A little over a week ago I announced in my newsletter that I’ll be consulting with a clinic on what there could be done about my acne scars. I went on a consultation and had both a positive and negative experience. However, I decided on the recommended treatment, and this Friday I will go through it!
You may have noticed during the years that I’ve settled for simple treatments like the Pai Rosehip Oil instead of buying expensive miracle serums for acne scars. Yes, I have thought about spending those €112 on the Yüli Cell Perfecto Serum many times, but I knew it would also mean €112 off my savings for more effective treatments that may just as well work in time but are much better in giving back the skin I once owned.
I’m not trying to offend anyone who loves and buys serums like the one I mentioned. What I’m trying to point out is that if you have a large area to treat (like I do), then you are better off saving for an actual clinical treatment. If your scarring doesn’t extend to calling it an “area”, then you might just as well go for serums and light at-home chemical peels and PMD’s, they seem to be very potent in rejuvenate small matters and maintenance.
Just please, don’t try to fool yourself that severe scarring can be minimized by putting serums on it. It doesn’t work that way. You need new skin to work with.
At first I had all the confidence in my oils, food and way of life, that with time my scars could be minimized. Greatly. But just lately, as my acne and dark spots has been more so reduced, I’ve come to face my scars even more. I look at pictures of me three years ago when all this mess started happening, then I look in the mirror… And I feel old. Like the acne has aged me. A lot.
I’ve always looked older my age, when I was 12 years old, people even just slighlty older than me thought I went to High School already… But the scars has put me on another 10 years. Which would make me over 30. It just saddens me. A lot.
Then to make matters worse, I compare myself to everyone else’s stories about curing severe acne, and how they seem to have ended up with very minimal or no scarring AT ALL.
I feel like I’m the only one who got stuck with distorted skin and just didn’t get my happy ending like everyone else.
For people who’s lost a lot of weight and ended up with a lot of loose skin – I get you!
If you met me in real life, you wouldn’t be able to notice that my scarred skin was even an issue for me. For the longest time I didn’t notice it either! I haven’t worn foundation in two years and exposed my redness and all to friends and family to the point that they don’t even see it either, unless you’d compare me to someone with great skin. If it wasn’t for the deep cut on the scars, I’d say I have good quality skin, it’s soft, smooth and radiant. But geeze does it make me look older than I am.
It doesn’t help me either when my mom thinks I should do something about my scars. In all honesty, she’s more concerned about them than I am. And I’m not that kind of person who likes to be reminded about the past, so with a sponsored support from my mom, I’m doing something about my acne scars while my skin is still young and can easily renew itself.
There’s only like one or two clinics who are experienced in advanced acne scar treatments around where I live, and there are quite a few treatments to choose from. So I figured a consultation was needed to know whether I should do only one of them or a combination or will the treatments even work on my skin.
Before I went, I research the hell out of acne scar treatments, and the best rated treatment that came up ( on site like Acne.org) was Derma Roll/needling. I thought long and hard on whether to do the DIY rolling or just do it at a clinic, my research and common sense told me it would be more effective at a clinic, and I could either get the DIY roll as a anti-aging maintenance tool later. I also don’t have to worry if I’m doing it right, keeping it sterile and all that stuff I’m too lazy to think about. But if you’re interested in a at-home needling practice, Cristina at Bold & Blush has set up a comprehensive guide on micro-needling!
It’s important you don’t have any active acne when treating your scar, most clinics will tell you to come back once you’ve had it under control and sell you their products to treat it. I would’ve gone sooner, though my experiment with vitamin D set me back big time (article coming soon), so I had to let that heal until I had the courage to set an appointment.
The lady at the clinic who does the treatments was very positive that I could see a 90% reduction of my scars. She said she had treated both the severity like mine and even worse with great results.
She recommended we do a combination of two treatments, which I was very prepared for her to suggest.
She explained it simply that my scars have sharp edges with quite an indentation and that we needed to smooth out the edges first and make them more blurred. For this, a TCA chemical peel is the best alternative. Though the recovery period has its social limitations of redness and flakiness, it will remove dead skin and promote new epidermal growth – it simply works like one of those Footner exfolliating socks. You can do TCA peels at home, but I’d rather do it with a professional as it is pretty painful.
Three weeks later I will go back for another treatment to fix the indents with a Derma Stamp. Apparently, scar indents has like an anchor holding them in and by rapidly and excessively puncturing that tissue with tiny needles, will help release that area and encourage new tissue formation and collagen production.
The best thing was that she was positive I will only need to go on 2 or 3 of these treatments to see the final results!
I had a conversation with fellow Acne Guru Amy at Get That Glow, that said it the best:
“They make you feel really shit about your skin so you feel your only option is to pay them a fortune!”
While investigating my skin the lady was all like, “I see you still have some oil production, for the treatments to work the best it would be needed to control that, we have some products that are specially designed to work with Enerpeel… blablabla…”
Call me narcissistic, but I kind of imagined she would praise my skin despite the scars… Instead, as I left the clinic, I felt like I’ve been patronized – which most doctors make you feel even though YOU know better. She made me question my judgment. And she tried to persuade me with fancy sentences like “specially designed for optimal recovery”, making me feel like I won’t have the same results if I use my own creams during the healing process.
Self-inflicting your skin to the point of it peeling is a sensitive matter, and of course I don’t want to do or use anything that will ruin the recovery process! This however is exactly what most brands and doctors want you to feel.
Then the ignorance on how to treat acne: not only did she recommend me an expensive cream that would help as an after-treatment, she also tried selling me a new acne skin regime. Like I haven’t had enough of those already?! The anti-aging after-cream is persuasive, but both the acne products she wanted em to buy are made for acneic oily skin. I don’t have oily skin.
Hearing this lady trying to convince me something that wasn’t right for my skin, made me feel a bit uncomfortable. She tried explaining to me how these products aren’t drying at all, and how this skin wash would help me a lot. But how can something that tries to control sebum production and a cream that makes your skin matte, not be drying?! And even though I have a tiny “overgrowth” in oil production, my skin is far far from being oily!
I’m still yet to find medical acne products that are not focused on oily skin. Acneic skin does not always equal = oily skin.
I tried bringing up diet and sensitive skin and what I’ve done to treat my acne so far, but she just waved my opinions away and patronized me for it. She literally believes acne can be washed away with the right product!
I had to remind myself several times that I was there only to treat my acne scars, and not my acne!
I don’t know what I expected, but I had hoped to meet someone more down to earth that wanted to listen and take care of my concerns (acne scars) and not create more concerns. But I guess this is how doctors make money, and we’ve all seen how people go in to meet a plastic surgeon to fix their nose and they come out of there fixing not only their nose, but eyebrows, lips and cheek bones.
I will keep you posted together with progress pictures and what type of moisturizers I’ve decided to use for after-treatment.
What are your thoughts on acne scar treatments?
Share your thoughts and experience in the comments below!
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