My Experience: TCA 35% for Acne Scarring - Age 23
At the time of this procedure I was 23 years old,...
- 30 Mar 2009
At the time of this procedure I was 23 years old, now 25. I had this to help with the shallow atrophic acne scarring I have on the left side of my cheek as well as an allover smoothing of my skin. I paid $1,100.00 CAN
I was given Valtrex for 2 days before, 7 days after.
The procedure took about 30/40 minutes and was performed by the doctor, not an assistant.
It started with a nurse wiping down my skin with alcohol. The doctor gave me nerve blocks inside both cheeks, as well as into each of my brows. The doctor commented that this should be a breeze for me since "most people hit the ceiling" when he injects into the brow. (Mind you, I passed on Ativan but took the Percocet prior to the procedure.)
He then started "painting" the chemical on my face in sections, starting with the right cheek. For some areas, he did additional layers. A nurse stood nearby with a small fan.
For the first layers it just felt very warm. As it progressed, it felt like taking the top off of steaming vegetables and having your face in the way. Near the end, it was getting uncomfortable. It was like holding your face over a candle and keeping it there for a few seconds after you should have jerked it away. This was an all over the face feeling. When it was over, I was wiped down, immediately this warmth was cut in half and much more tolerable. Leaving the hospital, my face was extremely swollen and white.
For the first few days I didn't peel or anything, but sleeping was difficult because I slept on an incline to keep my skin safe. I had to have my face moist constantly. (I used a benign cream he had given me.) I was given a prescription for 20 Percocet but only legitimately required 3 or 4.
I started peeling by day 2 with the majority finishing by day 7 or 8. Pretty red the entire time, but it started to go down after the peeling had finished.
The procedure definitely smoothed out the scars as well as my skin. As the months went on I noticed improvements here and there. I knew that my complexion would not stay the same, but the scarring looks the same now as it did 2 years after I had the procedure so I'm very impressed. A benefit to the peel was removing some pigmentation that surrounded the scarring that I felt amplified the scar's depth.
Aside from all of the "pros" mentioned above, "cons" include needing time off and preferably someone to help you through the week. It's safe to say you will not be able to resume normal activities for a week or so. It's a little on the pricey side in terms of whats offered where I live, but I was still happy to pay it.
The photos aren't as clear as I'd like, but I'll include a few for reference.
Although I would recommend this doctor, I selected no because in doing so I could give an explanation. The doctor was very rushed. I understood he had responsibilities elsewhere, but he seemed rushed. When I came back after the initial consultation, he knew I was serious and had booked the procedure. He seemed much less rushed after this. Maybe it was a different day, or maybe he thought I was just a 23 year old who would have ended up wasting his time. A very nice guy, talkative and did answer any questions I had. Talked during the whole procedure, etc. Secretary extremely rude and flustered.