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MP28

At home scar improvement?

I’ve seen Dr. Rullan for my forehead acne scars twice. He recommended retin-a for collagen stimulation so I need to figure out a good gentle routine for that. Maybe just a couple times a week. I’m looking for other at home treatments to help texture and improve my scarring as much as possible, although I know results will be very minimal to Rullan’s scar treatments. Should I do once a month at-home peels? I’m not sure I want to get into any kind of microneedling since I had a bad experience a while back.

Thanks!!! 

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You will likely get better results from applying 20% TCA every 4 weeks than applying Retin-A nightly. Mind you, other than exfoliating your skin that might soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this will have no effect on your scars. Moreover, I don't think enough collagen could be stimulated with this option to notice much change. For any meaningful change to take place, you need to use at least 50% TCA. 

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I’m not expecting a change in my scars, really just the texture and overall complexion. Should I still use 50% TCA? What product do you recommend?

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13 hours ago, MP28 said:

I’m not expecting a change in my scars, really just the texture and overall complexion. Should I still use 50% TCA? What product do you recommend?

In that case, monthly 20% TCA or nightly Retin-A would suffice.

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3 hours ago, Sirius Lee said:

In that case, monthly 20% TCA or nightly Retin-A would suffice.

Do you have any particular TCA product links? And this is a TCA peel rather than like a pinpoint TCA cross right?

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3 hours ago, MP28 said:

Do you have any particular TCA product links? And this is a TCA peel rather than like a pinpoint TCA cross right?

I don't think I'm allowed to name any particular brand. But it doesn't matter any way. I've been buying mine from eBay and Amazon for over 2 years now and, frankly, I can't tell which is better or not. They all seem about the same. What I will emphasize is you buy a "medical grade".

Yes, this is a PEEL that you apply liberally all over your face. TCA 20% is too weak to be used as CROSS anyway.

 

Good luck.

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26 minutes ago, Sirius Lee said:

I don't think I'm allowed to name any particular brand. But it doesn't matter any way. I've been buying mine from eBay and Amazon for over 2 years now and, frankly, I can't tell which is better or not. They all seem about the same. What I will emphasize is you buy a "medical grade".

Yes, this is a PEEL that you apply liberally all over your face. TCA 20% is too weak to be used as CROSS anyway.

 

Good luck.

Ok great i’ll take a look. How does TCA compare to a glycolic peel or others?

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2 hours ago, MP28 said:

Ok great i’ll take a look. How does TCA compare to a glycolic peel or others?

Peeling Agents (in the order of increasing strength)

Glycolic acid is the most common peeling agent. It comes in different strengths and different pH levels (levels of acidity) which will determine how deep it penetrates and how much peeling you get. It can be used to treat fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, improvement of skin texture, skin brightening.

Salicylic acid is unique amongst the hydroxy acids in that it can penetrate deeper into the oil glands causing exfoliation even in the oily areas of the face and scalp, making it ideal for treating acne and oily skin.

Lactic acid occurs naturally in human skin and is also found in milk. It is less irritating than other AHAs and has a natural moisturising effect on the skin. It is ideal for skin brightening. It can be used to treat pigmentation, dry or dehydrated skin, sensitive skin, rosacea.

TCA or trichloroacetic acid is a stronger acid than glycolic. It penetrates deeper into the skin and is usually used for medium depth or deep peels although it can be used at a lower concentration in combination with other acids for a milder peel. It can be used to treat skin tightening, fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, large pores, hyperpigmentation.

Phenol or carbolic acid is found in Phenol peels and is the strongest type of peeling agent available. It is used for very deep peels. It can be used to treat deep lines and wrinkles, scarring, severe sun damage.

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12 hours ago, MP28 said:

Ok great i’ll take a look. How does TCA compare to a glycolic peel or others?

I suggest that you slowly work up to higher percentages when it comes to TCA peels. This is so you can see how much you peel/recover/pigment. At 15%, I peel a decent amount but good thing my co-workers know what I'm doing so I don't look like a total freak out of left field.

It's also a safety concern. You don't just jump into strong percentages with peels. Some people say that it's not safe to do peels over 30% at home. Up to you - there are risks.

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1 hour ago, Amanda Hall said:

I suggest that you slowly work up to higher percentages when it comes to TCA peels. This is so you can see how much you peel/recover/pigment. At 15%, I peel a decent amount but good thing my co-workers know what I'm doing so I don't look like a total freak out of left field.

It's also a safety concern. You don't just jump into strong percentages with peels. Some people say that it's not safe to do peels over 30% at home. Up to you - there are risks.

 

13 hours ago, Sirius Lee said:

I don't think I'm allowed to name any particular brand. But it doesn't matter any way. I've been buying mine from eBay and Amazon for over 2 years now and, frankly, I can't tell which is better or not. They all seem about the same. What I will emphasize is you buy a "medical grade".

Yes, this is a PEEL that you apply liberally all over your face. TCA 20% is too weak to be used as CROSS anyway.

 

Good luck.

How do you suggest I balance retin-a and peels? Tretinoin 2-3 times a week and then stop for a week before and after peels maybe? Seems hard to do both if i’m doing TCA peels once a month.

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2 hours ago, Amanda Hall said:

I suggest that you slowly work up to higher percentages when it comes to TCA peels. This is so you can see how much you peel/recover/pigment. At 15%, I peel a decent amount but good thing my co-workers know what I'm doing so I don't look like a total freak out of left field.

It's also a safety concern. You don't just jump into strong percentages with peels. Some people say that it's not safe to do peels over 30% at home. Up to you - there are risks.

Everyone is of course different so it would be advisable to experiment, starting from low concentration, and find your sweet spot. As for me, 20% is like water. Other than a minor sting, it does nothing.

 

1 hour ago, MP28 said:

How do you suggest I balance retin-a and peels? Tretinoin 2-3 times a week and then stop for a week before and after peels maybe? Seems hard to do both if i’m doing TCA peels once a month.

Again, depending on how you react to the TCA, you might not need to take any time off. If TCA is too weak and no peeling afterwards, then you can continue using Retin-A. If TCA is too strong and your skin peels, which can take up to 2 weeks, you need to adjust accordingly. Never use Retin-A while you're peeling.

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Peer-reviewed studies demonstrate that prescription retinoids can improve atrophic scarring. According to those studies, retinoids mainly improve ice pick scars and shallow scars. Retinoids aren't a miracle treatment, but they're an okay complimentary topical for atrophic scars. Did Dr. Rullan provide any instructions on the Retin-A? I don't want to supersede anything he said

At high concentrations, TCA CROSS is great for ice pick scarring. However, self-applying high concentrations of TCA is risky and potentially dangerous. If done improperly, it could result in worsened scars or even chemical burns. We aren't allowed to recommend it on this forum because or the potential side effects. TCA peels below 20% improve skin quality but don't reach the dermal layer. It's unlikely to help unless a scar is really superficial. AHA and BHA peels available OTC are unlikely to improve acne scars either

Edited by Skin Pessimist

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