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Skin Wellness 

Center for Advanced Dermatology and Laser

TCA CROSS Chemical Scar Targeted Treatment

 A lot of people with pitted acne scars are turning to a procedure called “TCA CROSS” – which stands for trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and chemical reconstruction of skin scars (CROSS). This is a fairly new procedure that isn’t performed in every dermatologist’s office. Have a consult with your dermatologist and decide what you want to do. Honestly though, how to remove ice pick type acne scars is done with TCA Cross!

What is the procedure TCA Cross?

TCA Cross also known as “Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars”, is a skin care method in which someone applies a very high percentage of TCA (at least 65% and up to 99%) to the pitted acne scar tissue only. Immediately after you finish, you should coat the treated areas with Neosporin (or its equivalents), Aquaphor, or Vaseline until scabs form and begin to fall off. Keep the areas coated with the petroleum jelly or antibiotic cream/gel and do not wash your face during this period. In a few days the scabs will form; a few days later they will have all fallen off. Do not pick at the scabs to make them fall off sooner! Leave them alone! Once all of the scabs have fallen off, you may wash your face with a gentle cleanser and apply sunscreen to your face if you go out in the sun. Also, make sure to use a natural moisturizer on the affected areas to keep the acne scar tissue lubricated so that it heals better. At this point you may wear makeup or continue with your normal (but gentle) skin care routines.

The TCA Cross method needs to be repeated every 1-2 months so that dermal thickening and collagen production occurs inside the acne scars. After 3-9 months, you should see a great improvement in the appearance of your acne scars! Do this for up to a 12 month period if you need to. TCA cross works best if you have ice pick scars or depressed acne scars rather than the other 2 types known as rolling scars and boxcar scars. It may help with these types of acne scars, but it has been proven that it works best with ice pick acne scars!

The good thing about this CROSS method is that it allows you to use a very high percentage of the TCA (a percentage that must NEVER be used on an entire face as it would result in permanent scarring) on just the localized, scarred, and pitted areas of the face.

This CROSS method is done by using a 65% or 100% of TCA solution. This tca cross method can reconstruct acne scars by causing dermal thickening and collagen production in the pitted, depressed areas that naturally increase with higher >65% TCA concentrations.

Other Acne Scar Treatment options

Last Updated: August 6,2017

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