Can a Tca Peel Remove Red Acne Macules That Have Been on my Face for at Least 2 Years?

i used to have severe acne but for the most part is has decreased but now i have lots of little red dots all over my face that will not fade even after laser treatments. can a tca peel finally allow them to peel off?

Doctor Answers 4

IPLs and Chemical Peels together do help Red Acne marks.

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A combination of several IPLs and a few light chemical peels do help even out the red and blotchy colors of acne marks.  I typically do an IPL and  a 10% TCA peel together on the same visit and use various bleaching or steroid creams and repeat it every 2-4 weeks for a few sessions for a cost of $750 a session.``

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

A Series of Superficial Peels Can Be Effective for Post Inflammatory Acne Discolorations

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As though suffering from acne isn't bad enough in itself, its aftermath, known as postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, or more simply skin staining,  can be as frustrating as the pimples that gave rise to it.

Healing after any kind of inflammation (such as acne, eczema, psoriasis), infection, injury, or surgery follows a predictable pattern. Redness, swelling, and crusting characterize the early, active phase. But once the wound is fully healed in every other way, a red or reddish brown skin discoloration typically results that may remain for anywhere from six weeks to six months and rarely up to two years or more. Assuming the site has not scarred, the discoloration fortunately fades completely or nearly so in most cases. 

I have found that superficial peels, particularly full-strength glycolic acid to be particularly helpful in speeding this process. Jessner's solution, a combination of three different exfoliants, may also be used. I find low strength TCA to be less effective in this regard. A series of peels consists generally of four to eight sessions spaced at monthly intervals (two week intervals if you really wanted to accelerate the process).  To complement and supplement the office treatments, I generally prescribe the home use of prescription topical bleaching and antinflammatory agents. Most people appreciate a significant benefit within just eight weeks.



Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

TCA for acne scars

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I do not think that a TCA peel would make you happy in this situation. There are lasers that can get some red out. I would talk to your dermatologist about this if you are bothered. The best treatment is tincture of time.

Jo Herzog, MD
Birmingham Dermatologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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Red spots after acne

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Red spots are the left-overs of the healing process. It is the same phenomenon that leaves a red mark for a period of time after you skin your knee. Pulsed dye laser is the best treatment for this, and usually requires several sessions. Even then, some marks simply do not leave. Tincture of time, i.e. patience, is sometimes the best treatment. Other therapies, like TCA peeling and fractional CO2 laser, are not as effective in the treatment of these red spots.

Barry Resnik, MD
Miami 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.