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Valters Stojass

How can I improve my skin after TCA cross treatment

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Dear Doctors,

Hope you are well. 6 month ago TCA Cross was performed on me buy using needle. My skin was numbed, but I experienced agonising pain at every appliance although Dr sad it was performed only with mild 30% concentration and was very lightly injected/scratched on top layer of the skin. It was healing for next few months and now I have left with much deeper and wider scaring and very uneven skin all over my cheeks. Can someone please explain what went wrong and what could be cause of complications and what can I do to fix it? :smileys_n_people_15:





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Hi, we are not doctors! We are just normal people, or patients of doctors, if you will. :)

There are no guarantees with TCA Cross. The theory is that TCA Cross will make your scars shallower but at the same time have the possibility of widening your scars. This is why it's important for the doctor to know how to apply the TCA. Even so, scars can still widen. It's been said that after Cross, your scars may look worse for the first several weeks but then get better. Let's hope this is the case.

I can only go off of what other people said about Cross. I haven't had success with TCA or Phenol Cross but have read stories of people getting improvement. 

I'm surprised that this happened with 30%.

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Hey man. I also had TCA cross so I understand you completely. I don't know if this will be of any help but here goes.


I had a lot of medium sized pitted scars from acne (anyone reading this, please tell kids to never pick and squeeze their zits) and ultimately chose cross as what seemed to be the closest thing to a solution. It was done with 100% TCA and I followed every rule of recovery. It took about 2 weeks for all scabs to fall off, never pull them off. I was very worried but very hopeful. Sure enough, after about 2 months the ice pick pits were completely gone, except one area. This was an area that had many pits and in my opinion the doctor should have done 50% of that area and then had me come back 3 months later to do the other 50% of that area. What happened is that all of that TCA in a single place the size of a dime was too much for my skin to overcome. The scarring took on the exact shape of yours.


So, here I was with a new face but a dime sized dent on one cheek... Not ideal.... Anyway, it took another 10 years for it to fill in to about 70% on it's own and I still wasn't happy. I saw another specialist who did subcision. He used a need under the scar to cut the filaments that tethered it. After that he injected a permanent filler to prompt up the scar. Now I have to be in "overhead" light to even see where it was.


You said your guy used 30% TCA which leads me to ask, where your dents there before or only after the treatment (my dent came from the TCA). I ask because I can't imagine that 30% would do the same kind of damage the 100% did on my dime sized area. Especially if he was just poking it with a needle. My used a super sharp toothpick and used great force to create the damage needed to force new fibroblasting.


Either way, my NEW problem was emerging.... The TCA killed the melanin producing cells and within 3 short years, all scarring (and newly flattened scars) turned ghostly white.... Not going to bore you with that battle but lets just say that tattoos where the answer...


The wide dents that you have are identical to the one I had and subcision was the answer for me. A scar is tethered by strings to your deeper tissue, like melting a piece of plastic to a table. The needle cuts those strings and free the scar which can then either look fine on it's own or need help from injectables like mine did.


To anyone thinking of getting TCA cross just know this, cross is done at 100%, otherwise it wouldn't do the damaged required for your body to created fibroblasts to fill the scar. It will create a new scar, even if it looks better than the original, there will be scar tissue. The point is for it to be flat, but dense scar remains. It will probably turn ghost white over the years and you will have to constantly even out your color (think Vitiligo) with makeup or tattoo it, which has to be done every 2-3 years because it fades.


If I had it to do over, I would have opted for the "hole punch" approach. That's where the doctor uses a hole punch to push a cylinder down around the circumference of your ice pick pitted scar and removes it completely, then either sews it up or introduces an identically sized piece of skin that was harvested somewhere else on your body.


I would look into the subcision/filler combo. If you read this reply, I'd like to know where you are now in this journey.



Edited by B. Power
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