TCA CROSS For Acne Scar

Trichloroacetic Acid Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars (TCA CROSS) is a targeted treatment for atrophic acne scars.

It involves applying a high concentration of trichloroacetic acid, typically between 70-100%, directly into the scar to stimulate collagen production, thereby raising the scar to the level of surrounding skin.

Indications for TCA CROSS

TCA CROSS treatment is recommended for acne scars, especially those that are deep. The benefit of TCA CROSS is that the solution can reach the very bottom of the scar, allowing it to be highly effective.

Acne scars treated with TCA CROSS include:

  • Ice pick scars
  • Boxcar scars

Areas Eligible for TCA CROSS

TCA CROSS is suitable for treating deep scars in various areas:

The TCA CROSS Procedure

The TCA CROSS procedure is executed as follows:


The skin is cleansed thoroughly to remove any oils and debris. The doctor may apply a topical numbing cream to minimise discomfort during the treatment.


A small amount of high-concentration trichloroacetic acid (typically 70-100%) is carefully applied directly into the scar using a fine-tipped instrument. This precision ensures that the acid affects only the scar tissue and not the surrounding skin.


The acid induces a localised chemical burn, causing the scar to frost or turn white. This reaction is required to initiate the healing process.

What to Expect After the Treatment?

Healing: After the procedure, the treated area will crust and eventually peel off within a week. This process encourages the growth of new, healthy skin tissue from beneath, leading to scar elevation.

Follow-Up Care: Patients should attend follow-up appointments as scheduled to allow the doctor to monitor the healing process and determine if additional sessions are necessary.

Ready for Natural Looking Results?

Consult with our doctors for an accurate diagnosis and personalised treatment plan.


Downtime Expectations for TCA CROSS

The minimal downtime associated with TCA CROSS makes it an appealing option for individuals seeking effective treatment without significant interruption to their daily routines. Here are the key points regarding downtime:

Immediate Aftercare

Immediately after the procedure, patients may experience mild redness and swelling in the treated areas, which typically subsides within a few hours.

Scab Formation and Healing

Within the first few days, tiny scabs will form over the treated scars. These scabs are part of the natural healing process and generally fall off within 5 to 7 days.

Return to Routine

Most patients can return to their normal daily activities, including work, the day after the procedure, provided they adhere to the post-care instructions, especially regarding sun protection and skin care.

Post-Procedure Care

Looking after your skin after a TCA CROSS treatment is important for optimal healing and results. Here are the key steps patients should follow:

  • Sun Protection
    Patients must protect the treated area from sun exposure by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher). Sun exposure can lead to pigmentation issues, especially in freshly healed skin.
  • Moisturising
    Keeping the treated area moisturised is vital. Use a gentle, non-comedogenic moisturiser to help soothe the skin and promote healing.
  • Avoiding Picking
    It is important not to pick at the scabs or peel them prematurely. Doing so can interfere with the healing process and might lead to scarring.
  • Hygiene
    Maintain cleanliness in the treated area to prevent infection. Cleanse the skin gently with a mild, non-irritating cleanser.

Recommendations from the Doctor

For patients looking to explore a wider range of acne treatments, we recommend considering several effective options. Treatments such as the Steroid Jab can be beneficial for severe inflammatory acne, while the Acne Red Mark Laser is ideal for targeting post-acne redness. Additionally, our comprehensive Facial Acne Treatments address comedonal and other types of acne. These treatments collectively contribute to achieving clearer, healthier skin.

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    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    How many sessions are needed for optimal results?

    The number of sessions varies depending on the scar depth and individual skin response. Typically, 3 to 6 sessions, spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart, are recommended for best results.

    Is the procedure painful?

    While the application of TCA can cause a brief stinging sensation, the procedure is generally well-tolerated with the use of a topical numbing cream applied prior to treatment.

    How soon will I see the results?

    Initial improvement is often visible after the skin heals from the first treatment, but full results from multiple sessions may take several months to become apparent as collagen remodelling occurs.

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