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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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#41 mr. matt

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 06:37 PM

QUOTE (KnicksRock @ May 13 2009, 10:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
where is your doc again Matt? I wonder if it's worth flying out to a doctor in a different state if you cannot find one in your own state. Good luck with the healing.


My dermatologist's name is Dr. John DeSpain.

Here is his webpage:

http://columbiaderm.com/

Hope this helps.

Matt

#42 KnicksRock

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 12:15 PM

how's everything going for ya now?



#43 mr. matt

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 05:08 PM

QUOTE (KnicksRock @ May 21 2009, 01:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
how's everything going for ya now?


It will be two weeks tomorrow since my second round of subcision and TCA Cross Method.

I used ice packs on my face for the first four days after the procedures and that greatly reduced both the swelling and the bruising.

This time, I did not get the yellowish/orange hue in my skin that I had after the first procedure.

My dermatologist treated a large boxscar on my left cheek and it appears to have responded well to the subcision. I noticed that he missed two other boxscar scars and they haven't changed at all. wacko.gif

The deep scars on my right cheek don't appear to have changed a whole lot since this second procedure. However, I am reminding myself that the progress I saw the last time came between weeks three and four.

I am also doing one thing differently this time: I'm using a topical Vitamin C serum on my skin each night to help increase the production of collagen.

I found a recipe online for the serum that costs a FRACTION of what a lot of companies are charging. If anyone is interested in the recipe, I can post the website. I'm also using a topical Vitamin E cream that I bought at Wal-Mart that was super cheap but supposedly very good for one's skin.

I'll post pictures in a couple of weeks. Watching your scars heal after subcision is like filling a swimming pool with a garden hose. It takes a long time (weeks or months), but eventually things begin to fill in. Some scars fill in more than others.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Take care.

Matt

#44 RazorG

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 06:13 PM

Wow. thats amazing Matt! Your skin is looking REALLY good.

#45 KnicksRock

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 01:08 PM

couple questions Matt,

first off.

I just wanted to verify approximately how long the downtime was for subcision the first time around?

Can you do it on a Friday and return to work on a Monday?

How do you look after your first round of subcision and for how long?

Have you ever thought or asked about punch grafting?

The main few scars I want to treat with subcision and/or punch grafting are not boxscars

The main one I believe is a depressed scar and I think it is considered a rolling scar. It is probably almost a cm in alength and 1-2 mm depth.

Tazorac seems to smooth out my skin and make it better (after afew months but I don't think it has the power to completely heal my issues).

Thanks again.

#46 mr. matt

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 05:26 PM

QUOTE (KnicksRock @ May 26 2009, 02:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
couple questions Matt,

first off.

I just wanted to verify approximately how long the downtime was for subcision the first time around?

Can you do it on a Friday and return to work on a Monday?

How do you look after your first round of subcision and for how long?

Have you ever thought or asked about punch grafting?

The main few scars I want to treat with subcision and/or punch grafting are not boxscars

The main one I believe is a depressed scar and I think it is considered a rolling scar. It is probably almost a cm in alength and 1-2 mm depth.

Tazorac seems to smooth out my skin and make it better (after afew months but I don't think it has the power to completely heal my issues).

Thanks again.


After my first round of subcision, I made the mistake of not using ice packs on my face. As a result, I did have significant bruising on my face. The bruising manifested itself as large orange/yellow blotches on my face. At first, I was worried that it was hyperpigmentation as no one had warned me that this type of bruising could result from subcision. After doing some additional research, I found out that this was actually bruising.

So, after my second round of subcision, I used ice packs on my face off and on for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening for about four days. The net result was that I had about 90% less bruising.

I had bruising for about a week after my first round of subcision. I only had a small bruise on my left cheek where my doctor aggressively treated a boxscar. That bruise only lasted four about three days.

Here is a word of caution about returning to work too soon: the orange/yellow bruising usually doesn't appear until day three or day four which means it could return right when you're either going back to work or to school.

