Laser Acne Scar Removal Experience & Review

I believe in treating acne from within and having a good skincare routine at home to properly tackle skin issues. I previously wrote about lifestyle changes for acne, which is a slower but more sustainable way to combat acne. However, there were times I felt very desperate about my acne and felt impatient about it. During those times, I can’t wait to get rid of my acne and the scars. I was hoping for a quick fix when I decided to try laser acne scar removal. I will cover my own experience doing laser acne scar removal and also how much does laser acne scar removal cost. Also, check out my other post specifically on chemical peel for back acne and its scars and how to get rid of back acne scars.

laser acne scar removal_treatment procedure

How I decided to do laser acne scar removal

Working in a corporate environment makes me always want to look good, be it my outfit, my physical appearance, and especially my skin. I had a few instances where deep inflamed cysts appeared on my face. I hated seeing my reflection in the mirror. And what was worse was that the redness was visible through my makeup. Foundation or concealer only made it look worse. 

This pushed me to go see a dermatologist to fix this issue. I was actually reluctant to do this earlier because I had disappointing experiences with dermatologists in the past. I thought that dermatologist only knows how to treat the symptoms (acne) without solving the root cause of acne. They probably will just push treatments, antibiotics, and topical products instead of looking deeper into the cause of the skin issues. However, I decided to put this behind me thinking this time might be different. So I googled “dermatologist near me” and I found one near the CBD area I lived in.

My experience with the treatment

At the time of this writing, it has been 5 months since I started going there for laser acne scar removal treatment. The package consists of 12 sessions including laser treatments and chemical peels. Most of their customers are office workers and they come during lunchtime to do treatments. Their treatments are popular because they do not require any downtime i.e. you don’t see the typical redness or peeling after laser treatment.

How much does laser acne scar removal cost?

One word to describe it is EXPENSIVE. If you wonder how much does laser acne scar removal cost, the 12 session package costs a whooping SGD5,000. This is more than the average people’s monthly salary in Singapore. With this price tag, I expected superior treatment or a very knowledgeable dermatologist. The reason why I went to the clinic was to prevent the reoccurrence of cystic acne and also to improve my skin texture. Among the two, the first one was the main reason that made me think the 5,000 price tag might be worth it. 

How effective is the laser treatment?

laser acne scar removal_checking face

Effectiveness in reducing reoccurrence of acne

The laser acne scar removal treatments were not just to target scars, but also existing acne. The lasers used were supposed to help with improving the skin overall from the deeper layer of the skin. Unfortunately, I did not see any improvement in terms of acne occurrence. New acne still showed up.

Effectiveness in improving skin tone and texture

The laser acne scar removal treatments were not effective in improving my skin texture or my skin tone, which is quite disappointing. Also, I have this particular spot on my cheek which is reddish (it looks like a persistent PIE scar). I have been asking the dermatologist to remove that redness and also asked her what is the possible cause of that red spot. Given the price tag of my package, I expect some explanation of what might be going under the skin. I was not surprised when she could not give any explanation of possible causes and instead asked me to spend more money to buy cream to apply on that spot. Eventually, I still need to go back to the internet again to look for the answer myself.

Before you buy any laser acne scar removal package, do this!

Now that you know how much does laser acne scar removal cost you, you need to decide wisely before you buy any package. Be mindful that any dermatologist clinic might have alluring advertisements. They might have some celebrities endorsing the service. Keep in mind that if you are tight on budget, you may want to rethink the package. 

The result that some of the customers have might be the result of continuous maintenance as well. That means that before laser acne scar removal can be effective, you might need to commit thousands of dollars to do more sessions. Also, they may offer you antibiotics for acne if your acne persists despite the lasers and peels. I am generally against antibiotics because they destroy good gut bacteria, which is important for healthy skin.

If you are patient enough to undergo a more natural but slower route, start by adopting a more healthy diet and lifestyle. Incorporate anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, probiotics and all these goodness into your diet. Your lifestyle and what you put into your body every day will determine your skin health more than anything else. Read more about sugar acne link and also probiotics for acne in their dedicated posts.

