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KRJP

Acne scarring help

Hello!

I've been dealing with a facial scarring issue that I'm working toward resolving. I'm writing to find out any information or insight anyone may have to offer.

In mid-2017, I started getting occasional pimples: I attributed this to a change in environment since I had recently moved. In 2019, I realized they were due to an allergic reaction I developed to my foundation (though I had been using it for years without problems).

However, in 2018 I was getting frustrated with the PIH from the pimples and none of the products I tried or natural remedies seemed to work well. Therefore, in November that year, I used MUAC’s Fade Serum. It was reviewed positively, and the product copy said that it was a safe way of reducing hyperpigmentation. I used it for 10 or 11 days, until I noticed skin indentations in the areas I applied the serum.

The experience traumatized me. It’s been a year and a half, and the damage is still there. I believe the marks are mostly ice pick scars, along with a couple of boxcar scars. I've visited several dermatologists and they have recommended several different things: microneedling, retinol, and lasers. After doing research online, lasers and retinol make me extremely wary.

I'm concerned about the risks and don't want the scarring to get worse. I would like to know how to fix my scarring, the likelihood of the scars going away, how long it might take, and what the risks are. I also want to know what I stand to gain from taking on any of those procedures as well as possible negative outcomes that could occur.

The situation has been very stressful and any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated. I've attached an image of the scarring below. Thank you so much for your time.
 

Screenshot_2020-07-06-01-55-41.png

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Your scarring is very mild. I wouldn't do anything more than a light TCA peel at home or potentially dermastamping. Topicals might even help. Definitely wouldn't do lasers or anything invasive.  

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3 hours ago, KRJP said:

The experience traumatized me. It’s been a year and a half, and the damage is still there. I believe the marks are mostly ice pick scars, along with a couple of boxcar scars. I've visited several dermatologists and they have recommended several different things: microneedling, retinol, and lasers. After doing research online, lasers and retinol make me extremely wary.

I'm concerned about the risks and don't want the scarring to get worse. I would like to know how to fix my scarring, the likelihood of the scars going away, how long it might take, and what the risks are. I also want to know what I stand to gain from taking on any of those procedures as well as possible negative outcomes that could occur.

First, lighten up. What you have is nothing compared to other congregants. They're so few in number I can practically count every scar. 

Your scars are superficial, but not shallow enough to be treated with standard microneedling or retinol. You might be able to derive some benefit from laser. But what I suggest is 70% TCA cross instead. Ask your derm about its availability. Good luck.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the constructive responses.

I'm aware that my scarring is mild. Most people can't notice it unless I specifically point it out. However, I have always had unscarred skin until this incident, and the experience was traumatic. Severity of scarring isn't the only thing that dictates how people feel in regards to it.

I would like to treat my scarring in an effective but as low-risk way as possible.

And no, I'm not breaking out. I haven't had any breakouts (knock on wood) since I stopped using foundation.

IMG_12331.jpg

IMG_12391_2.jpg

Edited by KRJP

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14 hours ago, KRJP said:

I would like to treat my scarring in an effective but as low-risk way as possible.

 

Answer: Dermal fillers. Your scars are hardly noticeable and one syringe of filler is enough to cover them. However, this is a temporary fix. 

For those who are risk averse, sorry to inform you but scar revision comes with a high cost, both financially and risk-wise. All invasive treatments involve risks. There's no way around it. If you can't any potential risk, the next best alternative is to learn to live with your scars.

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I see. I am trying to weigh the risks in my mind, which is why I'm gathering as much info as possible right now.

I spoke to Dr. Novick and he suggested TCA Cross. What is the risk profile of TCA Cross vs microneedling in the affected areas?

For more information, my icepick scars apparently look just like slightly enlarged pores to people I've asked, so I suppose they're not very deep.

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10 minutes ago, KRJP said:

For more information, my icepick scars apparently look just like slightly enlarged pores to people I've asked, so I suppose they're not very deep.

Well, technically, icepick is deep and narrow, whereas boxcar is shallower than icepick but wider. Yours is more of a shallow boxcar. 

 

12 minutes ago, KRJP said:

I spoke to Dr. Novick and he suggested TCA Cross. What is the risk profile of TCA Cross vs microneedling in the affected areas?

