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johndavid78

TCA 50% on chicken pox scars. Not peeling.

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Posted (edited)

Hi, does anyone have experience applying TCA 50% on box scars or chickenpox scars? Will you be so kind to give me some insight of your experience and advice on my current issue? 

Last Wednesday, April 25, I applied a 50%-grade TCA on some of my chickenpox scars on both of my cheeks and on the temple area. I used the non-sharpened end of a thick toothpick, which I dipped in TCA chemical for about 5 to 10 seconds, removed the excess and then dabbing it on each of my depressed scars for a few seconds. I was very careful to stay within the depressed areas, though some went over a little. I also applied the chemical on three small skin tags near my left eye and three spots on my forehead. The areas where I applied TCA turned white within seconds, and then minutes later they all turned brown. I did not use any neutralizer or rinsed my face with water after the application. 

For four straight days, I applied Vaseline moisturizer with aloe vera onto the affected areas, but the scars have not started peeling off since April 25. Is this normal? How long did yours take for your skin to start peeling with TCA 50%?

On some forums, people said their skin started peeling after 2 or 3 days of the application, but they were using a lesser-grade TCA. Mine hasn't, but I used 50% TCA. I'm worried that I have permanently damaged my skin. 

The pictures below were taken today, April 29 (day 5) when I woke up and on April 26 (day 2). Do you have the same experience? Did yours turned brown like mine on the pictures? Thank you in advance. 





 

 

tca50peel.png

Edited by johndavid78
Correction: April 29 should be day 5 (not 4). April 25 is day 1.

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Posted

Please Goto the TCA Section / Acid peels guide. Click the link (There is a whole megapost on this. On like page 8-10 you can read of people who have had similar problems using acids that were to strong. They eventually healed but it took time.

Ok a analysis.
1) The way this was applied does not look like TCA Cross, ... why was 50% used... You may need to make a appt for a dermatologist to get a steroid and avoid skin damage because of Ethnic skin propensity to not liking high %. 
2) From the pictures quite a lot of surface skin was covered in acid. TCA cross is for small diameter scars, they are quite large - your treated area (spread of acid) and thus would not do well with high acid peels.
3) I have put in the acid peel guide never start with 50%, you cannot play with acids as they can do serious damage. A single test spot should have been made with a diluted (water) - lower percentage and see how you healed. Acid on skin is progressive, you have to build up - never to 50% on this type of situation, some people never get past 12-15%. 50% here, this can cause burns, scars, and skin damage. Your basically spot peeling here not TCA Cross. Also with Ethnic skin you will not reach higher %'s without issues.
3) You have ethnic skin so you are more prone to skin damage from a peel. As such you must prep for 3 weeks before your peel with tretinorin and skin bleaching - aka hydroquinone to avoid hyperpigmentation, with a 1 week break before peel time. 
4) At this point there is nothing we can do except keep the wound moist aka triple antibiotic, or vaseline, or honey and aloe are also healing. You need to apply a few times a day, and be doing vinegar soaks before application, you dilute (water) white vinegar and pat the area on the wounds.  Do not exfoliate or run the shower on your face, and do not use products right now. Please be patient (read the accounts of others who used high % and had to heal in the acid peel guide page 8-10 again.
5) No scabs/dead skin does not fall off in a few days, this might take you 10 days or a few weeks and I suspect with this high of a acid % first the skin will turn darker, eventually drop off or will just take "many" weeks to fade. You used 50% which is too high.
6) Hyperpigmentiton is part of this with your skin type. In 2-3 weeks start using Emu oil which will help.
7) I would go buy some dermablend or concealer which will go over these spots till they heal. Dermablend is a after surgery makeup even guys wear.
8) Below is a image of TCA cross see the difference...

Perhaps @Quadboy and @UpliftingCat Can help you more or think of something I forgot.

BA
 



My Tca Cross Experience! Results & Pictures :) - Scar treatments - Acne.org Community

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Posted

I would never think about using 50% TCA formula on my own, that is crazy. Reading Beautiful Ambition's scar treatment thread has a lot of good information if anyone out there is thinking of doing this, but please don't use 50% at home. This is some strong stuff. 

You might need to seek professional advice if this doesn't heal normally over the next couple of days. I hope you recover well and get some improvement. 
.

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Posted

If my memory serves me correct, TCA cross is supposed to be applied to "narrow" icepick scars. If done on wide boxcars, it tends to make them appear W-I-D-E-R. From what I know, chickenpox scars are pretty damn wide from the start--in fact, much wider than most boxcars. So, geezus, let me crunch some numbers...

