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Just had TCA cross done on some icepicks and large pores by a reputable dermatologist. When I say just, I mean I did them around 8 hours ago.
Is it normal that my open pores immediately look like icepick scars? They have frosted and then subsquently turned into deep pits. Is this normal? I know they are supposed to scab in a few days but they immediately look punctured and way worse then before.

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This seems normal. They can look bigger and wider, ... they will be red. We are raising the bed of the scar / pore. Multiple treatment are needed. At the end acid peels and or erbium laser resurfacing are needed for the texture, raise and resurface. 

Remember it's a slow process. 

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Thank you for your response
This is actually my fourth round of TCA w/ Prof Chu. I'm just confused as to why they actually look deeper (my problem area is actually the right side of the cheek where I have icepicks). This is the left side where I have open pores... I know they're supposed to be wider and redder, but is it normal that they look actually punctured? They only look  more punctured on the side where I have open pores, making it seem like I have icepicks scatterred across both cheeks.

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You say that this is your fourth round of TCA with Prof Chu. Is the current result/reaction different to what you experienced after previous sessions? Did you see positive results from the previous sessions. Perhaps you should post a current picture so that those with experience of TCA cross can better advise you.  I, like yourself am desperate to find an effective way of improving my acne scars and have considered both TCA Cross and scalpel excision. I was going to book a consultation with Prof Chu, I do hope that Beautifulambition is correct and that your scars improve with time. You have my best wishes.

If anyone can point me in the direction of examples of successful TCA Cross or scalpel excision treatments performed on large deep ice pick or boxcar scars, I would appreciate it. 

Edited by Tony Leo
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Please Go see Professor Chu, he is responsible for your after care. Again this is normal to look worse before better.  If you do not want to see him anymore please get a second opinion by another Dermatologist or plastic surgeon. 

TCA Cross as I said above. " This seems normal. They can look bigger and wider, ... they will be red. We are raising the bed of the scar / pore. Multiple treatment are needed. At the end acid peels and or erbium laser resurfacing are needed for the texture, raise and resurface. Remember it's a slow process. " - We are talking months between in the process to heal, ... this is not a quick thing. You can look worse before better. Anyone who does 4 rounds had to see some improvement prior. 

Large deep boxcars if they are wide enough can need the following: paint on or spot peel acid to the bed of the scar, laser - angled to the border wall only of the scar (only if it's wide enough). Filler for chicken pox scars.Excision and TCA work for icepicks with low density or fraxel laser, rf needling also works to shrink pores. Your lifting the scar bed (several treatments) and resurfacing with peels and or laser resurfacing. 

There are hundreds of examples here of sucess, ... just search for icepicks. Search all the top 1% Dr's websites - treatment is tca cross for this, and finally white papers for icepicks. It all depends on how you heal, if it's poorly, few things will work, a confident top acne scar Dr will fix the issues you face. Now if they use overly large amounts of acid, drips, or poor technique - sure it can be a poor experience. We are not just putting acid on the skin - there is a skill. 


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I had three rounds of TCA cross with Dr Chu, i remember the first time I was shocked how much worse it looked in the hospital mirror. Deeper, wider, 'angrier'. The guy has done this many thousands of times, I'm sure he would've done everything right. Just give it time. 

@ Tony Leo, definitely go and see Dr Chu before considering excision. He said to me more that once that however skilled the surgeon, it's impossible to know for sure how an excision will heal. So there's always the risk that you end up looking worse. 

To both of you, i can definitely confirm that TCA can work. my worst scars are 70% improved and i dont even think about them any more really. 

I guess you must both have seen him at the place in chiswick, west london dermatology centre? as i understand he retired from hammersmith hospital..

Edited by BloomingWasp
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Yes, I have been going to West London Dermatology Centre in Chiswick since April now! Hard to quantify precisely how much they’ve improved, as they were actually deep icepick scars which were a result from a fraxel went wrong. Hence why I tend to get paranoid over treatments as my skin is quite thin and scar prone as is.
But I do feel like they have slightly raised and became wider with time, but only to a small extent. My friends can’t see a drastic change, but it’s still there and that’s why I keep going.
I definitely get a feeling he knows what he’s talking about and am quite confident in him, but getting a hold of him is always quite hard unless you schedule a followup or email his assistant. I’m going to wait as least a week or two to see how my skin responds as time progresses. So far, I’ve been keeping them moist with aloe vera gel and vaseline.

Also decided to avoid scab formation this time around. Professor Chu says to leave them as, but I was always exhilirated in healing process when I put a bit of makeup and my skin looked completely smooth due to the scabbing. I wonder how much better they’d heal if the brown spots turned into hyperpigmentation as opposed to having them fall off. I’ll see how it goes and might post pictures in a few months time, maybe that could herald even better results.

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