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Acne Scar Treatment Diary / Tca Cross Method - With Photos

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#1 Gracie B

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 08:45 PM

I have always been very self-conscience of my skin because as a teenager I had sever acne that left me with box car and ice-pick scars. Most of my scars are around my nose and some on my chin. I also have very large pores around my T zone.

Trying to find a solution acne scars, I went to see my dermatologist's office, one of the top doctor's in DC, he suggested that I would be a prime candidate to do TCA Cross treatment.

So this is my journey with TCA Cross - and I hope to share my experience with you.

I had TCA Cross treatment done at my dermatologist office last Thursday (3/29/12). I have included before and after photos . The procedure was relatively painless, there was a little bit of stinging when the solution was applied with the tooth pick, but this sensation gradually subsided. The areas treated become frosted in appearance and my face felt warm, there was no associated pain when the white-frosted areas appeared.

I want to make a note about the doctor's application of the TCA, I noticed that he treated one spot twice (is this normal?), you will see in the pictures the spot that I am referring to, it's the one on my chin. I think he might have put too much TCA, causing me to have a chemical burn (will explain later).

2 hours after the treatment, most of the white-frosting disappear and my skin looked good, there was some minor irritation. (check out the photo) As instructed by my doctor, I applied neosporin on the treated areas to keep them moist and I went about my normal routine, which included washing my face twice a day (morning and night) and using face lotion for the rest of my face.

The next day, several spots have started to crust over, some were larger than others. (see photo)

Saturday, (3 days out after treatment) all the scabs seem to have formed. Some are very small and not noticeable. Some are large and unsightly. The doctor said I could start wearing make-up after the treated areas scabbed over, but I found it very hard to cover up with make-up. Putting on make-up made them look very obvious to the naked eye.

By Sunday, (4 days out after treatment) I noticed that my chin was infected (the one that was twice treated by the doctor) and was not healing properly. There was puss build up that could be seen around the edges of the scab. This got me very alerted, I preceded to wash my face and press out whatever was in there. This seem to help, but again, that treated area was triple the scab size of any of my treated areas. Again, I put the antibiotic ointment on it.

Monday, (5 days out after treatment)- I woke up and washed my face, many of the scab fell off. The large scab on my chin still remained, it looked slightly better, it seems like its trying to crust over and heal. I was shocked to see that after the scabs had fallen off on the rest of my face (chin, nose, forehead & checks) my scars looked HUGE, red, and much deeper than prior to the treatment. Does anyone know if this is normal? Has anyone experienced this? Did my doctor do a mistake? I'm freaking out!!! I waited until the afternoon to put on make-up, but the holes are soo drastically deep, it's nearly impossible to cover them up. I've never had this problem before I applied my makeup on my scars. Is this just inflammation? Or have I just further scared myself ? Has anyone had any negative results from TCA cross treatment? I'm including photos of how deep and red the scars are. I would also like to point out that some areas that were treated I would have considered them as mild scars, but now they are deep, ice-pick scars. (see photos)

I have called my doctor, and made an appointment to see him tomorrow. I will follow up in my progress, and hope I didn't make a mistake getting this treatment.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 4 hours after treatment.jpg
  • Day of Treatment.jpg
  • front- after treatment (view 2).jpg
  • Front- after treatment.jpg
  • Front- Before Treatment.jpg
  • Left side - After treatment.jpg
  • Left side- after treatment (2).jpg
  • Nose close up- After treatment.jpg
  • Right Side Before Treatment.jpg
  • Right Side- After treatment.jpg

Edited by Gracie B, 04 April 2012 - 10:39 AM.


#2 Gracie B

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 10:23 AM

I wanted to update you all, I just left Dr. 's office. He said he has never seen any one get worse from the treatment and that he has done "thousands of treatments". He didn't have my "before" photos, but they will be developed today. He will compare the before and after photos to see if there was any change. In my opinion, the scars have become drastically deeper, wider and redder. And if that is the case, that the treatment actually scared me further, the Dr. said he would write a paper on my case. (I think he was being playful - I was very emotional at his office)

I've made an appointment for the end of April to follow up with him and see if things have improved. Before I left his office, he recommended to do another TCA cross treatment, but I am super hesitant and afraid after what I just experienced. Just to put things in perspective, if you were to use a mechanical pencil, you click once for the lead to come down, a little bit of lead comes down the pencil - well that is the same depth of holes that are now on my chin, nose and cheek. I am not exaggerating.

My skin looks really bad right now, makeup does not cover up the holes and this has further made me feel self-conscience about it. I don't think I would be too comfortable being in social settings until things improved a bit. Has anyone had this treatment done? or had my experience ?

