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Femina Mala Est

More CROSS Before/After

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Edited and updated on 7/3/06

Okay, I've revamped my gallery and have made progress pics of each temple so you can see side-by-side exactly what kind of effect this treatment has had. I never have managed to get particularly good pictures of my forehead for whatever reason, so I'm just going to ignore that and track the progress of my temple scarring. Here are the new pics:

IPB Image

IPB Image

My exact regimen:

Use a sharpened toothpick, filed to different diameters for different scars sizes, to focally apply TCA to the center of each scar. If the scar is elongated or irregularly shaped, I will apply to multiple points within the scar, taking care not to get any acid outside of the scar edges. This is not always easy, as, although the scars appear to have very definite boundaries because of the tangential lighting I've used to highlight the depth of each, in bathroom lighting they are not so obviously defined. I hold the toothpick in the acid for about one minute prior to beginning and for 10-30 seconds between each scar crossing.

Immediately after I finish crossing every scar, which usually takes anywhere from two to three hours, I apply hyaluronic acid serum to my forehead and temples, followed several minutes afterward by neosporin ointment. In the days following treatment, I continue to apply neosporin ointment three to four times a day for several days until scabs form. Once scabs have formed, I stop using the ointment and begin my regular daily routine of washing and moisturizing twice a day. The moisturizer I use in the morning is ReVive Sensitif, in the evening ReVive Moisturizing Renewal Cream.

[A note about these creams: They are EGF, containing epidermal growth factor, and the MRC also contains glycolic acid. Past members of this board have had success with cross while using EGF creams. This is a very expensive cream and am not endorsing it. I have never crossed without it, so I cannot do a comparison of how a scar heals while using it vs. how a scar heals without using it. I was prepared to spend several thousand dollars on scar revision until I learned of this cheap, do-it-yourself procedure, and figured I did not mind spending several hundred on very good moisturizers that might aid in healing.]

Usually scabs form within two to four days, and fall off within one to two weeks. While scabs are on, and for two weeks or so after they have fallen off, I wear a beanie that completely covers every scar to protect them from the sun. If you cannot do that because your scars are on your cheeks, then I would recommend using a strong sunscreen of at least SPF 45 to protect your healing skin. During the healing phase, between treatments, I wash twice a day and use only the ReVive creams. I do not perform any other spot or full-face peels, nor do I use any CP serums or retinoids, though other members have had success using these products in addition to cross.

I use 100% TCA that I purchased here, directly from the manufacturer Anais Corporation, for 59 USD.

ReVive Moisturizing Renewal Cream can be purchased here for 150 USD. Sensitif is here for 195 USD.

If you want to purchase an EGF cream, but you do not wish to spend this much money, you can scour the internet, but I do not know where to send you. If you ask around here, someone may be able to dig up some old resources. I know there was an EGF cream thread a few years back with quality information, but I cannot seem to find it.

If you are interested in learning more about the cross technique, the abstract for the Korean study is here. I have obtained the full text from EBSCO host via my university, but it is in web archive format. If you can open such a file, PM me your e-mail address and I will gladly send you the file. If you are a university student, chances are you can also obtain the full text. The citation is:

Title: Focal Treatment of Acne Scars With Trichloroacetic Acid: Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars Method.

Authors: Lee, Jung Bock

Chung, Woo Gil

Kwahck, Ho

Lee, Kwang Hoon

Source: Dermatologic Surgery; Nov2002, Vol. 28 Issue 11, p1017-1021, 5p

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Did you treat all of your scars? What % TCA did you use? DId you have any trouble applying it? (Sorry for the rapid fire questions) Keep us posted!

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Did you treat all of your scars? What % TCA did you use? DId you have any trouble applying it? (Sorry for the rapid fire questions) Keep us posted!

I treated most of them. Some on my left lower cheekbone I left alone, and others on my forehad were too small for me to fit the applicator into (so I'm going to see if I can find a smaller applicator for my next run). I used a 100% concentration and didn't have any trouble applying it. I did accidentally get a little bit on the front of my cheekbone just below my lower left eyelid, by touching my face with the latex glove that had a bit of acid on it, but I removed my finger as soon as I felt the burn and it didn't do any damage. It frosted over a bit, but is gone now. Thankfully, I don't have very sensitive skin and I heal fast, and I also take great care of myself outside and in, so I don't really worry about small slip-ups like that.

