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wombatstaywoke

Does anyone else do Phenol Peels aside from Dr. Rullan? Alternatives to Phenol Peel?

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I just got back to California and am planning my next round of subcision and Infini RF which will be about a four month time frame. Once my acne scars are leveled and evened as possible I'm looking to add phenol peel to help smooth out the rough and moon-cratered skin that I have. Someone had phenol done here by Dr. Rullan in Chula Vista/San Diego however I can't find the post. Their results were really good! 

I've noticed that the general consensus here is that Rullan is a great guy and an expert but he is just far too expensive whether it be subcision or phenol. I mean, $3,000 for a peel? I'm trying to see if there are any other dermatologists who perform this peel and if not that if there any other doctors who are knowledgeable on how to do it properly. I've heard that CO2 laser is a good option however I am of Asian descent and this could hinder my healing time.

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The phenol peel is actually $6000.

I did dermabrasion in 2017 and it cost $3000 maybe because of the general anesthesia, the result was less than thrilling because it's not a full face dermabrasion. Had to deal with 3 hypopigmentation areas which were the forehead and the 2 cheeks. Acne scars on the 2 cheeks had about 15-20% improvement, and the forehead was maybe 5-10%. The downtime was 3 months of not going anywhere because it was so red. I would say it took me about 6 months to fully socialize again. 

I did the phenol peel this year with Dr. Rullan. I think the price of $6000 is, compared to my dermabrasion, worth the money. It was a 2-day and (almost) full face resurfacing procedure, and I received better post-op care instructions than my dermabrasion one, not to mention the complimentary skincare products that were worth about $150. While recovering, my entire face looked like it got bad sunburn rather than having any procedures done. I also received subcision on day 1 of the procedure. I feel like I've got another 20% improvement out of this. 

In between the 2 procedures, I have also done 2 subcisions, 1 TCA Cross, 2 Phenol Cross, 1 superficial peel,  2 fillers. The phenol peel got rid of almost, if not all, of my fillers. I think it was a blessing because the areas where I got fillers got inflamed whenever I felt sick. 

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22 hours ago, quokka123 said:

I did the phenol peel this year with Dr. Rullan. I think the price of $6000 is, compared to my dermabrasion, worth the money. I feel like I've got another 20% improvement out of this. 

You paid $6000 for 1 session of Phenol that gave you only 20% improvement? Don't you think it"s overrated? I could probably get just as much improvement from TCA for less than $10.Not criticizing but, honestly, I am little upset. If you were spending that much money, the doctor should have GUARANTEED AT LEAST 50%. Otherwise it's a scam.

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2 hours ago, Sirius Lee said:

You paid $6000 for 1 session of Phenol that gave you only 20% improvement? Don't you think it"s overrated? I could probably get just as much improvement from TCA for less than $10.Not criticizing but, honestly, I am little upset. If you were spending that much money, the doctor should have GUARANTEED AT LEAST 50%. Otherwise it's a scam.

I think how much money should one spend on fixing their acne scars is subjective. For me, anything that can give me real results in fixing my acne scars is worth it. I am not well off or anything. In fact, most of my savings have been used for this purpose. I feel that it is a way for me to learn to love myself, and because I felt that I didn't take good care of myself or have a means to do so in the past. 

I am being realistic and conservative. I believe all the treatments combined have given me about 50% improvement, and there is a diminishing return whenever you treat acne scars, except for fillers. I would rather come see a qualified doctor than self-treat myself; tho I am guilty for buying a derminator and have never used it.

To me, spending $6000 in one session and expecting a guaranteed 50% improvement is unrealistic. For that I don't think I got scammed or should be upset.

 

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19 hours ago, quokka123 said:

To me, spending $6000 in one session and expecting a guaranteed 50% improvement is unrealistic. For that I don't think I got scammed or should be upset.

As posted earlier, I didn't mean to denigrate your choice of treatment. Everyone has the right to pursue whatever treatment they want and it's not for me to judge. But I have an issue with some of these unscrupulous doctors who charge ridiculous fees for overhyped procedures that underperform. From past experience, the doctor would have known the expected outcome would yield only 20% improvement and yet he charges a premium. To me, that's unethical.

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22 hours ago, quokka123 said:

I think how much money should one spend on fixing their acne scars is subjective. For me, anything that can give me real results in fixing my acne scars is worth it. I am not well off or anything. In fact, most of my savings have been used for this purpose. I feel that it is a way for me to learn to love myself, and because I felt that I didn't take good care of myself or have a means to do so in the past. 

