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Posts posted by sixfeetunder

  1. I've decided to jump on board this derminator train and ordered mine today. I must have had about 6 or 7 dermarolling/dermapen plus TCA cross sessions with Dr. Chu at Hammersmith over the years, but it's very hard for me to gauge what, if any, results I've achieved. The TCA cross I'm sure has made certain scars shallower, yet overall I'm not sure how effective the dermapen has actually been. Dr. Chu performed subcision on me once for some of the deeper scars, which I think helped somewhat. But it's always been hard to judge, because I have very sensitive skin which seems to look a thousand times worse some days than on others... it doesn't feel very 'stable' at all. I apply isotrexin every night, on Dr. Chu's recommendation, to try to deal with all the congestion going on, but after almost a year I can't say it's had any noticeable effect.  My skin tone and texture is absolutely awful... clogged pores, marks, and general blotchiness everywhere in addition to ice pick and rolling scars and huge scarred pores over my cheeks. I also have raised scarring on the sides of my chin.   

    Anyway, to cut a long story short, I figure I have nothing to lose by attempting to treat my scarring myself. I'll of course be following instructions closely. To be honest, I don't have very high hopes of substantial improvement, but if I'm able over time to achieve any kind of progress I'll be extremely happy. Meanwhile, I'm also looking into lactic or glycolic peels to see whether they might have any effect on my tone and texture issues. Is anyone else located in the UK able to give a heads up as to trustworthy sources for either? Later on, I'd also maybe like to undertake TCA cross myself, although I'm feeling a bit of a chicken when it comes to that at the moment.

    Good luck to all.

  2. I had a long relationship (6 years) with someone who didn't seem to mind that my face is scarred up all over as a result of acne (I was still breaking out throughout the relationship too, but not as badly as before I took accutane). What did seem to bother him was how affected I was by it. A big contributor towards the break up, I think, was that he felt like he couldn't make me happy because I always seemed so miserable with myself (low confidence in how I look resulted in me becoming an extremely negative person. I didn't feel able to be as bubbly and positive, and probably as loving as I'd like to be). That wasn't the only reason why we didn't work out, but it was a big factor. So sometimes, it's not the opinions of others concerning our skin, but our behaviour in reaction to it, that can truly push someone away.

    I'm currently seeing somebody who also doesn't seem to mind about my skin. I'm generally a much more positive person than I was during the last relationship, in addition to the fact that I feel I learnt some important lessons about relationships in general as a result of that break-up, and so I'm hoping that this one goes well (it's been a few months so far, so time will tell). But it's difficult. I find him very attractive and though of course attractiveness is ultimately subjective, I think he's probably considered a good looking guy by many others also (my ex had image concerns of his own, related to his weight, whereas this guy has none that I'm aware of - obviously that's good for him, but it does mean I feel a bit more aware of my own oddities around him). When I feel so monstrous, it's hard for me to show much confidence or to act as uninhibited as I'd like and that really makes me feel sad and frustrated. I don't like to bring my skin up, because that feels like drawing more attention to something I'd rather forget about, but I'm starting to feel like it's time to open up a bit more about it. If I stay at his, then I'm finding myself being a bit sneaky about trying to quickly put on face creams or concealer or whatever, and feeling uncomfortable because he unfortunately is a big fan of switching on all the lights in the mornings if it's a bit dim, and things like that. I feel like for my own sanity, I'm going to have to ask if he'd mind accomodating some of my weird rituals - like letting me get ready in flattering lighting, without being too crazy about it. He already knows I have periodic treatments for my scarring, and I've mentioned a few times that I have low confidence because of it, but I've kept talk of it quite low key as I'm conscious that in my last relationship I went on about my scars so much that it was complete overkill and did no good at all. I'm trying to be brave, especially as I've been invited to a family wedding abroad in a couple of months time and there's an internal panic inside me about how I'm going to cope with trying to remain confident when I'm even more out of my comfort zone. I guess it's a matter of striking that balance between being honest and brave enough to talk about it when you feel you need some support, yet not letting it utterly dominate everything and pushing them away.

    In short, it's difficult but definitely not impossible. Not everyone is shallow enough to care about what someone's skin looks like, but I think we have to be careful to remember that and to be a bit kinder to ourselves.

