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Man in the Mirror: Pre and Post Subcision Photos

subcision tca

Best Answer alex13, 07 June 2013 - 06:09 PM

Hey guys, I have had a pretty nasty acne since age 14 (the worst - cystic acne) and now it seems I managed to reduce it to one or two pimples (no milk, no cow products, no sugar or spicy foods) :(. I am 22 now I got a few nasty scars and dont know how to get rid of them. I didn`t read all your thread but I want some expert advice from you !

 

In my country - romania - we don`t have lots of options for acne scar treatments and the one that are available are very expensive, but I want to try one of these :

 

1. Microdermabrasion with cristals

2. Microdermabrasion with diamonds

 

They say it would help a lot, the one with diamonds seems to be better. What do you guys think ? should I give money for something like that ? and also, is there any cream that I should search for ? or maybe some natural stuff that I can eat ? however the scars are pretty old , 7 years old and i don`t know if anything internally would change them. Please respond with your info ! I really need it.

 

I aprecciate a lot, Alex

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#1 mr. matt

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 07:33 PM

Today marks Day 30 after my subcision and TCA Cross Method treatments.

I was really inspired by the photos that Tamara Madden and another Acne.org subscriber had posted on the web and wanted to see if subcision would work for me.

I've attached their websites below:

http://www.tamaramad...n/Subcision.htm

http://www.geocities...i2002/day6.html

Here is a very brief overview of my journey with acne scar revision. I first developed cystic acne when I was in the eighth grade. By my senior year, I had several cysts on my right cheek which collapsed and left a rather large crater.

My cystic acne really flared up in college and it was then that I went to a dermatologist for the first time and was placed on antibiotics. My acne stayed under control with antibiotics and topical creams (Retin-A and Benzol Peroxide) for several years.

However, I kept getting cysts and decided to go on Acctuane. My skin EXPLODED with cystic acne lesions all over my face which left me with considerable scarring that I had not had before taking Accuntane. The good news, however, is that I never had another cystic lesion on my face after taking Accutane.

Over the years, I've tried Glycolic and Lactic Acid Peels, Cryotheraphy, etc. to help diminish my scars. After reading about subcision on this website, I decided to talk to my dermatologist about it. He agreed to do the procedure on me along with the TCA Cross Method on March 16, 2009.

Quite honestly, I am really glad that I had the procedure done. I took a week off of work and had some bruising and swelling, but no complications whatsoever.

I decided to take tons of pictures to help document the process and help others learn more about it.

20090218_LS_Facial_Scars_Photo__2.JPG Right Cheek (Pre-Subcision)
20090414___Right_Cheek__1.JPG Right Cheek (30 Days Post-Subcision)
Some flattening of the rolling scars, but will need more subcision treatments.

20090218_RS_Facial_Scars_Photo__4.JPG Left Cheek (Pre-Subcision)
20090414___Left_Cheek___1.JPG Left Cheek (30 Days Post-Subcision)
Dramatic improvement over the baseline photo.
Many of the "creases" and fine lines have disappeared in this photo.

20090220_Facial_Scarring_Photo__1.JPG

This photo kind of scares me......Acne scarring combined with aging is not a pretty site.
20090413___Full_Face__2.JPG

The lighting is not quite the same, but the overall appearance of my scars has diminished.


The reflection of the "man in the mirror" has definitely changed for the better and for that I am truly grateful. I recently went to get my haircut by a friend in a city nearby whom I had not seen in six years and had always "cringed" when I saw myself in the mirror due to the harsh lighting in there. This time, I kept looking at myself and saying, "Is that really me?" The man in the mirror that I was now seeing wasn't the same one I had seen in the past. The man I was seeing had smoother and healthier looking skin.

As I mentioned above, I plan going for at least two more rounds of subcision followed by Pearl Laser in December of this year.

I am not aiming for perfection as I know that is not truly attainable. As my photos show, I have seen incremental improvement and I will take any improvement that I can possibly get.

I want to encourage ALL of you out there who have suffered from acne scars to do your research online, ask lots of questions, and find a competent and compassionate doctor who can help you.

I have just ordered an LED light and hope to have it before my next round of subcision in May.

Best wishes to you on YOUR journey to healing..... surprised.gif

P.S. I have a blog on this website that will give you a good idea of what to expect if you decide that subcision is the right treatment for you.