I had my second round of subcision on a Friday and returned to work the next Wednesday. I had to attend a meeting with 30 of my colleagues and no one noticed anything. If you have the procedure done on a Friday, I think you could go back as early as Wednesday of the next week as long as you use ice packs on your face right after your procedure and throughout the following two-three days.

I have not considered punch grafts as I want to see how subcision, TCA CROSS Method, and Fractional Pearl Laser all work. I'm not aiming for a perfect complexion just improvement in the way that my scarring looks.

My scars are much less noticeable now since both procedures. In fact, I went to get my hair cut last Friday in the city where I live and my skin did not look as bad under the harsh lighting as it used it. In fact, it looked decent.

I would encourage you to use a topical Vitamin C before, during, and after any subcision treatment as this may help to stimulate collagen production. If you are a smoker, I would definitely cut out the cigarettes as this will adversely affect collagent production.

Also, I've been using Retin-A 0.10% for the last three months and it has definitely made my complexion look much better. I used to have fine lines that went from my eyes and "connected" the scars on my cheeks. Those fine lines have almost completely disappeared.

In addition, I have done two 70% Glycolic acid peels in the last eight weeks to also help the collagen production.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Hope this helps.

Matt


#47 migueltheman

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 03:09 AM

man your skins lookin good. i dont think it looked too bad to start with but insecurities can go a long way i suppose. keep it up brother.

#48 KnicksRock

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 09:32 AM

I use Tazorac currently which stimulates collagen and is similar (more potent) than Retin-A.

Matt,

I have scheduled with a doctor my subcision. I will have 2 or 3 subcisions with a nokor or trokor needle I forget which one. I am having it on the 22nd.

sandlakedermatology.com is the website.

The doctor has been practicing 22 years and does it quite frequently.

I will have 2 or 3 subcisions with light sanding afterwards is what the nurse called it (I assume that is similar to dermabrasion? or sanding is just something they do after subcision?) I will get these questions answered soon.


Let me know what you think.

Thanks,

btw if there are any questions I should ask or need to ask before the surgery ina ddition to what I have told you please let me know.

The doctor does the surgeries quite often and is experienced in them. I will find out the exact frequency when I call Monday.

I put a deposit of 50$ down the surgery will between 250-500 is the estimate.

Thanks again as always for responding.

I am going to start taking C supplements today, and I use tazorac which will help collagen afterwards.



#49 mr. matt

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 05:17 PM

QUOTE (KnicksRock @ May 28 2009, 09:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I use Tazorac currently which stimulates collagen and is similar (more potent) than Retin-A.

Matt,

I have scheduled with a doctor my subcision. I will have 2 or 3 subcisions with a nokor or trokor needle I forget which one. I am having it on the 22nd.

sandlakedermatology.com is the website.

The doctor has been practicing 22 years and does it quite frequently.

I will have 2 or 3 subcisions with light sanding afterwards is what the nurse called it (I assume that is similar to dermabrasion? or sanding is just something they do after subcision?) I will get these questions answered soon.


Let me know what you think.

Thanks,

btw if there are any questions I should ask or need to ask before the surgery ina ddition to what I have told you please let me know.

The doctor does the surgeries quite often and is experienced in them. I will find out the exact frequency when I call Monday.

I put a deposit of 50$ down the surgery will between 250-500 is the estimate.

Thanks again as always for responding.

I am going to start taking C supplements today, and I use tazorac which will help collagen afterwards.


I am very happy to hear that you are taking proactive measures to help with your scarring.

Here are some suggestions:

1) use ice packs on your face for the first several days to minimize bruising and swelling
2) the needle used to anesthetize the areas on your face where he will do the surgery is the most painful. I told myself each time, "No pain, no gain."
3) keep the bandages on your face for as long as your doctor recommends. They are to prevent infection and to help reduce the bruising.
4) don't use aspirin or Vitamin E for a week before you're surgery to avoid excess bleeding
5) don't go out into the sun for extended periods of time afterwards to avoid hyperpigmentation
6) use topical Vitamin C to help with the collagen remodeling process
7) realize that your skin will look really good for the first week and then the swelling will subside and the scars will reappear. I had the most progress during weeks three and five after my first subcision treatment.
8) don't expect perfection or you will be sorely disappointed. Some of my scars completely disappeared after the first round of subcision (small rolling scars), the appearance of many of my scars was greatly reduced after subcision, however, some of them are still deep enough that I can see them.
9) ask your doctor if a laser treatment in between your subcision procedures would help with the collagen remodeling process or if dermal fillers injected into the subcised scars would also help with the collagen remodeling process.
10) take photos before and after the procedure. I was amazed at how quickly I had forgotten what some of my scars had looked like after my first procedure. When I looked at my "baseline" photos and my "after" photos, it was a stark reminder of how far I had come.