I am being realistic and conservative. I believe all the treatments combined have given me about 50% improvement, and there is a diminishing return whenever you treat acne scars, except for fillers. I would rather come see a qualified doctor than self-treat myself; tho I am guilty for buying a derminator and have never used it.

To me, spending $6000 in one session and expecting a guaranteed 50% improvement is unrealistic. For that I don't think I got scammed or should be upset.

 

Do you have before and after pics 

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3 hours ago, quokka123 said:

Took me a long time to find these pictures. All are left side.

2017 photos were taken right before dermabrasion and can be served as base line.

Other than the pigmentation, that's a big improvement. Your boxcars are pretty much nonexistent. Now they appear as shallow rolling scars. I guess the investment paid off quite well. Good job.

I believe this should be the roadmap to follow for those who are on a similar journey. You'll want to blunt the edges as much as possible and then get a filler for the center.

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1 hour ago, Sirius Lee said:

Other than the pigmentation, that's a big improvement. Your boxcars are pretty much nonexistent. Now they appear as shallow rolling scars. I guess the investment paid off quite well. Good job.

I believe this should be the roadmap to follow for those who are on a similar journey. You'll want to blunt the edges as much as possible and then get a filler for the center.

Thank you, I appreciate your encouragement. In those 1 month after phenol photos, I did put on sunscreen. I believe it made my skin appear smoother than it actually was.

I actually got more improvement on my cheeks and even my temples, but the forehead and the area between my eyebrows were so hard to get good results which brought my perceived improvement to only 20%. 

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Super curious to see how your skin is after it goes back to normal.  Going to pull the trick on a trip to rullan sometime within the next 4-5 months.  If what I am seeing is the actual final result I would say you got a lot more than 20%. 

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12 hours ago, quokka123 said:

Thank you, I appreciate your encouragement. In those 1 month after phenol photos, I did put on sunscreen. I believe it made my skin appear smoother than it actually was.

I actually got more improvement on my cheeks and even my temples, but the forehead and the area between my eyebrows were so hard to get good results which brought my perceived improvement to only 20%. 

I must have missed something. So you got your phenol only recently? I mistakenly thought you had your treatments back in 2017. Have you received ANY treatments within the last 6 months? Anything you see under 6 months is unreliable IMO. Still, looks very good so far.

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I'd have to agree with people on "Do It Yourself" treatments. I've bought 100% TCA from Amazon, and got some minor results. However one scar definitely got worse when I put too much acid on it, so it is risky. You don't want the toothpick to be drippy, it should be just barely damp with acid.100% TCA should be used with extreme caution though, I think I have thick skin (at least physically) so it doesn't damage me as much. I did 70% before and it didn't do anything to the scars.

 

I also tried doing subcision and suction on myself after applying some TCA on atrophic scars and the results were much better. I literally just jammed a sewing needle horizontally under the scars in 8 different directions until i heard the scar bonds pop. This of course is very painful and insane, but I am very desperate for results . Then after a few hours I applied those facial suction cups(also from Amazon) for about 10 minutes regularly, and repeated the suction cupping process for several days. I didn't forget to regularly disinfect my material and face cause this whole thing is a swollen bloody mess. I don't have any pictures though so most probably won't believe me.

 

I think the results of self treating are much better, more rewarding and most importantly cheaper. I went to a few doctors and the results were disappointing. You can tell they are trying to sell you stuff you don't need, and their before-after pictures are almost always in different lighting, or they take your after picture when you are still swollen. It makes me think this whole scar revision industry is a scam. It's like dealing with car salesmen, but they touch your face, so it feels weird being stern with them. Of course some people are just lucky with their results, but don't forget these doctors are after your money and the costs are going up. They seem to relish in the increasing rates of acne in the population over time. They do little to prevent it.

 

I don't think most kids realize that cystic acne can cause permanent scarring. Nobody told me that, but they did tell me to drink milk to be healthy, and here I am. You can't depend on accutane to fix your acne, just like you can't depend on anti-depressants to fix your depression. The doctors hate it when you fix your acne without accutane, they make a lot money selling those drugs, but I can understand there might be a few exceptions where accutane must be used. But damn man, the diet of modern civilization really screwed me over. It didn't take drugs or alcohol, I never took those, it was just milk. When did dairy suddenly become evil?

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On 6/3/2020 at 11:27 AM, Sirius Lee said:

I must have missed something. So you got your phenol only recently? I mistakenly thought you had your treatments back in 2017. Have you received ANY treatments within the last 6 months? Anything you see under 6 months is unreliable IMO. Still, looks very good so far.

