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SuzInCarolina

What to expect right after TCA Cross?

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I had a TCA cross yesterday morning. The aesthetician used 85% TCA. When she finished she put Aquaphor on my face. There were white spots where she had applied the TCA. She said it would be OK to put on some mineral makeup, so a few hours later, I picked up a Kleenex and wiped off some of the Aquaphor. When I glanced in the mirror, I realized the white spots were gone, too. I dusted on the mineral makeup and went about my business.

Last night, I washed my face with Cetaphil and put on some more Aquaphor. This morning some of the treated areas looked like light brown freckles. I again washed with Cetaphil and applied Aquaphor followed by a dusting of mineral makeup. By early this afternoon, the skin around the treated spots was puffy.

I have been hunting around on the Web, but I haven't found anything that says the skin near the TCA treated spots will puff. Is what is happening to me normal?

I did expect to see some small scabs within the next day or two but I did not expect them to be outside the treated spots.

Did I mess myself up by wiping off the Aquaphor that first day? It was a couple hours after I had been treated. I thought the aesthetician had removed the TCA right after the treatment. Now I am wondering if some was left on and if I spread it.

Any suggestions? Words of wisdom?

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Yes, it probably would've been best if you had left your skin alone on the first day of the procedure. I have been told that you shouldn't apply makeup until there is a scab, but even then, applying makeup can cause the scab to fall off prematurely.

Don't worry about it too much though, just be gentle with your skin.

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A bit of puffiness is normal. A lot of redness right around the area of TCA application (for a half hour or so after application) is normal, too. The skin reacts to the acid in a large area of erythema (redness) around the site of application. Don't worry! You're normal. Just keep applying the aquaphor to the spots, even a dot of antibiotic ointment/cream would be fine. Once the scabs form, you don't need to apply anything at all and it's ok to apply makeup. Don't pick the scabs off, let them fall off on their own.

Be sure you wear sunscreen when you go out, as I did note that sun exposure actually reversed the improvement of one scar I CROSSed.

If you have Retin A, it would be beneficial to apply it daily, a week after the CROSS. If not, some type of vitamin C serum, copper peptide serum, or EGF cream or even a retinol product would help collagen formation.

Don't forget your vitamins to ensure optimal regeneration of that tissue! Vitamin C 500mg twice daily, a zinc supplement (look around on the boards for a recommendation as there are various forms of zinc), a multivitamin, consider some fish oil capsules. Vitamins aren't essential if your diet is overall decent, but they won't hurt. :D

Treat your skin gently and it will likely reward you with good results.

What did she charge?


Take responsibility for your health; read the full prescribing information for any medication you take and understand that not all risks or potential side effects will likely ever be fully known.

=Regimen: Cetaphil Sensitive Skin Bar & Avon Anew Advanced Clinical Retexturizing Peel every day & Queen Helene Mint Julep mask weekly=
*Glycolic Acid Product Recommendations *What to do with a cyst/pimple/zit

Wynne 2.9Beta Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Please ask questions on the boards, not via PM. That way all benefit. Thanks!


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The TCA Cross treatment took about 25 minutes and she charged $75. She gave me samples of Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 70, Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer, and CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. She did say that Cetaphil was OK, too, to use to wash my face. I couldn't find the Neutrogrena Ultra Sheer sunblock in SPF 70 in the drugstores; the highest SPF I could find is SPF 45. She recommended the Aquaphor to put on the actual treatment spots, but said Vaseline was fine if I didn't want to buy the Aquaphor.

I don't have Retin-A, but I do have some TxSystems Afirm 2X that I got from her when I went in for a consultation. It comes in 3X as well, but she thought I should start with the 2X, working up to the 3X.

Thanks for the reassurance. It makes me feel much better. My face looks a mess today, maybe a little worse than yesterday, maybe a little better--it is hard to know which. I think some brown spots are larger. I am not sure if any of the swelling has gone down. The worst swelling is near some very tiny spots that I had not even expected her to treat. They were closer to being enlarged pores and didn't bother me compared to what I had expected to be treated. The bigger, deeper scars must have held the TCA better and the skin around them is not bad at all.

Anyone seeing me without makeup would think I just finished picking at my face. I haven't tried makeup yet, and if it doesn't help, I may not be going outside at all today.

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I think you're going to be very pleased with your results. I was exceptionally pleased with mine. $75.00 is a great price! I paid that for the acid itself plus shipping. I'll be doing more than one treatment, though. I did buy 100% strength. I did mine in April. I'll be doing another probably on Sunday.

The Neutrogena in SPF 45 is just fine.

I don't know all the other creams you were given, but it sounds good!

