Helped Some, but Didn't Last - Wellington, FL

My biggest concern is the bags under my eyes and...

My biggest concern is the bags under my eyes and dark circles. I thought I'd start with chemical peels and move up to lasers and then surgery. The Jessners was my first peel and I liked the results the first few days after. My eyes looked better and my skin improved overall. However, the results wore off after about a week and the sunspots/pigmentation did not change at all. I went for a second peel with 10% TCA and saw no improvement at all. Maybe it's my skin? I'm between a type 2 and 3. I go in for a third peel Friday. I'd post pictures, but since there was little to no improvement I figured why bother.

Peel Number 3

This time to doctor applied jessner's peel, then tca 10%. Burning was not too bad, they fanned me, which helped. The worst part is the smell of alcohol. I flaked a little after this peel and they wanted to schedule me 2 weeks out. I thought I was purchasing medium depth peels, but that's not what I am getting. I am starting to feel like I have paid for close to nothing.

Peel Number 4

Since I have paid through 6 peels I went in again. I told the aesthetician that I barely flaked. She consulted with the doctor, then gave me a jessner's peel. This time she left the solution on a little longer. It barely felt wet when she put it on, which indicates not enough solution was applied. I didn't peel at all after this peel. Again I am sorely disappointed. Do these doctor's not apply 30% TCA peels? I want for, even ask for, a medium depth peel and they claim that is what I am getting. I wish someone would correct me if I am wrong, but a medium depth peel should result in red skin and significant peeling.

Yesterday I did an at home peel with 25% TCA. I applied 3 layers at one minute apart and washed off after 5 minutes, before frosting. My skin felt the same after the doctor's office peel. This morning I spot peeled some dark areas and they frosted right away, probably because I had already broken down the stubborn outer epidermal cells. I have decided to develop my own technique and do it at home. The one good thing about my office peels is that I have learned how to properly apply the chemicals.

I purchased Jessners peel at 1.2 PH. I have learned that PH is the only difference between a doctor's peel and at home. I will test using Jessners with TCA 25%. I have read quite a bit of material on peels and learned that Jessners is great for breaking down the outer epidermal cells, which allows for deeper penetration of the TCA.

My 5th peel is November 12th. I am going to request, yet again, a stronger peel. I am not sure, but I think they say they only have up to 10% TCA, which seems odd for an actual doctor's office.

Peel Number 5

I moved my peel to Nov. 15th. I asked if they had anything stronger than 10% TCA and she said she could do 20%. For some reason, she does not disclose the maximum strength. As far as I am concerned I can do at home peels for a lot less for the same effect. I was of the thought that a doctor's office peel would deliver a better result, but I think not.

This peel really burned this time and my skin got really red - finally getting the effect I expected. Today (3 days after peel) I am starting to flake some. My skin is tight and shiny.

I have one more peel and I don't plan to schedule more. I firmly believe I can get the results I want with a home peel.

Back to the eye hollows

Ok I know this isn't about peels, but as I mentioned in my first post my eyes are what bother me the most. So, I thought I would share the different doctor's I went to and what they suggested.

1St Doctor - Cosmetic Dermatologist - Shuffled me into a room and made me watch a video about Sculptra. He did not discuss any other procedures. The cost $2,000 per vial - 2 vials needed, possibly more. Yeah - I think not. Not sure why he was pushing the product so hard, but I have read horror stories about it and decided against it.

2nd Doctor - Thought I was seeing a doctor, but wasn't. This was a laser center. Naturally, I was hoping for laser options, but again shuffled into a room and had Sculptra pushed on me. The woman here had me hold a mirror and went over every ugly detail of my face. I left feeling like I should be wearing a bag over my head. Got to have tough skin - remember - most of these places are trying to sell the easiest money makers for them.

3rd Doctor: This one is a well reviewed doctor in Boca Raton. He was very affable and told me I needed a blep. He said he would remove fat from my eye and then harvest fat from some other part of my body and put it under my eye. I left thinking he was the one, but I decided to sleep on it a few days.

In the end I thought it did not make sense to remove fat, only to put fat back it. Also he asked if I wanted him to do anything about my crow's feet. I don't have crow's feet...yet...it dawned on me that he wanted to sell me Botox.

