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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, my name is Eric and I've been reading these forums for awhile now and I thought I'd register to see if some of you could help me out on my journey to a new me.

I am a 22 year old Animal Technician and I have quite a bit of acne scarring from a horrible cystic acne breakout that lasted from the ages of 13 to 19 years old. My acne problems have nearly completely ceased to exist the past 2 years or so but I was left over with quite a bit of shallow scarring from picking the pustules that had taken over my face.

Since the acne went away I went from being picked on for having "warts" on my face to now being nicked at by co-workers and acquaintances for having a gross skin complexion. I finally convinced myself to do something about it so I went and bought a 15% TCA peel from makeupartistschoice.com.

After ordering it on a wednesday and receiving it that friday I was hessitant to finally use it. Well on Saturday afternoon I read over the directions a few times and summoned enough courage to get my butt up and do it. I did the peel but only left it on for about 2 minutes or less because of the instant frosting that took place on my scars. It said in the directions to gently apply the neutralizer if frosting occurs.

Now after almost 5 days I've been peeling but it's extremely mild, I didn't receive any of the effects of the peel except the tight skin, and slight flaking but now that's gone. What I believe is that I neutralized it too soon and didn't achieve the full effects of the peel.

Now my question is, do you think that I would be ok to do the peel again tomorrow? I'm not showing any sensitivity, pain, swelling, my face is 99% as how it was before I did the peel except for mildly pink skin in the areas it flaked off.

Any of your responses will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!



P.S I'll be posting my progress throughout my journey to give others the hope I've been looking for years. I'll post some pictures this weekend and update frequently
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oops I'm sorry, I thought I posted this in the Scars section! Could a moderator please move this thread to the scar section? Thanks and sorry again!
 

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Eric, yes you are exaxctly right you neutralized it too soon. A 15% TCA will give you a pretty good peel. Not flake.

I would wait one week from the first time you applied it, to apply it again. Leave it on for the time it indicates on the instructions. Get yourself a fan and sit in front of it while the peel is on, if it gets to be too painful for you. Try not to use any kind of moisturizer while you are waiting for the peeling to start. If you want to speed up the progress of the peel, you can apply Retin-A once a day.

Good luck and keep us posted-
 

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I agree with Gymrat- I've never done a peel like that but from everything you've stated you neutralized it a bit too fast. I would wait till next saturday. Good luck! It's great to have you on board!
 

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Oh and make sure you limit your sun exposure to a minimum while your recover from the peel. Good luck!
 

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Eric I am about to start the TCA peels myself. I am having some oral surgery and will be on painkillers and out of site for a bit of time so I figure what better time! I am trying to figure out what strengths to do and where (I want several areas) to get a real good rejuvenating peel that will really tighten my skin--especially arms and decolletage where I have sun-damage but also hands and feet and knees and well as much as I can do!

In terms of acne scarring, how deep is it? Have you ever spoken to a dermatologist? TCA or even ablative laser may not be enough if they are deep you could get filler. There are some really good treatments now for it. Try the TCA though first but do be careful as you do not want to do any harm either, I think you are taking a very mature and sensible approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you everyone!

My scarring depth is pretty minimal. Mainly only visible at certain angles of light. On a scale of 1-10 I'd say their depth would be a 2.5 maybe 3. I re-applied the peel again, this time using 2 layers, 5 minutes each. It burned like hell and throbbed a bit afterwards. This morning my skin was looking normal, just tight like I got a face lift haha. This afternoon my cheeks started turning reddish and I'm looking a bit sunburnt. I think I did it good this time, hopefully I'll get a good peel from this sometime this weekend. I'll keep you all updated!


Oh and Lexi, I've been to a dermatologist a few times and they always just recommend proactive, which honestly didn't do anything for my scars. I'm trying to stay away from any type of long-term downtime procedures due to being an Animal Technician I don't get the pleasure of taking more than a day or two off due to my animals needing constant husbandry and such.
 

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Thank you everyone!

My scarring depth is pretty minimal. Mainly only visible at certain angles of light. On a scale of 1-10 I'd say their depth would be a 2.5 maybe 3. I re-applied the peel again, this time using 2 layers, 5 minutes each. It burned like hell and throbbed a bit afterwards. This morning my skin was looking normal, just tight like I got a face lift haha. This afternoon my cheeks started turning reddish and I'm looking a bit sunburnt. I think I did it good this time, hopefully I'll get a good peel from this sometime this weekend. I'll keep you all updated!