It sounds like she treated a lot of places. I only did 8-10 on each side of my face, perhaps even less. So I just looked freckled after the swelling went down. You can apply a bit of ice, too, to reduce the swelling, or just some cold wrung-out washcloths. It should help the swelling.

It's ok to take ibuprofen or naproxen sodium as well. Those are recommended for full face TCA peels, but since you're experiencing swelling with the CROSS, it won't hurt a bit and might make you feel more ready to face the world sooner!


Take responsibility for your health; read the full prescribing information for any medication you take and understand that not all risks or potential side effects will likely ever be fully known.

=Regimen: Cetaphil Sensitive Skin Bar & Avon Anew Advanced Clinical Retexturizing Peel every day & Queen Helene Mint Julep mask weekly=
*Glycolic Acid Product Recommendations *What to do with a cyst/pimple/zit

Wynne 2.9Beta Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Please ask questions on the boards, not via PM. That way all benefit. Thanks!


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My face got worse over yesterday. The blotches darkened more and by midnight, when I turned in, peeling was already starting with bits of yellowed skin lifting up as scales when I was washing and putting on the Aquaphor (this stuff is made by Eucerin and the drugstores keep it in with hand creams and such). I looked pretty scarey. This morning I rushed to the mirror first thing. Those scales fell off during the night. The treated skin is still very red but maybe the red areas are smaller and the swelling has gone down some. At least that's what I think has changed. I know I look better than I did last night. I don't look good, but it is an improvement. The puffiest area is by some really tiny scars that I did not even expect her to treat. They were hardly bigger than enlarged pores, and to me, were nothing compared to the ones that bothered me. I have one large shallow scar near my hairline on the side of my face that still has a off-white/yellow crust on it, the kind of thing that I get if I accidentally burn my skin while using a curling iron. The deepest scar is near my mouth. It appears to have filled in from the edges toward the center, leaving a short, deep line in the middle. That one will need more treatment, I expect. I also had a couple long, narrow scars from cat scratches. Those have filled in but show up more now because of their color.

As I see changes, I will post them, because when I was searching for info, I couldn't find anything about what happens right after a treatment. Maybe my notes will help someone else.

Anyone doing a TCA cross had better count on some downtime. Before you get treated, have enough to eat in the house for several days. Don't plan on running any errands on the way home because of the initial white spots; those look weird and people stare. I did have a time window where I was able to apply mineral makeup and go out the afternoon of treatment, but I wouldn't do that when I have my next treatment.

Here is a quick summary. My treatment was early Thursday morning. Thursday noon, I applied mineral makeup and went to the movies. I looked fine. By Friday there is no way I could have gone to the movies and been comfortable. Saturday was worse. Today is Sunday and I can see improvement, but I still plan on hiding from the world.

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i remember when i had my batch my skin looked raw and looked like someone had a meet cleaver and pounder my face... there were little mushy looking holes ... it basically looked mutant for 36 hours..

took about 36 hours for it to go mutant, then another 36 to look better.

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I'm on my fourth day after the TCA cross, and it has been about 99 hours since the treatment session ended. The spots got crusted but never got big scabs. A couple of the really tiny treated spots have what might be a dark scab in them, but that's it. The rest were light-colored custs. Most of the crusts have fallen off. One spot that is in my smile line looks like it is crusting for a second time. Another large flat spot still has its crust. This morning I looked like I had fallen in a briar patch, bright red scratches and spots and still some puffines. It is an improvement over yesterday, however.

I tried to use powdered mineral makeup. It isn't enough coverage and it sticks on the treated spots. Aquaphor gunks up your brushes, too. I couldn't really go out like this and feel comfortable.

I have some Mineral Wear Mineral Foundation that is a liquid in a tube, put out by Physicians Formula, and I have Almay Nearly Naked Touch-Pad Liquid Makeup. Later today, I may wash my face again and give one of those a try later today. Cabin fever is setting in.

I can see the big benefit to doing the TCA cross yourself is that you can treat only a few scars at a time. By paying someone else to do it, I really did want her to treat as many scars as she could. I will have a longer downtime, for sure.

I am not discouraged. My face is getting better. It would be nice if it were improving faster, but it's OK.

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I am starting to get discouraged. Here it is Tuesday AM, and I had the TCA cross last Thursday AM. I am still in the mutant stage, maybe a slightly better looking mutant, but definitely a mutant. The angry red spots are somewhat less angry but they are there, and my skin is so light they really stand out. I look like a part Frankenstein monster, part vampire.

I haven't been out since the procedure was done. I didn't even get to go for a walk last evening because it rained. Being cooped up hasn't helped my mood.

