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Small depressed acne marks

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  • Small depressed acne marks

    Do any of you have small, shallow, depressed acne marks? I have some small depressed scars on my cheeks that really bother me and have become more apparent to me after having 3 IPLs to remove the broken capillaries and redness. I actually think that removing the facial redness made these small shallow scars more noticeable to me because maybe the redness I used to have helped make them less noticeable to me. My family and friends say they don't notice these small acne depressions in my pores on my cheeks but I do, and it's bad enough to have the acne, no matter how mild mine is, but I feel it's even worse to have these acne depressions. I have about 3 or 4 of them on my left cheek and 2 or 3 on my right cheek. They are all small and not deep but these acne depressions, along with my large pores prevent my cheeks from looking smooth, even at the times when I don't have any acne. I've come to realize that my acne is actually usually mild and non-inflamed but sometimes I do get the p&ps, especially after trying certain topicals on my face that make it irritated and red again.

    I had some silk peels (gentle microdermabrasions for sensitive skin) back in Oct 08 and it did appear to make my skin look smoother and remove some of the non-inflamed acne, but it was temporary. I have sensitive skin and don't want to irritate it even more but I do want to do SOMETHING to improve or get rid of these small acne depressions. I've been told a light salicylic acid chemical peel may help these depressions but I'm not sure if my skin is too sensitive for this type of treatment? And Differin wreaked havoc on my skin so I"m not using any other form of Retin-A to help this either.

    Any suggestions would be helpful, if any of you have found anything that works for you.

    I appreciate any help. :-)

  • #2
    Well i didn't really have any scars until now, but since i have had IPL treatments some time ago i have some depressions in my cheeks, and the scars are a funny shape almost square looking, so i know they aren't from spots, so i guess they must be from the IPL. These weren't there directly after the treatments but as the months have gone by they have started to appear.


    • #3

      I am sorry to hear you have suffered IPL damage.
      I know this is a bit off topic for this particular section, but could I ask what machine you were treated with?
      Did you experience lots of redness, or swelling with any of your treatments?
      Previous Numerous IPL.
      Supplements: High dose Niacinamide, Vit K2, low dose Vit A. Moderate Dose Vit C, Iodine, Taurine, Magnesium. Mod- dose B's. Low dose zinc. Testing Quercetin.

      Skin Care: No Cleanser, ZZ cream mixed with Niacinamide gel 4% and LMW HA 2%, ethyl ascorbate 2%.

      Treating for gut dysbiosis.(This is helping).
      Previous GAPS diet. Have now introduced lots of fibre.
      Fermented Foods. Intermittent fasting -16-18 hours.
      Oral Colostrum. Helps reduce food reactions.


      • #4

        Whilst this thread may not appear to immediately related to your issue if you read the whole thing I believe you might find it useful:


        • #5
          I would recommend you visit scar forum, there is a lot of good info.

          I know a thing or two about acne scars, in fact that is why I am here. I had CO2 laser done about 15 years ago and it caused rosacea.

          I were you:
          1. I know it bothers you, but it is very possible you can make things worse if you are too aggressive. This is the last thing you want to do.
          2. For treatment, I would recommend something called skin needling. You can not buy dermarollers (you should consider the 1.5mm) from sites like amazon. It is a minimally invasive technique that may not affect your rosacea negatively. But it takes time, even years to rebuild the collagen.
          3. Understand your scars. Different scars react different to treatment. If they are "rolling" scars versus "ice pick", the type of treatment will differ. Temporary and permanent fillers may also be good options since they are not likely to affect your rosacea.

          Anyway, good luck and take your time. Your goal should be very slow but steady progress with minimally invasive techniques in my opinion. Going for major quick improvements, like I did, may likely leave you in a worse condition than you started.

          If it makes you feel any better, or worse, you can probably get the scars to look pretty good....but very unlikely to ever make it look perfect. Harsh lighting will always cast a shadow, you will have to learn to accept that.


          • #6
            Hi Webbie,

            Did you have these scars before the IPL? or did you only notice them after the IPL?

            They wont be as noticable as you think, because when you look in the mirror you know that they are there and your attention is drawn to that spot.

            I doubt other ppl will notice them, unless they said "im going to look for small scars on your face" otherwise they would not see them

            Well thats my opinion



            • #7
              Originally posted by Jason1984 View Post

              They wont be as noticable as you think, because when you look in the mirror you know that they are there and your attention is drawn to that spot.

              I doubt other ppl will notice them, unless they said "im going to look for small scars on your face" otherwise they would not see them
              Your advice above is without question one of the finest, most accurate things anyone could say to all of us.
              All of us on this site are guilty to one degree or another of being obsessive about our appearance and analyzing our faces to within an inch of the mirror.
              I for one hope that I can follow your advice as it applies generally and not worry so much.


              • #8
                Acne Depressions

                Thank you everyone for your replies and suggestions. I am going to ask my derm about collagen fillers for the acne depressions and inquire about the dermaroller too. I agree with everyone that I don't want to make anything worse and I want to do things that are non-invasive to my sensitive skin. Thank you Mistica for your advice on another post about avoiding chemical peels. I agree with you about this, as well as avoiding Retin-A. I used Differin cream every other day for just 10 days and it broke me out with p&ps and made my chin really RED and RAW like it's never been before. So I stopped using it and my chin is already fine again and p&ps are going away. Had to go on Doxy 100mg cuz of this.

