Can a TCA Chemical Peel Treat Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)?

The marks that are a red/brown color were left by cysts. Would a TCA chemical peel have any effect on them?

Doctor Answers 4

Along with topical regimen, the Peels should help

The tried and true TCA-Jessner's peel is an excellent strategy to combat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). It absolutely must be done in concert with a topical regimen including Hydroquinone and Retin-A. Typically, a series of lighter concentration peels (10-15%) are employed in series to treat PIH. A commitment to meticulous sun protection is required throughout this regimen for both success and safety. 

Columbus Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


PIH can be teated with chemical peels including vitamin A peels, lactic acid, AHA Glycolic and also TCA peels. 
I would recommend TCA at 8-9% strength, every 2 weeks, for 4 sessions. PLUS fading agents such as Lytera or Hydroquinone. 


Dr Davin Lim 
Laser Dermatologist
Brisbane and Gold Coast

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Treating Pigmentation and acne scars with TCA peel

Yes, a TCA peel will improve post inflammatory hyperpigmentation in combination with a sound topical skin care regimen.


I also recommend a Melapeel for my patients to improve PIH. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Yes, TCA peels would help

TCA chemical peels really help with post inflammatory hyperpigmentation such as acne marks. If your skin is more asian or black then a few light TCA peels 10-15% every 2-3 weeks do good. I like to use a bleaching cream with it as well such as Tri-Luma to help prevent any unexpected pigmentation problems and of course a sunscreen as well.

The TCA peels run about $250 each for the face. You can also do spot treatments instead of the whole face which are less expensive.

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 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.