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mr. matt

Member Since 12 Nov 2006
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 12:50 PM

#3425730 35% Tca Peel Anyone?

Posted by mr. matt on 11 April 2014 - 04:59 PM

I've only done 25% TCA peels on my face and I am not sure that I would want to go with a 35% TCA peel due to the possibility of scarring and prolonged downtime.
Sometimes stronger is not always better. 
I have done four 25% TCA peels at home and it takes a full five days to go through the peeling process.  I know that we all want the fastest healing process possible, but I think that taking a slower, more conservative approach may be in your best interests.

Mr Matt, many thanks for your response. You're a legend on these boards! Congrats on your scar success!

I do trust the PS and I'm not as concerned with the peel strength. I just don't want to go through with the pre-peel prep and post-peel downtime if it's not going to make a difference in my scarring. How did the peels help you?

Chemical peels, in and of themselves, are not going to do much for your scarring especially if you have tethered scarring.  I don't believe that I did any of my 25% TCA peels until after my last subcison treatment.  My TCA peels have helped my skin tone and have helped develop collagen, but I can't say that the peels truly did anything for my scarring.

#3424975 Subcision - Suction Question For Dr Appt...

Posted by mr. matt on 07 April 2014 - 06:35 PM

I combined suctioning with subcision after my fourth subcision treatment.  My doctor did not offer suctioning as part of the after-care, so I used a hand held Orec vacuum sweeper nozzle to my face and suctioned my face twice a day beginning after the third day if I remember correctly.


It was highly effective and amazed my doctor.  However, it did result in prolonged bruising which ended up being a good thing.  I had  large bump on my left cheek and one on my right cheek which lasted for weeks.  However, the scars on my left cheek never reappeared much to my amazement.  With the previous subcision treatments, the scars would reappear at various depths after a week or so and then fill in to various degrees.


I regret that I had not known about suctioning when I had my first subcision treatment done.  I encourage you to find some type of suctioning device online or improvise like I did - it made a huge difference and I have never regretted the decision to use it.

#3424504 Man in the Mirror: Pre and Post Subcision Photos

Posted by mr. matt on 05 April 2014 - 10:05 AM

Last month marked the five year anniversary since my first subcision treatment in March of 2009.


I wanted to provide people who are interested with a five year update since I am not aware of any 'long-term' studies of subcision and long-term results.


Here is a brief synopsis of my journey:


My mother suffered from terrible cystic acne which completely disfigured her face.  She underwent two dermabrasion treatments but they didn't do anything to truly improve her scarring because her scars were tethered.  By fourth grade, I got my first pimple and began to get cysts beginning in eighth grade.  I suffered from cystic acne from eighth grade through my 30's.  I went on antibiotics and used topical BP with limited success.


Finally, I decided to go on Accutane in 1998 and my face EXPLODED with cystic acne all over my face.  I looked like a leper and wanted to crawl under a rock.  Before this time, I had some scarring on my right cheek, but that was about it.  Now, I had scarring on both cheeks, my chin, and a few scars on my temple.


I ended up going on a second round of Accutane later and I have not had any cysts since then.


However, I now had a lot of deep scarring that made me feel horrible about myself.  So, I began to do research online about how to treat acne scarring and I stumbled upon this website.  I chronicled my journey on this site, so anyone interested can go back and read the threads.


I wanted to let people know that I have maintained the results that I achieved through earlier my earlier subcision treatments.  One thing that I have done, however, since beginning this journey was to do the following:


1) radically change my diet.  I  have cut out nearly 90% of junk and fast food over the past 4.5 years and I believe that the results show on my face.  I eat a lot of organic foods and take multivitamins.


2)  began to use antioxidants both internally and externally.  I use sunscreen  seven days a week during the day and use a facial cream containing ester c, DMAE, and vitamin e.


3)  I also began dermarolling and recently started using a dermastamp and have seen improvement using this modality, too.


4) I also have done NUMEROUS chemical peels and have found a 25% TCA peel to be the most effective peel that I have ever done.


Acne scar reduction is a journey and improvement does not occur overnight.  It took me several years of subcision treatments, chemical peels, topicals, dermarolling, etc.  to see improvement.


As good as my photos may be, I did not obtain 100% improvement.  Some of my scars are still visible under certain lighting conditions, but they have improved to such an extent that they are no longer the first thing you notice when you see my face.  All in all, I would say that I have experienced 70-80% improvement in the reduction of my scaring and I am content with how I appear today; I do not plan on pursuing any further subcision treatments at this point in my life.