                After having 3 IPLs I unfortunately began to scrutinize my skin and came to notice these small acne depressions. I looked back at pictures of me from months ago pre-IPL and even pictures from a year ago and when I zoomed in on the digital pictures I could see some of these acne depressions. I did have an acne breakout after the 3rd IPL which I do think gave me at least 2 more small acne depressions, but I don't think the depressions are from the IPL, I think they are from the acne breakout I had after the IPL.

                I've come to realize that my large pores and these small acne depressions are what make the cheeks on my skin not look smooth like I'd like for it be. According to my friends and family, I don't have obvious acne scars but since I've scrutinized my skin, it's obvious to me.

                Have any of you found that after you have a procedure done that you tend to scrutinize your skin to look for results and this causes you to either find more flaws or to have a distorted view of your skin? My friends and family tell me that my skin is no different now than it was pre-IPLs which in a way is a good thing because that means there is no obvious negative change to others.

                Thanks again everyone.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by webbie View Post

                  Have any of you found that after you have a procedure done that you tend to scrutinize your skin to look for results and this causes you to either find more flaws or to have a distorted view of your skin? My friends and family tell me that my skin is no different now than it was pre-IPLs which in a way is a good thing because that means there is no obvious negative change to others.
                  In answer to your question above- of course. I don't want to speak for everyone here, but I'm sure we have all done that- you are not unique in that regard!

                  At the risk of leaping off topic, last week my obsession was if my hair was thinning! I noticed in one light it looked like it was a bit thin in the front which led to constant over analyzing. I have now blown up pictures on the computer to ensure it was all in my head (literally and figuratively). And, I have more or less come to the conclusion it may be.

                  Anyway, point is, yes. I won't say you are imagining it as I don't believe you are, but I will say that it is my opinion that you are imagining that other people notice it or that it diminishes your appearance in any way.



                  • #10
                    Thanks Rob. You are absolutely right about me thinking that others notice it (even when others tell me that they don't) and thinking that it diminishes my appearance. I think that part of this is a "I realize that I am aging" thing for me and that after scrutinizing my face I am seeing things that I never noticed before. I am 38 years old but don't look my age because I am petite and have a young looking face. But I have ALWAYS been self conscious about my skin and I've always felt that it takes away from my appearance. I've had mild acne off and on since I was 12 years old so I've never felt confident about my skin. But looking back, I realize that my skin was not as bad as I thought it was all those years and I would actually LOVE to have the skin I used to have. When I am thinking rationally, I know that my skin is not as bad as I think it is, but it's still a hard thing to accept.

                    I guess the issues we have with our skin can be similar to people who have issues with their weight. It can be really hard for some people to lose weight no matter what they do or try and even if they do improve their weight, sometimes it might not ever be what they really hope for. I feel this way about my skin. I've always longed for clear, smooth skin and looking back, I probably did have decent skin to a certain extent when I was younger, but never to my satisfaction. But hopefully I can find a product that will keep things under control and not make it worse as I continue to age.


                    • #11
                      I'm with you webbie-- I recently turned 40! Holy crap. What a nightmare. I notice everything!

                      I have always looked young for my age- no gray hair and all of my hair, no wrinkles, good weight, tall, just ****ty skin! So, don't feel badly at all.

                      My wife is 36 and last week she had a rough week- feeling old and a bit unstable, etc. and she has great skin (damn her). Washes with like an old sock and laundry detergent and still looks fine. Makes me sick.

                      So, I hope I have been some small help.

                      If I may say with the Differin, I have used it and will say that you get one hell of an initial breakout and possibly that was what happened to you?



                      • #12
                        My husband turns 40 next month and I will be 39 this year so I know what you mean. And thanks, your post does make me feel a bit better to at least know that I am not alone in how I feel. Like you, I feel good about myself in most other regards -- I get compliments on my long, thick hair, I have never had a problem with my weight (always been skinny thankfully) and I don't even have any wrinkles yet except for some minor crows feet around my eyes, which really doesn't bother me (yet, lol). The only issue I've ever had too is having crappy skin! And my husband, like your wife, has great skin. He washes with water and sometimes even just uses hand soap to wash his face! If I did that I'd not only have a face full of pimples but I'd probably break out in a rash! Go figure...

                        I used the Differin every other night for 10 days, so could Differin cause an IB that quickly? All I know is that the kind of p&ps I've had on my face since I tried the Differin, I don't usually get that kind of breakout, thankfully. But maybe that's what it was. My chin got the worst of it and that is all cleared up. Now I'm just waiting for the remaining p&ps to go away.


                        • #13
                          Good post- you made me feel better as well.

                          I don't want to imply that I am a differin expert in any fashion but like you, I have had mild/moderate acne. Anyway, in my experience, when I would start differin, within a week or two, it was like the wrath of god with the initial breakout.

                          So, I can't say what happened for you but for me, it was like every pimple that ever thought about developing decided to come forth. After another week or so however, they went away as fast as they came and thereafter the differin works pretty well. For me, however, I only use it on my forehead as that seems to be my "problem" area.

                          Anyway, good luck and I truly hope you worry less and be well.


                          • #14
                            By the way, I think my skin is just too sensitive for most topicals but interestingly enough, my forehead and nose are pretty tough and can withstand a lot more than my cheeks can.

                            Thanks again and I hope to calm down too and not worry about it too much because the stress of trying different products, etc I'm sure doesn't help my skin.
                            Last edited by boyandhisdog; 4 April 2009, 08:25 PM.


                            • #15
                              Sorry- I didn't even notice your location- albeit I did think of your name that there is a bar/restaurant near my office called "Webbie's" that I sometimes frequent! Any relation- well, I guess I will PM you on that!