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TCA peel

TCA peels are chemical peels that consist of trichloroacetic acid, usually in low concentrations. In fact, they help to treat facial scars and improve the appearance of skin ageing.

How does the procedure work? 

TCA peels involve deposition of trichloroacetic acid at high concentrations on the surface of the atrophic scar. As a result, this incites a localised inflammatory reaction. In turn, this stimulates the formation of new collagen. Therefore, this improves the appearance of the scar as well as reduces the shadows cast over scar depressions.

In fact, TCA CROSS helps treat:

  • Boxcar acne scars
  • Rolling acne scars
  • Ice-pick acne scars

How is the procedure performed? 

The duration of the procedure epends on the severity as well as the depth of scars. The procedure follows:

  • Dermatologists cleanse the skin to treat. Eye covers help protect the eyes.
  • Trichloroacetic acid is focally applied to the base of the atrophic scar using a fine blunt-ended instrument like a toothpick.
  • The number of sessions depend on the skin’s healing ability.
  • The skin is intermittently cleansed using saline/chlorhexidine soaked gauze.

The frequency of the procedure maybe a few times at 2-8 week intervals. In fact, the procedure may take six months for optimum results.


  • Prolonged irritation
  • Erythema
  • Damage to mucosal surfaces as a result, ulceration as well as scarring
  • Post-inflammatory pigmentation changes
  • Lastly, suboptimal results

However, these complications are rare if experts carry it out.

Post-procedure care

  • The frosting of the treated scar will last about 12 hours.
  • The skin around the treated site will be red and sore for 1-2 days.
  • After 2-3 days, a scab will form at the site and fall off within a week.
  • Sun protection is very important to avoid pigmentation.
  • Makeup is okay.

This procedure is inexpensive and safe. In fact, it is an efficient method to treat acne scars. However, it may not also be effective when used alone.

Dermatologists assess the type and severity of acne scars. Accordingly, they perform TCA CROSS in isolation or in combination with other acne treatments. For instance, TCA with subcision or microneedling. The patient’s preference and expectations, as well as the clinician’s experience, are also relevant in deciding the treatment course.

TCA peel


TCA peels are chemical peels that consist of trichloroacetic acid, usually in low concentrations. In fact, they help to treat facial scars and improve the appearance of skin ageing. 

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