I hope that you'll post your photos along with your progress. I figure that we're all in this together and can definitely learn from one another.

Matt



#50 KnicksRock

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 08:09 AM

Thanks so much for your responses.

Yeah I'll take some befores this week and afters a week after the surgery then 4 weeks after the surgery.

Will tazorac/retin A work with the collagen remodeling process after the surgery?

how soon afterwards do you think I can use benzaclin/tazorac?

I will look into a topical Vitamin C-- if you have any recommendations for one-- I was thinking mainly to take tazorac topically, then vitamin C orally for collagen boosting--

and benzaclin during daytime for usual acne maintenance (I'm 23).

I am planning ot have 5 days where I am just staying in and not doing anything after that and just staying in the house.

how long did you have to keep your bandages on?

What do you think of the derma sanding after the subcisions are done that day?

how many subcisions exactly did you have done? Afdter 5 weeks what would you say your improvement/satisfaction percentage is after the first round?

Thanks, P.s. I may do it again if I have to but I'd like to keep it a 1 round thing

also, do they put stictches in that you have to return after a couple days to get taken out?

Thanks

#51 KnicksRock

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 10:14 AM

p.s. what are the risks of subcision matt? It seems that you are very knowledgeable about it...so please let me know...as I am sure I will have to sign a consent. I am 80% sure that I am going through with it and have some more questions for the doc next week that I am going to ask.

Thanks,

#52 mr. matt

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 04:42 PM

QUOTE (KnicksRock @ May 29 2009, 11:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
p.s. what are the risks of subcision matt? It seems that you are very knowledgeable about it...so please let me know...as I am sure I will have to sign a consent. I am 80% sure that I am going through with it and have some more questions for the doc next week that I am going to ask.

Thanks,


Additional risks include:

1) additional scarring
2) hyperpigmentation from the treated areas
3) subcutaneous nodules (treated with steroid shots)

Of all of the surgical treatments I've reviewed, this one seemed to have the fewest risks.

My doctor had me sign a medical release before my first treatment.

#53 mr. matt

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 04:50 PM

QUOTE (KnicksRock @ May 29 2009, 09:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks so much for your responses.

Yeah I'll take some befores this week and afters a week after the surgery then 4 weeks after the surgery.

Will tazorac/retin A work with the collagen remodeling process after the surgery?

how soon afterwards do you think I can use benzaclin/tazorac?

I will look into a topical Vitamin C-- if you have any recommendations for one-- I was thinking mainly to take tazorac topically, then vitamin C orally for collagen boosting--

and benzaclin during daytime for usual acne maintenance (I'm 23).

I am planning ot have 5 days where I am just staying in and not doing anything after that and just staying in the house.

how long did you have to keep your bandages on?

What do you think of the derma sanding after the subcisions are done that day?

how many subcisions exactly did you have done? Afdter 5 weeks what would you say your improvement/satisfaction percentage is after the first round?

Thanks, P.s. I may do it again if I have to but I'd like to keep it a 1 round thing

also, do they put stictches in that you have to return after a couple days to get taken out?

Thanks


Retin-A should help with the collagen remodeling process. I would use it for at least six months or as long as your physician recommends using it.

Ask your doctor about how soon you should wait before using any topical medications, however, as your skin will have just gone through the "trauma" of subcutaneous surgery.

If your doctor is going to do some sanding after the subcision process, you may need more than five days to recuperate. Subcision treats the scarring beneath the skin whereas the sanding will affect your epidermis.

