Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
What is TCA CROSS?
TCA CROSS stands for Trichloroacetic Acid Chemical Reconstruction Of Skin Scars. It was a technique that was first studied in Korea by Dr. Jung Bock Lee for the treatment of atrophic (indented) acne scars.
It involves the careful placement of trichloroacetic acid (TCA) into acne scars with a toothpick. This helps to re-organise the dermal structure and stimulate new collagen production to help to lift the indented scars back to the normal skin level.
Unlike chemical peels or laser resurfacing, TCA CROSS is a very localised treatment, and does not unnecessarily treat normal parts of the skin. This helps to significantly reduce the risks and side effects of the treatment.
What does TCA involve?
The procedure is a simple procedure, but needs to be done by a medical professional who is experienced in the procedure. It involves the administering high concentrations of trichloroacetic acid (TCA) from 65 to 100% to the scars with a toothpick. This needs to be done extremely carefully to ensure that the right amount of TCA is placed in the acne scar.
The procedure is only minimally uncomfortable, with most patients reporting a mild and temporary stinging sensation as the TCA works on the scars. Local anaesthetic or sedation is not required. The skin immediately appears ‘frosted’ after the procedure over the areas where the TCA is placed, and this quickly resolves. The skin then becomes red and small scabs form which naturally fall off after about 7 days. New collagen develops in the treated areas, eventually leading to an improvement in the skin indentation.
The post-care involves putting an ointment such as Bactroban on the healing wounds for approximately one week, or until the scabs flake off. Dressings are not required.
Multiple sessions are required for the best results, and these can be spaced at least one month apart. The final outcome of the procedure is usually only seen after several months, as collagen production from the procedure is slow and ongoing.
Why choose Victorian Cosmetic Institute as your provider of TCA CROSS?
At Victorian Cosmetic Institute, all our doctors are highly experienced in the procedure of TCA CROSS. We see and treat many patients with acne scarring and will be able to advise you on the best treatment for your skin, and look at all the options we have available.