Ernesto, how are you doing now man? Very curious how things turned out after your last treatment! Your results are ASTONISHING and incredibly inspirational! I seriously applaud you for having the courage to be vulnerable and post pictures of your whole journey through this process. Not everyone has the courage to do so. I find it so awesome of you to take the time out of your life to update everyone on your progress throughout. I really hope that you're doing amazing now and wish you all the best! xx
P.S. If you have the time in the future, we would love an update on how you're doing now!
she always picks up the pieces of my latest, and greatest disappointment. we're different, yet similar, and it works itself out. she reminds me that trusting someone doesn't always lead to pain. nothing i could possibly say could express how much she means to me.
This photo of my right cheek was taken on April 14, 2009 29 days after my initial treatment.
Personally, I feel that this photo shows dramatic improvement over the baseline photo taken on February 18, 2009.
The subcision and TCA Cross Methods appear to have worked. The subcision appears to have released the fibrous bands which were holding down my skin and created the scarred appearance.
I am THRILLED with these results and I am grateful that I found this website. I have had these scars for eleven years and would "cringe" when I would see my appearance under harsh lighting due to the shadows the scars cast.
Some factors that I think may account for the success I've had with subcision and TCA Cross Method include:
1) the power of prayer. Thank you God for my healing!
2) the power of a good dermatoligical surgeon who did his research and skillfully treated my skin
3) the power of good nutrition: I take 1000 mg of Vitamin C daily, 50 mg of Zinc daily, and take probiotics. I want to encourage all of you to do some research on probiotics as I believe that played a key role in the rapid response and healing of my skin.
4) I use EMU oil every night on my skin along with Retin A .10 strength.
5) I workout twice a week
6) Use sunscreen to protect my skin
I hope that my pictures will give hope to the hopeless.
I am SO SO SO glad to hear that your skin is clear and totally clear for six weeks as well! That's amazing! From where both of us started, it seems like we've both had some serious progress. I don't think I've had as much progress as you and others on here because unfortunately, the OCM really did some permanent damage to my skin. I'm hoping that since my scars are less than a year old, that I can find some way to make them more shallow before it's too late. I've been focusing a lot on my scarring because it's the one thing that has really depleted my self confidence. I've pretty much come to terms with the fact that I have hormonal acne (the only place I ever seem to breakout is my jawline and around my mouth) so I do what I can to deal with that and it's definitely gotten significantly better. But I live in Southern California so when the sunlight hits the rolling scars on my cheeks, it just mortifies me. I've never had scarring in this way in my entire life so that's the one thing that has really been messing with me. The doctors tell me that there is no way to permanently get rid of them and have smooth skin again. I try not to let that get to me and try to stay positive and hope for the best. But I'll tell you, to be told that at 22-years-old is really heartbreaking. If for nothing else, THIS is why I highly suggest to others NOT to try OCM. Pimples and acne can be dealt with but scarring is permanent. I'm so thankful for this website because no one else I know can begin to understand how this feels. I'm also incredibly thankful to have met you and others on this board who know exactly what I'm going through (not the scarring but everything else). It definitely helps me get through the tough times knowing that you all are here!
I actually was going to head to Sephora today to try and find some makeup to help hide the deeper scars that I have so I'm totally going to check out those pads! I'm not sure if I'll be purchasing them because as you said too, I'm pretty scared to change up anything in my current regimen lol! They sound really awesome though and definitely something I could benefit from. Do you find that they cause you to breakout a little after you use them or does your skin stay perfectly clear if you use them gently? And by gently, do you mean that you just lightly apply pressure when you apply it to your face, or do you kind of blot the solution all over your face so that you don't rub & irritate your skin? Sorry for the multiple questions but I'm definitely interested in these! Any advice is always greatly appreciated! Those peels from Amazon are where I found the Skinceuticals brand too. The reviews and everything sound AMAZING but as you said, I'm pretty scared to try anything new! I'm probably going to continue my TCA set and once I'm done with that, I'll most likely end up trying out some of the at home and less invasive peels. Speaking of Amazon, have you tried the Aztec Secret Healing Clay Mask?? You can find it at Whole Foods and similar stores too. If you haven't tried it, you totally should. It sucks up just about ALL the bad stuff in your face and really tightens your pores. I've heard from people in the entertainment industry that a lot of models use it the night before a photoshoot because it really tightens the pores and makes their skin look like perfection.
I'm really glad to hear that you're doing so well girly. Defeating the battle with acne is a better gift than just about anything in my book! Definitely keep me posted how things go, if you change anything with your routines, and if you find any more awesome products!
Syllacrostics - I realized that our reply's were getting quite long so I thought it might be easier for us-and other readers-if I posted a new response. That is seriously some great information! I definitely think you described the difference between hyperpigmentation and erythma perfectly! You explained it in a way that I can understand which is awesome. The next time I wash my face, I'm going to press down on the marks and figure out what I really have going on. I've never heard of the Makeup Artist's Choice brand for the peels but I like the fact that yours comes in a kit with the pH prep solution. I found a lot of good responses about the Skinceuticals brand and their lactic acid peels....do you know anything about the difference between these two brands? I'm going to dig in and research the two because it sounds like that is right up my alley!
