5 years ago) to use Dermatix silcone gel and it would heal it. It didn't. I do tend to pick my skin without consciously realising it (although have cut down on this), and have found that if I pick it off, it is then completely flat like a picked scab, but then grows back within a couple of days. (It feels like it needs to be picked off as it feels like a lump of dead dry skin - but I know it obviously shouldn't be picked off!) I asked my GP last week and he said it is some form of fibrosis (which I think just means 'scar'?!) and to try keeping it very moisturised. I said I was attempting the salicyclic acid, urea acid, lactic acid route, which is the way you treat proper calluses, to see whether sloughing off the dead skin might help reduce it. I'm using an Avene acne cream with AHAs and DHAs in it, which is exfoliationg/hydration for acne, but I figured might work on both the acne and the scar. Does anyone have any thoughts? Or had a scar like this? I won't be able to go back to the dermatologist for this as I'm in the UK, and as my acne cysts themselves are currently controlled by trimethoprim, I don't think I will be referred for something that is cosmetic and not that big. Many thanks.