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 5

Along with topical regimen, the Peels should help

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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


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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

Treating Pigmentation and acne scars with TCA peel

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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 95 reviews

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Yes, TCA peels would help

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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 46 reviews

Peels for hyperpigmentation

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Brown skin, Asian skin, East Indian and African American skin is prone to hyperpigmentation.

Before you spend $$ on peels or IPL, try these topicals.

This is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). 

I recommend Melarase AM and Melarase PM creams from Kare Skin as well as a broad spectrum sunblock like Spectrase. Bothe are from Kare Skin. Scler-x post inflammatory hyperigmentation relief complex is a great supplement to take as well. See link below. 

Spectrase is a wide spectrum sunblock SPF 50+that is also recommended to prevent ongoing inflammation. 

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.