TCA Cross Treatment

TCA Cross (Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars) is a practical approach to elevating ice-pick acne scars and large deep pores, as well as other acne scars treatments like fractional laser resurfacing or subcision. Learn the best info about TCA treatment.

TCA Cross must be performed carefully for safe and effective results, and board-certified dermatologists and specialists in acne scarring should perform it for maximum efficiency.

What is TCA Cross?

The TCA Cross Technique, also known as Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars (CROSS), is a highly effective means of elevating depressed acne scars such as ice pick and deep pores scars. TCA concentrations used with this treatment change the structure of the dermis surrounding scars to increase height significantly by stimulating collagen fiber formation, micro-scabbing, and remodeling long-term skin repair.

Laser microneedling is an extremely targeted treatment that does not impact normal parts of the skin like laser resurfacing or peels do. Histological analysis clearly shows collagen being reorganized, leading to thickening in epidermal layers and dermal structures with structural elastins and glycosaminoglycans.

This procedure is safe, fast, and requires no downtime for recovery. Patients will experience some redness in the area that fades over 2-3 weeks; depending on the severity of scars, this will likely require 2-5 treatments over 2-8 week intervals. Since punch excision is also a surgical process, it often combines both treatments to further enhance the cosmetic appearance of an ice pick scar and is particularly helpful for patients unable to or unwilling to pursue laser treatment.

How is TCA Cross performed?

TCA CROSS (Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars) is a dermatologist-administered treatment used for scar redevelopment. Often combined with IPL, laser, Fractional Radiofrequency Microneedling, or surgery procedures. TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid) can help lift depressed scars like deep pores or acne scars that have become atrophic or depressed over time, such as large deep pores or ice-pick scars. Your doctor will first cleanse the area being treated before applying a small amount of TCA onto a blunt-end point instrument such as a toothpick or needle and applying it directly onto the scars, producing an immediate “frosting” effect and elevating them so as to promote controlled scab formation and remodeling over time. Multiple TCA Cross sessions may be required before significant and lasting improvement can be seen;

TCA Cross is generally safe and is often recommended for treating those suffering from ice-pick acne scars and deep open pores. However, it should only be administered under expert guidance to avoid possible side effects, including hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, and worsening of acne scars.

Follow all post-TCA Cross instructions carefully, such as using specific emollients and avoiding sun exposure. By adhering to these rules, individuals typically experience only minimal downtime – perhaps some mild redness or hyperpigmentation for up to several days post-procedure.

What are the risks of TCA Cross?

TCA Cross is generally safe and well tolerated by most patients, though there may be certain risks that should be discussed with your cosmetic physician prior to undertaking any procedure.

TCA Cross can produce various side effects depending on the patient and skin type. Darker-skinned individuals may experience hyperpigmentation following treatment, which can be reversed with bleaching creams within several weeks. Redness lasting 3-5 days post-procedure may also occur, and this can be reduced by using sunscreen, limiting sun exposure, and following your physician’s recommendations following TCA Cross therapy.

If you are interested in TCA Cross, be sure to consult with an experienced board-certified dermatologist such as Dr. Green in NYC, who will create an individualized treatment plan tailored specifically to your unique needs and aesthetic goals.

TCA Cross treatment uses Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) to target proteins found at the base of ice-pick acne scars, prompting them to collapse and disappear through new collagen synthesis and texture improvements. Multiple TCA Cross treatments over six months are typically needed for long-term improvement; lasers and dermal fillers may be combined for maximum cosmetic effects.

How long will TCA Cross take to work?

TCA Cross can be an extremely effective treatment for improving atrophic scars, mainly pitted ice-pick acne scars. This process works by damaging the surface of depressions to stimulate collagen synthesis, raising scars for an improved appearance. Thus, it helps reduce the “holes” typical of this form of acne scarring, although, unfortunately, it won’t completely resolve them.

Scabbing generally forms over several days, and sun avoidance and strict skin care must be observed until all scabs have fallen away completely. Depending on each patient, multiple rounds of TCA cross-treatment may be needed in order to achieve optimal results.

TCA CROSS treatments should only be administered under magnification by a trained aesthetic doctor to ensure precise application and attention to each delicate layer of the skin. This helps minimize side effects like chemical burns, extended downtime, or pigment irregularities, which often appear among darker skin types.

Dr. Emer is an internationally acclaimed expert in cosmetic treatments that reduce scarring and restore smooth skin texture. His techniques include peels, fillers, laser treatments, microneedling, and surgical excision, which he employs on patients of all skin colors.

TCA Cross procedures involve cleansing and prepping the skin prior to treatment with Trichloroacetic acid. Once applied to affected areas with a fine-tipped applicator, this acid damages tissue, which triggers its healing response by depositing more type I collagen and elastic fibers. Over time, this leads to improved and even skin texture. Repeated application leads to longer-term benefits with improved and evener skin texture.

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