You are right. Micro swelling is gonna last for a while. I will share some progress when the redness subsides and the micro swelling is gone. 

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Thanks for sharing. Look forward to tracking your progress and seeing the time frame for when demarcation lines fade and pigment returns. Your skin looks much smoother and shallow scars look nonexistent, well over 20% improvement in my opinion. 

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On 6/4/2020 at 12:47 AM, Scarmony said:

I'd have to agree with people on "Do It Yourself" treatments. I've bought 100% TCA from Amazon, and got some minor results. However one scar definitely got worse when I put too much acid on it, so it is risky

How many applications? It's premature to jump to any conclusion after only 1 application. You will need at least 3 to see any result. Also, even though it's tempting, I don't advise anyone to use 100% on their first application, especially if you've never had any treatments in the past. Start out at lower concentration like 20% then work yourself up.

 

On 6/4/2020 at 12:47 AM, Scarmony said:

I also tried doing subcision and suction on myself after applying some TCA on atrophic scars and the results were much better. I literally just jammed a sewing needle horizontally under the scars in 8 different directions until i heard the scar bonds pop. This of course is very painful and insane, but I am very desperate for results .

This is insane. If you don't know much about facial anatomy, like arteries, nerves and tissues, you could permanently damage yourself. More importantly, if you go too deep, and it doesn't require much pressure, you could hit the fatty layer and cause fat necrosis (eg. fat loss of major proportion). This will leave you with a big crater on your face. 

image.png.19b0faaac194f033ef8049485c6a972b.png

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I started with 70% for 3 months and got negligible results then I moved up to 100% TCA, and there have been some improvements on the ice pick scars. I only insert the needle under the scars. I am not shoving the needles deeply, just parallel to the skin. The needle enters and exits from one side of the scar to the opposing side. Seems to work for me. I think the suction part is important too. It turned my deep boxcar scars into shallow rolling scars.

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4 hours ago, Sirius Lee said:

I also tried doing subcision and suction on myself after applying some TCA on atrophic scars and the results were much better. I literally just jammed a sewing needle horizontally under the scars in 8 different directions until i heard the scar bonds pop. This of course is very painful and insane, but I am very desperate for results .


@Scarmony Wow... I'm in nursing school and have some hypodermic needles and I actually tried to do the subcision myself. It's very nerve racking to do because of what @Sirius Lee said. If you're not well versed in the anatomy of the face and the different tissues you could do some serious damage. I have my next subcision next week, then in about two months time another round of Infini RF. Hopefully I can get some Phenol peel to fix my hyperpigmented face and even everything out. 

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24 minutes ago, wombatstaywoke said:


@Scarmony Wow... I'm in nursing school and have some hypodermic needles and I actually tried to do the subcision myself. It's very nerve racking to do because of what @Sirius Lee said. If you're not well versed in the anatomy of the face and the different tissues you could do some serious damage. I have my next subcision next week, then in about two months time another round of Infini RF. Hopefully I can get some Phenol peel to fix my hyperpigmented face and even everything out. 

If you quote somebody, please do it properly. Don't quote Scarmony using my nick.

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I feel like the intensity of my subcision method is being illustrated wrong. It is a small needle, and the procedure is similar to lancing a pimple, but I am lancing underneath individual scars in multiple directions. It is like sideways microneedling. I am not shoving a big needle down and scraping the insides of my cheek like a Nokor needle or Cannula needle. I believe that suctioning or filler is key to healing a subcised scar properly, subcision is useless without it.

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3 hours ago, Scarmony said:

I feel like the intensity of my subcision method is being illustrated wrong. It is a small needle, and the procedure is similar to lancing a pimple, but I am lancing underneath individual scars in multiple directions. It is like sideways microneedling. I am not shoving a big needle down and scraping the insides of my cheek like a Nokor needle or Cannula needle. I believe that suctioning or filler is key to healing a subcised scar properly, subcision is useless without it.

I agree. I may try to subcise a scar tonight but I have my appointment soon. The dermatologist is an advocate of subcision+saline. I might do subcision+saline+suction but I don't know if that will affect my skin improvement. 

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On 6/3/2020 at 9:14 AM, quokka123 said:

Took me a long time to find these pictures. All are left side.

2017 photos were taken right before dermabrasion and can be served as base line.

[Edited image out]

[Edited image out]

[Edited image out]

2020 photos were taken 1 month after phenol peel.

[Edited image out]

 

[Edited image out]

Couldn't find any good pictures after dermabrasion; all were super red and raw. 