Pantothenic Acid for Acne: Review

I have tried changing my diet to get rid of acne before. It did work well. However, there was a period of time when I could not follow the restrictions. My skin worsened. It made me wonder whether there is something lacking in my body that caused me to have persistent breakouts. This led to me researching and I found out about Pantothenic Acid for acne improvement. I will explain more about my experience taking Pantothenic Acid for acne, Vitamin B5 benefits for skin, and how to take Pantothenic Acid for acne. 

pantothenic acid for acne_pills

Vitamin B5 benefits for skin

Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential in our body metabolism, acting as a coenzyme in an energy-producing chemical reaction. It is also important to regulate blood sugar levels. There is no research that explicitly explains the role of vitamin B5 in acne control. However, there are theories out there that lay out some possible causation relationships between the vitamin and acne. One of them is that Vitamin B5 is required to produce Coenzyme A (CoA). This coenzyme is essential for fat metabolism and the production of hormones, to mention a few. With limited CoA, the priority is to use CoA to produce hormones leaving the lower levels of CoA available for fat metabolism. Consequently, the body can’t process fat effectively and it accumulates in the body; causing high sebum production and therefore acne. Here is how the vitamin B5 acne link was born.

How to take Pantothenic Acid for acne? 

There is a science-backed online source that recommends 750mg of Pantothenic Acid combined with 250 mg of L-carnitine for severe acne. If you have mild acne, you can reduce the dosage. The combination with L-carnitine is optional, but some people say that it helps to ‘boost’ the effect of Pantothenic Acid in regulating sebum production on the skin. Personally, I just took Pantothenic Acid without L-carnitine.

A lot of research mentions that it is okay to take a higher dose than recommended as long as you don’t go extremely high because the excess amount will go out from the body along with urine (given that the vitamin is water-soluble). You can choose to reduce the dosage after your skin clears up if you are worried about over-consuming the vitamin. Please do more research on this, especially if you have certain medical conditions.

Also, be mindful that whatever we take orally might interact with one another. Check out this article on what drugs/substances might interact with Pantothenic Acid.

Based on my experience, how effective is Pantothenic Acid for acne?

Pantothenic Acid did help me to a certain extent in controlling my acne. I stopped getting those angry red bumps on my face after consuming Pantothenic Acid two months ago. However, from my experience, I developed a dependency on this vitamin. When I stopped taking Pantothenic Acid for my skin, acne started to pop out again. 

If you want to try out taking Pantothenic Acid for acne and confirm the Vitamin B5 benefits for the skin, you should do it diligently for a few months at least. You will not see the effect in a few weeks’ time, not to mention overnight. The photo below shows my skin 2 months after Pantothenic Acid and Japanese water therapy.

pantothenic acid for acne_clear skin

Should you try Pantothenic Acid for acne then?

[Update from 2022] I am writing this final paragraph after I stopped taking this vitamin. From my personal experience, the side effect of stopping the intake is quite bad on my hair. I had a bad hair fall for a few months after I stopped taking Pantothenic Acid for acne. I read on Reddit that this is not uncommon, so watch out for this! There is a Youtube video by Dr. Dray that is very informative on Pantothenic Acid for acne and its efficacy. Check it out.

At the end of the day, every human body is built differently. What did not work for me might work wonderfully on some of you. I suggest you can give it a try, but observe how your body reacts to it. If it does not fit you, you can find other supplements that can help with your skin health. I have long switched to taking Zinc supplements, which have been working well for me for the past few years now. I cover my experience with Zinc supplement for acne in this other post, so check it out.

Learn about acne, skincare and skin health with me!

Japanese Water Therapy: Methods and Review

Water is important in our life. Our body is ~60% water according to a Healthline article. Without enough water, our bodily functions cannot run properly. However, is that the only benefit of water to our body? The Japanese might beg to differ. They consume water in such a way to unlock more water benefits for our bodies. Want to find out more about this? I have talked about lifestyle changes for acne in other post. Now I will talk about Japanese water therapy that I have tried myself, with great results.

My dad suggested I try out this simple, cheap yet effective therapy. It originates from Japan and apparently it is the secret why the Japanese are slim and healthy. This might be a generalization but come on, we often hear people in Japan live past 100 years old – so this should not be far from true!

Japanese Water Therapy: How to Do This Therapy?

