TCA CROSS is a very simple but effective treatment for certain types of scarring, and sometimes, enlarged pores

What is TCA CROSS?

TCA CROSS stands for Trichloroacetic Acid Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars. It involves applying a high concentration of TCA to the base of the scar. This causes a minor injury and subsequent collagen remodelling, which can improve the appearance of the scar.

What is TCA CROSS used for?

TCA CROSS is used to lift depressed scars (scars which have a sunken or pitted appearance), such as ice pick acne scars. It’s also used to reduce the size of enlarged pores.

What does treatment with TCA CROSS involve?

Your skin will be cleaned, and the TCA solution will be dabbed onto the base of the scar or pore, using a tiny toothpick or needle. The treatment isn’t painful. Immediately afterwards, white frosting may be present over the treated areas. The treated areas may turn red, and scabs may form which heal within days. Repeat treatments are often required, spaced several weeks apart. 

Bhardwaj D, Khunger N. An Assessment of the Efficacy and Safety of CROSS Technique with 100% TCA in the Management of Ice Pick Acne Scars. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2010;3(2):93-96. 

Lee JB, Chung WG, Kwahck H, Lee KH. Focal treatment of acne scars with trichloroacetic acid: chemical reconstruction of skin scars method. Dermatol Surg. 2002 Nov;28(11):1017-21; discussion 1021.

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Spotlight on Skin was created by award-winning Melbourne-based dermatologist, Dr Julia Rhodes.

Julia knows first-hand how overwhelming the skincare world can be, and that’s with over 10 years of experience practicing dermatology. Given that even she gets overwhelmed, she appreciates how hard it can be for those of you without a scientific background to make sense of all the information available, and choose products that are right for your skin…