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Hi, Tif. Yes, my face gets hideously puffy after a TCA peel. My skin turns a shade of maroon, and the top layer becomes very tight and smooth and feels sort of like plastic--I don't know how to explain it. Then it turns brown and crusty and starts falling off. Real attractive, huh? It's really hard to eat without stretching the skin uncomfortably. I find that doing frequent soaks lessens the discomfort greatly. My derm instructs me to soak my face intermittently for twenty minutes in a basin of water after the 4th day. Are you not allowed to wash your face until your skin has completely peeled?? I don't think I would be able to do that; it would be too uncomfortable.

I'm sorry your peel was so painful. Mine aren't exactly pleasant, but they're not really painful, either. My derm gives me Valium or Valtrex(?) and applies numbing cream to my face a half hour before the peel. She puts Jessners solution on my face then the TCA, but she doesn't leave it on long. For five days post-peel, I take prednisone and valtrex pills. I wash my face then apply Bacitracin ointment until all the skin peels off, which is usually the 9th or 10th day.

After my first 30% TCA peel, people made a lot of comments on my "flawless skin". Of course, I still noticed every single flaw, but the shallow scars improved by maybe 60%. I've had 6 peels over the past 3 years to maintain the results, and the improvement is gradual. I think I see the best results 2 months post-peel. This is when my skin looks the smoothest. I also do 70% glycolic peels regularly, which helps maintain the results. I'm planning on buying a home microdermabrasion kit, also. I've been reading raves about them on a lot of the delphi forums. People often compliment me on my skin now, but they have no idea how much maintenance it is. I wish I could be one of those people with effortlessly perfect skin who can wear any foundation and touch their face without worrying about breakouts.

Well, that's my story. And it was a really long one--sorry. What's your skin history? Do you do AHA or BHA peels? What other procedures have you had done?

Hope you're feeling a little better. I like to curl up with a really thick book; it makes the days go by faster.
Hey, Tif

I'm happy I can be of some help to you, and I really like this board so far. I've read a lot of useful posts so I'm glad if others can benefit from reading about my experiences, too.

My derm recommends Cetaphil, but it has questionable ingredients in it so I always use my regular cleanser post-peel. She says to wash twice a day, but my cleanser is kind of drying so I only wash once. There doesn't seem to be much point in washing that layer of plastic; it's just going to peel off in a few days anyway. I slather on a bunch of Bacitracin and run an ice cube over my face for a while if I feel really tight. Then when my skin turns brown (usually 3rd or 4th day )is when I start the soaks. My derm advises to fill a large basin with warm water, add a tablespoon (I think) of salt, and keep dumping your face in for twenty minutes. This helps to slough off the nasty, brown, crusty layer. I prefer to use cold water, though, and I refuse to let salt touch my skin. (I'm not a very good patient--I disregard a lot of my derm's instructions. Oh, well, it works for me). I keep a large bowl of water near my bed and keep doing the soaks all day every day until everything peels off. It's a hassle, but it's the only way to relieve the tightness.

How many professionally done microdermabrasions have you had? And do you remember what machine they used? I've been using the same old 70% glycolic peel for the past 3 years, and I want to experiment more with other methods of exfoliation. Thanks for letting me know about lactic acid for red marks--I didn't know that. People have always touted glycolic as the be-all and end-all of the alpha hydroxys so I never looked into the others much. But now I will definitely try it.

Hi there, P. In answer to your question re: antibiotics, I can only tell you the same thing as Tif. My derm gave me antibiotics to take for 5 days post-peel to prevent infection; she never mentioned if taking antibiotics before the peel would affect it in any way.

Yes, P, I have to use sunscreen. My derm says it's very important to use bleaching lotion and good sunblock once the skin peels off. At this stage the skin is very susceptible to damage and might hyperpigment if not protected. As for your question about how long you have to wear sunscreen, well, I'm doing it everyday for the rest of my life to keep my skin looking nice. At 9 or 10 days post peel, my skin is soft as a baby's bottom and looks all new and smooth. I get out and continue with my regular activites, but my skin is pinkish so I cover it up with mineral foundation. Since you're a guy, I don't know if you'd want to wear makeup or just deal with the flushed look. The pinkness goes away in a few days, but for at least a month after the peel, my skin becomes flushed very easily and is more sensitive to heat. I have very tough skin, and you mentioned that you have sensitive skin so I don't know if yours will react the same way mine does. And I don't mind at all answering any questions you have.