TCA works on top of the skin, whereas microneedling works from below. TCA is a chemical peel. It works by removing the skin layer in the hopes of rejuvenating new collagen. Think of it as bad case of sunburn. There will be swelling and redness that can linger for up to 10 days or more. With radiofrequency microneedling, there will be some bleeding, swelling, redness, and grid marks (like lasers) which also can last for 10 days or more.

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The lighting and angle are probably the issues here. I have two boxcars as identified by dermatologists I've seen. There rest are icepicks. One of the two boxcars might be somewhere between that and a rolling scar since it has slightly sloping edges.

Here are shots from a medium distance.

image.png.6c48ce0cec64533a9b9e65b8b33662aa.png

Front: No scarring.

image.png.31d8c175d0cf96876337ee862cd56a72.png

Left Side: There's a small cluster -- a few icepicks and a wider boxcar. The boxcar is probably the deepest mark I have.

image.png.d83fcfd45b2338286284f257a34d555e.png

Right Side: A boxcar/rolling scar near the center, and some scattered icepicks. This side is what bothers me.

I'm unlikely to get fillers. I'm risk-averse, but if I was completely unwilling to take risks, I wouldn't be here, I just need to have enough information and time to make an informed decision. I also think it's possible to get good results from less aggressive methods. Aren't there people who have had success with weaker chemical peels?

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On 7/13/2020 at 8:44 PM, KRJP said:

The lighting and angle are probably the issues here. I have two boxcars as identified by dermatologists I've seen. There rest are icepicks. One of the two boxcars might be somewhere between that and a rolling scar since it has slightly sloping edges.

Here are shots from a medium distance.

image.png.6c48ce0cec64533a9b9e65b8b33662aa.png

Front: No scarring.

image.png.31d8c175d0cf96876337ee862cd56a72.png

Left Side: There's a small cluster -- a few icepicks and a wider boxcar. The boxcar is probably the deepest mark I have.

image.png.d83fcfd45b2338286284f257a34d555e.png

Right Side: A boxcar/rolling scar near the center, and some scattered icepicks. This side is what bothers me.

I'm unlikely to get fillers. I'm risk-averse, but if I was completely unwilling to take risks, I wouldn't be here, I just need to have enough information and time to make an informed decision. I also think it's possible to get good results from less aggressive methods. Aren't there people who have had success with weaker chemical peels?

With your scars, do not do anything drastic like fractional CO2 laser. Lasers have a high risk of giving you additional scars. The benefits may be more beneficial but there are lots and lots of cases of unsuccessful treatments. 

What about TCA peels? They may be a modest improvement over a long time but I think it's safer than TCA Cross. You can alternate TCA peels and microneedling every month.

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On 7/13/2020 at 6:35 AM, KRJP said:

I see. I am trying to weigh the risks in my mind, which is why I'm gathering as much info as possible right now.

I spoke to Dr. Novick and he suggested TCA Cross. What is the risk profile of TCA Cross vs microneedling in the affected areas?

For more information, my icepick scars apparently look just like slightly enlarged pores to people I've asked, so I suppose they're not very deep.

The risk of TCA cross is widening the scar and PIH, i red that no doctor in the world evene the best can guarantee it doesnt happen.

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Posted (edited)

Hi

Your scars are really very minor. I understand that the experience of getting them was traumatic and that they affect your confidence, but they are really very minor. 

I wouldn't do anything drastic if I were you. Beware: there are people on this site who recommend treatments/ combination of treatments but actually they are getting paid for referring people from the forum to the "top" doctors!!

You seem to have very few very suprerficial ice picks and boxcar scars. Very superficial! But if they really reall bother you imho TCA CROSS could help. But make sure you find a very good specialist, ask for a consultation and for 1 scar to be treated probatorily so that you can see what to expect. 

You can also try glycolic or light TCA peelings. I would stay away from fractional lasers. Lots of doctors promise you miracles, but I've never seen real proof in form of photos or personal accounts of success stories with lasers. Makes you wonder why, doesn't it? 

