I've had acne scarring since I was about 17 or 18. I'm 22 now. I can't remember if the scars got worse with time, or worse with previous procedures. I've had:
- microdermabrasion (did nothing)
- chemical peels (I think scarred my face)
- silicone injections (was supposed to fix it in a "year", now has been almost 2 years and a WASTE of money)
I recently started researching because I've heard of lasers before but I've gotten scared with the risks that I've read about.
Did I mention I'm half korean? I get dark the minute I step into sunlight, so the risks I've read for anyone of ethnicity, has scared me.
One day I came across DOT laser and I've read many great reviews. I found only 3 doctors that offered this, but I ended up going in for one consultation. I was told that I was at risk for hyper pigmentation, so we did two test spots behind both of my ears.
I cannot tell you the level she tried (there were three different levels though). One was a lower, medium (behind one ear) and a higher level on the other. I wasn't sure what to expect, from other people's experiences that I had read about- I thought it was just a burn, then sun spots. The pain was bearable, I only had numbing cream on for like ten minutes and I could sit through it. The smell was expected (burning hair). My skin was red for only an hour or so. I used cetaphil gentle face wash and put on Eucerin moisturizer.
Within two days, I noticed the dot pattern. It kind of freaked me out because I didn't expect that. It was like a square with a TON of little dots that had formed. I was concerned and wasn't sure if this was normal (which it is). Within the next couple of days, they started flaking off- I used a gentle make up remover cloth to wipe them off.
I didn't notice any hyper pigmentation, so I went back in for another consultation. This time, I had a test spot done on the side of my face (beside my eye- the entire area and part of my cheek but barely). It hurt less. I was expecting much pain but the numbing cream was on for about 30 minutes. He apparently used a high level for my skin type as well ( Since I am asian, I can't have an extreme level setting). My face was red for a couple of hours that day. It felt weird, like I was feeling someone else's skin, kind of leathery. But I was excited because my skin was slightly swollen, which meant it was plump and there were no scars visible at the time.
By night time, my skin was a little red. I gently washed it and caked on the lotion. I heard that keeping it moisturized will avoid further scarring and quicker healing. (Not sure if true, but I did it anyways) The dot pattern formed a day or so later. They came off faster than behind my ear. Probably because I wash my face twice daily. My skin looked great after but a few days after, it looked back to normal. I think!
So here's where my confusion comes in. I can't remember honestly how deep my scarring was before (I have deep acne scars) so I can't tell if new ones formed, because I had read that they did OR if the previous ones had gotten smaller. I do believe that they have gotten smaller/softer.
I have no hyper pigmentation thankfully. So I have my actual Dot laser this Friday on my entire face. I was told that it will take 2-3 treatments and possibly another after that. It's kind of disappointing because I was hoping that this was a one time deal, but I understand with my skin tone AND the deep level of acne scarring, it will take more than one try.
I am really excited to do this, however. I pray that I don't get any hyper pigmentation on my face. My doctor said she will do her best to target the deeper scars.
I will keep posting with my journey! I hope that I see great results. This is honestly my last hope in trying to fix this terrible things. I've gone through a lot emotionally and I'm putting a lot of positivity towards this laser. I've also read that some people have waiting months- even six months to a year before getting a second treatment. My doctor is going to do two treatments before the end of August, so I will be able to keep you posted.
She also did a cooltouch laser on my face last week. This is also an interesting laser. It takes 3 treatments before seeing results but it also triggers collagen production. It's much cheaper but I haven't heard that great of results from it. This can be performed on all skin types so that's why it would be a better candidate for darker skin types. This hurt hardly but she did a very aggressive cooltouch. It's a weird feeling but I think it was worth the 200 dollars. I saw slight results from it.
If anyone has any questions, let me know! I will try to give as much detail as possible.