Hey, Tif, I'd like to hear what your doctor says about doing another TCA peel in a month. I want to get mine done 3 months apart instead of 6, but I'm worried this will be overkill on my skin. I've never tried Purpose Lotion; I use mainly Sage skincare. What else do you find has been good for your skin? Gosh, it's fun talking to other people who are just as obsessed with skincare as I am.
Hi Ellah,

Iím glad you are sticking around this board.

I do the same thing; wash my face and slather on some Aquaphor. The problem with that is it manages to get in my hair, it makes my hair look like a grease bucket in a few hours. I have thought about the ice cube, but I was afraid it might not be good. I really would like to soak my eyes with ice (what do you think).

I wonder why my doctor didnít mention the soaks. I really appreciate you telling me about them, I hope I can find something that I already have to soak with. I think Iíll wait until tomorrow to start the soaks though.

Well, I had a couple of microderms done at a derms office, and then went to a salon and had about four or five. The microderm seems to clean and refresh your face better than a facial. As for helping for shallow scars and large pores it did nothing. If anything I think microderms may have made them look worse. Maybe itís because they cleaned everything out of the scars (tissue), I really donít know. Anyway, they were doing the highest most aggressive level on me (number 5). It did give me a nice clean healthy look though. I had a fine line under one of my eyes (from sleeping on my stomach) and it managed to make it disappear, but about a month after I quit having them done my face went right back to where it was, other than my scars still looked more noticeable. So I think they are good for fine lines as long as you have at least one a month to keep it up. I do not recommend it for scars. This was me though; you could be different of course. Maybe when I start getting crows feet (I hope this wonít happen), I will have microderms done just around my eyes, but I donít want to chance where my scars are/were.

About the Purpose Lotion SPF 15, itís just something I found to be soothing the day I do a light peel or the following day. You donít want to put anything on that will irritate your skin, and Purpose Lotion has nothing in it that will. It has nothing special in it either. Itís just good for that reason only. Although, I think it would be perfect for a guy to use, because it gives you moisture with SPF and sinks in very well, you canít even tell you have anything on. Thatís probably what I will use for SPF for a while after this peel, until I can start back with my normal regimen. BTW, when do you start back with your normal regimen after your TCA?

I wanted to ask you how long do you wait before you start doing your glycolic peels after your TCA Peel. Girl you must have some tough skin (70% OUCHA)!! I have something to tell you about Lactic Acid that I think you will find very interesting. I will write another page on that later. I think I have managed to make this too long already (donít want you to loose interest).

Yes I will definitely let you know what my doctor says about the TCA Peel in a month. I have an appointment Tuesday, but if I donít start looking any better, I may reschedule for the end of the week. There is no way I would want to walk through this really nice building looking the way I do!! I have already decided to call work and tell them I wonít be back until Wednesday. I didnít think I was going to look this bad for so long! I wanted to do the peel on a Friday afternoon but my doctor only does surgeryís on Fridayís, I guess he is busy with lipo, face lifts, etcÖ

Today is the Tomorrow You Worried About Yesterday...
Tif :)
Hi, Tif--

Is your face brown and crusty or just red?

You mentioned that when your chin peeled, the skin revealed underneath was red and splotchy. When my skin peels off, the skin underneath looks like a newborn baby's skin. The only times it has looked red and raw as you described were when I didn't let the brown layer fall off by itself and I pulled at it. I did that near my mouth after my last TCA peel in September, and it's still a little reddish. It's been gradually lightening. I don't think your chin will peel twice; I think it will just be red for a while, and it will gradually get back to its normal color. Just use sunscreen and bleaching lotion.

I think icing your eyes would be okay. I ice my whole face post-peel, and nothing bad happens.

Since your doc didn't say anything anout the soaks, maybe you should call and ask him first before doing them. But the soaks have always been helpful to me.

Can you tell me the name of the microdermabrasion peels you got?