Tomorrow I have to go out among people, ready or not. That meant I experimented with makeup today. As long as no one gets too close, I would not draw stares. I did have to put a lot of makeup on. I used the Physicians Formular liquid mineral foundation and put it all over, more heavily on the spots. That did not give enough coverage. After a few minutes, I put powdered minerals over the liquid. I still have discolored areas that look sort of blue/gray through the makeup, but most of the spots have vanished. What would draw attention from anyone getting close is the uneven texture and the caked look at the edges of some of the treated spots. Unfortunately, one of the things I am supposed to do tomorrow is go to the optometrist during lunch.

The aesthetician suggested another TCA cross in a month. From what I have experienced so far on this one, having a second procedure in a month is awfully early. The downtime is too long to schedule them that close together. If I keep that appointment, I am going to have to ask her to treat fewer spots.

Also, the crust came off a scar that was on my nose. While the crust was on it, I thought the scar would be completely gone. Now I don't think there has been much change, other than the scar is red and the red makes it appear bigger than it was originally.

Not such a good day.... I hope my appearance gets rapidly better.

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I did TCA cross 100% on around 10 scars 2 days ago and all i have are brown freckle like dots where the solution went on, my skin looks great at the moment, i have not got a really red skin im using the antibiotic cream and gentle natural cleanser, it stung for a short while on application, but my skin is definately in go out mode?

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I did TCA cross 100% on around 10 scars 2 days ago and all i have are brown freckle like dots where the solution went on, my skin looks great at the moment, i have not got a really red skin im using the antibiotic cream and gentle natural cleanser, it stung for a short while on application, but my skin is definately in go out mode?

Im wondering if i applied it properly, i just put like one toothpick in the centre of each scar?

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I am starting to get discouraged. Here it is Tuesday AM, and I had the TCA cross last Thursday AM. I am still in the mutant stage, maybe a slightly better looking mutant, but definitely a mutant. The angry red spots are somewhat less angry but they are there, and my skin is so light they really stand out. I look like a part Frankenstein monster, part vampire.

I haven't been out since the procedure was done. I didn't even get to go for a walk last evening because it rained. Being cooped up hasn't helped my mood.

Tomorrow I have to go out among people, ready or not. That meant I experimented with makeup today. As long as no one gets too close, I would not draw stares. I did have to put a lot of makeup on. I used the Physicians Formular liquid mineral foundation and put it all over, more heavily on the spots. That did not give enough coverage. After a few minutes, I put powdered minerals over the liquid. I still have discolored areas that look sort of blue/gray through the makeup, but most of the spots have vanished. What would draw attention from anyone getting close is the uneven texture and the caked look at the edges of some of the treated spots. Unfortunately, one of the things I am supposed to do tomorrow is go to the optometrist during lunch.

The aesthetician suggested another TCA cross in a month. From what I have experienced so far on this one, having a second procedure in a month is awfully early. The downtime is too long to schedule them that close together. If I keep that appointment, I am going to have to ask her to treat fewer spots.

Also, the crust came off a scar that was on my nose. While the crust was on it, I thought the scar would be completely gone. Now I don't think there has been much change, other than the scar is red and the red makes it appear bigger than it was originally.

Not such a good day.... I hope my appearance gets rapidly better.

Your skin should be be back to normal after 5 days.. there may be the odd scab.

As strang as we think our skin looks when we get TCA cross I actually played footy when it was mutant once... no one said anything at all.. i know it looked weird as I had cream all over my face.. anyway, I can understand it is hard to go out when there are funny looking things on your face..been there, done that! :)

Hopefully it looks somewhat better tomorrow - no doubt it will look better.

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***Edited this to add that I should have used Polysporin, not Neosporin. I did not know that at the time of the original post. Neosporin can cause an inflammatory, allergic reaction in some people; Polysporin does not do that****

I do have both Neosporin and non-prescription retinoids, and I have started using them. Would glycolic acid help any? I have a bottle of Pimple Eraser, which is a glycolic acid.

I put on a thick layer of makeup to go out today, and I didn't draw any stares. Anyone that got close enough could see my skin looked pretty rough.

When I took the makeup off tonight, the treated spots looked better than they did this morning. I do still have some crusting and plenty of redness, but the red spots are smaller yet in size than they were.

If I should have been in "going out" shape within five days of treatment, then my healing is going slower than normal (tomorrow morning will be the week anniversary of the treatment). I can believe I will be in "going out" shape in another five days from now.

I am not as discouraged as I was yesterday. Getting out helped my mood.

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I had some larger shallow scars, a couple of long scratches, and then some deeper scars. The deeper scars that were really tiny were like yours. They never got red and really did look like freckles, but there were about five of those close together and the skin around them is normal color but raised. It hasn't gone down. It is the other scars that got red and crusty.

