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lab lover

TCA Cross- Can I do it myself??

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Hey there, friends! I don't know anyone, but I think it is awesome how everyone helps each other. The plastic surgeon I saw wants me to pay $700 up front for 3 TCA Cross Treatments. I already paid $100 for the consultation fee. I really wanted to do one treatment with him, see how my skin responds, and then go from there. It kind of makes me angry that you have to pay up front. This surgeon is in Chicago and seems to be well known. Here are my questions (CAn you tell I am a teacher, I am organizing my questions)!

1) Should I go through him since I felt comfortable, or can I actually do it myself? I have probably four scars on one cheek and one or two on the other. I would definitely test one out first.

2) I know you can't be in the sun when you first have the treatment done and until the scab falls off. However, I read somewhere you can't be in the sun for 6 months. Is this true?

3) If it is true you aren't supposed to be in the sun, is it just because you can burn so much more easily? Or is this true: IT STOPS THE COLLAGEN PROCESS. YIKES! Did anyone read that in the instruction manual when you performed TCA? That is probably my biggest question.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

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I personally like your thoroughness and organized questions :) (being a former special educator myself, this skill is imperative!!)

I personally have purchased the TCA cross kit for home use, but I'm waiting to use it until I have a couple Matrix RF treatments this summer and I would prefer to use it in the winter months to lessen any possible hyper/hypo pigmentation issues that could occur. Living in the Deep South, there is not a really good way to avoid direct sunlight during the Summer and early Fall months. Better safe than sorry!

Would your PS apply your $100 consultation fee towards your first cross? I would suggest asking and insisting on one treatment to see how well you respond. I don't know that it's wise to pay for a package of these up front until you know how your skin and scars are going to respond. However, that's just my lil' ol' opinion. Feel free to ignore me if you'd like!

I don't think you have to become a hermit following cross treatments. From all the TCA cross threads that I've read, it is crucial that you use a minimum 30 spf sunscreen daily, regardless of treatments attempted. This helps to resolve any PIH quicker.

Please keep in mind that I haven't attempted cross yet and I'm in no way implying that I'm an expert on the procedure. There are sooooo many other posters that have great tips/experiences that I'm sure will respond. Just wanted to offer my thoughts.

BTW, you mentioned in another post that you had had Fraxel. Did you have Re:Store or Re:Pair? Just curious which you had and why you were displeased.

Best of luck to you in whichever treatment you choose to pursue!!

Edited by sassy74

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Hey there, friends! I don't know anyone, but I think it is awesome how everyone helps each other. The plastic surgeon I saw wants me to pay $700 up front for 3 TCA Cross Treatments. I already paid $100 for the consultation fee. I really wanted to do one treatment with him, see how my skin responds, and then go from there. It kind of makes me angry that you have to pay up front. This surgeon is in Chicago and seems to be well known. Here are my questions (CAn you tell I am a teacher, I am organizing my questions)!

1) Should I go through him since I felt comfortable, or can I actually do it myself? I have probably four scars on one cheek and one or two on the other. I would definitely test one out first.

2) I know you can't be in the sun when you first have the treatment done and until the scab falls off. However, I read somewhere you can't be in the sun for 6 months. Is this true?

3) If it is true you aren't supposed to be in the sun, is it just because you can burn so much more easily? Or is this true: IT STOPS THE COLLAGEN PROCESS. YIKES! Did anyone read that in the instruction manual when you performed TCA? That is probably my biggest question.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Well, if you feel comfortable with him and you can afford to have him do the treatments than I would go with your gut but you can do it at home for about 90% cheaper. I would suggest asking him if you can pay per session, let him do the first one on you, so you know what to expect and what to do and than buy your own kit and do it yourself, thats what I did. Ive done four at home treatments myself and never had a problem and everything is going well. When i saw my doc for the first and only treatment I let him do, which cost me $300, he told me I would need about 6 cross and thats about right. i think two more and ill be good. If you want me to give you step by step what i do when i do cross just message me. Hope it all goes well!!!!!

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Thanks for the advice! I paid 100 dollars for the consultation fee and then the three treatments would be $700. I asked if I could pay for individual treatments and they said no! Can you believe that? They say the doctor puts together a package for his patients (based on what and how many treatments they need). I realize it will take more than one TCA Cross, but what if for some fluke chance I was happy with the results after one treatment? He even said himself that my scars aren't that bad. In fact, he couldn't even see them, so we had to go into another room where there was direct sunlight for him to see the scars.