I have uploaded three photos in my gallery to give people an idea of how my skin appears today.


I wish anyone reading this post tremendous success on their journey.  There are definitely 'ups' and 'downs' along the way, but it is certainly worth it.



#3412515 How Long After A Dermaroller Session Should I Get A Lactic Or Glycolic Acid P...

Posted by mr. matt on 05 February 2014 - 07:49 PM

I have been doing chemical peels for over five years now, so I have progressed up to a 70% Lactic Acid peel.


I apply the peeling agent after I have completed the dermastamping session and leave it on for ten minutes.


Then, I wash it off and then apply Reviva Labs DMAE/Ester C cream.  My goal is to maximize absorption from where the needles pierced my skin.


So far, it appears to be working well.





Next month I will do a five year update for anyone following my thread.  One of the questions that I have been asked repeatedly as been:  have the results lasted? 


So, I will provide an overview of the treatments that I had and provide photos of how my skin looks today.


One thing that I will say in advance is that I have really paid much more attention to my diet over the past five years and it clearly shows on my skin.  I used to eat way too much fast food and junk food in general and I have cut out 99% of that stuff over the past several years and focused on changing my skin from the inside/out.


Stay tuned for an update next month.



#3359656 Man in the Mirror: Pre and Post Subcision Photos

Posted by mr. matt on 20 June 2013 - 05:50 AM

I think that a practinioner's skill certainly plays a role in one's improvement.


I took sort of a holistic approach and became my own best advocate:


1) I did a lot of online research about acne scarring

2) I found this website and learned from others

3) I changed my diet - today, I consume very little junk food.  Some of the foods that I had been eating (i.e. junk foods/soft drinks) promote inflamation, glycation, etc.) and damage the skin

4) I take supplements that promote collagen development

5) I didn't rely one single modality for improvement (i.e lasers only).  I had subcision, laser, chemical peels, dermarolling, topicals, etc. all in an effort to improvement my skin.

6) I have an excellent dermatologist who is highly skilled, honest, and cares about his patients.

7) I had realistic expectations and didn't expect to have perfect skin after all of these treatments

8) My friends and family know that I am very persistent - I don't give up easily.  I fought the good fight and have enjoyed some success. If I had given up after my three Laser Genesis treatments, I would not have seen any improvement.


Hope this helps.





#3357738 Man in the Mirror: Pre and Post Subcision Photos

Posted by mr. matt on 13 June 2013 - 03:57 PM

Right now, I am satisfied with how my complexion looks.


As I've mentioned in the past, my skin is not perfect today even after all of the subcision treatments, laser treatments, TCA CROSS

peels, etc.


I still have some visible scarring that doesn't show up very well in photos which I think tells me that I've had considerable progress over the four + year journey of acne scar revision that I've been on.


I'm going to still dermaroll every six weeks, do two TCA Peels a year, apply antioxidant cream to my face and sunscreen everyday to maintain what progress that I have enjoyed so far.


Going into this, I knew better than to expect 100% improvement especially with the deep type of scarring that I had in certain areas.  All in all, I would say that I've had at least 70% sustained improvement. That's improvement that I can live with.  hifive.gif

#3348321 Coconut Oil

Posted by mr. matt on 13 May 2013 - 07:37 PM

I use it in my scalp and 99% of my folicullitus has cleared up. Coconut oil is a powerful antibacterial and antifungal agent.

#3339779 My Subcision

Posted by mr. matt on 10 April 2013 - 06:18 AM

My Dr said he wanted to make sure I was not having any sort of infection from the subcision.  I really appreciate my Dr in that he listens to his patients and has a really good bedside manner.  I feel very fortunate to have found him.
I know Mr Matt said he had similiar lumps for about 5 weeks and this was comforting.  My Dr said they were normal when I had my first checkup.  What concerned me was that they had grown in size and the twingy sensations that I was feeling underneath some of the lumps-that is what scared me and made me worry.  I don't know how to describe the sensations other than twinges.  They weren't necessarily painful but like little random electric pulses.  Did anyone else get these when they had a cystic underground breakout?  I remember them and that's what frightened me.....ha ha I just had a memory!  I remember that I used to joke around that my monster zit was having contractions and going to have a baby.  Funny how I used to use humor back then to make things better......
I'll keep you posted.

