Many with pitted acne scars are turning to a procedure called “TCA CROSS” – which stands for trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and chemical reconstruction of skin scars (CROSS). This is a fairly new procedure that isn’t performed in every dermatologist’s office, but is performed in many. You have to call around to find out if it is performed in your area. You can also (carefully and if your hands aren’t shaky) do this procedure yourself. I do not recommend that you do it yourself, but it has been done and it is indeed a lot cheaper to buy the TCA online and do "tca cross" yourself. Do your research and decide what you want to do. Honestly though, how to remove acne scars is done with TCA Cross!
What is TCA?
TRICHLOROACETIC ACID (TCA) has been used for a long time in skin care, and is very safe as well as useful when performed as a general peel (12.5%) or as a mid-depth peel (20% - 30% strength) treatment to reduce pitted acne scars.
What is the procedure TCA Cross?
TCA Cross also known as “Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars”, is a skin care method in which someone applies a very high percentage of TCA (at least 65% and up to 99%) to the pitted acne scar tissue only. This is done by soaking the end of a toothpick into the TCA solution bottle, and poking this soaked end into the pits of each acne scar. You leave the toothpick in each pit until it frosts over or turns white (about 10 seconds). Then you move on to the next acne scar you wish to treat. You repeat this process until you have poked all of the scars you intend to. Immediately after you finish, you should coat the treated areas with Neosporin (or its equivalents), Aquaphor, or Vaseline until scabs form and begin to fall off. Keep the areas coated with the petroleum jelly or antibiotic cream/gel and do not wash your face during this period. In a few days the scabs will form; a few days later they will have all fallen off. Do not pick at the scabs to make them fall off sooner! Leave them alone! Once all of the scabs have fallen off, you may wash your face with a gentle cleanser and apply sunscreen to your face if you go out in the sun. Also, make sure to use a natural moisturizer on the affected areas (I recommend emu oil) to keep the acne scar tissue lubricated so that it heals better. At this point you may wear makeup or continue with your normal (but gentle) skin care routines.
The TCA Cross method needs to be repeated every 1-2 months so that dermal thickening and collagen production occurs inside the acne scars. After 3-9 months, you should see a great improvement in the appearance of your acne scars! Do this for up to a 12 month period if you need to. TCA cross works best if you have ice pick scars or depressed acne scars rather than the other 2 types known as rolling scars and boxcar scars. It may help with these types of acne scars, but it has been proven that it works best with ice pick acne scars!
The good thing about this CROSS method is that it allows you to use a very high percentage of the TCA (a percentage that must NEVER be used on an entire face as it would result in permanent scarring) on just the localized, scarred, and pitted areas of the face.
This CROSS method (usually done in a doctor's setting, but can be done at home with extensive research and patience) is done by using a 65% or 100% bottle of TCA solution. This tca cross method can reconstruct acne scars by causing dermal thickening and collagen production in the pitted, depressed areas that naturally increase with higher >65% TCA concentrations.
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