  3. I had the same 3 procedures done by the same doctor last week (dermapen, TCA cross and subcision - I've undergone the first two before, but not the subcision). I'd say that after 3 days the swelling from subcision had gone down (I'm glad I'm not the only one a little freaked out by the chipmunk appearance it gave me! I also had the nurse push down on the swelling immediately afterwards so hard that I thought my teeth were probably going to break out of my face... I hadn't really expected it to be so brutal). The redness from dermapen, for me, is usually coverable around 4-5 days post-treatment, but the scabs left by TCA cross take much longer to heal. Usually I book one week off work to recover, but this time around I think it will be more like 9-10 days before the scabs (bigger than ever before after TCA cross this time around, for some reason) naturally fall off and I can cover the remainder of the marks (or try to at least) with makeup.

    One thing that always depresses me a little bit about having this procedure done is that aside from the TCA cross scabbing, my skin tone and texture is always so much better for about a week (it feels much more 'stable' if that make sense - no greasiness and quite clear looking despite redness). But then, just as the scabs start to minimise, the tone and texture starts going back to blotchy and horrible again. If only it would last! I also get quite flaky around day 3-6, which I think is quite a common thing to experience. So I wouldn't worry about that.

    Good luck with your recovery!

  4. Very fed up. My face is just one big mass of acne, scars, marks and enlarged pores. Make-up really just makes it look worse, so I'm a bit lost as to what to do really. I'm undergoing what scar treatments I've been recommended (TCA cross and dermapen), but if they're making any difference it's only minor. My skin tone and texture, in general and all over, is still terrible. Continuing on with this seemingly endless battle is getting very disheartening. At 26 I assumed the acne stage of things might at least be over with, but apparently that's not to be! If my face would at least stop breaking out, then I could look towards fixing some of the damage left behind rather than gaining new scars to add to the already existing collection :/

  5. Feeling pretty bad.

    I had TCA cross and dermapen performed two weeks ago for my scarring, and as per usual, a week later (aside from the residual scabbing from the TCA) my skin in general was looking quite promising and clear (still scarring pretty much everywhere, but seemingly slightly shallower in depth) - from micro-swelling, I imagine. A couple of days after that and things have changed dramatically. I'm now suffering from deep breakouts on both cheeks/neck area. I'd like to think it's just an initial breakout from starting back on isotrexin, but I'm feeling quite self-conscious about it. After I get a treatment done for my scars, it's generally the same outcome each time: I always start off feeling optimistic, but it doesn't take long for me to start realising again that there's no magical cure, and as the healing process goes on and swelling decreases, my skin starts looking more and more blotchy and stressed out once more. I even start to wonder if these treatments are doing anything at all, or start becoming paranoid that they're even making my skin worse... such is my messed up perception and the sensitivity of my skin, I struggle to tell.

    Not helping my stress is that I recently met a person online who is keen to meet me, and I him if it wasn't for the fact I feel too embarassed about my appearance. I hadn't intended for it to happen, but through writing we've gotten along so well that it would be a shame to never find out if that could translate to offline. There's two things going on in that respect, really: 1) having my flaws be seen rather than being able to hide behind my screen and 2) the issue of my self-consciousness getting in the way of being able to project my 'true' personality, even if my scarred, broken out, blotchy skin isn't in itself enough to turn somebody off. Really wish I knew how it felt to have a mind unoccupied by worries about my appearance, even if just for an hour or two, or to be able to have photographs taken of myself, feel confident being looked at, etc. etc..

    Trying to do the right thing, though, and keep myself from touching my face. And just writing today off as a 'healing' day that will hopefully soon pass. :whistle:

  6. Terrible. Both sides of my face and chin broke out significantly around a month ago, leaving huge scabs and cysts covering my skin. It's so humiliating having to go out like this. I just want to hide out at home until my skin has healed up a bit, but work forces me to venture out (and to deal with customers at that... just what I need). I was supposed to be going out after work socialising on Thursday, as well, but I don't think I can face it looking like this, especially when the lighting in the place we were planning to go to is just awful

  7. I'm not naive enough to think that I'd immediately fall into a life full of confidence - I've been suffering from rock-bottom self-esteem far too long for that to happen, but just being 'free' of feeling so restricted because of my skin would be enough to set me on the road to living a life of much higher quality and greater happiness. The psychological scars would of course remain, but over time I think they'd slowly dissipate and I'd manage to build up in myself a healthy self-image. I also think I'd be too happy to consider feeling bitter towards those who have pained me in the past because of my skin, I'd be too preoccupied with finally being able to live my life how I want to be able to waste time with that kind of negativity.

    It goes without saying that I hope to be able to achieve the above in my life regardless of whether my skin improves or not, but I'm just not sure that I have the strength to get there without something changing physically. The way things are now is the cause of too much pain for me.

  8. I understand you believe you have a problem, but you really have great skin. I would be very, very cautious about trying to fix what's bothering you because there's a real chance it may make things worse. And when your skin looks as brilliant as it does, that would be a real shame. If you must do something, I would definately suggest nothing too harsh.

