TCA CROSS for Acne Scars (And Lupus Discoid Scars), at Home

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*Treatment results may vary

MY 1st TCA CROSS: I've been suffering for acne for...

MY 1st TCA CROSS: I've been suffering for acne for most of my life, but it was light acne, resulting in an imperfect skin that I could manage with some make-up. However, this all changed, I am now 43, and it feels like in the last 3-4 years, every time I had a small pimple it left a scar, or a hole. I now have a mix of scars, and basically a bad overall texture, and now the wrinkles have started to make themselves at home ;-) And I still have some active acne once in a while (which I will avoid of course in my crossing). On top of that, I've been suffering from a skin condition for the past 10 years, Lupus Discoid (a lupus that only affects the skin) and it left another load of scars, especially on my nose. I've also had a cortisone injection made by my dermatologist on one of my cheeks for the lupus and it left one of my biggest scar (with some kind of loss fat underneath so it is sunken). I'll be careful in treating those lupus scars and go slowly. Sooooooooo, inspired by other members here and a thorough research online including videos of dermatologists doing the treatment, I did my 1st TCA CROSS yesterday. I've used a 50% TCA solution (bought on Amazon), applied it very carefully in the center of my scars with the tip of a toothpick-wearing vinyl gloves-, saw it frosted, as it is supposed to, did not neutralize it, and put nothing on it, just washed my face delicately the next morning. The application barely stung so it was basically painless for me, afterwards too, not really even a burning sensation. Today, I have some redness and it feels like the pores/holes look bigger but I'm not worried as it seems somewhat normal to have a few days-weeks where your skin looks worst from what I read. I'm now hoping for some scabbing at day 4 or 5. I have of course no progress to show as it can take up to 30 days to see some results, but I'll upload right away some before pictures and some of today-the day after. I plan to do it once a month if my skin reacts well to it. I like the idea of doing treatments at home as I can have a good control on it and go at my pace. I'm scared of lasers right now too, and some doctors ;-) So anyway, for the TCA CROSS, I've seen that some people had amazing results so hopefully I can see some improvements on my side too. I just hope my journey can be helpful to you, and let me know if you also experimented with it, would love to hear about it all!

2nd day post TCA CROSS

2nd day after the TCA CROSS: So today, I have little red dots everywhere I crossed, it seems it is now starting to form some tiny scabs, so it is more dark and apparent than yesterday (see pics), where it felt like I had more giants pores than before, and some redness where I crossed. At the beginning, I wanted to do a test patch on one scar and wait to see the result (THE thing to do), but once I was all set up I did my whole face, big pores included, just thought what the hell, but kind of regret it now. Reading more reviews last night, made me panicked a bit as I was reading experiences of people for whom Crossing made things worse. I think I was very careful though in my application but I did do every place I wanted treated all at once. So I do feel stupid not being able wait and just do a test patch, we never know. ( know how it is, you have those scars and at one point you just want them erased ASAP...) So I'll try to follow up tomorrow ;-)

3RD day post TCA CROSS

3rd day post TCA CROSS: This morning it looks pretty much the same as yesterday, except that when I started to move my face, I saw that my forming scabs are starting to slowly dry up, and it started peeling at some place. I've added some moisturizer for the first time, as since the beginning I put nothing on my face, just washing it gently in the morning with some mild foamy soap and tapping to dry, I kind of let it be the rest of the time. I took my real camera out as the iphone pictures just didn't showed well enough the details. So I'll upload a few now. On my screen, in a full screen format it will be very helpful for me to see the changes, should have done that since the beginning but I guess I was a bit lazy (we see my nose better here, I just did 2 or 3 crossings there as I want to go slowly and see how it turns out, the red spots are somewhat active lupus that I don't touch; I also read that nose scars seems harder to treat, oh well). I have to go out today for some errands, but just so you know applying make-up isn't really helpful at this stage, it will make for a weirder face. I'm thinking in the next 2 days it will be hard not to pick on the dry skin detaching itself slowly but I won't do it. Having no engagement really help, I just have to take the dog out, hoping not to meet any neighbors ;-) The scabs looks really tiny, I think I managed successfully to be very precise with my application during the crossing (can't have a shaky hand!) and after I finished I thought I made as good as a job as a doctor. The scars on the sides of the face were hard to do for me, it was harder to see them and pinpoint them correctly with the toothpick. So at this stage, I still don't know if this treatment will be good for me, but I've read that some people saw an immediate improvement on some of the scars closing up right after the scabs fell off so I'm hoping for that. I will follow-up, fingers crossed!

4TH day post TCA CROSS

4th day post TCA CROSS: Everything is drying up today, no pics necessary as not much as changed. I try not to touch at my face as it seems very easy to disrupt the drying skin. For now:

-I'm still hoping that I haven't made things worse because the crossing did made the holes of my pores look bigger. But the scabs are still forming or are already there, so they seem to accentuate the pore sizes, or the scars, or basically how my skin is damaged.
-Compared to other "scabbing" pics post TCA CROSS I saw, I'm thinking I might have been going light on the application (which is ok for a 1st time), although everything frosted. I'm not sure yet, but as the scabs look small and shallow, and they are shedding light dry skin that seem very easy to take out (by itself or an accidental touch of my part-crazy the amount of time you touch your face without realizing it). I also have 3 of what I guess is icepick scars all aligned on the right side of my face, and I just begin to see some newly formed scabbing on one of them. They look like very deep holes so it might explain why it is forming later. These are the ones that bother me the most so hopefully I'll see some changes there, starting by some scabbing.