Anyway, I understand that any facial scarring is stressful on the psyche and confidence, but you should consider yourself lucky you don't have it bad. 

Edited by MihaelaP

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On 7/18/2020 at 10:10 AM, kitsliv45 said:

@KRJP don't see Dr. Novick for treatments. I along with many others on this forum have had bad experiences with him. 

Could you detail those experiences? Initially, he was responsive to my emails, but also came across as somewhat arrogant and impatient.

22 hours ago, Amanda Hall said:

With your scars, do not do anything drastic like fractional CO2 laser. Lasers have a high risk of giving you additional scars. The benefits may be more beneficial but there are lots and lots of cases of unsuccessful treatments. 

What about TCA peels? They may be a modest improvement over a long time but I think it's safer than TCA Cross. You can alternate TCA peels and microneedling every month.

I've never done a chemical peel before, actually. Is it possible to treat just the problematic area with a TCA peel, or would it need to be administered on my entire face? I also would prefer to seek out a specialist for any treatments -- microneedling included -- since I can afford them and don't really trust myself with anything.

I also currently live in Japan, and I'm wary of getting treatments done here -- the level of information doctors have re: scar revision seems to be fairly low.

21 hours ago, Miro said:

The risk of TCA cross is widening the scar and PIH, i red that no doctor in the world evene the best can guarantee it doesnt happen.

How often does widening occur, percentage wise? I've heard that TCA Cross can be more risky in Fitzpatrick skin types IV and above.

19 hours ago, MihaelaP said:

Your scars are really very minor. I understand that the experience of getting them was traumatic and that they affect your confidence, but they are really very minor. 

I wouldn't do anything drastic if I were you. Beware: there are people on this site who recommend treatments/ combination of treatments but actually they are getting paid for referring people from the forum to the "top" doctors!!

You seem to have very few very suprerficial ice picks and boxcar scars. Very superficial! But if they really reall bother you imho TCA CROSS could help. But make sure you find a very good specialist, ask for a consultation and for 1 scar to be treated probatorily so that you can see what to expect. 

Thanks for your kind words. I do realize it could be worse. I am currently 33, and I was lucky until 30-31; I never had any real acne or skin issues to contend with. But because of that, my measuring stick is different. The way in which my scarring occurred also still baffles me.

I only had three or four blemishes on the right side of my face prior to using the Fade Serum. After it, I ended up with scars all over the areas where I applied the product. It was a very scary experience. I don't understand how it happened, and I don't think it "exfoliated" my skin to show scarring, which is what the company believed.

I've getting some recs for TCA CROSS, and some for TCA peels. Which of the two is more likely to help me? And I've heard Phenol Cross is quite similar -- any more info on that?

Also, should I see Dr. Rullan?

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3 hours ago, KRJP said:

 

how i dont know, but it happens, its not that rare

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4 hours ago, KRJP said:

Could you detail those experiences? Initially, he was responsive to my emails, but also came across as somewhat arrogant and impatient.

I've never done a chemical peel before, actually. Is it possible to treat just the problematic area with a TCA peel, or would it need to be administered on my entire face? I also would prefer to seek out a specialist for any treatments -- microneedling included -- since I can afford them and don't really trust myself with anything.

I also currently live in Japan, and I'm wary of getting treatments done here -- the level of information doctors have re: scar revision seems to be fairly low.

How often does widening occur, percentage wise? I've heard that TCA Cross can be more risky in Fitzpatrick skin types IV and above.

Thanks for your kind words. I do realize it could be worse. I am currently 33, and I was lucky until 30-31; I never had any real acne or skin issues to contend with. But because of that, my measuring stick is different. The way in which my scarring occurred also still baffles me.

I only had three or four blemishes on the right side of my face prior to using the Fade Serum. After it, I ended up with scars all over the areas where I applied the product. It was a very scary experience. I don't understand how it happened, and I don't think it "exfoliated" my skin to show scarring, which is what the company believed.

I've getting some recs for TCA CROSS, and some for TCA peels. Which of the two is more likely to help me? And I've heard Phenol Cross is quite similar -- any more info on that?

Also, should I see Dr. Rullan?