  9. Thanks sixfeetunder. Roughly, how bad is your scarring?

    What type of scarring is Dr Chu performing the TCA on, as i imagine they will be the ones that i will have treated with TCA.

    Good luck to you as well.

    I really to struggle to say how severe my scarring is, to be perfectly honest. At a guess, I would say it's moderate... but then that's mostly because although many of my scars aren't necessarily particularly deep, they're very widespread. Dr Chu seemed to think I have a mixture of boxcar and rolling scars, and then I have some deeper icepicks on my cheeks, and an overall 'orange peel' type texture due to enlarged pores. I also have some raised scarring on the sides of my chin.

    He performs the TCA cross on the deeper (what look to me like ice pick), scars on my cheeks. Although obviously still there, they definately have improved afer the TCA. It's still too early to judge what effect the second round of TCA + dermarolling has had, as it's still not even been a week since it was carried out, but I'll definately try to update with my progress if anyone's interested.

    Perhaps it's worth asking him about subscision too, if there are any particularly deep or isolated scars which don't seem to be responding to the dermarolling?

    All the best.

  10. Brokeninside, I'm sorry to hear you've not seen much improvement as of yet. I'm also going to Dr Chu in Hammersmith for my dermarolling, and so far during each of my two sessions I've had TCA cross performed on about 10 or so scars on each cheek immediately after having my dermarolling done. Perhaps you could ask Dr Chu at your next appointment if that would be an option for you?

    I have my next dermarolling session scheduled for March as well, (it'll be my 3rd) and so far I've seen a small improvement in my scarring, but nothing really major. Where I've had the TCA cross performed, however, the scars have improved slightly more with them becoming shallower/smaller in diameter.

    I recall speaking to one of the nurses about how many dermarolling sessions are typically necessary, and she said that really it varies according to each individual but that some will need up to 6 or more. I'm really hoping that after my 3rd, I'll have made a bit more progress so I can judge whether it's worth continuing with. I'm also hoping that after adding oral vitamins, vitamin C serum and LEDs that I'll see better results, but I know not to get my hopes up too much.

    I wish you all the best, and hope you begin to see some better results soon.

  11. Thanks. I see you get a 15% discount if you order the two at the same time. How do you like using them so far?

    Well, I've only had them for just under a week now and had my second dermarolling session yesterday, so I'm not sure what to expect yet (if anything). One thing I have noticed though, is that I seem to be slightly less red than the first time I was rolled, the time I didn't have my vitamin creams and LEDs. I'm not sure if this is just a coincidence, perhaps because it was done slightly less aggressively (?) this time around, or whether it's because I used the lights and applied my topicals each day for a couple of days in advance of this second dermarolling. It's quite hard to compare this dermarolling session with the last though, as the last was way back in early July, so I can't remember too well to compare. Maybe I do look just as strawberry-like as the last time and it's just a case of bad memory... who knows.

    And yes, the 15% discount on the LEDs helps, although for a poor student like me it still left quite a dent in the pocket! I figured this LED lark was worth trying though, on the chance that I might see better results. But I still prefer not to hold high expectations just so that I don't end up too disappointed.

    Good luck with your own results if this is something you're thinking of/going ahead with, and to all the rest of us trying this out.

  12. Sometimes I feel uneasy around little kids, because of their unpredictability... you never know quite what they might come out with because they haven't yet learned what's ok and what's not ok to say, and why things like acne affect some of us.

    How old are your girlfriend's siblings? I think obviously it's to be expected that little kids might sometimes say/do things without realising the impact of what they're saying, but I think after a certain age people really should know better. Unfortunately, I know there are adults out there who don't act any better than you would expect from a small child who's ignorance/bluntness can't be helped... and that's sad. At least with young children you can try to explain to them, so they'll know that some people suffer from skin conditions, and that it's not nice to point it out, but with adults, a lot of them will never be able to bridge that gap between their thoughts and what comes out of their mouth.

  13. The thought did cross my mind, and I suppose I can never know for sure. However, I did check out the seller's feedback and they're at 100% with a number of repeat customers it seems. So I get the feeling it's legit, although of course there's a chance I may be wrong. I am sceptical about buying from ebay, so for that reason I still would like to try other serums to see how they compare, but for the most part I don't think this is a knock off. I'm actually quite suspicious that a lot of the companies out there are simply charging extortionate prices for something that needn't cost such a fortune.

  14. Thanks a lot.

    I may have misread your post, but if the LED's were expensive, how did you avoid the customs charges?