Oh and Lexi, I've been to a dermatologist a few times and they always just recommend proactive, which honestly didn't do anything for my scars. I'm trying to stay away from any type of long-term downtime procedures due to being an Animal Technician I don't get the pleasure of taking more than a day or two off due to my animals needing constant husbandry and such.
Forget about the TCA peel!! I like the fact that you won't take more than a day or two off because your animals need constant hubandy-I like you already-
I treat my dogs better than I treat my children!!

Ok, back to the peel........ try not to moisturize and if you need too only do it around your mouth if at all possible. You will peel sooner this way. Also, if you have Retin A you can apply that at night to speed up the peel process.

Yes you are right, most Derms don't care about acne scarring. They are worried about getting rid of the acne, not worried about what it leaves behind. Your scarring sounds like a TCA would definately take care of it.

Keep us posted on the outcome of the peel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Forget about the TCA peel!! I like the fact that you won't take more than a day or two off because your animals need constant hubandy-I like you already-
I treat my dogs better than I treat my children!!

Ok, back to the peel........ try not to moisturize and if you need too only do it around your mouth if at all possible. You will peel sooner this way. Also, if you have Retin A you can apply that at night to speed up the peel process.

Yes you are right, most Derms don't care about acne scarring. They are worried about getting rid of the acne, not worried about what it leaves behind. Your scarring sounds like a TCA would definately take care of it.

Keep us posted on the outcome of the peel.
I find it unsettling at how some dermatologists treat there patients. Most that I have seen don't really show much compassion about the emotional and social impact of acne and what it leaves behind. The first dermo I saw told me I needed to scrub my face as hard as I could till my skin was good and raw! This was the cause of my biggest scars! Another told me that my diet caused my acne, which has been scientifically disproven! It goes to show you that most of these acne regimens are all based on opinion and not entirely on fact as they should be. Everyone has different skin, everyone has different recovery periods, side effects, and so on. Not too many people take that into account. I ended up curing my own acne by completely cutting out all that dermotologists had recommended me and replaced it all with just simply washing my face EXTREMELY gently with cetaphil anti-bacterial face wash and within a few weeks 60% of my acne was gone. Accutane was apart of my regimen at a point aswell, but for myself and a few people I know it tends to leave pits where the acne used to be.

I guess it's all up to the individual, sometimes less is more and vice versa.

P.S I love my animals hehe
 

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I find it unsettling at how some dermatologists treat there patients. Most that I have seen don't really show much compassion about the emotional and social impact of acne and what it leaves behind. The first dermo I saw told me I needed to scrub my face as hard as I could till my skin was good and raw! This was the cause of my biggest scars! Another told me that my diet caused my acne, which has been scientifically disproven! It goes to show you that most of these acne regimens are all based on opinion and not entirely on fact as they should be. Everyone has different skin, everyone has different recovery periods, side effects, and so on. Not too many people take that into account. I ended up curing my own acne by completely cutting out all that dermotologists had recommended me and replaced it all with just simply washing my face EXTREMELY gently with cetaphil anti-bacterial face wash and within a few weeks 60% of my acne was gone. Accutane was apart of my regimen at a point aswell, but for myself and a few people I know it tends to leave pits where the acne used to be.

I guess it's all up to the individual, sometimes less is more and vice versa.

P.S I love my animals hehe
Yes, some derms can be pretty insensitive. My derm tried for years to convince me to take Accutane, and I just never wanted too. After I finally bit the bullet and decided to give it a go, the results were AMAZING!! I only wish I had taken it sooner. I tried just about every antibiotic, topical, supplement, you name it I tried it. I even did laser, microderms and peels. Nothing worked for me. Accutane was my life saver. It didn't leave me with any pits. I had one scar on my chin, but I had it filled with a filler.

But you are absolutely right, everyone is different. What works for you just might not work for me and vice versa. All you have to do is invest your time and lots and lots of patience.


I love my animals too. What kind do you have? I have a 3 year old Bichon and a 16 year old yellow lab.
 