In conjunction with your response about looking good into your 50's, I feel the same way! Haha. I plan on getting a TON of these TCA peels (unfortunately, it seems like I got the worst permanent damage to my skin from the OCM out of everyone here) and since they get rid of fine lines and everything else, hopefully the both of us will be looking young and renewed through our 50's!
What's so crazy is that my father has the most INCREDIBLE skin I've ever seen. He's 63 and looks like he's 45 because he has only the smallest and unnoticeable lines. Aside from that, his skin is FLAWLESS! Not a mark or blemish in sight. Now my mother on the hand, it's clear I've taken after her. Haha. Hopefully as I get older, my genetics will fall in line a little more with my dad's than my mom's. Here's to hoping!
Wowza!!! Sounds like you are doing AMAZING!!! I'm SO happy for you I have a toner with witch hazel and red tea so I'm hoping I have some similar results as you! I've actually looked into some of those lactic acid peels too because they sound awesome....do you do yours yourself at home? What kind did you purchase and how do you use it? Also, how did you know that you had erythema instead of hyperpigmentation? Sorry for all the questions but it really sounds like you've made AMAZING progress! How awesome!
Oh geez, I know what you mean about the haircut (haha there were so many great emoticons to use for my feeling about that).The natural light, washing of the hair meaning washing off your makeup, etc.....yeah I'm not looking forward to that!
I initially used 2/3 olive oil and 1/3 castor, then maybe 3 weeks later I replaced the olive oil with coconut oil. All of that was such a big mistake, haha. Apparently those are the worst offenders as far as comedogenic products go!
Hey there Battle2011! I apologize for not updating recently. As I've mentioned above, I could not access my account for the life of me and just today was able to resolve this! I posted a thorough update above as a response to alisonp27 if you would like to hear about the progress I've been making.
I actually forgot to mention though that I did look into the Caveman's Regimen as well because I heard that it helps to balance out your skin's pH after utilizing all of these different acne products on the market now. This time-before I started any sort of new regimen-I did some thorough research. I found that a lot of people who successfully tried the Caveman's method ended up with some sort of dry skin condition (I'm blanking on the name). I knew I could not let that happen to my skin after everything with the OCM but I was interested in the idea of it so I tailored it to work for me. Instead of going 30 days without washing my face, I went maybe a week or a week and a half without washing my face, then would gently wash it and moisturize, and try it again. I did not develop a dry skin condition, nor did it help with breakouts (probably made them worse actually) but I felt like it helped to get my skin back to a relatively normal pH after everything that happened. I was able to begin using Acure skin care products and actually see some good results. Now (after my TCA chemical peel as well) my skin stays relatively clear using Cetaphil which is pretty cool! I'm sure it's for the most part due to the chemical peel but I like to think that I did my skin's pH a little good by not washing it for a week at a time for a couple weeks.
Did you purchase a bottle of Aloe Vera gel or did you extract your own from an aloe leaf? Just a little FYI in case you didn't know, I found HUGE aloe leaves for sale at Whole Foods for $1.99 and you can get a whole lot of the pure gel just from that. I'm sure you already know that though I like putting the aloe in smoothies and stuff as I'm a little scared to put it on my face, haha. I just have a feeling that it wouldn't be the right substance for my own skin but I know a lot of people that love it!
Great great great advice!!!! I WISH I had done this instead of OCM and I hope that anyone contemplating OCM can read your post first and try that. I have the Aztec Clay and it's AMAZING! It sucks up everything on your face without a doubt! I do have a question for you....I used the Aztec Healing Clay mask (the one in the tub from Amazon and Whole Foods) and the last two times I used it, it made me breakout incredibly bad. I know because of how strong it is that it will pull things to the top of your skin and purge everything, but the pimples just remained there. My skin was fully clear (the last time I used it was maybe 8 months ago) and I used the mask, got a ton of breakouts and then couldn't get rid of them for a LONG time-longer than ever before. I'm not sure what really changed. I have always used half water, half Bragg's ACV to mix the clay so I didn't really change anything on my end. Do you have any advice or recommendations? I'd love to be able to use the mask again without being scared out of my mind that it will ruin my skin!
Also, what's your opinion of your skincare recommendations above versus using a natural skincare line? I took a break from using my favorite Acure skincare products when I got a TCA peel and switched to Cetaphil and Aquaphor because as I'm sure you know, you have to be very gentle and moisturize excessively after the peel. It's been about 6 weeks since the peel and I'm still using Cetaphil and a light layer of Aquaphor because I'm waiting to speak to the nurse about switching back to my normal products. My skin is actually still relatively clear on Cetaphil and Aquaphor, although I'm sure the aquaphor is getting to be too heavy because I'm still breaking out on my jawline and right under my earlobes. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond to this board! All the input I've been getting has truly been invaluable.