Attached Thumbnails

  • 20090220_Acne_Scarring_Photo__1.JPG


#2 Datura

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 07:54 PM

That's awesome improvement, Matt! I'm really happy for you. And thanks for sharing your results with everyone!

#3 uofababy

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 08:08 PM

i'm really happy for you and you have prompted me to keep looking for a doctor willing to preform subcision! Thank You!

#4 arabianlights

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 08:13 PM

eusa_clap.gif

congrats!!! your skin looks great and gives me (and others im sure) so much hop. thanks for posting.

#5 Saleena

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 08:28 PM

Wow Matt, your improvement is like night and day, especially on your left cheek. That looks amazing! Man, if I were you I wouldn't even bother with a third session, let alone a second. Your face has responded well to the treatment. Unfortunately, mine has not. It will be two weeks since my session and I see little, if any, improvement with my left cheek (my worst) and about a 20% improvement in one scar on my right.

But back to you- looking at your face, I would recommend dermarolling. It would reduce the scars even more and even your skin tone as well. Oh, and I'm sure you would see better results with your new LED set up wink.gif

Anyway, I'm sure enough time has gone by to where you will only start seeing improvement from this point on. I am happy for you! Best of luck with your recovery and I know one day you will see AT LEAST 80-90% improvement in those rolling scars.

#6 Tyga

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 08:29 PM

QUOTE (mr. matt @ Apr 14 2009, 08:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The reflection of the "man in the mirror" has definitely changed for the better and for that I am truly grateful. I recently went to get my haircut by a friend in a city nearby whom I had not seen in six years and had always "cringed" when I saw myself in the mirror due to the harsh lighting in there. This time, I kept looking at myself and saying, "Is that really me?" The man in the mirror that I was now seeing wasn't the same one I had seen in the past. The man I was seeing had smoother and healthier looking skin.


This was a really great story, and I enjoyed reading it. I'm all too familiar with the cringing. This is great success, and will provide hope to others searching for the right treatment. I personally think the left cheek had the best improvement.

#7 mr. matt

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 08:40 PM

QUOTE (Saleena @ Apr 14 2009, 08:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow Matt, your improvement is like night and day, especially on your left cheek. That looks amazing! Man, if I were you I wouldn't even bother with a third session, let alone a second. Your face has responded well to the treatment. Unfortunately, mine has not. It will be two weeks since my session and I see little, if any, improvement with my left cheek (my worst) and about a 20% improvement in one scar on my right.

But back to you- looking at your face, I would recommend dermarolling. It would reduce the scars even more and even your skin tone as well. Oh, and I'm sure you would see better results with your new LED set up wink.gif

Anyway, I'm sure enough time has gone by to where you will only start seeing improvement from this point on. I am happy for you! Best of luck with your recovery and I know one day you will see AT LEAST 80-90% improvement in those rolling scars.


Saleena:


Thanks for your encouraging note.

In studying the two websites I referenced above, I noticed that both people's scars improved between weeks THREE and FOUR. The first week my skin looked nearly perfect; you couldn't tell that I had any acne scars. Just little red marks from the TCA and bruises from the NOKOR needles.

By week two, my scars began to resurface. eusa_eh.gif However, by week three, I noticed a reduction in their size and my left cheek has definitely improved big time since that point in time.

I think that you're almost at the two week mark. So, I think you may begin to see more improvement.

As I've mentioned before, take LOTS of pictures as the progress is incremental and it is amazing how soon we can forget what we looked like (even a week ago).

Every time I would take another picture of my face, one of my kids or my wife would say, "Are you taking ANOTHER picture?" The photos have proven to me how far I have come in just 30 days.

However, my journey is not over. The scars on my right cheek are still quite deep, but they have flattened out since my subcision treatment. They will definitely require several more subcision treatments, perhaps some dermal filler, and followed by a Pearl Laser treatment.

Even one of the scarred pores on my nose responsed to the TCA Cross Method. I thought it was an enlarged pore, but it was actually an icepick scar.

If there is anything that I have seen since joining this site and going through my first treatment, there is HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS.....

Keep taking your Vitamin C, Zinc, wear sunscreen, don't smoke, and I think that you will see continued improvement.

We're all in this together.

Hang in there.

