WARNING: The following image might gross you out!!!
I have here a snapshot of my left cheek. As you can see, I don't have any active cystic acne at the moment but I have a lot of dark acne scars. I'm too ashamed of my skin that I watermarked my image using a font color similar to my skin tone =( Being used to having clear skin in previous years, I tried to get rid of acne by picking on them which is a big no no!!! Sometimes I find myself picking on my skin when I'm stressed and just realized it became a habit... a bad one =(
Then I came across MakeupByLeina's vlog on her acne.org regimen. While she used products from acne.org, there are substitutes in the market that I can readily purchase at the local drugstore. So I followed the simple regimen of using a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil then apply Benzac AC (5% Benzoyl Peroxide) all over and then top it off with Cetaphil moisturizer once the Benzac layer has completely dried down. This is very effective in drying out pimples in a jiffy. I followed the regimen for months and while it did control my cystic acne, I got left with dark acne scars. Not sure if my sunscreen for the face is enough but yeah I always get dark scars after my acne dried down using BP.
So, I consulted with Google again and found articles about Tretinoin. I've used Stieva A during my high school years to help with my white heads so I'm quite familiar with this product. But I remember I wasn't happy with Stieva A then because it took a very long time to see actual results. Read a lot of articles about Retin-A which has the same active ingredient as Stieva A but uses an alcohol base instead. I never thought of using this product before because I remember this was marketed here as treatment for wrinkles? (That TV ad was so long ago) =P
Okay, so fast forward, I ended up using Retin-A and while it still took a couple of weeks to see actual results I'm very happy with it because it lightened my scars and hastened the turn over of dead skin cells on my face. I guess the alcohol base makes it more effective on me as it dried out acne overnight. It also improved the texture of my skin.
I'm on my second tube of Retin-A and I use this at night before bedtime only. I still use BP by spot application only during the day and partnering it with Retin-A really helped clear out my acne. While it will take more time to completely "erase" my acne marks, I'm very hopeful with this regimen. Please do take note that using these acne treatment will cause peeling, dryness and sensitivity so I highly suggest you consult a dermatologist first. Using sunscreen is also a MUST!
So, why do I resort to Google rather than consulting a doctor? I don't know... hahaha I just don't want to deal with expensive treatments and people who hard sell their products. But that's just me =P