The therapy has very simple rules:

  1. Drink 3-4 glasses (160 ml each) of warm water right when you wake up, before brushing your teeth
  2. Avoid eating anything 45 mins after
  3. Do not drink or eat anything after any meal for 2 hours

I find the last one is hard to stick to. After the meal, I would like to have water or tea to rinse the mouth and throat to get rid of the food smell. This is especially after I have food with strong taste/smell/herbs. I would not drink too much after big meals like lunch or dinner, but I will just drink just enough amount to rinse my mouth and then pop some mints to freshen my breath.

japanese water therapy_drink water

Is Japanese Water Therapy effective?

Cleans up digestion first thing in the morning

Within 10-15 mins after drinking the water, I can feel my body warming up, just like when you warm up the car engine after haven’t used it for long. Likewise, after sleeping for 7-8 hours, our body needs to warm up in order to get the ‘engine running’. Within half an hour to one hour, normally I will go to the bathroom to do ‘the business’. It feels good to do it early in the morning and get rid of the waste from the body. Starting the day with a clean colon!

I believe having active digestion with a regular pooping schedule helps me to maintain my figure and weight as well. I am 168 cm tall with 49 kg weight. My figure is tall and slim and I can contribute this not only to genetics but also to my toilet habits. When we eat, we are providing our body with the input of food, and when we poop we are removing those waste post digestion of the food. I eat 3x a day and I poop 1-3x a day normally.

Japanese water therapy_poop

Hydrating the body and clearing up toxins

I used to skip drinking water first thing in the morning before.  When I get to the office, instead of drinking water, I drink coffee first. It was a bad habit, especially our body needs water after 7-8 hours of not having any water intake during our sleep. Water is one of the biggest compositions in our body. Therefore, drinking water is very important to keep our body hydrated, to keep the cells functioning, and also to get the toxins out of the system.

After 2 months of doing Japanese water therapy regularly every morning, I noticed that my skin is hydrated. I have less flaky skin even when I forgot to put on moisturizer on my skin. This proves that hydrating from within is as important as, if not more than, hydrating from outside. Also, I used to have flaky, dry feet – you know, those white clouds on your feet that you feel so tempted to peel? I noticed I don’t have that anymore and I got my baby soft feet back. Not sure about the science behind the disappearance of those ‘white clouds’ but I will contribute it to the Japanese water therapy.

japanese water therapy_hydrated skin

My body feels warmer

People who know me for a long time would tell you that I used to constantly have digestion problems. When I go to the mall or get exposed to very cold air-conditioning in the room, or when I feel nervous about something, my digestion system often reacts badly. I will have the urge to go to the toilet and often have unexplainable diarrhea. This was very inconvenient. After doing Japanese water therapy for a few months, I feel my body is warmer from within. Despite the coldness of the room, my digestion system will be fine. No more sudden cold sensation or the urge to go to the toilet. It is as if the digestion system is calmed down. 

Moreover, in the past, I need to always make sure I have a cardigan or scarf in my bag as I feel cold easily. However, now I don’t need to do that anymore – talk about CAREFREENESS! For this one, I am very certain it is because of the water therapy.

japanese water therapy_carefree

Should you try Japanese water therapy?

Yes, I highly recommend this Japanese water therapy, because it is very simple, cheap, and easy to do. The gist of this therapy is to drink water on empty stomach, and try to follow the portion/size and timing details per instructions stated above. You can reap a lot of benefits from just a small change in your daily habit in the morning. 

If you are wondering whether it clears up my skin, the answer is yes to a certain extent! I still do get occasional pimples even after doing water therapy. Pimples and acne are very complex issues and I didn’t expect this therapy to get rid of them all at once. However, I am not disappointed with this therapy. In fact, I am very satisfied with the major positive effects it has on my body. There are a lot of people who can testify positively about the benefits of Japanese water therapy. You can read an article here that also shows you the benefits of water. When your parents and people tell you to drink more water, listen to them!

Drink more water and cheers!

Update (Feb 2022): My skin is clearer now which can contribute to the detoxifying effect of this water therapy. Also, what I am amazed with is that my premenstrual pain is gone. I used to experience horrible pain before my period came. Also, my period used to last for 3-4 days only. Now I don’t feel any pain at all before my period and my period lasts for 5-6 days. It is as if the outflow of the menstrual blood is improved after doing this therapy.

