I have had a long battle with acne scars since I...
I have had a long battle with acne scars since I was 17. I am 55 now. Still trying to get my skin as best as possible as the cystic acne scarring was really deep and all over my cheeks. My left cheek is not too bad, due to the fact that the procedures which I have had in the past, concentrated on my left cheek more as it was actually deeper in scarring there. Now, my right cheek looks worse.
I have had dermabrasions x2, Fraxels x 6, chemical peels x 6, CO2 lasers x 3. In between these, I have had Juvederm fillers but they do not last but 6-9 months. I think for the younger skin, more healing can be expected. My doc told me that I am aging now and so the scars look worse as I have loss of volume. But I am still trying to get to a stage where it looks better than now.
Just finished with a series of three microneedlings using Eclipse at 2.0 mm depth for cheeks. I am going for a subcision procedure soon. My doc and I feel that the scars are tethered down and not only loss of collagen. So, he has to release the scars. I am not a fan of lasers any longer as they have caused hyper and hypopigmentation on my skin. But my concern are more the indentations. I will post pictures once subcision is done. Hard to find a doctor who does this. Lasers receive more marketing than subcisions.
As I am "done" with lasers, I will continue microneedling with the Derminator. If anyone has success with in-home microneedling with this tool, please respond to this post. Thanks.
Microneedling with PRP--had series of 3 done
Check out my latest photo from this morning 8/29/16. It is definitely improving. Not perfection but indentations filled up slightly. The brownish spots are the hyperpigmentation and some hypo. On Thursday, I am going for a subcision to release the tethered scars and hoping for more improvement. I feel that once the scars are released, then there will be a greater improvement when other procedures are done, be it more microneedling, lasers, whatever. I am not going back to lasers. This is just my opinion. Laser may work for you but not for me. There will be a lot of bruising for about 4-7 days. I will take some arnica montana pills today. I will post the pictures here as wel..
This is 12 days after subcision on 9/1/16
13 Sep 2016
2 months post
Here is the latest picture taken just this morning, after subcision was done on 9/1/2016. The bruising lasted at least 7 days and gone by the 10th, but there is still a very light yellowish patch where the doc subcised aggressively. I put up full coverage mineral powder make up by IT cosmetics. I have hyper and hypopigmentation that shows with the "patchiness" on the photos. I am Asian, so this cannot be prevented and I have had a lot of procedures done in the past. I am happy with the results. If you have downtime, I like subcision but heard that not a lot of docs perform them. They prefer to offer you laser treatments.
This is 12 days after subcision on 9/1/16
13 Sep 2016
2 months post
Here is the latest picture taken just this morning, after subcision was done on 9/1/2016. The bruising lasted at least 7 days and gone by the 10th, but there is still a very light yellowish patch where the doc subcised aggressively. I put up full coverage mineral powder make up by IT cosmetics. I have hyper and hypopigmentation that shows with the "patchiness" on the photos. I am Asian, so this cannot be prevented and I have had a lot of procedures done in the past. I am happy with the results. If you have downtime, I like subcision but heard that not a lot of docs perform them. They prefer to offer you laser treatments. I will update in a few weeks, post 4-6 weeks after the subcision.
3 months after 2nd subcision on 2/2/17
15 May 2017
10 months post
I wanted to wait out the full 3 months as subcision is an invasive surgery using a small needle with an actual blade at the end. The fanning motions made by the derm surgeon cuts away at the fibers and untether the deeper, rolling scars on my temples and both cheeks. Attached is my pic on 4/27/17. This is without make up and in the same lighting, in my bathroom. The darker patches are hyperpigmented areas as I am Asian and got this way due to the lasers I have had. Right now, I am going for Lutronic Infini. Doctor said I needed 2 subcisions, two Infinis (to retexturize as subcisions are for the major scars), and then (maybe) one last subcision. He called it a "sandwich." With makeup, some concealer, and Mally's "magic" finishing powder which appears as a white solid, the effect is much better. Not perfect but better. Pores are smaller with the Infini which helps the overall effect. Waiting for the real verdict in 5 weeks as I am only 12 days out from Infini which was performed on 5/3rd. The skin is treated from inside out using RF/radiofrequency up to 3.5 mm deep, so the epidermis is untouched. Good for all skins, esp. Asians or colored complexions.
Six weeks after Infini RF microneeding #2 session
I have gotten two Infini microneedlings with RF. I have decided to go for three, after the two subcisions I have had. The third Infini session will be this Monday 7/31. I noticed more improvements with the 2nd than the 1st. I am hoping the 3rd will be the best outcomes. I will see the derm for a third subcision to top it all off. The previous two were fine and gave better outcomes to the deeper and rolling scars. However, a few were missed or the scars fell back into its "groove" months later. I will ask this derm about possible fillers after subcision as well. I truly believe that ageing and severe scarring has caused lost volume. I read somewhere on RS that docs recommend volume replacement on the cheeks with fillers. Once volume is replaced, the secondary outcome is that the skin will stretch out and hence the scars will not appear so deep. Once all the above are done, I will maximize outcomes with home microneedling with the Derminator. I have done this before with another dermapen brand and have no fear. I recently bought human growth factor serums to help these self treatments along.
Six weeks after Infini RF #2 on 6/14/17 - no make up
This is to show my true skin. Hyperpigmentation caused after earlier CO2 and Fraxel lasers. It was hyped that Fraxel removes the hyperpigmented areas or make it look better. Do not buy into this if you are a person of color or melasma prone. I am now concentrating on scar improvements and just using off the counter stuff for the brown/red, patchy areas. No IPL, etc. for the pigmentation. Well, if you have read above, I will go for my third and maybe last Infini RF this Monday. All 6 weeks in between. I had a picture with camouflage make up on, which helps the overall appearance, but it appeared upside down on this post. I will take it again and post later.
6 weeks post Infini RF #2, with make up on
As I said, the picture I tried to post kept turning upside down. Now this is going sideways--I give up! LOL! This is the picture of my right cheek with make up on, covering most of the hyperpigmentation. I was told by my practitioner that the splotchiness of the pigment, created an illusion that my scars are deeper and more. I finally found a make up that does not wear off and have that cakey look, after a couple of hours. I also used a mattifying primer and not the usual silicone based ones out there. This helped tremendously. Still trying to create the best make up base, without it looking too thick. I had Infini #3 on 7/31/17. Skin has less swelling, with brown grid marks. It will all calm down around Monday and then wait another 4-6 weeks. Patience is the key.
What my scars looked like before all treatments so far...
A reader asked what my scars looked like before I started my treatments from age 23 onwards. I did not take pictures then as that time, there were no smartphones with a camera function. :) This is someone else's picture but it is similar and closest to what I had. Closer mixed scars, all over my cheeks )and temples too). The technology and equipment 35 years ago, were not what it is today.