TCA peel can be done on just the spots. When I did it, it took 3-5 days for the skin to start peeling. If you do your entire face, you'll have much more peeling skin. From my experience, it's not worth all the skin peeling if you only have certain spots to treat. More peeling means more frustration.

If you want to have it done professionally, go for it. It's your money. Doing it yourself isn't that hard but I've read here that the highest percentage you should do yourself is 24-30%. Work your way up and be smart about it - don't just jump into 30% for a TCA peel. Start with 8-12% with one layer and see how you react.

Microneedling can be done by a professional but I don't think it's worth it even if you have the money. The aesthetician or nurse that I saw did it really aggressively on me and I got new scars because of it. Get the Derminator II and do it yourself. Since money isn't an issue for you, looking into RF microneedling. Infini was highly talked about (provided the operator doesn't go past 2.5mm). There are others but I don't have experience with them.

Can't give you a percentage of TCA widening but it's bound to happen if you keep doing it. The best scars are ice pick and narrow boxcar scars. I had Phenol Cross done and I saw a few slightly improve but about the same amount worsen.

I saw Dr. Rullan for Phenol Cross. I pointed out a few wide boxcar scars that I thought could be treated with carbolic acid but they ended up getting wider or deeper. I'm surprised he didn't stop me and said that those weren't good scars to treat. That being said, I still think Phenol Cross is a tad safer than TCA Cross. Again, there are risks to both Phenol and TCA, despite what Dr. Rullan or YouTubers tell you.

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22 minutes ago, Amanda Hall said:

TCA peel can be done on just the spots. When I did it, it took 3-5 days for the skin to start peeling. If you do your entire face, you'll have much more peeling skin. From my experience, it's not worth all the skin peeling if you only have certain spots to treat. More peeling means more frustration.

If you want to have it done professionally, go for it. It's your money. Doing it yourself isn't that hard but I've read here that the highest percentage you should do yourself is 24-30%. Work your way up and be smart about it - don't just jump into 30% for a TCA peel. Start with 8-12% with one layer and see how you react.

It won't make your skin look uneven if you do a peel only in one area, even repeatedly?

I'd like to not treat the front of my face and most of the left side, so being able to spot treat sounds good. Would it be better to have TCA CROSS done once and then a TCA peel after?

Also, I thought that the results of chemical peels are often heavily dependent on the skill level of the person applying it.

25 minutes ago, Amanda Hall said:

Microneedling can be done by a professional but I don't think it's worth it even if you have the money. The aesthetician or nurse that I saw did it really aggressively on me and I got new scars because of it. Get the Derminator II and do it yourself. Since money isn't an issue for you, looking into RF microneedling. Infini was highly talked about (provided the operator doesn't go past 2.5mm). There are others but I don't have experience with them.

Interesting! So you're saying that you wouldn't recommend microneedling at a doctor's office, or you wouldn't recommend it for the most part? Since RF microneedling involves energy devices, isn't there a higher chance of something going wrong? What could RF microneedling do for icepicks that normal microneedling and TCA CROSS/peels don't, in particular?

27 minutes ago, Amanda Hall said:

Can't give you a percentage of TCA widening but it's bound to happen if you keep doing it. The best scars are ice pick and narrow boxcar scars. I had Phenol Cross done and I saw a few slightly improve but about the same amount worsen.

I saw Dr. Rullan for Phenol Cross. I pointed out a few wide boxcar scars that I thought could be treated with carbolic acid but they ended up getting wider or deeper. I'm surprised he didn't stop me and said that those weren't good scars to treat. That being said, I still think Phenol Cross is a tad safer than TCA Cross. Again, there are risks to both Phenol and TCA, despite what Dr. Rullan or YouTubers tell you.

Yikes. I'm sorry for your experience. That must have been awful. Pedantic question: how narrow is narrow for boxcar scars?

I've looked for befores/afters with TCA CROSS/Phenol Cross, and there aren't enough quality photographs to really show me the difference over time. I'm also surprised that you say TCA widening is bound to happen. A lot of posts and comments on this forum have people saying that TCA almost completely fixed their scars. Sometimes in the process of doing research, you end up with so many conflicting anecdotes and experiences that you end up not knowing what to believe, and that can be really disheartening.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, KRJP said:

 

Interesting! So you're saying that you wouldn't recommend microneedling at a doctor's office, or you wouldn't recommend it for the most part? Since RF microneedling involves energy devices, isn't there a higher chance of something going wrong? What could RF microneedling do for icepicks that normal microneedling and TCA CROSS/peels don't, in particular?

