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About Neca

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  1. Neca

    Scarless Healing

    Lapis, a lot of doctors say that it takes between 3-6 months for the wound to fully heal and to see whether scar tissue has formed. However, I believe this is only to assure that the wound has completely healed. In my case, whenever I have excised my scar tissue and can easily tell whether or not the process has been successful because within about 7-10 days the scar tissue has already reformed; yes, the wound may be a little red but the scar tissue is present. In solo_premium's case I think the same thing has occurred. You can see that the scar tissue has already started to reform. He/she can wait a few months to see how the wound changes during its healing stage, but once there is scar tissue then the skin won't change much.
  2. Neca

    Scarless Healing

    Firstly, THANK YOU so much very much Solo_Premium for not only taking the time to carry out this 'experiment' but to also document and post your results on here. Finally we have someone, who appears to be just like one of us, who can actually document the real performance of A-Cell because so much has been written about this product but there has been virtually no proper visual documentation of its 'benefits' in treating scarring. Secondly, may I ask where you purchased the Matristem (A-cell) box as I have been trying for ages to order some. Despite your results I would still like to prove to myself that this stuff does not work (so I can just cancel it off the list)! I can't say, however, that I'm surprised by the results you have experienced with A-Cell. If you look back through my posts I have always maintained my scepticism. I think the hype around the product has turned A-Cell into a guaranteed panacea, causing many to overlook the fact that there is a distinct lack of photo documentation. We have just seen the same stories & photos posted over and over again...the guy who's fingertip grew back, the animals etc.. That said, I have not entirely discounted ECM or A-Cell. It could just be the wound healing process that needs modification rather than the product, eg. it may need to be applied continuously until the skin as heal. Could you elaborate a bit more on how you went about doing the scar revision. Did you excise the scar yourself with a scalpel? Did you stitch the wound together yourself and did you definitely keep the wound clean and moisturised at all times? Sorry for the info overload but if you can take 2secs to answer these, it would be appreciated.
  3. Those techniques would only work if there were a way to suppress the scar tissue reforming. Since there is no way to stop scar tissue production, neither needling nor strong acids will work. Moreover, the prime reason why I now have so much scar tissue is due to using various strengths of tca acids on my face in the past :(. Anybody have any experience with using Differin for ice picks/pock marks or other scarred skin? Is its mode of action the same as Retin-A?
  4. Thanks for the response guys. Interesting to read, mr_sunshine, that you say azelaic acid seems weaker than retin-a. That might not be a bad thing as retin-a can be pretty harsh when used daily. So if azelaic acid has the same effect as retin-a over a longer period of time it might actually be worth purchasing (assuming that azelaic acid has fewer side effects). That said, if what jack3100 says is true then it's pointless me getting some azelaic acid since my acne stopped a long time ago. I do have some mild rosacea though, but my main aim is to minimize these obvious facial scars. My past experiences with retin-a micro has been slightly annoying. I originally started to use RAM to improve my acne many years ago. After about 1-2 years of usage I stopped since I was no longer getting any breakouts. What I did notice however was that the RAM seemed to have made scar tissue (that was not visible to the naked eye) on my face MUCH more prominent. It's as if the RAM promotes tons of skin cell turnover but in doing so it actually reveals much more scar tissue since it is unable to 'shift' this type of densely-packed fibrotic tissue. Conversely, it would be interesting to know whether RAM could 'fill in' ice pick or pock marks but I am a bit sceptical since the walls that create the hole in the ice pick are not made of normal collagen but rather I would presume predominately consist of scar tissue. This is why surgeons don't fill in ice pick scarring, their procedure is to cut the entire hole out and stitch it together leaving another scar but at least it is level with the surrounding skin.
  5. Anybody know if Azelaic Acid, Retin-A or Differin cream have any effect on relatively minor ice picks or pocks mark on the face? Is any one of these creams better at smoothing out the skin than the other, or are they all useless on scarred skin? Also, comments on how these creams performed on scarred skin in general are most welcome!
  6. Neca