I definitely need some encouraging words of advice. I really hope things improve, after all the treatment was supposed to promote and build up collagen to fill out scar. I'm not too sure right now.

#3 Meg M

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:48 PM

Hi Gracie B,

I'm really sorry your TCA CROSS treatment isn't going so well right now. I've been considering the treatment myself. I also live in DC Metro area and I simply cannot find through an online search a doctor who does the treatment.

I'm thinking about going to see a skilled physician who specializes in TCA CROSS treatments. His name is Dr. Lam - search: Lam Facial Plastics. He also has an online forum and he may very well respond to you if you drop your concerns to him via that forum.

I'll be following your progress. Please do update us.

Best,
Meg

Edited by Meg M, 05 April 2012 - 08:12 AM.


#4 Mr.Don

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:15 AM

Your doctor is a dumbass.
Scars treated with tca always look deeper for a period of time.
Full results usually can be seen after about 8 weeks.

So, no need to worry so soon.

#5 Gracie B

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:44 AM

Thanks for the great input, Mr. Don and Meg M.

-UPDATE-

For the last couple days I stopped wearing makeup to give my face a chance to heal naturally, I wanted to avoid clogging up my pores or exposing my skin to bacteria. The treated areas have become a little bit itchy (I hope this is a sign of healing). I'm also experiencing some peeling around my chin and nose, to the degree as when you use a retoind cream, and let me be clear - I haven't used one. The only thing that I've applied to my skin has been a non-irritating lotion, and sunscreen.

And let me tell how hard this has been, showing up at the office with no makeup was no walk in the park. I felt like I was a teenager and I definitely got several glances from my co-workers starring at the redness and the one large scab on my chin. But, you got to do what you have to do. Ha!

This seems to have helped. Today I woke up, and noticed that little scabs had formed over the larger holes. They are different from the ones that formed after the treatment, the scabs are much smaller and are deeper within the treated areas. Even though there is still redness in all the treated areas, the intensity is not as drastic as it was 2 days ago. I really hope the new little scabs that have formed is sign that my body is trying to heal the wounds and trying to fill in the scar. So I'm crossing my fingers and hoping things will turn around for the better.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question for Mr. Don- On your first treatment with TCA cross, did your treated areas significantly fill in after 8 weeks?

Edited by Gracie B, 05 April 2012 - 10:17 AM.


#6 Mr.Don

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:31 AM

I did tca cross two times on one of my scars and had a really good improvement.
From my experience I can say that after about 8 weeks the maximum improvement after each treatment was reached, meaning there was no further change.
This matches with many other peoples experiences.

Tca cross is a slow progress. You may need up to 5 treatments to see a significant improvement.
But everyone is different.


And btw: You seem to be a good looking woman. I bet nobody except you cares about those tiny scars.

Edited by Mr.Don, 07 April 2012 - 11:34 AM.


#7 havefaith

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 11:15 PM

I second that... You are beautiful and no need to worry about scars and any of that... People should love you for your soul.. from personal experience - whether my girlfriend has a few scars and how deep they are does not matter at all...

#8 Coppedsynergy999

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 12:47 AM

Call me a bad person but things like this ARE kind of anooying. You will be fine. TCA cross has been known to make things look worse and then it improves. Im sure your doctor is not an idiot. But for real. You are gorgeous. Your skin is gorgeous. Like really good looking. When I see shit like this is reminds me that I hate the world. Such small trivial problems become sooo huuuge because we live in a shit ass culture where we arent allowed to be human. I think at the end of the day, we all would preper to not have to worry about our appearance ever again. like a little tiny spot that looks like a pinprick. i guess im just bitter. When we live in a culture where poor young men join the armed forces becuase they have too and they get their bodies torn apart by grenades and such and we have people freaking out over a pore. idk fuck it.

#9 Nasser1

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:41 AM

You have a nice smile !

I was thinking of having tca cross but wanted to see people experiences. Please keep us updated.

make sure not to put anything that cause irritation and interfere with the healing process just let the skin do the job and then you can evaluate.

Thanks for sharing

#10 *Can*I*Live*

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 12:41 PM

I dont think your supposed to put it on your eyes!...lol jk. from you pics i'd say that you look fine. also, when it comes to skin, it takes a long time to see full results in anything. be happy and good luck. :)

#11 workinonit98

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:22 PM

From everything I've read, it seems what you are experiencing is the normal process.
I have not done TCA Cross yet, as I am still doing the research.

Thanks for taking before & after photos. I'll be following along to see your progress.