 

I've looked for befores/afters with TCA CROSS/Phenol Cross, and there aren't enough quality photographs to really show me the difference over time. I'm also surprised that you say TCA widening is bound to happen. A lot of posts and comments on this forum have people saying that TCA almost completely fixed their scars. Sometimes in the process of doing research, you end up with so many conflicting anecdotes and experiences that you end up not knowing what to believe, and that can be really disheartening.

Microneedling RF is practicly Dermastamp with adjustable lenght of needles for diff parts of face/ body, the difference is that it delivers RF into the skin, so risks are the same as with dermastamp + energy can burn your skin or melt your fat that means a lot higher than dermastamp, if someone had problem with stamping devices as it gave him more scars or gave him enlarged pores, he could have the same problem with Infini or Genius .

 

Yes many people claim many things, many doctors claim many things, just when you start to look for photos or another proof well suddenly you realize thats just a claim without supporting evidence behind it. 

Cross is risky procedure even with best doctor in the world.

I saw some before afters  online  where CROSS was performed by top acne scar specialist and you can clearly see some scars got wider. 

Also when theres someone who visited Dr Rulan and claims his scars got wider after Phenol cross, why would he / she lie ? It just happened , even if Dr Rulan says it doesnt happen with phenol 

Edited by Miro

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, KRJP said:

Could you detail those experiences? Initially, he was responsive to my emails, but also came across as somewhat arrogant and impatient.

I've never done a chemical peel before, actually. Is it possible to treat just the problematic area with a TCA peel, or would it need to be administered on my entire face? I also would prefer to seek out a specialist for any treatments -- microneedling included -- since I can afford them and don't really trust myself with anything.

I also currently live in Japan, and I'm wary of getting treatments done here -- the level of information doctors have re: scar revision seems to be fairly low.

How often does widening occur, percentage wise? I've heard that TCA Cross can be more risky in Fitzpatrick skin types IV and above.

Thanks for your kind words. I do realize it could be worse. I am currently 33, and I was lucky until 30-31; I never had any real acne or skin issues to contend with. But because of that, my measuring stick is different. The way in which my scarring occurred also still baffles me.

I only had three or four blemishes on the right side of my face prior to using the Fade Serum. After it, I ended up with scars all over the areas where I applied the product. It was a very scary experience. I don't understand how it happened, and I don't think it "exfoliated" my skin to show scarring, which is what the company believed.

I've getting some recs for TCA CROSS, and some for TCA peels. Which of the two is more likely to help me? And I've heard Phenol Cross is quite similar -- any more info on that?

Also, should I see Dr. Rullan?

Adult acne could be the result of many things - wrong cosmetics, wrong diet, hormonal changes, stress, etc. 

I would be very careful what products I use on my skin. Personally I stick only with recommendations of tried and tested by many forum members products. 

I've had TCA Cross done many times and didn't have any permanent widening of any scar but it's up to the skill of the doctor I guess. 

Dr Rullan is your best bet, imho. I would communicate my concerns about widening of the scars directly with him, ask him if it's worth the risk of treating them at all and what he can do to guarantee it doesn't happen/ minimize that risk. 

At my first paid consultation my doctor treated 2 of my icepicks without me asking him to do it so that I could see how my skin reacts and how he would treat if I decided to go ahead with the TCA cross. 

You could ask Rullan to do so too. After all you pay for this consult not a small amount of money. I know it's difficult to be demanding in front of doctors, but if you do it respectfully and explain your concerns it shouldn't be a problem.

Edited by MihaelaP

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11 hours ago, Miro said:

Microneedling RF is practicly Dermastamp with adjustable lenght of needles for diff parts of face/ body, the difference is that it delivers RF into the skin, so risks are the same as with dermastamp + energy can burn your skin or melt your fat that means a lot higher than dermastamp, if someone had problem with stamping devices as it gave him more scars or gave him enlarged pores, he could have the same problem with Infini or Genius .

