- About – TCA cross is a treatment that is used to improve acne scars including box scars and ice pick scars
- Treatments – This treatment involves 4 to 6 treatments spaced every 4-6 weeks
- Next step – Arrange an acne scar consultation where one of our Dermatologists can advise you on this treatment
What does TCA Cross stand for?
TCA stands for TrichlorAcetic Acid and CROSS stands for Chemical Reconstruction Of ScarS.
When is TCA Cross recommended?
TCA Cross treatment is recommended for acne scars, especially those that are deep. The benefit of TCA Cross is that the liquid is able to reach the very bottom of the scar where it can have an effect.
Acne scar which are treated with TCA Cross include:
- Ice pick scars
- Boxcar scars
TCA Cross may form part of an acne scarring treatment plan.
What can I expect during a TCA Cross treatment?
Your skin will be cleansed and then the TCA will be placed in the scars. The stages that will follow are:
- Frosting. The skin will go white for 30 mins as the TCA reacts proteins in the skin.
- Redness. When the frosting disappears, the skin will become red.
- Scabbing. A scab will form within 1 or 2 days. This will cover the redness and lasts for 3 to 7 days.
- Redness for 7 to 28 days. Once the scab separates, the skin will be red. The redness will gradually fade over a month (sometimes two).
Looking after your skin after TCA Cross
- Your skin may become sensitive and it is best to use a very gentle lotion, such as Cetaphil lotion, as a cleanser twice per day.
- The scabs need to be moisturised four times a day. Either apply Vaseline or Aquaphor ointment to the scabs for times a day.
- Let the scabs separate naturally. You must not pick them. They will separate as soon as the skin below has healed.
- You can wear make-up from day 3 onwards.
- It is important to protect your skin from the sun as the sun can cause pigmentation in the healing areas. We ask you to avoid tanning for 2 weeks before treatment until 2 months after your final treatment. If you do develop pigmentation, you may need a skin-lightening treatment from your doctor.
What are the benefits of TCA Cross?
TCA Cross is a very successful treatment for the right type of acne scars. About 75% of patients receiving this form of treatment feel their results are good or excellent. TCA Cross has been found to be safe in published reports from Brazil, Egypt, Korea, and India.
A Korean medical report showed that 94% of people receiving TCA cross had a good response. An Egyptian study showed that TCA cross improved scars by 75% in 4 sessions.
What are the risks of TCA Cross?
As with any medical treatment, there are some risks of treatment as well:
- Redness which can persist for several months
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is darkening to the skin in treated areas
- Rarely, loss of pigment can occur
- Scars can widen or look worse
- There may be no results or very minimal results
- Infection can occur
How many treatments are required?
Between 4 to 6 treatments are usually required, every 4 to 6 weeks. Results may not start being apparent until the second or third treatment.
Combining TCA with other treatments
TCA Cross is regularly combined with other skincare treatments especially Tixel, for optimum results.
What should I do next?
If you are interested in TCA cross treatment and would like an assessment of your acne scars then please arrange to see one of our Dermatologists who will be happy to help.