In the Process, Will Share As Much As I Can! - Indianapolis, IN

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*Treatment results may vary

I've had acne scarring since I was about 17 or...

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.

I got the dot laser done this morning. I was...

I got the dot laser done this morning.
I was really nervous, but I absolutely hate the numbing cream. It feels like vaseline with a burning sensation. I hate when they put it above the lip because it makes my entire lip numb. Anyways, she wanted to do my entire face so that it would all be an even color.
The first few laser passes were bearable. The entire thing was bearable actually. Around my eyes and mouth were a little painful. It actually made my eyes water a bit. I expected my nose to hurt but she used a lower level on that section. It lasted maybe 25 minutes. She did a moderate level due to my skin type.
After the procedure was done (once again- very bearable, just uncomfortable), she showed me the white dots that formed but they wiped it off. I actually cursed out loud when I saw my face haha.
They put a cool wash cloth on my face and put Cetaphil lotion on it. I sat for a few minutes with a fan on my face. My face was pulsating for a few minutes but felt fine after. I left and went straight to the public bathroom.
When I looked in the mirror, I was kind of freaked out because my face was bright red (and I'm sure I scared the people I passed in the hallway). I looked like I had sat in the sun for 3 days straight and turned into a lobster.
When I left to get into my car, the heat hit my face and it started to burn. The temp. here is almost 100 degrees though, so it wasn't helping. On the ride home, I had an ice pack on my face (with a towel covering it). This ended up wiping the cream off but my face felt a ton better. So far I have been sitting with a fan on my face but it's drying out the lotion so I might have to just deal with a little burning sensation for awhile.
I was told to use cetaphil lotion but I've read so many places that use aquaphor by eucerin- however, the doc told me that it could break me out so I think I'm going to purchase cetaphil lotion later. Every three hours I'm supposed to use a cold wet washcloth and then put on lotion. She also said that I shouldn't over moisturize.

I feel fine and am glad so far that I did this. My face is still very red but my scars are plumped up so I am happy. I know that this will go down but I am able to wear my hair back and up with no scars visible, so I'm going to take advantage of these hours with smooth (and dotted) skin!

Day 2: Last night was uncomfortable. I attempted...

Day 2:
Last night was uncomfortable. I attempted to wash my face with cool water but the minute the air hit my face, it began to burn. It was also hard to put on lotion. So I sat in front of a fan to help deal with the burning.
I ended up napping for three hours and woke up less swollen. Little dots were forming all over.
I went to bed with a thick layer of lotion on my face but woke up with a greasy leathery feeling face. I had my contacts out so I just washed my face without looking in the mirror.
I used a mild warm to cool water setting with cetaphil gentle cleanser. It was hard to wash or get anything to lather due to the texture of my face. I ended up soaking a wash cloth in cool water and patted my face gently. Later I will probably lay with a wet.wash cloth on my face for awhile.
I put my contacts in and was happy to see that my face was better. It isnt swollen as much as they warned me. The dots are def. forming. My face is a bronze-y red but so much better than yest. I feel more comfortable today.
So far, im praying for no post inflammatory hypetpigmentation. I plan on staying inside for the entire healing process to avoid any sun exposure.

Ill keep posting each day and if anything changes throughout yhe day, ill update!

Day 3: I am suprised at how quickly I am healing...

Day 3:
I am suprised at how quickly I am healing.
It could be due to a moderate level laser setting or my age/skins ability to heal. I figured it would be the opposite sense I am getting this done for acne scarring (hence my skin sucks to healing).
Yesterday I washed my face three times. I couldnt tell if my face was oily feeling due to lotion or the heat, so I just kept it as clean as I thought it would need. No burn or pain, just a weird feeling, like im not in my own skin.
I slept a lot last night and woke up again to a sticky greasy but scabby face. I immediately washed and patted lightly dry.
i havent taken a shower yet..gross I know but I heard that the steam and heat isnt good. I plan on taking a brief one tonight.
Some dots are falling off but still have a mild dot pattern on skin. So far looks great.
The overall coloration of my face is still a bronzey color but really its a light pink w dot scabs.
i believe that by tomorrow most will be coming off.
i have an appointment/check up tomorrow as well. I wonder what she will say.

Day 4: During my shower, many dot scabs came off...

Day 4:
During my shower, many dot scabs came off while gently washing. I still dabbed/patted my face dry, trying not to rub.
The skin showing through is so smooth! Im still a little pink. Today I finally went outside, but with a hat on. I had my check up. It was a little irritating bc I waited an hour after my appointment was supposed to be, only to have a five min. talk.
So far so good, she wants me to come in this friday (3 days from now) and get a free microdermabrasion to get rid of any extra stuff left on my face. After that I will set up my second treatment.
So I washed my face later today and could see most skin. I can say that so far, my acne scars look extremely softened, hardly there. Im scared that as this week progresses, they will get deeper but I will update. I still have some dot scabs so I will keep posting.
Right now, im so happy and pray that it keeps getting better!

Day 5: Most dot scabs are off.. Besides around my...