Right, that's what I thought. I guess it's possible to deliver better results, but at the same time, the chances of something going wrong are also much higher.

 

11 hours ago, Miro said:

Yes many people claim many things, many doctors claim many things, just when you start to look for photos or another proof well suddenly you realize thats just a claim without supporting evidence behind it. 

Cross is risky procedure even with best doctor in the world.

I saw some before afters  online  where CROSS was performed by top acne scar specialist and you can clearly see some scars got wider. 

Also when theres someone who visited Dr Rulan and claims his scars got wider after Phenol cross, why would he / she lie ? It just happened , even if Dr Rulan says it doesnt happen with phenol 

Oh, I'm not claiming that people are lying. Perhaps my wording could have been clearer. What I'm trying to ascertain is how worthwhile it is to undertake X/Y/Z procedure, even with a top specialist. For example, many clinics will claim that the possibility of something going wrong is like 2%, when in reality, the possibility is much higher.

For example, in my emails with Dr. Novick, he said that the probability of scars widening with TCA CROSS was small enough to be statistically negligible. Now I can't believe that, judging from what people in this forum have said.

If 3 people out of a 1000 have a negative outcome, that's one thing. If 400 people have a negative outcome and 200 have a neutral one, that's entirely different.

Are TCA peels that much less risky than TCA CROSS?

3 hours ago, MihaelaP said:

Adult acne could be the result of many things - wrong cosmetics, wrong diet, hormonal changes, stress, etc. 

I would be very careful what products I use on my skin. Personally I stick only with recommendations of tried and tested by many forum members products.

Unfortunately, it was my foundation. I didn't realize that until much later. Like I mentioned in my top post, once I stopped using it, my breakouts stopped almost instantly. Trying not to beat myself up for not realizing it sooner.

 

3 hours ago, MihaelaP said:

I've had TCA Cross done many times and didn't have any permanent widening of any scar but it's up to the skill of the doctor I guess. 

Dr Rullan is your best bet, imho. I would communicate my concerns about widening of the scars directly with him, ask him if it's worth the risk of treating them at all and what he can do to guarantee it doesn't happen/ minimize that risk. 

At my first paid consultation my doctor treated 2 of my icepicks without me asking him to do it so that I could see how my skin reacts and how he would treat if I decided to go ahead with the TCA cross. 

You could ask Rullan to do so too. After all you pay for this consult not a small amount of money. I know it's difficult to be demanding in front of doctors, but if you do it respectfully and explain your concerns it shouldn't be a problem.

How many times did you have TCA CROSS done? And did you see a big improvement?

I definitely would not plan on having all of my skin treated without a patch test on one or two marks first. :) Are there any other things you can think of to minimize risk?

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3 hours ago, KRJP said:

Right, that's what I thought. I guess it's possible to deliver better results, but at the same time, the chances of something going wrong are also much higher.

 

Oh, I'm not claiming that people are lying. Perhaps my wording could have been clearer. What I'm trying to ascertain is how worthwhile it is to undertake X/Y/Z procedure, even with a top specialist. For example, many clinics will claim that the possibility of something going wrong is like 2%, when in reality, the possibility is much higher.

For example, in my emails with Dr. Novick, he said that the probability of scars widening with TCA CROSS was small enough to be statistically negligible. Now I can't believe that, judging from what people in this forum have said.

If 3 people out of a 1000 have a negative outcome, that's one thing. If 400 people have a negative outcome and 200 have a neutral one, that's entirely different.

Are TCA peels that much less risky than TCA CROSS?

Unfortunately, it was my foundation. I didn't realize that until much later. Like I mentioned in my top post, once I stopped using it, my breakouts stopped almost instantly. Trying not to beat myself up for not realizing it sooner.

 

How many times did you have TCA CROSS done? And did you see a big improvement?

I definitely would not plan on having all of my skin treated without a patch test on one or two marks first. :) Are there any other things you can think of to minimize risk?