I'll post later after it's been a week or so and I can take some better pictures without the scab holes and discoloration and I'll detail exactly what I'm doing once I know it's actually working and the initial results aren't fools gold.

Edit: Just a note, but the scars that are too small to fit the applicator into don't really show up much in the photos anyway. They just look like large pores on my forehead, mostly between my eyebrows.

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I'm now two weeks out, and updated my gallery with some pics I just took. These ones aren't the best, because it's cloudy and rainy and the lighting isn't as bright, but it's still at the same angle. Take from it what you will. I'll continue updating as I continue treatment. I'll be doing my second round in three weeks.

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So do you notice an improvement? Pictures are a little if-y in general. What's your take on your improvement so far?

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So do you notice an improvement? Pictures are a little if-y in general. What's your take on your improvement so far?

There's definitely been an improvement, but I can't really guage it quantificationally. I can't say that every scar is noticably better, but when I run my fingers over my face, the scars that were deepest before are not as deep, and some of them I can hardly feel at all, though they're still visible. In particular, there were three on my forehead, none of which were all that big, but were very deep, and they've noticably filled in. Looking at the pictures, it also looks like the dark scar on my forehead has lightened a bit, but I can't really tell looking in the mirror.

The improvement is definitely incremental; tangible, but not drastic. If it keeps building up after further treatments as it is supposed to, I'll be happy with it.

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Checked out the updated photos - pretty amazing difference. I've been lurking on this board for quite some time, first time I've felt compelled to register and reply. Not only did you get really good results, but you've given the rest of us something that's priceless - hope. Best of luck on your continued efforts. And keep us posted!

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Checked out the updated photos - pretty amazing difference. I've been lurking on this board for quite some time, first time I've felt compelled to register and reply. Not only did you get really good results, but you've given the rest of us something that's priceless - hope. Best of luck on your continued efforts. And keep us posted!

Thanks. I have to admit, I was somewhat discouraged briefly, because after a few weeks when the swelling went down, a lot of the scars looked worse than they did right after the treatment, but I noticed when I performed the next treatment (last Friday) that some of the scars I crossed the first time didn't even need to be treated again. There were small pink spots where they used to be that I could only see by looking very closely, but they were completely filled in. Now, that only happened to a couple of scars, and I have hundreds, but it certainly tells me that this does work and there's no reason that I can't significantly improve a lot of these, if not all of them.

I was more aggressive with the second treatment, soaking the applicator longer and also treating more scars. Some of them are so small that I didn't have the right size applicator last time, so I filed several toothpicks down to various widths to be better prepared this time around. I'll take more pictures in a few weeks. We're moving into a new apartment on the other end of the complex, this time one that actually gets direct sunlight, so hopefully the lighting when I stand near the window is similar enough to give a good comparison.

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Hey Femina Mala,

Don't you think it's strange how the results of TCA are so erratic? It can completely remove some scars, but for others it'll harldy make a difference!

I wonder why it's like that! Anyway, i've just crossed a bunch of scars and they're all bigger now. I'm really hoping they'll fill in over the next fortnight.

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Hello Famina :angel:

If these pictures are to be believed the improvement is HUGE!

It looks like a 50% improvement (at least) to me. Is this after one treatment only? My scars look similar to yours so I'm very hopeful I'll get the same results. This is very encouraging.

I am new here but I have a request. Can you take pictures of yourself simulating the cross procedure? Just to give me and others an idea how you do it because you clearly do it well. I hope it's not too much to ask but it would be very helpful.

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Hello Famina :angel:

If these pictures are to be believed the improvement is HUGE!

It looks like a 50% improvement (at least) to me. Is this after one treatment only? My scars look similar to yours so I'm very hopeful I'll get the same results. This is very encouraging.

I am new here but I have a request. Can you take pictures of yourself simulating the cross procedure? Just to give me and others an idea how you do it because you clearly do it well. I hope it's not too much to ask but it would be very helpful.

Hmm, I actually hadn't thought of that, but it sounds like a good idea. It would be kind of difficult, though. What I can do, if you don't mind waiting another month, and if you can remind me, is ask my girlfriend to take some pictures of me actually doing it.