4th Doctor: This time I went to the respected Balscom Plamer Eye Institute. This doctor immediately suggested cheek implants, huh????? This one suggested a blep from the outside and draping of the fat. I thought it over and was not fond of the idea of an external incision. Also, I read reviews about this doctor and the negative ones scared me enough to pass.

5th Doctor: Oculoplastic Surgeon - This doctor was great. He had me hold up a mirror and I thought here we go again, but he was not offensive at all. He verified what is bothering me and told me that all I needed was either a skin pinch or CO2 laser. I asked about a blep and he said I have no bags and no fat and that a blep was not only unnecessary, but could make the hollowing worse. He said I could use fillers too, but I don't want to go that route yet. I tried to fight him back to the surgery because I was convinced that is what I need. He finally said he was a surgeon who has done every surgery there is and that any type of fat transfer after a blep could yield unwanted results - lumps, too much fat absorbing into body, not enough fat absorbing into body. He said my skin is a little saggy, nothing more. He didn't say directly that the other's were trying to milk me for money, but he said there are a lot of tools out there being marketed that don't really work. He seemed very to the point, honest and I liked that. I wouldn't say he was overly friendly, which in my book is a good thing especially in south Florida where you really have to watch.

I plan to call tomorrow and make an appointment with this doctor. I'm not expecting dramatic results, but he didn't promise that either. I just want to shave a few years off, my goal is not to look 25 again - that'd involve too much stretching and may result in that alien look I hate so much. Will create a new post once I make the appointment and will start taking before pictures.

Peel Number 6

Had my final peel Friday. This time we did a 25% TCA. After cleansing my skin and wiping down with alcohol, one layer of the chemical was applied. She left it on for 3 minutes. It really burned, but subsided after a couple minutes. She had me wash my face in water.

I went back to work, parts of my face still frosted...LOL...Good thing I don't care. My skin still stung for the rest of the day and my was red. In fact, my forehead was really red. It looks like a sunburn. It's still red today and my skin feels tight. I expect it to peel in a few days.

I think this peel was more like what I have been expecting all along. My skin looks nicer and my laugh lines have eased a bit.

I will most likely not return for a professional peel unless I get a groupon. I have Jessners and 25% TCA at home, which I think are a little weaker than the doctor's office. However, if I leave it on longer or add more layers it should yield the same result.

My eye surgery is in 2 weeks so I don't know when I will do another peel. I plan to give myself a Jessners, with several layers. After that I plan to apply the Jessners, then TCA 25% over it.
TruDerm

I like Dr. Usami because she was honest with me - that I'll need surgery. She is taking slow, but good steps to improve my skin. My skin is improved, but I still have a ways to go.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (8)

How far apart were the peels? Did your skin improve overall or did it go back as well? Thanks for the review.
  • Reply
The peels were 2 weeks apart. My skin did improve a lot, but the tightness is short lived. The dark spots are still there. I did not experience the dramatic results you see in before and after pictures. I think part of the problem is the doctor starts slow to see how the skin reacts. My skin is tough so perhaps after a lot of peels there would be a difference. I'm doing them at home now and the texture of my skin is great, but spots still present. I found 70% unbuffered glycolic acid peel and plan to test on a spot. Will post the results.
  • Reply
I had a TCA and peeled for a week and a half. I'm guessing he did get more aggressive. What sunscreen do you use? Being in South Florida, it is summer all the time. Did you consult with Fagien about your eyes? Hopefully the CO2 resolved the issue.
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What strength tca? I use nuetrogena 55+. I am not familiar with Dr. Fagien. I consulted with a few and chose Dr. Myers. He was the only one who didn't want to do the blep since I literally have no fat around my eyes. The laser improved the skin, but I still have rings, he suggested fillers. I've read horror stories about fat transfer here on real self so I may try fillers.
  • Reply
Google Fagien. He is well thought of in the occuplastic community. No hype or flashy websites. I've done filler under my eyes without problem. Restylane. However, I'm always scared that the next time will be an issue. In fact, I'm overdue. Fagien is on my short list and I'm several states away from Florida. Best wishes.
  • Reply
Sorry. 10% TCA. Did you peel that much?
  • Reply
I did peel, but more like flaking. It would stop and then start again.
  • Reply

Thank you for sharing your experience with RealSelf.  What did you experience during the peel.  Any burning etc?

Definitely let us know how it goes with the 3rd peel.

  • Reply