Redness and Itching on Areas Untreated with TCA Peel

I used diluted 100% TCA Peel on several of my moles. Everything seems fine, except that my elbows, a spot on my back, and two spots on my legs are all very red and itchy. One elbow has a few bumps. I did not put the peel on these areas, just on the face, neck, and left shoulder areas using Q-Tips. Why am I experiencing itchiness and redness on areas not treated with TCA Peel? What will make all this itching stop?

Doctor Answers 2

I can't believe you did this!

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TCA at that strength should never be done by a lay person. In fact, even very experienced dermatologists rarely use TCA over 35%.

The itch and redness are signals that something is wrong. You are at risk for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scarring, so go see a board certified dermatologist ASAP and stop playing doctor before you scar yourself.

New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

You may be experiencing an "id" reaction.

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An "id" reaction, also known as "autoeczematization is an allergic-type reaction distant to the site of the stimulus (in your case, TCA peel solution). A similar reaction can occur in response to certain infections and poison oak or ivy. A short course of cortisone would be appropriate in this case.

I hesitate to make a diagnosis without actually seeing someone in person. I suggest you seek the care of a dermatologist in your area.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

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.