I've done TCA peel 12-15% myself and didn't have issues. During my first time, I did the entire face and I didn't like that my skin was peeling off everywhere on my face. The second time was better because I only targeted my scars. Peeling was much easier but it's still annoying. I got slightly red after the application but the redness went away the next day or two for me. I'm about a Fitzpatrick III (not too light or dark and I do tan).

I did TCA Cross once but the dermatologist completely missed the scar or was too conservative. She applied TCA at the very border. Didn't see any results. I bled in that area which was surprisingly because I didn't know TCA could do that to you. Anyway, I was done with TCA once I found out about Dr. Rullan.

Dr. Rullan treated me several times. The first time went fine. The scars really do look worse for the first two or three weeks and then they look better after the redness goes away. So I thought I would target other scars - this was my mistake. For the second time, I asked him to treat wider boxcars and he did without any hesitation. Those got worse. 

Do I think you'll have the same results? Impossible to say. We have different skin and scars. Yours could turn out much better. I just want to let you know that even though the percentage of something bad happening is small, there's still a percentage. I'm not trying to dissuade you from getting it done. As mentioned, I said I do think Phenol Cross is safer but it's not without any risk. I still would go to Dr. Rullan if I decided to get any Cross treatment, but I wouldn't treat the bigger boxcar scars for myself.

Just to let you know, the concept of Cross is to reduce the depth of your scars. Theoretically, that widens the base according to the top dogs here. I don't get why Phenol wouldn't do that whereas TCA would. I'm not experience enough so hopefully someone else can comment.

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Why is everyone so afraid of TCA Cross? I've been doing DIY Cross using 100% for nearly 2 years and haven't ran into any serious problems. Yes, some scars have widen, but guess what? They've also gotten much shallower. So what do I do? I treat them some more, perhaps 80% next time, then 70%...until the scar either fills up or becomes "bearable". There's nothing to be afraid of. BTW TCA Cross is just a method. It's the concentration that matters. 

 

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1 hour ago, Sirius Lee said:

Why is everyone so afraid of TCA Cross? I've been doing DIY Cross using 100% for nearly 2 years and haven't ran into any serious problems. Yes, some scars have widen, but guess what? They've also gotten much shallower. So what do I do? I treat them some more, perhaps 80% next time, then 70%...until the scar either fills up or becomes "bearable". There's nothing to be afraid of. BTW TCA Cross is just a method. It's the concentration that matters. 

 

People are afraid of possible complications or making the condition worse then it was before treatment thats normal.

Well if you check google for TCA cross before after i dont blame em, you can hardly see any really good results.

Does anyone have pictures of before after TCA cross so we could see the reaults  ? 

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7 hours ago, KRJP said:

Right, that's what I thought. I guess it's possible to deliver better results, but at the same time, the chances of something going wrong are also much higher.

 

Oh, I'm not claiming that people are lying. Perhaps my wording could have been clearer. What I'm trying to ascertain is how worthwhile it is to undertake X/Y/Z procedure, even with a top specialist. For example, many clinics will claim that the possibility of something going wrong is like 2%, when in reality, the possibility is much higher.

For example, in my emails with Dr. Novick, he said that the probability of scars widening with TCA CROSS was small enough to be statistically negligible. Now I can't believe that, judging from what people in this forum have said.

If 3 people out of a 1000 have a negative outcome, that's one thing. If 400 people have a negative outcome and 200 have a neutral one, that's entirely different.

Are TCA peels that much less risky than TCA CROSS?

Unfortunately, it was my foundation. I didn't realize that until much later. Like I mentioned in my top post, once I stopped using it, my breakouts stopped almost instantly. Trying not to beat myself up for not realizing it sooner.

 

How many times did you have TCA CROSS done? And did you see a big improvement?

I definitely would not plan on having all of my skin treated without a patch test on one or two marks first. :) Are there any other things you can think of to minimize risk?

It was a new foundation that broke me out too. Dreadful. Unfortunately, in my case, I also had acne issues since my teenage years and couldn't control the outbreak so easily. 