You may want to apply Aquaphor on your face if your doctor is going to be sanding your face; that sounds painful to me.

My doctor had me leave my bandages on for 24 hours. My face looked really "odd" after I got all of the bandages, tape, and guaze off of my face.

I had a lot of rolling scars treated on both of my cheeks and chin; I'm not sure how many scars were treated.

I had the most dramatic improvement after my first round of subcision in March of this year. My latest round was on May 8th so, today marks week three. I haven't seen the dramatic improvement I did after the first round, but it is still early in the healing process.

Here is the link for the topical vitamin c serum. I think that this is a truly "natural" way to promote collagen remodeling.

http://www.essential...d.php?tid=10491

You can make this vitamin C serum for a fraction of what you would pay online if you make it yourself.

Hope this helps.


#54 KnicksRock

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Posted 02 June 2009 - 11:33 AM

Hi Matt,

actually the doctor doesn't think dermasanding will be that useful as of yet.

So basic prognosis:

subcision

followed by a filler with hyaluronic acid

no stitching

No punches planned as of yet, but I have a feeling that he may "punch a couple of the smaller scars".

But not sure yet.

basically I will probably have subcision on about 4 scars on the right cheek. WIll probably not have any on the left cheek.

Am having it done on the 22nd.

I asked the questions I needed to and the doctor has done this procedure 4 times in the past 6 months and has been practicing 20 years and has done this procedure for a long time. It seems that he is skillful.

For the whole procedure and the filler it will be around 600 dollars.

I hope I can get around 50% improvement. I am very hopeful. Maybe I can be lucky and get even more improvement. Most people achieve 30-50%. Also they have treated people with much worse scarring than my own so that is also encouraging that they have treated some people with worse, but they also have done ones similar to mine.

What did you mean when you took your bandages off your face looked weird?





#55 mr. matt

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:06 PM

QUOTE (KnicksRock @ Jun 2 2009, 12:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Matt,

actually the doctor doesn't think dermasanding will be that useful as of yet.

So basic prognosis:

subcision

followed by a filler with hyaluronic acid

no stitching

No punches planned as of yet, but I have a feeling that he may "punch a couple of the smaller scars".

But not sure yet.

basically I will probably have subcision on about 4 scars on the right cheek. WIll probably not have any on the left cheek.

Am having it done on the 22nd.

I asked the questions I needed to and the doctor has done this procedure 4 times in the past 6 months and has been practicing 20 years and has done this procedure for a long time. It seems that he is skillful.

For the whole procedure and the filler it will be around 600 dollars.

I hope I can get around 50% improvement. I am very hopeful. Maybe I can be lucky and get even more improvement. Most people achieve 30-50%. Also they have treated people with much worse scarring than my own so that is also encouraging that they have treated some people with worse, but they also have done ones similar to mine.

What did you mean when you took your bandages off your face looked weird?


If you look at the photos in my album, you'll see that I had bandages taped in various directions across my face and the goal was to minimize excessive bruising and bleeding.

So, the tape ended up stretching the skin on my face so that enough pressure was applied to the injection sites.

As a result, when I took the tape and bandages off the next day, my face looked rather contorted and "wrinkly" from the tape pulling my face in different directions.

Within a few hours, my face didn't look quite so contorted.

I am seriously thinking about putting up a website that shows more photos of what my skin looked like each day after both procedures. When I had my first treatment done, I had NO idea of what to expect.

I would have like to have had someone else's photos to look at to get a better idea of what I should expect after the procedure.

I definitely learned to use icepacks on my face after the procedure and it really minimized by bruising.

Matt

#56 KnicksRock

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 08:22 AM

so 7 days afterwards is definitely okay to start work? I am starting a new job exactly 7 days after is why I am asking.

#57 mr. matt

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 04:52 PM

QUOTE (KnicksRock @ Jun 9 2009, 08:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
so 7 days afterwards is definitely okay to start work? I am starting a new job exactly 7 days after is why I am asking.


Yes, you should be fine. Learn from what I should have done after my first subcision treatment: apply ice packs to your face in the morning and evening for at least three to four days and stay out of the sun.