    Do you mind if I ask what part of the UK are you from?

    No worries. And I'm from Kent. And sorry, my post probably wasn't very clear, but I meant to say that I think the customs charge avoidance was due to a kind 'mistake' on the sender's part when filling out the customs declaration form. Obviously that's not to guarantee that the same would happen for you, but he seems to be clued up on the excessive customs charges that we're subjected to for anything over £18 in value from overseas.

  15. Has anyone from the UK purchased LED lights? I'm not sure where to get them from, the shipping is likely to be very expensive ordering from the US.

    Hi goodlife, I live in the UK and recently purchased some LEDs from the LED man (theledman.com), which is where most people from here seem to have gotten theirs. Postage only actually cost me about £9 (I purchased the dual 660/880 array plus the 120 LED yellow package). I was worried about how much the customs charges might have amounted to, especially considering I paid quite a hefty amount for the LEDs themselves, but luckily that wasn't a problem seeing as the value of the package was only worth 20 dollars, and so was under the threshold for incurring customs charges... (;))

  16. I too am interested to see whether there are any vitamin C products that people would recommend. I recently bought some vitamin C serum (20%) from this seller on ebay http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...e=STRK:MEWNX:IT but haven't received it yet, so can't comment on its effectiveness. I'll let you know what I think once it's here though, if you like. But I'll be using it in conjunction with dermarolling and vitamin A topicals, along with taking various supplements.

    Just an update to say that I received this serum last week and so far, it seems perfectly fine. It's quite a watery consistency but that makes it easier to rub in I think. I think I'll be trying some more vitamin C serums from elsewhere in the future, just for comparative purposes, but I see no reason why I won't stick with this particular serum in the meantime. It's fairly inexpensive, hasn't broken me out, and my skin has been softer lately, although I have been using it in conjunction with vitamin A and E cream.

  17. i noticed it seems that people rolling themselves always need a longer downtime to recover

    I've actually gotten the impression that the people who roll themselves have tended to have a shorter downtime than those getting it done professionally, on the whole. I could be wrong though.

    In my case, I would estimate that the redness was gone by 4/5 days, or at least it was after that length of time that I felt able to go out without attracting stares from the colour of my face. But I was rolled by Dr Chu, and he does do it quite aggressively, far more aggressively than I ever would have been able to do it myself.

    I know it's not very helpful, but I don't think it's possible to give a 'definite' time frame. After all, everyone is different and there are many variables... your individual healing ability, perhaps whether you use LEDs, how aggressive you go, etc.

    But good luck with your rolling. I think after your first one you'll get a better sense of how aggressive you can go to achieve what downtime, because you'll be able to judge the severity of redness you're going to experience. Then you'll be better able to plan the dermarolling around your lifestyle, in need be.

  18. I too am interested to see whether there are any vitamin C products that people would recommend. I recently bought some vitamin C serum (20%) from this seller on ebay http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...e=STRK:MEWNX:IT but haven't received it yet, so can't comment on its effectiveness. I'll let you know what I think once it's here though, if you like. But I'll be using it in conjunction with dermarolling and vitamin A topicals, along with taking various supplements.

    Sorry to butt into your thread goodlife, :shifty: but this seems a good place to ask another question I had in mind... I was wondering if anyone could tell me how often vitamin C should be applied, should it be every morning and night?

  19. Yep, it's possible to dermaroll on your cheeks. As for dermarolling while you still have acne... well, obviously it would be better to get that under control first, but I had a session of dermarolling with Dr. Chu about 5 months ago (who is a pretty respected dermatologist here on the boards, especially with dermarolling) and he seemed happy to roll even though I had some mild acne here and there. Provided they aren't deep, large spots, I don't think it's too much to worry about. If they're anything above extremely mild in severity, I'd probably try to wait until you were as clear as possible before rolling, just because you want to avoid causing any further damage.

  20. Does anyone know where I can purchase some decent, relatively inexpensive vitamin C serum from? (Apologies if any has already been recommended earlier on in the thread. I've read the whole thing through, but it's been a while) I would prefer to purchase from somewhere in the UK, but provided shipping isn't too expensive I could also order from overseas if need be.

    I've just ordered some LED lights which hopefully will arrive in time for my second scheduled dermarolling appointment (in early Jan) with Dr. Chu at Hammersmith. I'm already taking high doses of vitamin C and drinking plenty of water... just want to try and get any other bits together that might help in time for the next session. I'm going to try and improve my diet also, as being a uni student it's not the greatest at the moment!