 

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Posted (edited)

I'll be honest, I was shocked by these pics.  This is not how TCA cross should be used, ever.   This is way too high a percentage to be using in such large spots all over the face.  I don't want to alarm you, but this was done very poorly.   Do what everyone is saying,  these spots must be kept most with antibiotic ointment at all times and never allowed to scab over.   You should seek out a dermatologist.   

The only upside is that this was not 100% TCA.   Often times the tca you buy online is not the % they claim to be, which means it could be higher or lower than advertised.  I'm really hoping this is actually weaker than 50%.  

Edited by dazzed

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Posted

Hi, BA, ScarRight, Sirius Lee, and dazzed: 

Thank you all for your replies. I really appreciate them. I'll be honest, I got nervous while reading your comments because of your advice against using TCA 50% on box/chickenpox scars at home, or that I was doing it poorly. 

Maybe I should share a little background of how I got to this point. I caught chicken pox when I was in high school that left me scarred. My parents warned me not to pick on the blisters or I would be scarred forever. I followed their warning, I really did, but when I woke up one morning some of them had already popped. I must have touched them while I was sleeping. I also suffered from severe acne breakouts in high school, so that compounded the issue. I went to a dermatologist for my acne and his prescription of benzoyl peroxide cream and a few others I couldn't remember (this was way back in the 90's) and washing my face with soap only made my acne worst. 

In college, I decided to do something about my scars. I searched online and learned about the different laser treatments and microdermabrasion, but they cost an arm and a leg. Then a little more digging, I learned about microneedling, which was new at that time and within budget. I had three sessions of microneedling with another dermatologist. After each session, which was done a few months apart, there was little improvement (as far as the appearance of the scars goes). I thought I could continue doing this at home and save money since I already knew the procedure. I ended up buying on E-bay two microneedle rollers from RoHS. A 0.50 mm, which I used for two sessions, then later a 1.00 mm, which I also used for two sessions. I also got a Derma Stamp Electric Pen from Micro Needle Therapy, and I used that on the deeper scars since I could adjust how deep the needle could go. Again, there was improvement but it wasn't substantial and it was slow. The deeper scars were still visible or they still looked the same, and I was getting impatient. 

Fast forward to 2016, I stumbled upon a video on YouTube about TCA chemical and how it was effective in treating certain types of scars, especially icepick scars. It could also be used on box scars according to some websites. So, I thought I would give it a try. I began searching for TCA chemicals on Amazon, and then reading the review sections from people who bought and used them. I was more interested on products that had many positive reviews with before and after pictures. One particular product was the TCA 50% from Dermalure. A reviewer posted before and after pictures of his scars that looked similar to mine and had great results. Of course, I read the other positive reviews, but his picture was like the final nail for me to decide to buy it. This was back in 2016 and I hadn't used the product until last Wednesday, April 25, 2018. That's two years later. Several reasons. I was afraid to apply acid on my face as I had never tried it before. What if I cause more damage to my skin? I needed to prepare for it mentally and gather some courage. I was also looking for the perfect time to do it because I would be hiding in the house for several weeks during the healing process, avoiding the sun and the people. In fact, I don't want to go to my dermatologist and be seen like this. She moved her clinic from a walled one-story, building where there were less people who could see you to another location inside the mall. So, as much as possible, I wanted to get healed at home with DIY methods. 

I'm glad that I found this website (Acne.org). It seems to be the only site where there are many people, ordinary people like myself, who've suffered from acnes and scars and are sharing their success stories and tips/advice with others who are currently going through them. I wish I had found this site earlier. 

To be honest, I was hoping the replies would be of, "Yes, that's normal. I've experienced that." But no, it was more of against the use of such stronger TCA at home. So, it got me very worried and nervous. I wanted to ask the reviewer on Amazon about his experience, so I opened the product link in my Amazon order history, but it was no longer there along with all the reviews. However, Dermalure has another TCA 50% listed on Amazon. 

I regret for not doing more research on this. I should have just done one scar instead of all of them. It was really stupid of me. But I'm already here. I will keep the affected areas moist as advised, and will buy the Emu oil BA told me about. I also don't shower my face to avoid irritating the wound. 

Thank you all for your advice/input. @BA, I am going to read that guide you shared to me. I will also be posting pictures about my progress when I have the time. Thanks again.

JD
 

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Posted

I hope you are okay and keep us posted on your healing. Are you going to see a dermatologist about your current situation? Professional advice is probably the best way forward. 

I have not read anywhere reputable saying TCA cross is good for boxcars or chicken pox scars. I wouldn't trust reviewers off Amazon. The reality is you can't fix severe scarring at home or cheaply, but it's a long road, with small improvements along the way. You need to invest time and money. I would stop the 'at home' treatments and find a reputable scar revision specialist. 