Sassy- I am also a Special Ed teacher! I had Fraxel Repair. I didn't see any difference in my skin, and the last time I got a treatment, my face got blisters, oozed (gross) and caused some minor scars here and there on my jawline. After each treatment I was red for a week (almost purplish). I am fair skinned, blue eyes, and have strawberry blonde hair. You can imagine how fair I am, so imagine how red my skin got! I could handle the redness and little amount of blood that the laser causes at times. What I couldn't handle was the constant oozing, and the fact that normally my recovery time was a week, but I could cover up the redness after five days. The last time I was all messed up for weeks. I spent my birthday in my bedroom, and had to miss teacher institute because I was so embarrassed! Please don't get it done. I spent thousands of dollars for nothing! I have gotten restylane injections in my scars, and that did plump up my skin; although it made my skin look bumpy.

So, do you think the TCA kit will come with such elaborate directions that I will be okay? I decided not to go through the doctor. Have a good day!!!!!!!!!!!

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I am currently having a series of 5 tca cross treaments done with who I would assume is the same Dr. in Chicago. It seems the way after reading your post. I have currently had three done and have seen improvement. Unfortunately, this process does take some time. I wish it were faster. I hope to go in for the fourth soon, but certain scars of mine have a way of taking forever to go back to normal skin tone and are a little darker. I do like the doctor and it is comforting having a professional do it. On the other hand, the technique isn't that difficult. I would feel completely comfortable doing it to myself or someone else at this point. I want to get these TCA's done so he can get a few of the deeper ones with subcision.

Leo

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hey lab lover i told you to go to dr steven mandrea (not eugune mandrea his father) in lincoln park in your other post!!! he charges $100-150 dollars per treatment.

lakeviewderm.c0m is the website, TCA is good i will continue it after im done with accutane

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Leo- Do you see Dr Shah in the watertower? Chicago scar face- I went to the website you gave me, and couldn't find TCA Cross anywhere! I take it you have actually gotten it done there? Did you have a consultation done?

I have an appointment set with Dr. Shah for the 6th, and I have a party on the 10th. Are my scabs going to look really goofy at that time?? I really hope they won't. I have been going back and forth with this. I wasn't going to get it done professionally, but I can afford it and decided to at least get one done this way. Thank you very much for your help!!!!!

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Hey there, friends! I don't know anyone, but I think it is awesome how everyone helps each other. The plastic surgeon I saw wants me to pay $700 up front for 3 TCA Cross Treatments. I already paid $100 for the consultation fee. I really wanted to do one treatment with him, see how my skin responds, and then go from there. It kind of makes me angry that you have to pay up front. This surgeon is in Chicago and seems to be well known. Here are my questions (CAn you tell I am a teacher, I am organizing my questions)!

1) Should I go through him since I felt comfortable, or can I actually do it myself? I have probably four scars on one cheek and one or two on the other. I would definitely test one out first.

I'd go to the doctor for at least the first treatment to make sure you're doing it correctly.

2) I know you can't be in the sun when you first have the treatment done and until the scab falls off. However, I read somewhere you can't be in the sun for 6 months. Is this true?

I wore SPF 30 religiously for six months after I did my CROSS. I wasn't taking ANY chances. But I also use glycolic acid regularly so have to wear SPF anyway. If I didn't use glycolic acid, I would have used SPF 30 for at least six months anyway.

3) If it is true you aren't supposed to be in the sun, is it just because you can burn so much more easily? Or is this true: IT STOPS THE COLLAGEN PROCESS. YIKES! Did anyone read that in the instruction manual when you performed TCA? That is probably my biggest question.

Here's a great answer about sunlight and collagen:

Collagen Breakdown

In the dermis, UV radiation causes collagen to break down at a higher rate than with just chronologic aging. Sunlight damages collagen fibers and causes the accumulation of abnormal elastin. When this sun-induced elastin accumulates, enzymes called metalloproteinases are produced in large quantities. Normally, metalloproteinases remodel sun-injured skin by manufacturing and reforming collagen. However, this process does not always work well and some of the metalloproteinases actually break down collagen. This results in the formation of disorganized collagen fibers known as solar scars. When the skin repeats this imperfect rebuilding process over and over wrinkles develop.

http://dermatology.about.com/cs/beauty/a/suneffect.htm So yes, sun exposure WILL disrupt the collagen building process. In actuality, it takes a scar/wound approximately one year to show its final shape, that's one reason that TCA CROSS takes so long to see results. So if you were being totally technical and nit-picky, you'd wear sunscreen religiously for a year and not just six months. :)

Get some sun, just not on your face. Sun on arms, legs, etc, as that'll manufacture your vitamin D. Vitamin D is vital in sooo many things!

Edit: My scabs developed within three days. I was so very careful when washing so I wouldn't dislodge them. Some scabs stayed for two weeks. But I used only a slight dot of TCA at each site so the scabs were really small. I didn't bother with makeup. Went to work just like normal. ;)

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