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Hi Eric,
I hope your peels will work, good luck!
I'm just adding a idea in case you want to go further in the removal of your scars - I've heard that fractionated lasers (aka Fraxel) are great for scar removal (the type you've got should be fine) and that they don't have the long down-time associated with other more 'traditional' lasers.
It may be worth investigating; but I know they are pricey ($300 a time I think, and you've got to go at least twice for best results..).

Btw I agree with your view on most dermos...I've read somewhere that if the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail - and that's pretty much my experience with dermatologists!

Anyhow, best of luck again!
 

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Thank you everyone!

My scarring depth is pretty minimal. Mainly only visible at certain angles of light. On a scale of 1-10 I'd say their depth would be a 2.5 maybe 3. I re-applied the peel again, this time using 2 layers, 5 minutes each. It burned like hell and throbbed a bit afterwards. This morning my skin was looking normal, just tight like I got a face lift haha. This afternoon my cheeks started turning reddish and I'm looking a bit sunburnt. I think I did it good this time, hopefully I'll get a good peel from this sometime this weekend. I'll keep you all updated!


Oh and Lexi, I've been to a dermatologist a few times and they always just recommend proactive, which honestly didn't do anything for my scars. I'm trying to stay away from any type of long-term downtime procedures due to being an Animal Technician I don't get the pleasure of taking more than a day or two off due to my animals needing constant husbandry and such.
I love animals! I have a tiny Shih Tzu (and two other dogs, a cat I adopted and several other small animals I have taken in, most wild and injured) but the tiny Shih Tzu had to have two toes amputated and I am currently at his beck and call 24/7 so I do get it! Good on you, you will find we are mostly animal fanatics here!

I find it insane that anyone can work in the field of dermatology and act like such a-holes. I would try the tca then, in fact retin-a may even be enough if they are that superficial. I have an ex who had bad acne and after a few years his filled in on their own (he saw improvement by 24 and the acne healed at about 21).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've always been more of an independent person who likes to figure things out on his own because I know each persons answer could be somewhat biased by opinion so I try to approach things from all perspectives. Like with chemical peels, I've seen amazing reviews, and horrible reviews. I am aware that some people do have adverse reactions to them but I also know alot of people will shoot down the idea because they'll say it left them scarred but at the same time leaveout the fact that they probably didn't follow the directions and tried taking shortcuts that evidently left them worse than they were pre-peel. Right now my face is all rubbery/paper looking and starting to crack in areas so I am excited to start peeling VERY soon!
I can already tell my scars are losing this battle hehe.

I have a 9 month old pug/corgi mix named Rusty and two kittens named Sweety and Little Guy. They are like my kids since I don't have any and I'm avoiding having any females in my life for awhile due to recently getting out of a 3 year relationship with an obsessive cheater. :p

I also have a few animal rooms at my work that I am in charge of taking care of, I have 2 mice rooms, a marmoset room (cutest little monkey you'll ever see), syberian hampsters, starlings,and albino pigeons. It means alot to me knowing I am keeping these animals happy and safe.
 

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I've always been more of an independent person who likes to figure things out on his own because I know each persons answer could be somewhat biased by opinion so I try to approach things from all perspectives. Like with chemical peels, I've seen amazing reviews, and horrible reviews. I am aware that some people do have adverse reactions to them but I also know alot of people will shoot down the idea because they'll say it left them scarred but at the same time leaveout the fact that they probably didn't follow the directions and tried taking shortcuts that evidently left them worse than they were pre-peel. Right now my face is all rubbery/paper looking and starting to crack in areas so I am excited to start peeling VERY soon!
I can already tell my scars are losing this battle hehe.

I have a 9 month old pug/corgi mix named Rusty and two kittens named Sweety and Little Guy. They are like my kids since I don't have any and I'm avoiding having any females in my life for awhile due to recently getting out of a 3 year relationship with an obsessive cheater. :p

I also have a few animal rooms at my work that I am in charge of taking care of, I have 2 mice rooms, a marmoset room (cutest little monkey you'll ever see), syberian hampsters, starlings,and albino pigeons. It means alot to me knowing I am keeping these animals happy and safe.
OMG!! I love Siberian dwarfs! I had a ton of them when I was growing up, one that lived to almost 5!!! Yes believe it or not he went to 4 years and some change. I also have always wanted a marmoset and some sugargliders. I love animals of all kinds I could live somewhere with just animals and be perfectly content.

