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Treatment of Acne Scarring on the Face

Updated on August 7, 2017

TCA(Trichloroacetic acid) peel


  1. 100% TCA(Trichloroacetic acid)
  2. Plain Gentle cleanser ( NO medicinal ingredients such as salicylic or benzoic acid) e.g. cetaphil gentle cleanser
  3. Medical grade Alcohol
  4. Cotton pads
  5. Toothpick-plain
  6. Antibacterial ointment e.g. Neosporin
  7. Moisturizer e.g. cetaphil moisturizer
  8. Sunscreen-SPF 50


  • Wash face with warm water and gentle cleanser.
  • Use the cotton pads to wipe the face with alcohol, and wait till dry.
  • Dip a toothpick in TCA and dab directly onto the depressed part of the scar, avoiding the healthy surrounding tissue (DO NOT pierce the scar).
  • With each dab, wait 2-3 seconds and Observe keenly. When the scar starts to frost and turn white, move to the next scar.
  • Once finished, apply the antibacterial ointment only.
  • Use ointment for 2 days and then use moisturizer. Do not use the Antibiotic ointment for more than than 2 days or the recommended period of time (use as directed on the label)

Ice pick scars after TCA cross:  Day 1, 3 and 5 respectively
Ice pick scars after TCA cross: Day 1, 3 and 5 respectively

Healing Process

  • Scabs often form in 2-3 days, and may make the scars appear deeper or worse. Do not pick or peel off the scabs prematurely.
  • Gently wash the face, at least once a day, careful not to disturbs the scabs.
  • Moisturize accordingly and avoid direct exposure to sunlight. Use sunscreen.
  • Scabs will start to fall off after the third day.
  • Scars will fill in 8 to 12 weeks as new tissue forms.
  • Repeat the procedure if necessary.


High concentrations of TCA can cause serious burns, hyperpigmentation and scarring. Use with caution or have the procedure performed by a qualified or certified person.


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