TCA Peel; is this permanent?

I went in to a doctor's office and had a full face 25% tca peel done. i frosted pretty well. Some of my skin peeled prematurely but FORTUNATELY I wasn't left with any hyper pigmentation, but I am nervous because some of my pitted scars actually look worse than prior to going in for my peel. Is this permanent or can I do another peel and not allow the skin to prematurely peel and allow for a better peel to make my pitted scars look better? Any advice or answers will be greatly appreciated.

Doctor Answers 2

TCA peel - will my pitted scars improve?

Thank you for asking about your TCA peel.

  • It's a reasonable concern- let me answer step by step.
  • What caused the premature peeling? Did you pick off the peel? Or get it wet?
  • If you are a picker, you may need sedation during the healing of any future peels.
  • Second - a 25% TCA peel will not improve pitted scars.
  • It will improve skin color, texture, remove pre-cancers.
  • it can make pitted scars look worse by improving the skin around them - skin that before the peel, acted as camouflage.
  • You will get better results with pre-treatment with skin creams,including tretinoin (generic Retin A).
  • For pitted scars, the best current approach is called TCA cross - in which 80% TCA is applied precisely to the scar pits. 
  • If the doctor treating you is not a plastic, facial plastic or dermatologist, they are unlikely to do this kind of TCA treatment.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

TCA PEel made scars worse, now with pitted acne scars, what can i do to improve? Intensif/Venus Viva, PRP, Sculptra, TCA cross

I suggest you see an expert you may need laser treatments, TCA cross, and fillers in combination to get improvement.  TCA full area peels do not help pitted scars. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

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.