Matt


#8 munsoned

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:17 PM

your results are outstanding!!! some of the best I have ever seen in my life. this is an amazing accomplishment and you should be very proud of yourself..I am thrilled for you!! you took the right steps, you never quit, you kept a positive attitude and your results are living proof of it.

glad to hear you purchased an led..its going to only help you get the most out of your treatments.

This thread will most definitely give hope to the hopeless. and you cant give a better gift to anybody then hope in times when hope may be hard to find.

Keep up the incredible job man. And its a true pleasure following your journey. smile.gif

#9 CeciliaR

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 08:14 AM

Truly amazing! You look fabulous! Thank-you for posting your pics. It must feel like a tons of weights have been lifted off your shoulders to have your skin look so pristine. I hope I can share that feeling some day! thumbsup.gif

#10 scarsruinlife

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 02:48 PM

Mr matt i'm so happy for you that you achieved great results . Wish i had a camera to click my pictures too to follow my improvement. I just have a 2 megapixel phone and will attach my picture two. you've achieved the results that i couldn't achieve with 3 subcision. Good luck and hope you get even great results from 2nd treatment

#11 KnicksRock

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 03:02 PM

Mr. Matt,

Thank you very much for your post.

I looked at your pictures and the two links you posted.

I am 23 years old and younger than you are... I still have some active acne...but it is greatly diminished and within in the next month or two I think I will be acne free.

Okay, so my left cheek is very good quality somehow the cystic acne I had over the years and bouts with accutane a few years ago didn't really scar my left side bad at all. It is overall very smooth and has a little bit of redness and slight very slight imperfections.

The right side of my face on the other hand.

I have a scar, one main scar on the right side of my face that is similar to the geocities link you showed me. It is a deeper one and is bout a cm in length, then I have another one that is a little less deep and is smaller, then I have 3 or 4 jagged scars that are like icepicks I would guess...or smaller depressed ones...but with a little bit of depth.

I found a dermatologist. I haven't had the consult with him yet...but he specializes in acne scar treatments and does various treatments for it.

http://www.knightdermatology.com/

that is the website if you want to take a look. I plan to get a consult within the next few weeks sometime. The right side of my face really upsets me with the scarring I have.

Things I am currently worried about are...that I need to make sure my active acne doesn't come back after any type of surgeries...and then I need to also make sure on the right side of my face I had a few cysts a few months ago and it left some red marks and a little bit of scarring but I was wondering if that would effect it.

It seems like the combo of subcision with TCA cross is the best option... Because my right side has those scars I listed...but also has some smaller imperfections...and the TCA cross should help with that it seems.

How much did you spend on the subcisions...how satisifed are you with the results...?

Are the results long term?

How long before you can return to work for those of us who work.


The first link you posted is very inspirational...for someone who had severe scarring and looks so much better now.

It's not pleasant to feel you have to look in the mirror all the time and be upset and feel like it takes away from your facial characteristics and to maybe shy away from people sometimes or shy away from pictures. I hate that feeling.

Thanks for the post Matt and thanks in advance for answeriny my questions.

#12 mr. matt

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 05:32 PM

QUOTE (KnicksRock @ Apr 15 2009, 03:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Mr. Matt,

Thank you very much for your post.

I looked at your pictures and the two links you posted.

I am 23 years old and younger than you are... I still have some active acne...but it is greatly diminished and within in the next month or two I think I will be acne free.

Okay, so my left cheek is very good quality somehow the cystic acne I had over the years and bouts with accutane a few years ago didn't really scar my left side bad at all. It is overall very smooth and has a little bit of redness and slight very slight imperfections.

The right side of my face on the other hand.

I have a scar, one main scar on the right side of my face that is similar to the geocities link you showed me. It is a deeper one and is bout a cm in length, then I have another one that is a little less deep and is smaller, then I have 3 or 4 jagged scars that are like icepicks I would guess...or smaller depressed ones...but with a little bit of depth.

I found a dermatologist. I haven't had the consult with him yet...but he specializes in acne scar treatments and does various treatments for it.

http://www.knightdermatology.com/

that is the website if you want to take a look. I plan to get a consult within the next few weeks sometime. The right side of my face really upsets me with the scarring I have.

Things I am currently worried about are...that I need to make sure my active acne doesn't come back after any type of surgeries...and then I need to also make sure on the right side of my face I had a few cysts a few months ago and it left some red marks and a little bit of scarring but I was wondering if that would effect it.