    Scarless Healing

    Yes, Eterna_maldicion, continuously excising the scar tissue and injecting juvista into the dermis each year until the scar has completely disappeared would be ideal. This would probably be the most effective way to use the drug. I, too, am hoping this will prove successful. However, I can't really say whether this approach will work or not as the clinical trials have only looked at the drug's effectiveness when performing scar revision on a scar once, rather than repeatedly. I know the outlook appears negative; believe me, I hate acknowledging how long we are away from finding a 'cure'. But it is based on the reasons outlined in my post (eg length of time for R&D, trials, approval etc.) as well as the various contacts I spoken to in the medical field, both surgical and academic. How do I know there isn't something already in the making? Well, as I indicated in my post, it's not the lack of treatments available that is the problem, it is the effectiveness of these treatments that is the issue. R&D is an iterative process; a cure isn't just instantly released, it takes time as current products are slowly 'upgraded'. So what is being developed now will reduce your scars by 20-30% (assuming you are one of the lucky few that the drug works on) yet we will only experience such results in 2-3 years when the product is officially released. By that time, another product will undergo R&D and we will get to use in 4-6 years from now....and so on. Eventually the drug(s) will reach a point of peak effectiveness where we can say it will work on 90%+ of users and they will experience almost complete removal of their scars permanently...thus a cure will be reached. That time is a long way off from now. Take for example, Prof. Mark Ferguson, the guy who invented Juvista and started Renovo. He discovered the theory behind the drug over 20 years ago in the late 1980s. He founded Renovo in 2000 and now in 2010 the company still doesn't have a commercial product yet. It has taken all that time to get near to producing a drug that provides only 30% scar improvement in ONLY 30% of users. So you can see it takes a LOT of time for only very little gain. In the meantime, we can at least be grateful that the field of regenerative medicine is receiving huge inflows of funds, thus the quality of the R&D should be excellent. In addition, with the advances in technology and the internet, development time may speed up. Pressure from celebrities to look 'perfect' that will spill over to the public as well should also increase demand for a proper 'cure'. All is not negative!
  7. Neca

    Scarless Healing

    This is not what any of us want to hear but accounting for the time it takes for research & development, various clinical trials, commercialisation/distribution arrangements and official approval from authorities, we are about 10 years away from any type of product that could potentially eliminate or dramatically reduce scarring (I'm talking at least 75% reduction). That time period is probably a rather optimistic figure as well. It's more likely to be about 15-20 years. Renovo's Juvista, in my eyes, is a very limited and ineffective product when it comes scar reduction. The before and after pictures really are not impressive at all. And the success rate amongst the patients on clinical trials is pretty poor. The clinical trial data of the drug states that only approx. 30% of users experienced a 'good' improvement in their scarring ('Good' is defined as a scar appearing to be 30%-35% better than the control). Another 30% or so of users experienced low-moderate improvement (which means that the scar appeared only 'slightly' better than the control). The remaining 40% of users experienced no improvement in their scarring whatsoever (NOTE: all this figures are from memory so they may be slightly different). Renovo are looking to charge between $250-$500 (Botox prices) for what appears to be a rather ineffective treatment. If you look back through the earlier posts in this thread you will find that I had high hopes for Juvista but now I have realised that it is useless. On a positive note, at least it is a little step towards scar-free healing at least. As for A-cell, I am now absolutely unconvinced by it. There has been plenty of time to release some before and after photos of scar revision using this product to prove its effectiveness but we've seen nothing. What's stranger is that it is apparently available to the US public on prescription for at least a year and a half now and yet no one has tried it! Basically, we are a long long way off being able to use a drug to prevent/remove scarring. That is not to say there aren't/won't be any products that can help diminish or hide our scarring, especially since drugs that require repurchasing/reusing are more profitable than ones that provide immediate cures. I don't want to be a doomsayer, but we do need to be realistic.
  8. Despite being incredibly sceptical about this treatment, has anyone thought about excising a small area of scar tissue on a part of the face and then applying the Iodine for a minimum period of 1-2 months to ONE section of this excised area whilst leaving the other section without any Iodine application. After the 1-2months of healing is up you can then compare the two areas of excised scar tissue. If the area where Iodine has been applied shows less scar tissue present when compared to the excised area that had no Iodine applied then the chemical would seem to be working to a certain extent. This would be a much faster method of assessing whether Iodine is effective at preventing/reducing scar tissue formation. Evidence of scar tissue formation is usually visible after about 2 months of deep wounding. Applying the chemical to already present scar tissue is unlikely to do anything at all in the short-run as scar tissue is so deeply embedded and strong. Worth a try.
  9. Neca

    Scarless Healing

    LOL @ BRD! I'm telepathic
  10. Neca

    Scarless Healing

    Nikki, strangely Acell is not currently available in any US pharmacy but it IS available for purchase directly from the company; just go to acell.com and either email them or telephone them and they will explain what you are required to do. All I know is that you need the delivery address to be in the United States and that your doctor has to provide a prescription to Acell. As long as your doctor is fully recognised by the Mexican health authorities I'm sure Acell will supply the ECM to you. That said I have yet to read about anybody actually getting hold of the stuff so clearly it is not as easy as indicated. On the matter of Acell I would love to know what is the status of those US soldiers that have been using Acell since July on their wounds/burns. It's a real shame Acell is not efficient with updating its website. ***Have you guys read about a product called BioNuesis (manufactured by Histogen) - A Human Extracellular Matrix for Stem Cell Culture Applications: http://www.bionuesis.com/product-info.htm Despite not being directly targeted as a skin regeneration, this product is similar to Acell in that it is an Extracellular Matrix, however it is derived from human elements rather than pig bladder. Nevertheless, the underlying theory states that human ECM should be as effective as animal ECM; it's posited that the reason our intestines don't scar is mainly due to the large supply of ECM in that region. The human intestines are one of the fewest regions of the body to keep their ECM capabilities after childhood. The sites states: It's available for purchase and the company is giving away a free sample on each first order. The catch is that they state their ECM is for "research" purposes only and not therapeutic, but I'm wondering why this is stated. I'd like to know what actual harm would be done if their ECM was used on human skin. Nevertheless, the substance does sound promising. Post back what you think.
  11. Neca