As for the peels, as you see I too am a peeler, I am about to do some serious peels with 12.5-30% TCA in various areas all over. I am scared too but will follow directions and do patch tests first in each area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I wish you the best of luck! I'm starting to peel quite a bit now and my skin is lookin pretty darn good underneath! It's just a bit sensitive
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Is it pink and new looking? That is the best judge of a medium/deep peel.
Yes it's very pink! I'm about 85% peeled now, I can see about a 80% improvement in my scarring, now I'll just give it some time so heal and let the collagen rebuild. I'm hoping to see another 10% improvement and I'll be super happy!
 

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Hey Eric, I guess I am getting in late on this one, but I have done the TCA peels also. On one area I had I had to do it several times but I noticed after the 3rd peel 18% with 2 layers I finally got a stubborn brown spot on my face and a very small pitted acne scar is now much less noticeable. Just give your skin a few weeks then blast it again you will eventually get it. Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Alrighty so I'm pretty much done peeling, woohoo! So here's the updates! Yesterday my skin was very pink and especially pink where the scars were. Now today the pinkness is gradually fading pretty well and my skin tone is evening out very nicely! I am very happy with 15% TCA and the results it gave me. It got rid of 50% of my scarring and greatly diminished the remaining scars by atleast 75%. I will be doing atleast 1 more 15% peel in 2 weeks to completely erase the rest of the scarring.

I would recommend TCA to anyone who struggles with acne scarring.

Here is an overview of my experience.

Wednesday September 9th 2009: I ordered a 15% TCA peel kit from makeupartistschoice.com. It was at my front door that Friday, Sept 11th.

Saturday September 12th 2009: After summing up the courage to do the peel I applied it to my face with a q-tip, just dipping it slightly in the solution and evenly rubbing it across my face starting at the forehead and moving down. 2 minutes into the application I started frosting on my scarring and immediately wash my face with baking soda/water solution.

Sunday through Wednesday I only had some slight tightening of my face and then it flaked off, no peeling occurred.

Wednesday evening September 16th 2009: After joining this forum I got impatient and went along and did the TCA peel again. This time I applied the first layer, my entire cheeks started to frost and burn like hell, but I withstood it and waited 5 minutes. I then applied another layer mostly on my scars. The stinging was pretty rough but definetely tolerable. I waited another 5 minutes and then neutralized the peel with some more baking soda/water solution. Immediately after the peel my face was very red and throbbing. I then applied some Neosporin with pain relief after rinsing my face with the green tea bar that was given to me in my TCA kit.

Thursday September 17th 2009: Waking up in the morning I saw my face had returned to it's normal color and the throbbing was gone, but my face felt very tight, like I got a face lift hehe. I then went to work. Around 10:30am my face started to turn red and felt like I got a mild sunburn. I then took Friday off from work.

Friday September 18th 2009: When I woke up I saw the redness in my face was starting to turn to more of a brown color, as if I was getting a tan. As the day progressed my skin started to crack around my mouth and my cheeks looked like leather. By Friday evening my cheeks started to peel off in big chunks.

Saturday September 19th 2009: Waking up this day I kept peeling more and more off my face, mainly on my cheeks and chin. By the evening about 75% of my face was peeled revealing very pink and sensitive skin underneath. It was pretty itchy too at times. I would either put some neosporin on to relieve the itching or I'd just gently tap my finger on the itching spot. At first I was worried that none of the discoloration in my scarring would go away as seeing that my pink skin was still darker pink where my scarring was. I applied neosporin after cleansing my face right before going to bed.

Sunday September 20th 2009: Today my face kept peeling pretty much the last reminants of the dead skin. Throughout the day today my skin tone has been evening out gradually and very nicely. I noticed that alot of my smaller scarring is gone or just very impossible to notice. My larger scars have improved atleast 75% and I am very happy with the results!

If anyone has any questions I'll happily answer them for you! All I can say is don't be afraid of TCA peel's! If you follow the VERY simple directions you'll have NO problems! It just takes patience and determination!


P.S I wouldn't recommend anything above 18% TCA though! Either 15% - 18% for scar and discoloration removal! You may have to do it a few times to get the results you want but it's worth the patience. If you go above 18% because you want to get everything done at once you're stepping into the high risk zone. It's better to do it the safe and effective way because risking adding more scars is NOT worth it!
 
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