I honestly thought that I had developed hyperpigmentation after my first round of subcision because my cheeks turned orangish/yellow. It was actually bruising from the procedure.

Please take "before and after' photos as the improvement can be incremental and it is very easy to forget how bad your scarring may have been based upon the amount of improvement you get from the treatment.

I look back at my photos from time to time to see just how far I have come.

Keep us posted. We can all learn from one another's experiences.

#58 KnicksRock

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 10:21 AM

will do. Thank you for all your help and advice from your experience. I really think that people can find a way to get rid of acne scarring. As a believer in modern medical science I believe there are ways to do anything.

I think for people with deep scarring it definitely requires 1-2 rounds of some form of skin surgery (i.e. subcision, skin graft, excision, punch graft, etc.) and then that can be followed up by fillers if necessary, or afterwards do soemthing like a dermasanding or a laser surgery like fraxel after enough healing time. In combination with that and a good topical retinoid I think it is definitely possible to really make skin look completely different and better than before. There is no reason why there shouldn't be ways to do these things. I think people just need to learn how to diagnose the issue and then find a regiment that will lead them to the best form of success.

#59 mr. matt

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 05:16 PM

QUOTE (KnicksRock @ Jun 10 2009, 11:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
will do. Thank you for all your help and advice from your experience. I really think that people can find a way to get rid of acne scarring. As a believer in modern medical science I believe there are ways to do anything.

I think for people with deep scarring it definitely requires 1-2 rounds of some form of skin surgery (i.e. subcision, skin graft, excision, punch graft, etc.) and then that can be followed up by fillers if necessary, or afterwards do soemthing like a dermasanding or a laser surgery like fraxel after enough healing time. In combination with that and a good topical retinoid I think it is definitely possible to really make skin look completely different and better than before. There is no reason why there shouldn't be ways to do these things. I think people just need to learn how to diagnose the issue and then find a regiment that will lead them to the best form of success.


Subcision - Round Three

I just returned home from my dermatologist's office where I had my third round of subcision performed.

This time, I did not have the TCA Method performed.

My doctor started the initial meeting by telling me how pleased he was with my results and asked me if I really thought that I needed a third round of subcision. I replied by telling him that I did want a third round as there some scars that had not been treated during the previous two rounds.

I really appreciated his questioning attitude as it showed me that he was not going to perform the procedure just to make money.

He also said that the improvement that I had shown after the first procedure was, by far, the most dramatic improvement he had seen with my scarring.

The injections with the anesthetic really hurt this time as he injected anesthetic very close to my eyes and right temple. ninja.gif Ouch!

Like the last time, I could hear the fibrous bands breaking as he fanned the 18 guage Nokor needle under my skin. This time, I noticed that he used a separate needle on each cheek. I guess the ends can become worn during the procedure.

My doctor told me that he was not comfortable treating some scars on my left jawline due to the close proximity of major arteries and veins. He said that it would be safer and much wiser to treat this specific area with laser. I appreciated his frankness and concern for my safety.

I opted not to get any dermal filler this time as I knew that my skin would swell up as soon as he started to inject my face with the anesthetic and I wanted to use dermal fillers only as a last resort after my third and final round of subcision had healed and after I had completed my laser treatment in November.

Right now, I look like a complete mummy. Both of my cheeks and nose are completely covered with cotton balls and guaze. I'm sure that the people who saw me in the parking lot must of wondered what had happened to me as I looked quite odd.

I'm going back in November for a Pearl Fractional Laser treatment and I think that I will call it "quits" after that.

It's been an amazing journey since I began my subcision and TCA Cross treatments back in March of this year.

I've learned a lot from so many of you who have posted threads on this site and have greatly appreciated the encouraging e-mails people have sent me. I am doubly grateful for having a forum like this one where I could learn about what worked and it didn't work for people.





#60 mills

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 06:47 PM

hi matt, i was wondering with tca cross for icepicks , if there is a wide gap, does it close the gap so more close , or something else?. does it still continue to look as scarred ? thanks

subcsion has done great for you!!!!




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