    It's hard for me to gauge the improvement I've seen so far, and nothing major has changed after just the one roll (as I had anticipated... though it certainly hasn't made things any worse - which is the main thing!), but I'm excited to finally be doing something to try and improve my skin after so many years of feeling hopeless about it. Hopefully I'll start seeing more pleasing results, the more sessions I undertake, but I'm still sticking to being realistic and not expecting miracles.

    Good luck to all of you who are also dermarolling, or to those thinking about trying it!

  21. I'm a girl with (bad) acne scars. It's tough. I'm currently having to share a tiny flat with two other girls who have the best skin I've ever seen (one quite literally has not a visible pore on her face), and it's upsetting being around people who clearly don't give a second thought to their skin when getting ready to go out socialising or when leaving their rooms in the morning.

    People close to me have told me endless amounts of times that I'm more than my skin and that it's not as bad as I feel it is. But I feel like an absolute monster, regardless. I got called 'disgusting' by a group of strangers last week, just as I was minding my own business, so when you've been making a tremendous effort to get on with your life and to forget about the scars, comments like that set you back a fair way and it's hard to remain positive.

  22. I don't understand, am I the only one with this problem? I feel like I've destroyed any hope of ever having decent skin again.

    No, you're certainly not the only one. My main problem these days is scarring left over from severe acne but almost all the skin on my face is also covered in enlarged/scarred pores, marks, blackheads and just generally looks horrible. It's great isn't it? Don't get me wrong, I'm more grateful than words can describe to have finally gotten rid of the acne but at least back then I thought I didn't have a permanent problem (though granted, after suffering for 10 years at times it felt pretty permanent to me!). Now, with my damaged skin I feel there's little hope of me ever becoming comfortable with my appearance. I'm off to uni this week too, so you can imagine how much more daunting the prospect is when I've my skin to worry about on top of all the usual anxiety.

    I'm currently undergoing treatment for my scarring, but they'll never be completely gone and the best I can hope for is some small improvements. I'd feel a little better if they were isolated scars, but they're so widespread and interspersed with all the stretched and clogged pores and marks that I can't bear to even look at myself in natural daylight. I know how it feels, and it's absolutely terrible and heartbreaking.

    As far as useful suggestions go (and away from the negativity I've just spewed out, sorry!), the above suggestion to carry on using sun protection and to always make sure to moisturise, as well as drinking plenty of water to hydrate your skin are very important. I don't know if you've ever considered or read into them perhaps over on the retinoid subforum here, but some people have reported success after using something like retin-a or another retinoid for textural problems. It can take a long while to see results though, maybe even a year upwards, and it can be one of those cases where it gets worse before it gets better as your skin adjusts, but perhaps it's worth considering?

    I'm in the same boat as you coincidently enough, going to uni in little under a week and wondering if I can overcome my anxiety over my appearance in time lol. I too can emphasize with yourself and the OP, as I have made steady climbs for the last year or so in my acne battle (thanks to diet & lifestyle) but now have a more permeanant problem to deal with. You see I have physical (not just acne) scarring on my face that's really getting to me right now, not anything huge or anything (I'm not Frank Ribery just yet lol) but noticeable enough to me at least to make me feel uncomfortable. It's ironic that after acne comes an entirely different appearance based challenge to contend with :doh: Makes me wonder though, is this a symptom of heightened perception of our skin faults (thanks to acne), would we even feel this way if we haven't suffered from a skin condition in the past?

    It's interesting, I think being a victim of acne definately makes most people more aware of their appearance, even when the acne itself is no longer such an issue. In my case, unfortunately I know it's noticeable to other people but I'm still well aware that I'm the person criticising myself more harshly than anyone else ever would. I suppose although we realise that skin isn't the only part that makes up 'us', it's so much easier to focus only upon that when thinking about who we are as a person. Unlike other people, it's not so easy for us to see our good qualities and it's pretty much impossible to view ourselves objectively. I could really do with reminding myself that no matter what condition my skin is in, I can still be liked for who I am personality-wise. Of course, it's so much harder to make a good impression and to give off an air of confidence when you're crippled with self-consciousness about your skin :doh:

    It sucks doesn't it that you finally think it's all over when you start to clear up, but then it doesn't really seem to be over at all. You just move on to the next problem. Anyway, good luck with uni! I'm off tomorrow and I'm about bricking it right now but trying not to think too much about it (not working very well as I stupidly left packing until the last minute, haha). I keep getting burst of confidence where I'll manage to convince myself that it'll be ok and reminding myself that if anyone's bothered by my skin, they're a piece of poo... but then the anxiety kicks in again and thoughts of trying to make it ninja-like to the bathroom every day without being seen creep back into my head. Hopefully it'll be ok... :pray: