TCA or glycolic for lines & wrinkles?

I've been to 2 passes of 15% TCA and i feel it's doing nothing for my lines. When it comes to lines and acne scaring, which is best. TCA or glycolic and at what strength.

Doctor Answers 4

Peels vs laser

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It really depends on your acne scaring, if you have deep ice pick scars or narrow box car scars, TCA peels work best. At this concentration you should see a Board certified physician who performs this procedure. 

For general improvement of acne scars, there are many other treatment that can outperform TCA and Glycolic peels, including fractional lasers, RF, RF needling (INFINI), dermal fillers and surgical subcision. An individual assessment and treatment program gives the very best results. 

all the best, 

Dr Davin S. Lim 
Laser, Surgical and Aesthetic Dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia

Stronger TCA peels do best for wrinkles.

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Weaker TCA peels and glycolic acid peels do nice for skin discolorations but not wrinkles. You need to do a few 30-35%TCAs to really make wrinkles disappear.

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Acne Scarring -- Requires a Combination of Fractional Laser Resurfacing, Fillers Like Bellafill, Subcision and Eclipse Micropen

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Peels do very little for lines unless they are deep like TCA 30% or jessners + TCA.  For scars you need a combination of lasers, TCA cross, subcision, fillers etc.  I suggest seeing an expert.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

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TCA or glycolic acid

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Dear jlj74,

Thank you for your question.  It depends on how your skin responds to the sun (tends to burn, tends to tan easily) and how deep your lines and scars are.  In general, TCA is a deeper peel that GCA.  TCA strength can range from 20%-50% for these types of issues.

All the best,
Dr. Michelle Yagoda

Michelle R. Yagoda, MD
New York Facial 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.