I've had TCA CROSS done 4 times. I am happy with the results, the scars are still there if you look really closely but they have diminished in depth and size, in any way they all look better. Some have disappeared or look like scarred pores( I have many scars) 

What I've noticed is that he treated the scars very carefully. Wiped the acid out almost immediately and  just touched the base of the scar. The scabs that formed were rarely larger than a few millimeters, he was really very conservative and careful. What I see on pictures here of scabs going over the edges of the scar, large in diameter really freaks me out. I've never had this to be honest. 

33 minutes ago, Miro said:

People are afraid of possible complications or making the condition worse then it was before treatment thats normal.

Well if you check google for TCA cross before after i dont blame em, you can hardly see any really good results.

Does anyone have pictures of before after TCA cross so we could see the reaults  ? 

I don't have pictures because my scarring is severe and as a defense mechanism I avoided looking in large mirrors let alone taking photos, I'm working on overcoming this with a therapist now. 

However, I have seen many threads here with photos documenting good progress( if you want 100% improvement it's impossible, no doctor can give you a baby smooth face after acne scars). 

Also you can google clinical studies with TCA CROSS. The photos there show considerable improvement. 

Edited by MihaelaP

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5 hours ago, Amanda Hall said:

I did TCA Cross once but the dermatologist completely missed the scar or was too conservative. She applied TCA at the very border. Didn't see any results. I bled in that area which was surprisingly because I didn't know TCA could do that to you. Anyway, I was done with TCA once I found out about Dr. Rullan.

Dr. Rullan treated me several times. The first time went fine. The scars really do look worse for the first two or three weeks and then they look better after the redness goes away. So I thought I would target other scars - this was my mistake. For the second time, I asked him to treat wider boxcars and he did without any hesitation. Those got worse. 

Do I think you'll have the same results? Impossible to say. We have different skin and scars. Yours could turn out much better. I just want to let you know that even though the percentage of something bad happening is small, there's still a percentage. I'm not trying to dissuade you from getting it done. As mentioned, I said I do think Phenol Cross is safer but it's not without any risk. I still would go to Dr. Rullan if I decided to get any Cross treatment, but I wouldn't treat the bigger boxcar scars for myself.

Just to let you know, the concept of Cross is to reduce the depth of your scars. Theoretically, that widens the base according to the top dogs here. I don't get why Phenol wouldn't do that whereas TCA would. I'm not experience enough so hopefully someone else can comment.

Thanks for the information. This is all incredibly helpful. Would you say that TCA or Phenol yielded better results for you overall?

And I feel really stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. Like other people have said, my scarring is minor, so if I react well and the treatment is done skillfully, there's a chance I could feel much better about myself once the treatments are done. On the other hand, there's always the possibility that it could be bad too. I have a tendency towards catastrophic thinking, so stuff like this makes me nervous.

3 hours ago, Sirius Lee said:

Why is everyone so afraid of TCA Cross?

Because everyone feels sensitive when it comes to their own appearance. Nobody really wants their scarring to get worse, even in the interim.

1 hour ago, MihaelaP said:

It was a new foundation that broke me out too. Dreadful. Unfortunately, in my case, I also had acne issues since my teenage years and couldn't control the outbreak so easily. 

I've had TCA CROSS done 4 times. I am happy with the results, the scars are still there if you look really closely but they have diminished in depth and size, in any way they all look better. Some have disappeared or look like scarred pores( I have many scars) 

What I've noticed is that he treated the scars very carefully. Wiped the acid out almost immediately and  just touched the base of the scar. The scabs that formed were rarely larger than a few millimeters, he was really very conservative and careful. What I see on pictures here of scabs going over the edges of the scar, large in diameter really freaks me out. I've never had this to be honest. 

I'm really sorry to hear that. In my case, I had used the foundation for several years without problems, and tried changing everything else with no results. It was kind of like "...." when I stopped using the foundation and all of my skin problems stopped. It's possible I just developed an allergy to something in it. I feel really sad, since skin issues were a distant concept for me until now. (Sorry about the bellyaching.)

And I'm happy to hear that TCA CROSS worked well for you! Some of the scars completely disappeared? I know you said getting your skin 100% back to the way it was before is impossible, but does that mean 85-90% improvement is possible? I know this is all theoretical, but do you think I'd have a shot?

Hearing you describe the technique is also interesting; I think this is something best left to the experts for the reasons you mention.

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