 

I see where you are coming from. I had been doing research by monitoring this forum especially those who had done this procedure before. When I decided to move forward with this treatment, I was totally expecting to get up to another 20% improvement out of the phenol peel based on reviews from other members. However, I was still disappointed because I secretly wished the improvement could be higher.  

I did post some. Forgot to quote yours.

Do you have Asian skin? I can't tell. I'm full SE Asian, my face is really dark (practically black from sports) but my chest and upper arms which are untanned from years of t-shirts are pale. I've been denied for a lot of procedures. Which doctor did you get phenol from?

Edited by Vincci
Edited images out - broken.
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On 6/1/2020 at 11:34 PM, Sirius Lee said:

You paid $6000 for 1 session of Phenol that gave you only 20% improvement? Don't you think it"s overrated? I could probably get just as much improvement from TCA for less than $10.Not criticizing but, honestly, I am little upset. If you were spending that much money, the doctor should have GUARANTEED AT LEAST 50%. Otherwise it's a scam.

I couldn't agree more! How any doctor could charge so much for an ineffective treatment which gives you only 20% improvement at best and has so many potential complications is beyond me. Ok, Dr Rullan has gained some expertise in the scar correction field, but does this give him the right to twist the hands of his patients with his extraorbitant prices? It' neither moral nor ethical. Dr Chu might have been everything but at least he had compassion with the suffering of his scar patients and charged normal affordable prices. 6000 k for a peeling is insane!

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8 minutes ago, MihaelaP said:

I couldn't agree more! How any doctor could charge so much for an ineffective treatment which gives you only 20% improvement at best and has so many potential complications is beyond me. Ok, Dr Rullan has gained some expertise in the scar correction field, but does this give him the right to twist the hands of his patients with his extraorbitant prices? It' neither moral nor ethical. Dr Chu might have been everything but at least he had compassion with the suffering of his scar patients and charged normal affordable prices. 6000 k for a peeling is insane!

Wait, so it a consensus that acne scar sufferers should NOT get the phenol peel if it's only going to provide 20%? I remmeber my first subcision and Infini sessions that were four weeks a part and almost cried when I saw like 40% improvement. They even looked less shallow under harsh lighting. 

I feel like we should even be talking about phenol then if it's only going to provide that much benefit for that amount of money. 

I myself don't even want to go to Rullan because he charges way too much just for the consultation fee. His subcision prices are fcking ridiculous as well. Almost $1,300 for the whole face once I was quoted. 

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20 minutes ago, wombatstaywoke said:

Wait, so it a consensus that acne scar sufferers should NOT get the phenol peel if it's only going to provide 20%? I remmeber my first subcision and Infini sessions that were four weeks a part and almost cried when I saw like 40% improvement. They even looked less shallow under harsh lighting. 

I feel like we should even be talking about phenol then if it's only going to provide that much benefit for that amount of money. 

I myself don't even want to go to Rullan because he charges way too much just for the consultation fee. His subcision prices are fcking ridiculous as well. Almost $1,300 for the whole face once I was quoted. 

I never said you should NOT have the phenol peel, I agreed with the comment above that in my books it's unethical to charge such money for a procedure that gives only 20% (at best) improvement. As you said his prices are insanely high. It's hand twisting. I am just questioning the moral of this doctor who puts financial profit over the care and compassion for the patient. 

As you said you can go to another specialist who offers the same treatments for normal prices. As experienced as he can be, he's not a heart surgeon. All he does is insert a needle( subcision) or apply acid. Any responsible and capable dermatologist with a bit of experience can do this. Rullan or Lim or anybody are not the wholy grail of doctors, sorry!

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35 minutes ago, wombatstaywoke said:

Wait, so it a consensus that acne scar sufferers should NOT get the phenol peel if it's only going to provide 20%? I remmeber my first subcision and Infini sessions that were four weeks a part and almost cried when I saw like 40% improvement. They even looked less shallow under harsh lighting. 

I feel like we should even be talking about phenol then if it's only going to provide that much benefit for that amount of money. 

I myself don't even want to go to Rullan because he charges way too much just for the consultation fee. His subcision prices are fcking ridiculous as well. Almost $1,300 for the whole face once I was quoted. 

Wow, 40% improvement from subcision and Infini RF is amazing. When did you have it done? Is the result still at 40% now? 

I'm interested in having similar combination treatment - sub plus Genius RF. What would you say improved by the Infini treatment the most? My doctor who I consulted about Genius said that small pored, ice picks and box car scars would improve with Genius so that we dont really need TCA cross. 

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