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Posted

It looks like youve kept them completely dry when they should be soaked with something like aquaphor until after peeling

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Posted

Keep us posted. TCA CROSS on chickenpox scar usually make the scars broader. I hope I am wrong in this statement. TCA CROSS should be used in narrow deep scars, or select small box car scars. Saucer scars, including fibrotic chickenpox scars usually result in worsening of scars over time. Once again, I hope I am wrong with this statement. Stay safe and all the best. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi, all,

I just want to update you on my healing. This is day 7 since my TCA 50% application. I woke up today and noticed that a couple of the scabs near my chin had completely peeled off and revealed a pinkish-colored skin. A few others on both sides of my cheeks and in the temple areas have started peeling off. Most of them though are still closed. Perhaps they will take more time? 

I took two pictures of both sides of my face today. The scab that has completely peeled off on the right side of my face (near my chin) revealed a smooth, pinkish skin, but there's this round border or red pigment that's almost like the shape of the scar that I'm trying to remove with TCA. I don't know if you can see it clearly in the picture. But the skin is already smooth. The scab on my left that has completely peeled off also revealed a smooth skin and the scar is completely gone! 

ScarRight: I might go to my dermatologist, but not in this condition. Maybe after all the scabs have peeled off. From my understanding TCA Cross is very effective on icepick scars. What I did was more of a peel, but instead of using a tissue or a piece of cloth, I used a thick, wooden toothpick. I used the other side of it that was not sharp. I will take a picture of one of the toothpicks and post it here next time. 

I think have read somewhere about using TCA for boxscars. Will try to find the links of those sites and share them with you. 

420blazeitft: I actually moisturized the scabs when I took those photos. I used Vaseline moisturizer with aloe vera. However, at that time, I didn't apply a liberal amount, and the moisturizer had quickly absorbed into my skin. But thank you for your input, 420blazeitft. Regards

JD
 

tca50peel-day7.png

Edited by johndavid78

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Posted (edited)

Obi Wan: Thank you. I am careful not to stretch my face because I think the skin/tissue inside are still forming during the healing process. I hope my skin will be okay. 

Edited by johndavid78

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Posted (edited)

Hi, all,

I just want to update you on my healing. This is day 14 since my 50% TCA application. 99% of my scabs had completely peeled off except for one small scab on my right face near my ear. I took pictures of my face on day 9, day 13, and today (day 14). 

There is a significant improvement with regards to the appearance of my scars. My deep chicken pox scars on both cheeks are now shallow, especially on my left cheek. Also had deep scars on both temples. But they now look shallow and some of them are gone! :)

I was very worried at first because my scabs didn't start peeling off on day 3 or 4 as I had read from others who used TCA. Mine took longer. By day 10 or 11, 80% of the scabs had peeled off. 

I will follow this up with another TCA 50% application sometime this year (maybe two months from now), but I won't do the entire face anymore. Just the few ones on my right cheek that I think will yield even greater results with a second TCA50 application. Also, I will derma stamp some of the now shallow scars like the one near my chin. But I have to allow my skin to recover first for, at least, two months.   

A million thanks to all who gave me advice and well-wishes. I appreciate them very much. Thank you and best of luck to you.

JD

day9.thumb.png.aa668532fdf7f397d041de71e8331040.png

day13-14.png

I used this kind of toothpick to apply TCA chemical on my scars. I was spot-peeling (not TCA cross). 

IMG_0203.thumb.JPG.711b58803be7adbff2230edaf1dc32b9.JPG
IMG_0204.thumb.JPG.707cd0770556ab53abb7dfe10120e38f.JPG

This is the Vaseline moisturizer that I'm using.

IMG_0205.thumb.JPG.7abfe06ea6dd4bb494bddfeeb57782fc.JPG

Edited by johndavid78

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Posted
@johndavid78 Much kudos to the great outcome (and many sleepless nights that paid off :) ).

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Posted

Glad things ultimately worked out.   I think giving it several months to recover is a good idea.  I still think it's way too early to judge how it will ultimately look.   There may still be some swelling and inflammation.   I agree it is wise to do a few scars next time instead of your entire face.  It will make the recovery a lot less stressful and minimize risks.  Maybe even entertain doing a lower percentage.  You may have to do more, but it may be safer.  

Do you have any true before photos showing the scars?

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Do a lower percentage, don't do 50% tca application. As others have said, allow several months for healing and collegen promotion. I'm glad to hear things are looking better. 

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