Hello soul sister!! I'm SO sorry for not being on this site recently. I could not log into my account to save my life and I was finally able to get it straightened out today!
I read your posts that I missed and it seems like things are continuing to look up for you! I'm really happy for you!! Are you still on the regimen and doing well?
I actually decided to go a different route...I have always been interested in switching to an all-natural approach (hence the attempt at OCM) so I figured that I would try it because I really have nothing else left to lose. My mindset is that if it doesn't work and I break out badly, then I will know for sure that my skin needs some sort of inorganic chemicals or whatnot (like BP) in order to get better. I purchased some products from the Acure skin care line and have really liked the products that I got. You should google them (since I can't include a link) and check out their acne products! Their ingredients are amazing and all fair trade which is pretty cool. They make my skin feel GOOD! You know how Proactiv just strips your skin of anything beneficial really? These products keep your skin moisturized but not oily at all. The oil controlling moisturizer that I got is AMAZING. I spent about $15 on each of the 4 products I got and they last for months and months-a lot longer than Proactiv products! I purchased an exfoliant for $15 or $19 and all you need to use is a pea-size drop because the ingredients are so amazing and as we know, you don't want to scratch up your face with too much exfoliant so this bottle could literally last you a year or longer! One thing that really made me switch to this line was thinking about the quality of my skin as I get older. The harshness of Proactiv and similar products made me wonder what my skin will look like in 10-20 years after daily stripping of moisture and other essential things. I want to keep my skin nicely moisturized because honestly, I want to age well! Not like I'm old whatsoever (22) but when I look at pictures of women that have aged well, it's because the quality of their skin has been well maintained.
Since my skin has depleted my self-confidence and has been keeping me home all the time, I realized that my life was not going to get better until I get this under control. I have been looking into chemical peels for a while because I have TERRIBLE scars from the OCM. I have deep rolling and icepick scars, as well as terrible hyperpigmentation all over my face. Don't even get me started on pore size! Aside from the acne, it's the scars that have really affected me emotionally. I simply don't feel beautiful in any way. I'm not saying I'm a knockout but I think that every person is beautiful in their own way but I just don't feel like that about myself as I once did.
When I got a break from college about two months ago, I went back home and called my doctor to inquire about chemical peels. Kaiser Permanente is my insurance provider and they have a Cosmetic Center for things like chemical peels, botox, lip injections, nose jobs, etc. These services aren't covered by insurance but they are the same price as anywhere else you could go and you know you're in good hands. I'm not interested in anything but the chemical peel and I felt very confident knowing that it was going to be done by someone at Kaiser rather than some stand-alone cosmetic center. I have previously paid $600 to go to a stand-alone cosmetic center in Beverly Hills (sounds totally legitimate, right?) and the nurses told me the complete INCORRECT way of taking care of my skin after the procedure so that $600 went down the drain. I ended up getting the 30% TCA peel from Kaiser which consists of a bit of a recovery process (nothing painful, just dramatic peeling skin like the worst sunburn you can imagine) but I was staying at my father's place so I didn't have to go out of the house too much like that. Now, the chemical peels are definitely not a miracle worker. The nurses told me that this would not get rid of my scars, but getting a set of peels could help. The first peel did reduce the depth of some scars very minutely but hey, it's some improvement! Aside from the scars, it seems to have seriously improved my acne. I still get breakouts on my jawline (hormonal acne) but I'm hoping to balance that with a clean diet, vitamins, and exercise. Aside from my jaw, I have like one small pimple that pops up randomly but it goes away pretty dang quickly which is nice!
The peel was $250 for a full face 30% TCA chemical peel. To me, that was a pretty average and reasonable price for what you get. I'm relatively happy with the results and I plan on getting this chemical peel every 2-3 months until I see dramatic improvement. I'm more than willing to spend that kind of money to see actual results and improve my self-confidence. I would really recommend to anyone on here to try one of these peels out. If you take care of your skin as directed after the procedure, you are guaranteed to see some sort of results which is awesome! I'm now back at home living life and using my Acure products until I go home for the holidays and get my next peel.
Sorry for my long post but it's been a while since we were able to catch up so I wanted to give you the full run-down of everything fill me in with everything going on with you too! I'm so interested to know how things have been going for you and I really hope you're having success too!!
Hey there SyllaCrostics! I hear you on the red, blotchy marks!! If you look above and see my response to alisonp27, I wrote that partially for you as well because it sounds like you might be able to find some solace and get rid of some of the scarring with a chemical peel (or a set like I'm doing). I know they're not exactly cheap but they are something that I'm more than happy to save for because you will see results, even just minor results, and anything helps at this point in my opinion!
How are you doing as well with your acne and scarring? It's been a while since I've been able to get on here so I'd love to hear what's been going on with you recently and if you've been able to find some solutions as well! We're all in this struggle together and I'm really wishing the best for you!! Keep me posted when you get the chance!