TCA Peel for Patient Who Had Cold Sores?

If I have had cold sores in the past, do I have to have medication prescribed before doing an 8% TCA peel? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 2

Viral prophylaxis for TCA peel

I agree with Dr. Whitt that prophylaxis would be a good idea and would suggest taking Valtrex as prophylaxis the same day as your chemical peel procedure (2 grams in the morning and 2 grams in the evening).

Good luck.


San Diego Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Viral prophylaxis for TCA peel

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I agree with Dr. Whitt that prophylaxis would be a good idea and would suggest taking Valtrex as prophylaxis the same day as your chemical peel procedure (2 grams in the morning and 2 grams in the evening).

Good luck.


San Diego Dermatologist

Viral Prophylaxis in TCA Peel

Although an 8% peel is very superficial and the likihood of an herpetic infection is very small, I would recommend treating you before and for a few days after your peel.  I give Valtrex to all of my peel or resurfacing patients if they have any history of cold sores, etc.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Viral Prophylaxis in TCA Peel

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Although an 8% peel is very superficial and the likihood of an herpetic infection is very small, I would recommend treating you before and for a few days after your peel.  I give Valtrex to all of my peel or resurfacing patients if they have any history of cold sores, etc.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.