I did TCA cross 100% on around 10 scars 2 days ago and all i have are brown freckle like dots where the solution went on, my skin looks great at the moment, i have not got a really red skin im using the antibiotic cream and gentle natural cleanser, it stung for a short while on application, but my skin is definately in go out mode?

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hi :)

im excited bc my tca is arriving soon and am going to attempt my first tca cross! i have a couple q's about what i should do after a tca cross..

can i wear sunscreen and makeup even if the scabs have not yet formed, and which one should i apply, neosporin, aquaphor, or vaseline (and when should i start applying it)?

is it possible to completely eliminate a scar with tca cross?

thanks!

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The aesthetician recommended Aquaphor, but she said Vaseline was almost as good. She put a pretty heavy coat of Aquaphor on me before I even left the treatment room. She said nothing at all about Neosporin. I did start using Neosporin myself, after it was recommended here, but not right after the TCA cross.

***Edited later to add that Neosporin is a mistake. Polysporin is what should be used. Neosporin can increase the inflammation, but Polysporin will not do that *****

I am also using TxSystems AFIRM 2X, which is a non-prescription retinoid from Doak Dermatologics, but I did not start that immediately. The aesthetician had said to hold off for a few days. I was going to wait until all the crusts came off but a few spots are crusty even now, so I waited until most of the crusts were off.

You start using sunscreen immediately if you are going outside. The one that was recommended to me was Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF70, but the stores near me carry only SPF45.

This is one week later and my face improved some more overnight. I think some of the shallower, wider scars may be gone with only one treatment, as long as the color fades (and I am sure it will).

BTW, I am taking vitamins including a special supplement for skin.

hi :)

im excited bc my tca is arriving soon and am going to attempt my first tca cross! i have a couple q's about what i should do after a tca cross..

can i wear sunscreen and makeup even if the scabs have not yet formed, and which one should i apply, neosporin, aquaphor, or vaseline (and when should i start applying it)?

is it possible to completely eliminate a scar with tca cross?

thanks!

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Hi Suz im glad all is going well for you. I was just wondering where did you get your TCA Cross from?

Do u ever find it difficult applying SPF over your face when u have had TCA Cross done, i was always afraid of accidentally rubbing off the crusts.

Anyways good luck with the rest of your treatment?

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^thanks for the reply, i hope i receive good results from my cross! ill post here when i do my first one, and i hope you heal well

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My TCA cross was done at a dermatologist's office in Charlotte, NC.

It's healing fine. I just heal slower than some people, or maybe my treated scars were bigger.

Thanks for the good wishes!

Hi Suz im glad all is going well for you. I was just wondering where did you get your TCA Cross from?

Do u ever find it difficult applying SPF over your face when u have had TCA Cross done, i was always afraid of accidentally rubbing off the crusts.

Anyways good luck with the rest of your treatment?

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hi again

i did tca cross at home yesterday night, and now it's morning and i just woke up from my sleep. i do not see any redness or scabs. is this normal? my skin looks normal. i did see a couple ice picks frost but other scarred pores did not, and did not apply anything on my face after the crosses. oh, and i also forgot to clean my skin with alcohol, but i did cleanse my face an hour or so before the treatment. i'm not sure if i should be glad or if this means i did something wrong. i bought a 99% tca

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The red marks and scabs come later. I got white spots where the TCA went on immediately after application, but they went away when I wiped off some of the Aquaphor. The red marks came up the next day. It takes a while.

The bigger treated spots on me are still red. I went out to the drugstore today and found some Physicans Formula CoverRX. It is in a tube and is thicker than regular coverups. I tried it already and it does seem to help.

I never really got scabs, just light-colored crusts, nothing as thick as what I would call scabs.

Hope your TCA cross does everything you want it to do. Please continue to share your experience. I am interested.

hi again

i did tca cross at home yesterday night, and now it's morning and i just woke up from my sleep. i do not see any redness or scabs. is this normal? my skin looks normal. i did see a couple ice picks frost but other scarred pores did not, and did not apply anything on my face after the crosses. oh, and i also forgot to clean my skin with alcohol, but i did cleanse my face an hour or so before the treatment. i'm not sure if i should be glad or if this means i did something wrong. i bought a 99% tca

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thanks for being interested =) im interested in your progress as well, but i do realize that the difference between you and me is that you had them done by a professional and i didn't..

if my first crosses go well, i want to do couple more or until i achieve more improvements. im not sure if my mind is playing tricks on me, but i think some of my scarred pores are actually more noticable under makeup now. i should go and wash my makeup off..

btw, how much improvement do ppl usually achieve with their first cross?

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