#12 Meg M

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 02:15 PM

Gracie B, hope that your scars have improved since your last post. Please do send us an update when you get a chance. We're all pulling for you!

Meg M

#13 Gracie B

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:03 AM

Hi Everyone,

It’s been almost 20 days since my first treatment, and finally the last scab on my chin fell off early last week. My skin is back to normal, and the peeling has greatly subsided. I also started to use a little bit of powdered make-up to cover up the redness of the scars.

They were a very few notable improvements on some scars, two little areas on the very tip of my nose. But in all, I would have to say that a good majority of the treated areas are noticeably wider, and deeper than they were before. The most disappointing part is that the treated area on my chin, my infamous large scab that I’ve been ranting so much about, is much deeper and wider than prior to the treatment. Again, I think the doctor made a mistake; he double applied TCA on this area, leaving me with a pitted chemical burn. OR…Maybe, in an optimistic view, things are supposed to look much- muchhhh worse than before, and as you get more treatments the scars will improve.

I’ve received a bit of criticism from my boyfriend about my TCA treatment. He is the type of person that would love me no matter how I look, a total optimist and has always encouraged and backed up my decisions, BUT- not with this one; he thinks I made my skin worse. Last night he sat me down, and in the most caring manner he asked me not to get another treatment. I don’t know what to do? I really don’t want to leave my skin like this. I have another upcoming appointment with my dermatologist in another week.

Thanks for everyone encouraging words. Does anyone know how to update new photos on this forum? I would like to add new ones to show everyone the progression of the scars.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copperdsynergy999 - I know that in the large scheme of things, my issues are completely trivial. The only reason for my posting is because I did a lot of research prior to my treatment and not once did I find anyone decribing in great detail their experience, (i.e., scabing, peeling, and progression of healing), it would have been helpful to me – so maybe this can be helpful to others.

Edited by Gracie B, 16 April 2012 - 09:49 AM.


#14 Want to be me

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 01:41 AM

Hi Gracie b, I just came across your blog searching for Tca cross treatment. Hope that everything is going well and from your pics you are a very beautiful girl. I basically joined to reply to you, as I also live in the DMV area and was researching for a very reputable doctor. I also have icepick scars and some boxcar that are I say, sallow. Theyre mainly around my cheek and temple area. I haven't had any procedures for my scars yet. I am 29 and thinking I should have something done but don't know what to do yet. I hope you can keep me up to date and also tell me the name of your doctor, if you recommend him. I'm counting on you Gracie! Thanks

#15 FruitBiscuits

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:09 PM

Hi Gracie b, I just came across your blog searching for Tca cross treatment. Hope that everything is going well and from your pics you are a very beautiful girl. I basically joined to reply to you, as I also live in the DMV area and was researching for a very reputable doctor. I also have icepick scars and some boxcar that are I say, sallow. Theyre mainly around my cheek and temple area. I haven't had any procedures for my scars yet. I am 29 and thinking I should have something done but don't know what to do yet. I hope you can keep me up to date and also tell me the name of your doctor, if you recommend him. I'm counting on you Gracie! Thanks


hey, i don't think she recommends her doc, she mentioned that the doc possibly made a mistake on her, so you probably want to avoid the doc instead...!

#16 AnnonmMam

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:15 AM

this is almost the same that i have.
what did you put on your pace to fill up colagen??

#17 *Inspired*

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 06:59 PM

I would give it 3-4 months before determining whether you benefited or not. I wouldn't do a second treatment until then. In the meantime, try spacing any pictures 3-4 weeks apart and compare them.

After what happened on your chin, I wouldn't let the same doctor treat your scars with Cross again. I can't even figure out which scar he was trying to treat on your chin with so much TCA. Did you have a boxcar there?

Edited by TokyoGirl, 04 June 2012 - 06:59 PM.


#18 AnnonmMam

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 01:51 PM

nobody answers?

#19 *Inspired*

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 04:32 PM

nobody answers?


You can't simply put something on your face and have it magically fill up with collagen.

I just realized that Gracie B. hasn't updated this post since April 16. Hopefully, she returns, and updates her progress. I am curious to know if she ended up with a chemical burn on her chin. I have a few chemical burns from TCA Cross but I don't think my doctor double applied to those spots, like hers. However, I don't know for sure either. He treated a few shallow boxcars that didn't respond well. For those scars, the surface remains shiny to this day. They are also deeper now.

#20 AnnonmMam

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 12:15 PM

i have a question. i have a indented scar for about 6 mounths.. It was very ugly, but now it has almost disapared.. It been 6 months and it 50% gone. Do i have a change in the next 6 months to fade 80%??