Day 5:
Most dot scabs are off.. Besides around my forehead.
My scars are re appearing but look 30-40 percent smaller. Overall my face looks softened, I love it. Im breaking out slightly.. Could be due to the numbing cream or the slathering of lotion for the past week. Ive been drinking lots of water and taking vitamin c and e supplements. Vitamin c helps produce collagen so I figure it can only help. I forget what vitamin e does but I heard it works with vitamin c. I also tried taking zinc supplement but it makes me soo nauseus. Zinc helps w acne. Any ways I am hoping that my skin progresses as the collagen builds.
I am getting a second, more aggressive tx within four weeks. Im a little nervous for the pain but I keep reminding myself that its worth it.
I will update friday after my microdermabrasion.

So I forgot to post on Friday but it is now Sunday...

So I forgot to post on Friday but it is now Sunday.
I went in to get a California peel microdermabrasion (which is just a microderm so not really sure why the peel part is included in the name).
It felt nice, just cleaned off the dead skin and was free.
I went ahead and made my next dot appointment for August 18 or 19 (it may change).
I hope she will be more aggressive.

So update on results:
I have been breaking out like crazy. Mostly around the edges of my face. I do believe that it's due to the numbing cream because it clogs your pores but it's so very annoying. I have been doing my best to deal with this and started taking zinc supplements.
The scars themselves have gotten less deep. I have to admit, I am a bit disappointed because my face almost went back to the same that it looked before. It's hard to tell true results because I can still see them there, but now I can't tell what percentage they are better. I do believe though that now that my skin is back to normal, my face is getting better every day. Everyone keeps saying it takes 3 months to get full results from the 1 treatment.
I realize that she did a very light DOT so I am hoping the more aggressive DOT will have better results.
I have to be patient and positive. It was still worth it, I believe because I do think that this will end with great results. And realistically speaking, it does take more than one treatment to look better for my deeper scars.
I do believe that I got more scarring on my forehead that wasn't there before, so this concerns me. I am planning on bringing this up to her.

So it's almost been two weeks since I've had the...

So it's almost been two weeks since I've had the dot.
I mentioned last time that I was breaking out, well I broke out A LOT since then. I'm not entirely sure if it was the numbing cream, the actual dot laser or what. I obviously am acne prone so it could have been several things. I haven't broken out on my cheeks in forever and I was angry that maybe 4 or 5 have formed last week.
It could be that it's super hot outside, the products I'm using are irritating my skin (I went back to my normal regimen- Salicylic Acid treatment wash and Benzoyl peroxide cream at night). Whatever it was that caused this, I was freaked out. I started taking Zinc supplements, Vitamin A, Vitamin C & E and it seems to be helping. My face is getting dry and the acne is slowly healing. I haven't broken out since but I'm in the process of trying to get them to clear up without adding more scarring (which is the whole reason why I got the DOT in the first place).
For the clear free skin, I noticed that the scars are looking better each day. It isn't a drastic difference, but overall it's satisfying.
I am nervous about going to my next DOT in the next couple of weeks but I just want it to be over with. I am dreading breaking out again. But since I am taking vitamin supplements, I am hoping that this will prevent them from happening in the future.

Anyways, I am frustrated still but happy at the same time that there does seem to be something working.

I just got the second dot done yesterday. I was a...

I just got the second dot done yesterday.
I was a little nervous, ive read that the second time is more painful.
I also had a more aggressive treatment than last.
It did hurt mostly was stinging but worth it.
Honestly, the only areas unbearable were the spots around my eyes. Since I mostly have scarring on my cheeks, I dont care how painful it is on that area, but it was bearable.
Really, by the time its forget most of the pain you sat through. It was also easier this time bc I knew what to expect.
I was very red yesterday. and as of the second day, I am still red but expected so, since it was more aggressive. However, hardly any pain or discomfort..just weird skin feeling.
My cheeks were slightly swollen this morning but put an ice pack on it and it helped plus took away some redness.
I will try to update after a week or so and see what percentage it helped w scarring.
I keep reading that three months is key, so we will see.

It's been a few years now...

I apologize to those who have read this and I never updated my results. After my second dot treatment, I noticed that more scars appeared near my temple. I can't say whether or not it was the DOT that caused more scarring (pitted) or they just were already there and brought to the surface. I have to say that in general, I am very disappointed for the amount of money I put in and the lack of results (if anything, more scarring). I was super excited at the time for these treatments but what I had not realized was that the only improvement I saw was due to the swelling. Once the swelling had gone down, my scars were back to normal and more noticeable. Though, in time, I'm sure collagen formation took place, it wasn't much. I also want to state that I realize it takes multiple treatments sometimes to even make a difference. However, due to the price, it wasn't worth it. It could have been my skin tone (olive/half korean) or other factors but for me, this did not work as I thought. I did not want to risk more scarring so I did not go back for more. My doctor was great but I will never do this procedure again.
I do have to mention that I am going to put a new post on dermarolling as this has been a miracle for my acne scars. Hands down, this is the only thing that has improved my acne scars, ever. If you have any questions about dermarolling, please let me know and I can fill everyone in. I have done dermarolling for about a year now and my scars have improved over 50% (if not, more).
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