Just to note, the pictures in this thread were taken only two days after I first treated my scars, so there is still a lot of swelling that went away after another week or so. I have to say, though, now that the scabs are falling off after my second treatment, some of the scars look terrific, almost gone. I'll take some more pictures after another two weeks when all of the scabs have come off and hopefully the new skin isn't pink anymore so you can see the real improvement. Every time I look back at these baseline pictures I can't help but say to myself "jeez, I looked that bad just over a month ago?" It's weird because it's hard to see the improvement from day to day, but looking back at these, some of the those scars aren't even visible any more.

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I'm glad you feel you're seeing some improvement.

However, at this early stage, some of the results may be affected by initial swelling.

This isn't to say you won't see results, and it sounds like you're bearing this in mind - it's just something for other people to take into consideration when viewing the pictures.

Best of luck with your treatments - I hope you continue to see results!

Paul.

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the pics in the gallery show great improvement, so much so, that i've been inspired to give this a try myself. thanks for posting the pics and let us know how your progressing.

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Femina, I can't find your before/after pics on the gallery. Can you tell me how to get there please? I've been really reading into doing the TCA cross treatment on myself. I've read that long post as well as the Korean study document. I finally got the nerve to order it today so I can't wait to try it out.

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ummm can someone answer my wuestions ?

1) Putting acid on a scar.. doesnt that make the scar deeper by peeling off more layers of the skin?

2) How do you apply the tca?

3) How does your face look the next day from treatment?

4) You only place the tca on the scar? what happens if you get a lil on your regular nice skin?

5) How do i get into your gallery? lol

6) Do you think i should try this? my scars are hidden in low light but when the sun hits it just right it looks horrible.. i think its almost impossible to get the tca exactly on my scars... heres my pics..

IPB ImageIPB ImageIPB Image

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Femina, I want to do the TCA Cross to my husbands scars. I will order the 100% from mytcapeel. I just have a few questions for you. With the peel is there an applicator? Also did you order the Hyaluronic Acid serum that they suggest you use. When the TCA frosts do u wash it off or leave it and then apply ointment? Hope they werent to many Q.

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An applicator does come, but it's fairly large. I had to use, a normal toothpick, and a filed-down toothpick, since some of my scars are very small. I did order the hyaluronic acid serum, and I did apply it directly after the treatment, along with neosporin, and I applied both at regular intervals until scabs started to form. You can't wash off the frost, since it is skin proteins that have coagulated and will eventually form the scab. I do not wash after application, but you must wash very thoroughly before application. It's also best to exfoliate and wipe with acetone or alcohol to rid the skin of both dead cells and oil for maximum penetration.

For everyone trying to get to my gallery, just click on my name. Everyone's profile has a link to their gallery, if they have a gallery.

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IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

I managed to get pretty good lighting the other day and took some pics, so here they are now for comparison. This is without swelling, over three weeks past my third treatment. You can see the painfully incremental improvement that the scars show. Most are definitely still there, but they are shallower and the edges are much softer. I know the focus is bad, but these should give you a good idea of what to expect if you take the cross road.

It's great looking at these, by the way. Do yourself a favor and keep a photo log. It's so discouraging when the swelling goes down, because your face was perfectly smooth for almost a week and then goes back to being scarred, but being able to look at this, I can how much improvement I've actually had. It's hard to believe I actually looked this bad just a few months ago. Hopefully this projects into the future and the scars continue to improve at the same rate. I get the feeling I'm going to have some lingering hyperpigmentation, but that's much easier to deal with than indented scarring. I'll probably have to use some type of topical retinoid or do some spot peels when I'm finished.

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An applicator does come, but it's fairly large. I had to use, a normal toothpick, and a filed-down toothpick, since some of my scars are very small. I did order the hyaluronic acid serum, and I did apply it directly after the treatment, along with neosporin, and I applied both at regular intervals until scabs started to form. You can't wash off the frost, since it is skin proteins that have coagulated and will eventually form the scab. I do not wash after application, but you must wash very thoroughly before application. It's also best to exfoliate and wipe with acetone or alcohol to rid the skin of both dead cells and oil for maximum penetration.

For everyone trying to get to my gallery, just click on my name. Everyone's profile has a link to their gallery, if they have a gallery.

Thank you for replying. You said you applied the hyaluronic acid serum right after the treatment along with neosporin. So after it frosts you put the hyaluronic acid surum on. Then do u wait a few minutes and put the neosporin on ? or how does that work?

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