I, too, had a tingly sensation in my skin and I later learned that this was a healing response to the trauma incurred by subcision and it was collagen remodeling.  If you've ever had a deep cut or wound, it begins to itch after awhile.  It's actually an indication that the helping process is underway and is a good thing.


#3338127 Man in the Mirror: Pre and Post Subcision Photos

Posted by mr. matt on 02 April 2013 - 06:26 PM

Thanks.  It's been a four year journey that continues to this day.


There are some great people on this site who have encouraged me along the way.


One of the important things that my dermatologist taught me about the skin was the importance of antioxidants in protecting and aiding in the healing of the skin as well as the importance of topicals and a good diet.


Based upon his information, I set out on 'quest' to learn more about how the skin works and how our diet and exercise affect our skin.


Along the way, I read a book that I would like to recommend to people who follow this thread.  For me, it has been one of THE most informative books I've read on how to care for you skin from the inside/out.


The book is entitled "Your Skin, Younger' and was written by three doctors.  I've checked it out for the second time from my local library.


It contains a wealth of information about topicals, supplements, and the research behind them.  It's an outstanding book that I would recommend to anyone with acne scarring.


Two of the antioxidants that I use are Alpha Lipoic Acid and Tumeric.  I use a topical form of Alpha Lipoic Acid on my face (Reviva Labs).  I buy my Tumeric capsules from Wal-Mart.  They have the lowest price that I have found.


I've eliminated virtually all processed foods (to the greatest extent that this is possible in the U.S.), stopped drinking soda, and mainly drink tea or water.


I believe changing my diet and incorporating supplements and the right type of topicals has greated aided in the reduction of the appearance of my acne scarring. Take a look at my baseline photos - they show the poor texture my skin had along with lines and acne scars on both cheeks and my chin.


If there is one thing that I've learned about acne scar reduction is this:  it takes time and multiple modalities to see improvement.  You have to be consistent.  For example, I dermaroll every six weeks.  I do one to two 25% TCA peels a year, I wear Retin-A every other day, I use a topical cream on my face daily, and I wear sunscreen seven days a week.  


Keep up the good fight, my friends. We're all in this together.



#3336056 Self Subcision

Posted by mr. matt on 25 March 2013 - 11:40 AM

Austra: I agree with you completely.  Any type of invasive procedure should be done by a trained professional such as a dermatologist or plasti surgeon if it involves the face. The risks of self-injury are too high to perform this on yourself.  It's worth the money to have a trained professional to do this.  Why risk further scarring, infection, nerve damage by doing it yourself. During my first subcision treatment, my doctor told me that the Nokor needle was bowing due to the dense fibrous tissue tethering my epidermis down.  Can you imagine what would happen if a needle broke under your skin while performing subcision at home yourself?  A surgeon would have to open up your face to retrieve the needle. It's not worth the risk in my opinion. Matt

#3334218 Man in the Mirror: Pre and Post Subcision Photos

Posted by mr. matt on 18 March 2013 - 06:01 AM

Catherine: I think that some type of auctioning device is better than none. I've found that the subcision/suction method in conjunction with dermarolling and topical vitamin C to be a very powerful combination. Keep us posted on your progress. Matt

#3328280 Subcision Happened Today

Posted by mr. matt on 20 February 2013 - 05:51 PM

i would like to do this ...does it matter where you order your peel?

Rob, I had my done through a dermatologist but Matt did home peels.   I bet he will answer your question soon. 
Day 6: Well I have basically completed the peeling process.  My face is very red and I don't know if the permanent results should be evident now or if this a wait X month(s) and see situation.  I am trying to withhold an opinion because if I had to make one today it would be one of disappointment.  Tomorrow I have a follow up visit with Dr. Berlin so maybe that will offer some clarity.  Then I am going to not think about skin for a month or so. 
Matt (or anyone that has experienced a TCA peel) What did your skin look like on day 6?  Did your skin improve over time after the peel or was it "what you see immediately after the peeling is what you get"?  Thank you in advance for your help. 

The underlying skin that was revealed as a result of the 25 percent TCA peel was somewhat pink and very healthy looking.  There was a little bit of residual swelling  but not much.  The collagen development process begins over the next several weeks  and months.

I am a HUGE proponent of TCA peels myself - they are a good complement to subcision treatments but wouldn't do anything by themselves if used alone to treat deep rolling scars.

One thing that I have learned is this:  Acne scarring requires a wide variety of modalities and time to see the maximum benefit.

In my case, multiple subcision treatments combined with dermarolling, chemical peels, TCA CROSS, laser treatments, topical vitamins A and C resulted in improvement that I could live with.