    Scarless Healing

    Really interesting post lamarr, thanks for that link. Although not explicitly expressed on their site, it would appear that this Apligraf product has the same approach as Acell's ECM when it comes to active wound healing. Their website indicates that Apligraf "delivers ingredients such as growth factors, cells, proteins to the wound directly"; which basically makes it almost like an extra cellular matrix, it's just strange they don't mention this. Another point, they say Apligraf has active wound healing but target the product to the foot and leg sore market. Does this mean it is ineffective at preventing scar tissue formation? Some of those pre-care ulcer/sore photos are pretty exposed and explicit, if Apligraf can heal them back to normal skin health then why can't it work with excised scars? And this product is also already out as well? Another thing to look into . Thanks lamarr.
  12. Neca

    Scarless Healing

    Hey damn!, yes this is exactly what I am saying. According to Mike Manning (Marketing Director at Acell) anyone in the US can get Acell all they have to do is get a prescription written by their doctor to authorise this. I guess it can be a GP, derm or any doc, they just have to have the authority to write prescriptions. Phone (800) 826-2926 and ask to speak with Mike Manning, he will gladly help out and explain what is required to get hold of Acell's ECM. That would definitely be an appropriate time to 'test' Acell's potential as your skin will be in its healing stage. However, since this is just a trial I would first use Acell by patching testing it on a section of my skin or face. I wouldn't think there is much risk at all doing a full face test with Acell but it is always best to be on the safe side. Since I have visible scar tissue, if I ever got hold of some Acell, my aim would be to remove about 0.5cm in length of the scar tissue with a scalpel and apply Acell to that area. Leaving the remaining scar tissue in tact would ensure the wound can heal with the need of stitches as the scar tissue acts almost as support. Damn! you will be a hero if you acquire Acell's ECM and trial it for us, I just don't understand why there aren't more people in America trying to do this...it's a shame!
  13. Neca

    Scarless Healing

    Well I finally got my derm to call up Acell to find out what is going on with their ECM product. Mike Manning told my doc. that Acell has been available to purchase via a prescription (only) in the US for the past six weeks. And when pushed on why Acell have not yet conducted any double blind placebo controlled clinical trials to prove ECM's effectiveness at preventing scar formation, Mike Manning seemed to imply that the company doesn't currently have funds to organise such trials. Instead, he states Acell is relying on opinions from outside doctors who are 'testing' the product on their own patients eg the hair transplant study mentioned on hairsite.com. What I find amazing is that Acell is available to all you guys in the US, all you have to do is get a prescription/script from your GP to try this product out! But it seems no one thus has, why??! If I was in your position I would jump at the chance to purchase some of Acell's ECM. You obviously would only need to test it on a single scar minimising a chance side-effects. I asked my doc if he could prescribe me some but Acell say they can only supply US addresses as they have yet to submit the ECM for European approval. Surely, instead of logging on to acne.org daily and checking for Acell updates it would be better to just go out there, speak to your doc and pick some up? As each day passes I am beginning to face the depressing fact that the nearest hope we have to finding something to treat these scars will only be available to us in 2009 when Juvista is released. Not only is that ages away but also the drug has a limited 30% success rate with success being defined as the scar improved well > not exactly encouraging. Unfortunately, something is telling me that Acell is just another over-hyped internet phenomenon.
  14. If you do actually have hypertrophic scarring on your chin then a cortisone injection will unfortunately do absolutely nothing to the scar tissue. The only thing those steroid injections do is to temporarily reduce inflammation at the site. Since you've had them for 'years' there really is no inflammation to treat, you are only left with scar tissue. And rather than fixing a problem you are more likely to cause damage to that area of the skin by using cortisone injections, such as skin atrophy whereby the skin tissue is thinned permanently. This is why we are awaiting a treatment that can prevent scar tissue formation. If such a treatment is found (eg with Acell) then you will be able to have your scars excised (ie cut out with a scalpel), the wound stitched together and be required to apply Acell for 7 days or so during which time the skin should heal scarlessly. ^This is what we are hoping and praying for!
  15. I know how you feel H.E., scarring can be incredibly draining emotionally especially when it is on the face. But I would take what the Cosmetic Institute told you about having to live with the scars for the rest of your life with a very big pinch of salt! They are only telling you this based on what is currently available. This is correct, since there is no treatment on the market that can currently remove scar tissue and heal skin scarlessly. That said, there are large amounts of funding going into scar research; if you haven't read our thread on "Scarless Healing" already then it might cheer you up a little: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php?showtopic=157005. For example, we are all currently awaiting the results of Acell's extra-cellular matrix composition of treating scarring and should know how good it actually is within a month or two. In the meantime, have you tried growing a goatee or small beard and luckily most of your scar tissue seems to be around the stubble region which could quite easily be covered with facial hair.