Home Doctors Articles TCA Cross: A Treatment for Ice Pick Scars

TCA Cross: A Treatment for Ice Pick Scars

TCA Cross: A Treatment for Ice Pick Scars

Do your scars look like they have been stabbed by something sharp?

These are called ice pick scars.

Guess what, there is a treatment for those scars.

TCA stands for Trichloroacetic acid. It is a caustic acid known for being the most aggressive acid that can be used for the skin.

The procedure is called TCA CROSS because TCA is used for Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars (CROSS).

TCA at low concentration can be regularly used for treating dark spots and acne. But for depressed scars, most specifically ice pick and boxcar scars, a higher concentration at 70–100% is needed.

Basically, what happens is a sharp wooden pick will be dipped into high-strength TCA. Once dipped, it will then be poked onto the surface of the scar until it frosts (a white layer appears).

The application will promote inflammation in the skin, which will trigger collagen formation. This new growth will be responsible for the improvement of the scar’s appearance.

However, expect an ugly downtime. The frost can stay for as long as 10 to 12 hours with redness around the treated areas. After 2 to 3 days, darkening is expected as the scab is starting to form. Depending on your skin, the scab can slough off after 5 to 10 days.

This can be done every 3 to 4 weeks for at least 3 sessions.

Also Read: Is double cleansing specific for your skin type?

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About the Author: Dr. Elli Reyes is a specialist of Aesthetic Medicine from the Philippines. With over four years of specialized training, her aesthetic practice has involved a variety of skin treatments involving Botox, fillers, and the like. As a licensed physician, she has been engaged by multiple clinics and is regularly interviewed by the local media as an expert in the science of the skin. Her research and writings to date have centered on nutrition, functional health, and general beauty.

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