It seems like the combo of subcision with TCA cross is the best option... Because my right side has those scars I listed...but also has some smaller imperfections...and the TCA cross should help with that it seems.

How much did you spend on the subcisions...how satisifed are you with the results...?

Are the results long term?

How long before you can return to work for those of us who work.


The first link you posted is very inspirational...for someone who had severe scarring and looks so much better now.

It's not pleasant to feel you have to look in the mirror all the time and be upset and feel like it takes away from your facial characteristics and to maybe shy away from people sometimes or shy away from pictures. I hate that feeling.

Thanks for the post Matt and thanks in advance for answeriny my questions.


I would definitely wait until your acne is no longer active. I went on Accutane and it totally eradicated my cystic acne, but as I mentioned, left me with a lot of acne scarring since I couldn't take any antibiotics while I was taking the Accutane.

As far as the results are concerned, yes, I am satisfied with the results. Based upon all of the things I've read on this site by acne scar sufferers, I knew that I shouldn't expect perfection.

My left cheek has responded really well and I keep looking in the mirror thinking, "Is that really me?" I am hoping that the next round of subcision helps even more. I have three boxcar scars that were not treated and I am going to see if my MD will do TCA Cross or even try to subcise them. The scars on my right cheek have flattened out somewhat, but I haven't seen the kind of improvement like I've seen with my left cheek. But, I will say that I am very glad to have the improvement that I have seen.

My doctor only charged $200 and that is because I have been a patient of his for many years and my entire family sees him for various skin-related ailments.

As far as the "permanency" of the results, the medical literature that I have read says that the improvement is suppose to be "permanent". I plan on getting yearly Pearl Laser treatments to help my skin continue to produce collagen as aging skin loses collagen every year.

I'm really glad that you've taken the pro-active step to seek professional medical care. I am so glad that I did.

As far as the down time is concerned, I took a week off from work. My skin turned sort of "orangish" from the bruising and I had some black/blue marks from the NOKOR needles. If you want, I could post a picture of what I looked like the first few days.

If I were you, I would have the procedure done on a Friday and take off the following Monday and Tuesday. You might want to wear some type of concealer to cover the spots where you might have the TCA applicator applied. Mine turned red and only lasted for about four days before they peeled and faded away.

Let us all know how things progress with your treatment(s).

Matt

#13 Languages

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 05:36 PM

Your skin looks 100% better..huge improvement on whatever you're doing..(I'm not really sure on the procedure, just dropped by bc. it was on the "new posts" section)

The scars actually looked like wrinkles, :/.
At least now it looks really good! biggrin.gif!

#14 waldojeffers

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 04:26 AM

Great results, Matt smile.gif Looking great! I'm going to go for subcision soon, after pearl fractional.

#15 mr. matt

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 05:09 AM

QUOTE (waldojeffers @ Apr 16 2009, 05:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great results, Matt smile.gif Looking great! I'm going to go for subcision soon, after pearl fractional.


Let me know how your Pearl Fractional goes. That is exactly the same treatment I'm undergoing in December of this year.

My doctor, whom I trust, said it is much stronger than other lasers he's used and he feels that it will help minimize acne scars.

I would encourage you to take "before and after" photos as the improvement is incremental and the photos will truly show your improvement over the course of time.

#16 KnicksRock

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 02:21 PM

Matt,

Quick couple questions:

First off. What is the best way to determine the best doctor for the procedure?

The doctor I linked you to seems very professional in the field as he offers many solutions for acne scarring and I called them up and spoke to them and he sounds legit. I have a consult next week... just to talk to him and plan out my options. Then I want to go ahead and do the surgery in 1-3 months time range when acne is completely clear.


How did it work with doing subcision and TCA cross the same day? What percentage was the TCA cross?

How many subcisions did you have done total?

Because it seems to me that if they do subcision that they are going into your skin ...so how can they do a TCA cross that burns your skin the same day? Idk how it all works so I wanted to ask you...it seems like a good combo...just didn't know they could do it the same day.

I am just so worried about post surgery and worried about risks of surgery. It makes me nervous...but I really want to do something about my right cheek's scarring as it makes me very unhappy at times.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

I will definitely try and take off a few days to a week from work. A week seems reasonable.