Lifestyle Changes for Acne

I believe in holistic approach when dealing with acne and pimples. There is no one solution to fix this complex problem whose root causes can be just anything. It can be stress, unhealthy diet, hormonal imbalance, dirty environment, you name it. The cause of acne for each person may vary. When you want to tackle acne, other than applying skincare suitable for your skin type or treating your acne topically, you may want to consider some lifestyle changes to get rid of acne. We will discuss lifestyle changes for acne in this article. 

Lifestyle changes for acne to adopt

Drink a lot of water

lifestyle changes for acne_drink plenty water

Water is very important to our body. Do you know that our body can last for days without food but will not last as long without water?

One of the reasons why water is very important in keeping your skin clear is because it helps to flush out unwanted substances from our body. When we urinate, some of the toxic and unhealthy substances are taken out from our body. If we keep those substances inside the body, the body may react and one of the reactions can be in the form of acne/pimples.

Also, hydration for the body is important to ensure the body functions well, including its healing function. If the body does not operate optimally, it cannot heal from infections and inflammations like acne properly and quickly. I also covered an experiment that I did with myself on Japanese water therapy in another article here. Make sure you check it out.

Eat more vegetables and low sugar fruits

lifestyle changes for acne_vegetables fruit

Another way our body gets rid of the unwanted substances is through our feces. According to Medical News Today article, generally 3x per day to 3x per week is considered a healthy frequency for passing out our feces. However, note if your bathroom ritual requires you to put more effort or strain yourself. You are healthy and have enough fiber intake if you can pass out the feces naturally, without pushing too hard.

There are certain vegetables and fruits that have more fibers than others. Try to find leafy green vegetables and other colorful vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, corns) and fruits that are less watery but more fiber-y. Watery fruits such as watermelon will not help your digestion system much compared to fruits like papaya.

Exercise and sweat all the toxins out! 

lifestyle changes for acne_exercise sweat

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of this. Your sweat may contain harmful substances that your body needs to get out. Sweat glands are one of the channels through which our body get these substances out. Sweat more, you won’t only feel better physically but also feel happier emotionally!

Do exercises that make you happy the most. I personally like dance-based exercise like Zumba or BodyJam. Sometimes when I prefer quieter activities I do hot yoga and pilates. My sister, for example, prefers yoga / pilates above anything else as she is more of a calmer person. Find the exercise that you like to do! I cover another topic on ‘Does Exercise Help Acne?‘ to dive deeper into this topic of exercise and acne. Check it out!

Sleep early and make sure you get 8 hours of quality sleep

lifestyle changes for acne_sleep well

I know this is hard to do for some people especially given the abundance of online resources, YouTube, movies that you can download on the net etc. Sometimes we just spend a lot of time before sleep browsing the web, Instagram, 9gag and other addictive stuff.. Keep in mind that you still should not sacrifice your sleeping time doing all those things. Sleep early, at  10pm to 11pm, is highly recommended to let your body function properly. Our body organs have certain schedule that they follow to rejuvenate themselves as well as to produce certain hormones/substances that are essential for the proper running of the body system.

Having 7-8 hours of sleep (quality sleep) will make you feel fresh the next morning, as well as allowing your body to function well. This sounds an easy lifestyle change for acne, but mind you it is harder to do. You will need to be really disciplined to do this consistently.

Stress less, smile more

lifestyle changes for acne_smile more

I watched the Fantastic Beast movie recently and the main character used this phrase “My philosophy is worrying means you suffer twice”. Do not worry too much about life or what is ahead of you. Focus on the present. Do your best at the current moment. Life will take unexpected turns sometimes and there is no way we can avoid that. Believe that the Higher being will always provide you with what we need to face any circumstances in life, no matter how hard they are.

Try to smile more, smile at other people. Spread sunshine to people around you, no matter how annoying or grumpy they are. Let yourself be the source of happiness to people around you, and it can start simply from a sincere smile.

Is it hard to implement these lifestyle changes for acne? 

It is simple, but might require more discipline to be consistent at it. The above lifestyle changes for acne are not exhaustive, please add more to your list as you see fit. These changes are not only lifestyle changes to get rid of acne, but they are also good for your overall life and health. If you can prioritize making these changes, one at a time, you will see improvement in your life!

Check out other posts on acne and healthy lifestyle for skin health!