I wanted to add a couple of things...
When I was using Retin A I frequently experienced a strong pulling sensation in my right cheek. As it turns out, it is in the same spot that the worst of my damage seems to have occurred. I don't think that this is a coincidence. This pulling sensation has been gradually subsiding after discontinuing Retin A. One of my dermatologists thought the sensation could be from inflammation... Anyway, just wanted to throw that out there, in case anyone else may be experiencing it.
Also, I have been reading the stories of others on this forum and have noticed that many are affected by autoimmune diseases. I have had trouble with acute allergic reactions (hives frequently (and I mean the head to toe kind), occasional exercise-induced anaphylaxis, etc.) for about 10 years. Recently, after my most recent (and worst) anaphylaxis, I was diagnosed with a Mast Cell Disease. Doctors still are not sure if Mast Cell Diseases are autoimmune, but think that they may be.
A common thread between all autoimmune diseases is inflammation. I wonder if when you add inflammation (Retin A, chemical peels, lasers, etc.) to already inflamed tissue, that it has the real potential to produce damage and poor healing. Not that everyone has acquired damage in this way, but perhaps some. This is just me thinking out loud... Sometimes I think if I had a reason why this happened, perhaps it would be easier to cope with, or maybe not, I don't know.
I do know, however, that my most important work is to share my experience. Perhaps healing will follow...