Thanks again,



#17 mr. matt

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:42 PM

QUOTE (KnicksRock @ Apr 16 2009, 02:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Matt,

Quick couple questions:

First off. What is the best way to determine the best doctor for the procedure?

The doctor I linked you to seems very professional in the field as he offers many solutions for acne scarring and I called them up and spoke to them and he sounds legit. I have a consult next week... just to talk to him and plan out my options. Then I want to go ahead and do the surgery in 1-3 months time range when acne is completely clear.


How did it work with doing subcision and TCA cross the same day? What percentage was the TCA cross?

How many subcisions did you have done total?

Because it seems to me that if they do subcision that they are going into your skin ...so how can they do a TCA cross that burns your skin the same day? Idk how it all works so I wanted to ask you...it seems like a good combo...just didn't know they could do it the same day.

I am just so worried about post surgery and worried about risks of surgery. It makes me nervous...but I really want to do something about my right cheek's scarring as it makes me very unhappy at times.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

I will definitely try and take off a few days to a week from work. A week seems reasonable.

Thanks again,

1. Choosing a doctor for the procedure. If you have not been to this doctor before, I would ask how many times he has performed the procedure. Second, what type of results has he had with his patients? Does he have before and after photos? I knew my surgeon because he had been my dermatologist for several years and very much in demand in the area that I live. Ask this doctor for recommendations from other patients.

2. My doctor did the TCA Cross Method right before he did the subcision. I remember him doing a scar on my nose and several on my chin. Afterwards, he did the subcision on about 12-14 different scars (my best guess on the number).

3. I bought EMU oil and applied it to my face the day after the procedure and it seemed to keep the swelling down. I thought I was going to look black/blue the next day. Rather, I had red spots from the TCA applicator was used and small black/blue dots where the NOKOR needle had been inserted. A few days later, I developed an orange/yellow hue due to the bruising. That only last several more days and was only really noticeable under bright lights.

You will want to take pictures of your face before and after the procedure as the improvement is incremental. The first week my skin looked GREAT. The second week the micro-swelling had subsided and the scars began to reappear. However, during weeks three and four, the scars on my left cheek that been treated by subcision began to fill in. There are three boxcar scars that were not treated that are still evident. However, the other scars are hard to detect on my left cheek. I think the photo that I posted shows the before and after of my left cheek and the improvement I got. I'm hoping that my next round of subcision in three weeks will help even more.

Don't aim for perfection; aim for incremental improvement.

Keep us all posted. We're all in this together.

#18 KnicksRock

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 02:12 PM

going to see the doc on thursday morning and ask him the questions you recommended. Will let you know if/when I decided to do it.

Have you ever talked about punch grafting for scarring? What about Fraxel? Just wondering.

ALso what percentage was the TCA Cross? Did he do the TCA Cross on areas where you had subcision? Was it on your whole face?

Thanks.

#19 mr. matt

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 04:59 PM

QUOTE (KnicksRock @ Apr 21 2009, 02:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
going to see the doc on thursday morning and ask him the questions you recommended. Will let you know if/when I decided to do it.

Have you ever talked about punch grafting for scarring? What about Fraxel? Just wondering.

ALso what percentage was the TCA Cross? Did he do the TCA Cross on areas where you had subcision? Was it on your whole face?

Thanks.


Great questions.

No, I did not discuss punch grafting for my scarring. Amazingly enough, even the boxcar scars on my left cheek appear to be filling in and are barely noticeable right now. I'm curious what my doctor is going to say.

He used 65% percent TCA on a wooden applicator when he did the TCA Cross Method. It kind of stung, but wasn't that bad. He did the Cross Method on a scar on my nose and several on my chin area. He may have done others, but I don't remember now.

I won't do Fraxel as I have not been impressed with what I've read from other readers on this website. My dermatologist feels that the Pearl Laser is much more effective in bringing about collagen remodeling than the Fraxel.

I do have two subcision treatments scheduled in the next ten weeks and will undergo the Pearl Laser treatment either in July or December. I understand that it takes about five to ten days to fully recover from this laser treatment, so I'm waiting to take vacation time when I can have time to recover.

Let us know what course of treatment your doctor recommends and remember to take before and after photos.

#20 just another1

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 11:28 PM

Your results are impressive Matt! I hope your next couple sessions work even better for ya.






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