So If I see no "damages" (i.e. the treatment making things worse) once the scabs are off, I'll see how things are evolving in the next few weeks and once I'm ready to do another CROSS, I'll probably put layers of TCA in the scars to have a more profound treatment, this 1st time being a light test. Anyway, it's all presumptions still, so right now I'm just waiting. Looking forward to the end of this "shedding", feel a little bit like a snake ;-)

5TH day post TCA CROSS

5th day post TCA CROSS: Just some picks today to show my evolution at day 5, scabs drying off and getting ready to fall off very soon. Not a good day to go out!

6TH day post TCA CROSS

I am still shedding today, especially after washing my face, but here's a pic of before/after as of today, it looks really promising I'd say. (I'm looking for a picture editor where I can put pics side-by-side like that, and write over it, had to do it on my phone now and was hard to manage, something for a mac would be great if you have any suggestions). I think tomorrow my scabs might all be gone, looking forward to see underneath.

8TH day post TCA CROSS

8th day post TCA CROSS: Almost all the scabs have fallen off, I'm very happy with the improvements, everything is smoother, and if all goes well the scars should continue to fill in in the next weeks. I've uploaded a before/ after pic of my 3 aligned ice pick scars that I hate, I notice an improvement, very happy about that. The big middle one still has a little scab in it. Also 2 other pics, there is redness on the right side which is an ex-pimple I had picked before the treatment, and the other one seems to be a lupus spot (will not treat that one again). I'll post other pics when I see some further changes, looking forward to do the next treatment in 3 weeks.

Annoying wrinkle = better!

I'd say this wrinkle looks much better! Will re-cross ;-)

DAY 13TH - Update

It's been thirteen days since my TCA cross, and I definitely see an improvement. My skin is still generally bad, especially outside in the harsh light (sunken scars are especially horrible in this light/and under the make-up), but I feel there is an improvement in the overall texture, and a shrinking of my icepicks scars, the easiest to tell. I have no idea if it made an improvement on my lupus scars, but I will keep crossing them, same for THE wrinkle, I wish I would have made my before pics with my camera instead of my phone. I will continue crossing the wrinkle anyway. I still have some redness but it's probably ex-picked pimples and/or lupus sensitive spots. Here are some pics. Very hopeful for the next cross!

2ND TCA CROSS treatment - 2nd day after

So I did my second cross treatment on Monday (5 weeks after the 1st one), I went more aggressively on some scars and it shows, it is ugly, scabs haven't formed yet. I put Neosporin on the first 2 days to make sure there wasn't any infections, and started to wash my face only the morning after the treatment. As I'm bothered with my upper lips wrinkles, at the end I passed the wet toothpick very lightly on top of my lips. I can now understand the burn-like-hell feeling people experience with full TCA peel, although the % is lighter. I also re-crossed the wrinkle on the left side on my face. Uploaded a few picks to show how it looks today, I'm thinking I should have planned more ahead for things like groceries, as I have to go out for that now, I might do like Bono and keep my sunglasses on inside and hide with a hat...

DAY 3RD post TCA cross

Just a quick update to show how it looks today, 3 day after I did my second-more agressive- TCA cross. It is starting to dry today, scabs are slowly forming. As I went more aggressive this time, the forming scabs look bigger, last time I had a lot of flaky skin falling off instead of scabs. The full TCA application I did on my upper lips is starting to peel a little bit. I just wash my face at morning and night, and apply vitamin C serum, that's pretty much it. Hoping all the scabs will be off at around day 8.

Update - 3 weeks after the 2nd TCA cross

Just to say that I'm almost 3 weeks after my second cross and I definitely see improvements, especially on my 3 aligned and much more visible icepick scars, it is really encouraging as I literally see them closing slowly everyday. They were really deep so I'm sure I'll need some more treatments, my next one will be in a week. I went more heavy on them when I crossed, and as usual right after the scabs fell off they looked bigger and deeper, to the point where I wondered if I hadn't made things worse. I uploaded a picture, it is not so good so I'm not sure if it'll be visible, but when I need to go out, I find them much more easy to cover with primer, something I couldn't really do before. Very pleased!

1 month after my 3rd TCA CROSS

This last cross is taking longer to heal, especially the biggest scars, but I post this before/after pic just to show that one out of my 3 deep icepick scars is finally closing (the upper one, which was also the smallest one, but it was deep). YĆ©!! FI.NA.LLY! The other 2 are taking their time to heal properly, they are still large and red (but probably shallower though), so I will postpone my next cross to give it time to heal, and it is summer, I found that the downtime was bad with much more social activities. I'm thinking that I'll probably need 2-4 more TCA treatments, and then I'll have to think about other treatments to further the improvements as I find that my skin is still bad with its mix of big pores, wrinkles and depressed scars and overall texture. I'll probably think about some professional dermarolling treatments, or do some TCA peels at home, still researching what might be best. For now, I'll enjoy this latest disappearance of at least one of my scar, it's one more that I don't have to try to fill with primer (just ask me how I feel about primer and make-up ;-)

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