Will TCA CROSS reduce pigmentation caused by acnes?

Hi. I had 8 years of acnes, and now the acnes leave a lot of pigmentation on my face. I don't have a lot of deep acne holes, just pigmentation. Will TCA CROSS help reduce pigmentation and even my skin tone? Thanks a lot!

Doctor Answers 5

Will TCA CROSS reduce pigmentation caused by acnes?

TCA cross for the use of hyperpigmentation can work. It really depends on how you do the procedure. TCA means trichloroacetic acid. And cross means chemical reconstruction of skin scars. I think if you use TCA or trichloroacetic acid in the classical way for chemical reconstruction of skin scars you will get scarring from that. When you treat hyperpigmentation using such strong strength of the chemical you are putting the skin at risk for scarring. Chemical reconstruction of skin scars typically us a higher percentage concentrations of trichloroacetic acid. This is not the way to treat hyperpigmentation. You're going to want to use way less in terms of the strength of the chemical peels using to help hyperpigmentation. I personally use laser resurfacing. The settings I use with Laser Resurfacing helps with hyperpigmentation. I would not use TCA in this setting TCA is better used for depressed scars and ice pick scars when used in the CROSS method.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Hyperpigmentation from Acne

The best way to treat this hyperpigmentation generally speaking is to use hydroquinones and chemical peels. Please consult an expert in peels. Best, Dr. Green

Superficial Chemical Peels Work Well For Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmenation From Acne; TCA CROSS--Only For Pit Scars

TCA CROSS, either performed with traditional TCA or with full strength phenol is intended for the treatment of ice pick (pit) scars are very enlarged (dilated) pores. It is not intended to treat hyperpigmenation from any cause, since it actually may lead to scarring and persistent hyper or hypo pigmentation when applied over a large area (In TCA CROSS, it is simply placed down narrow shaft of the pit or pore). On the other hand, I have personally been using superficial peels containing full strength glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and Jessner's solution  for over three decades in my Upper East Side Manhattan practice. The results for lightening or speeding up the fading of postinflammatory hyperpigmention from many causes, including following acne. can yield quite gratifying, especially if combined with the regular use of at-home, prescription strength agents (such as hydroquinone, or arbutin, kojic acid and glycyrrhizic acid). Be sure to consult with a board certified aethetic physician. Best of luck

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

TCA cross and ice pick acne scarring

no, TCA cross could make the pigmentation worse.  this works well for ice pick scars.  Please see an expert.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

TCA Cross for pigmentation?

This technique was developed in Asia and is used for improving acne scars. It works best for ice pick scars. It can do nothing for pigmentation and in the rare cases, it can actually cause hyperpigmentation. 

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 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.