I use bleaching lotion (hydroquinone 2%) and salicylic acid 2% as soon as my skin has completely peeled off. I do my glycolic peels about two weeks after the old skin falls off. Bear in mind, though, that my 70% at home peel is not as strong as something a doctor would give. I do it once a week.

I ordered the 40% lactic acid peel you use. Did you buy your glycolic peel from the same company--the Doctor's Strength 20%-70% glycolic acid peel? (That is not the glycolic peel I have, by the way). I'd like to try it, though. Do you still use Retin-A? I read on another post that you use SkinBio's Copper Peptide Serum. I ordered this recently but only used it a few times. I'm trying to figure out if it's the cause of a few zits that popped up soon after I started using it.

Hope your skin's doing better today.

Hi Ellah,

I was scared you had disappeared.

Hey my chin has lightened up some since yesterday. I will tell about that on my update.

The way I wash my face I guess it is kind of like a soak. I wet it, soap up some Neutrogena facial bar on my hands and pat it all over my face. Rinse for about 5 minutes and repeat the process (only repeat it once).

About the Microdermabrasion I didnít get any microderm peels, other than going and having Microderms done. On the post I wrote the other day about the Lactic, read it again and let me know what you think.

Yes, I bought my 20%-70% Glycolic from the same company. Let me tell you that it is definitely the same stuff as from a doctor!!! I mean that if you buy this stuff I would not do more than 30%-35% the first time. It is not buffered at all. Itís pure acid. Iím guessing but I would bet that their 35%-40% (doctor strength) would be about as strong as your 70% buffered! I donít recommend anybody going over 50% with that potent stuff and thatís only for someone that has did a few and worked their way up. That bottle will last you along time too. You could maybe do 70% on your chest or back of hands, because those areas are a lot thicker.

I would not use the Retin A 24-48 hours before/after using the doctor strength glycolic (I know this from experience). But with the Lactic Acid you can use the Retin A with it, maybe just skip the Retin A the night you do a lactic peel. Lactic is so gentle so Retin A isnít a problem with it.

About the Copper Peptide Serum, I only use it like right after a lactic peel. If I did a doctor strength glycolic peel I would use the CP Serum in place of my Retin A: 24-48 hours before/after the Glycolic Peel.

The reason why I donít use the CP Serum everyday is because I prefer my Vitamin C Serum (15%-20%). I love my Vitamin C. Iím a huge SkinCeuticals fan and I canít wait to get back to my Regimen! I use their line of Products and love love love it. Itís expensive, but I think our skin is worth it. If you want to know more about the SkinCeuticals let me know. I donít buy SkinCeuticals from their site anymore. I have found it a lot cheaper at other reputable places that donít send you something that is going to expire soon. You should be able to find it too.

Let me know if you have more questions. Iím sure I will have more questions for you too. You have helped me tremendously. Talk to you later.

Today is the Tomorrow You Worried About Yesterday...
Tif :)

I was wondering if you knew what machine was used for your microderm. Different names I've heard are Power Peel, DermaPeel, Crystal Peel, SmartPeel. I didn't see this in your post. It's strange that the microderms made your scars more noticeable. I will let you know how my home microderm goes.

Following the microderm with a lactic peel sounds good. I'll try that when my peel kit arrives. Lactic acid sounds awesome; I didn't know it was in the Jessners until you mentioned this. No wonder my skin looks so good after I get a Jessners peel.

That 20%-70% glycolic sounds scary! But maybe I'll try it when I run out of my current glycolic peel. Where did you hear that skin grows resistant after using the same acid for a long time? Have you found this to be true with your skin?

What % Retin-A do you use? I'd like to use it to increase collagen production; have you seen much improvement in this area? Does your Vitamin C Serum help with collagen? I've used SkinCeuticals sunscreen but haven't tried their other products. I will definitely visit their site and let you know if I have questions.

By the way, I think I've done the Skin Culture peel you mentioned before. I got a peel from the same site that sells the lactic & glycolic kits you have. This was a couple years ago, and it had virtually no effect because I did not discontinue my AHAs 30 days prior peel as was recommended. I decided I would rather do my TCAs since I didn't have to stop using AHAs.

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