#3327400 Dermarolling Help

Posted by mr. matt on 17 February 2013 - 09:37 AM

Based on my dermarolling research, don't use it more than once a month. I would use it at 6-8 weeks intervals, even. It takes time for collagen to build and you have to allow that time for skin to recover, otherwise you could be causing more damage. Some people do dermaroll once a week because the initial microswelling lasts for about a week and makes the scarring look much better, but this really could just worsen the skin in the long term and is not advisable.

I've read that it takes six weeks, at a minimum, for collagen to develop.  I don't think that it is advisable to do it every week.  

Sometimes, too much of a good thing is not good if you know what I mean.

#3317963 What To Ask During Consultation

Posted by mr. matt on 12 January 2013 - 08:16 AM

1). what type of scarring do I have?
2). what are the various types of scarring treatments available to me?
3). what are the costs associated with these various treatments?
4). What are the risks associated with these types of treatment?
5). How many patients have you treated with my type of scarring?
6). Do you have before and after photos of these patients that I could view?
7) What type of improvement can I expect?
8) What is the recovery time for each of the procedures that you are recommending for my particular scarring?  How long will it be before I see any improvement?
9) What type of payment options are available to me?
10) Do you provide patients with before and instructions for each of the treatments you provide for acne scarring?
11)  How can I reach you if you complications arise? (On a weekend, for example.  MY doctor gave me his personal cell phone number which I thought was incredibly generous of him.)

This is a good start......

#3312633 Man in the Mirror: Pre and Post Subcision Photos

Posted by mr. matt on 22 December 2012 - 12:29 PM

Thanks for the inspiration Mr. Matt

I've been through so many different lasers and doctors just telling me things to get money from me that I almost gave up on trying to find something but I always kept ending up back here and even though I was still skeptical about trying something else I got 2 test spots done with subcision and suction.

At first I wasn't too excited about doing test spots because after 15 years of dealing with cystic acne and rolling acne scars of course I wanted to get it all done as soon as possible. But after I thought about it, it made me realize my Dr. actually cares about what will work and not just the money. I had the spots done a little over 2 and a half weeks ago, got a check up the following week and I go back mid-january to see if the subcision will be effective enough to do on the rest of my scars. He actually let me choose any 3 scars I wanted and after I chose he suggested I change one because another one was deeper and caused the area to look worse. So far the deepest one seems to be coming back a little, the other 2 are pretty much gone still, which I'm excited about but learned not to get my hopes up about.

I'm really hoping I can get even some of the results that you have gotten, I honestly lived my life regardless for the first 13 years of having this problem, pretty much not caring at all, doing whatever I wanted to do not caring about what people though, but the past 2 years have completely flipped on me and my scars make me stay home and miss out on things I would love to be doing with my friends. Which is really weird considering the things I used to do not even thinking twice about my face. But one day I woke up and it's like I started losing my confidence, hearing the whispers, and noticing the people staring and judging me more and more which turned me into a completely different person and its exhausting dealing with that everyday.

I really hope it works out so I can be myself again and not hide at home anymore.

Thanks for your post.

I am so glad that you took the leap and got some of your scars subcised and suctioned.  I think that if you are realistic about the types of results you are seeking, you'll be satisfied with further subcision treatments coupled with the suctioning process.

Don't expect to have a complexion like Mario Lopez's if you're a male or Jennifer Lopez if you're a female, because a flawless complexion is probably unattainable.

I hope that you'll try dermarolling in conjunction with your other treatments.  My skin looks so much different than it did about four years ago when I started this process.

Here is one of the key lessons that I learned during this process:  improvement is i-n-c-r-e-m-e-n-t-a-l.  That is to say, it takes time for the collagen to remodel itself and develop.  I found that the suctioning process certainly helped to prevent the tethered bands from reattaching.

Don't let your complexion keep you hiding in your home.  Knowing that there are ways to improve your complexion and reduce your scaring should greatly boost your confidence level and give you a lot of hope that things can improve for you.

Look into a face cream with Ester C and other antioxidants and anything that has been medically proven to develop collagen.

Once you are satisfied with how your complexion looks, you'll look back and see this current time as a distant memory.

I hope that you'll take some photos and journal along the way.  When I look back at my baseline photos, I ask myself, 'Was that really ME?' because my skin has improved so much over the past four years or so.  I'm glad that I took photos and chronicled my journey.

There is hope for you!