Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars
Acne scarring is a challenge for cosmetic dermatologists. Dr Hussein has carefully combined multiple techniques in order to manage this challenging this condition. His expertise in this area has been developed over many years and treating many challenging cases.
Ice pick scars are one of the most challenging types of acne scar to treat. These are small epithelial tracts within the skin. Techniques for treating these scars often involve physical removal of the ice pick scar with punch excision.
TCA CROSS is a technique used by Dr Hussein in the management of ice-pick acne scars. This technique involves application of 90% trichloroacetic acid (TCA). The high strength TCA is delivered using a fine 30G needle directly into the base of the ice pick scar/enlarged pore. This induces synthesis of new collagen, elastin and ground substance. The resultant skin thickening causes elevation and narrowing of the ice-pick scars.
This is a technique that requires up to six treatments at 4-6 week intervals in order to deliver marked improvements. Once this treatment is complete Dr Hussein will usually perform a fully ablative laser treatment with CO2 or Erbium YAG laser (depending on skin type). This will give the most optimal results.
The potential side effects that can result from TCA CROSS treatment are Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (treated areas become darkened) and prolonged redness. However these side effects usually spontaneously resolve. Permanent redness or pigmentation is exceptionally rare. Redness can take up to 3 months to settle. Any post inflammatory hyperpigmentation will take several weeks to settle.
The procedure itself is quite tolerable and the time taken to perform it varies depending on the amount of scarring to be treated. Typically this is between 5-30 minutes. The patient will experience a mild burning and prickling sensation. It does not usually need to be performed with local anaesthetic.
Following the procedure the patient may develop crusts which will persist for about one week. The patient should not wash the face for at least 24 hours after treatment. Make-up should only be applied a week after treatment. Redness will be persistent around treated areas for several weeks. Patients should expect to have redness around the treated areas for the duration of all treatment cycles. This will eventually settle on completion of treatment.
How long does TCA cross take to heal?
The recovery time tends to differ from patient to patient but, generally speaking, it will take between three and eight days to fully recover. After this time, you should be able to see the results of the treatment.
How often can I do TCA cross?
TCA cross can be administered to patients with varying skin types, including those with ethnic and Asian skin. However, due to the nature of the treatment, it is recommended to space TCA cross treatments four to six weeks apart in order to achieve the most optimal outcome.
Are the results from TCA cross permanent?
Once we have confirmed that you are a good candidate for TCA cross treatment, the procedure involved should leave you with long-lasting results. So, in other words, yes – the results will be permanent.
Are there any side effects of TCA cross treatment?
Following the procedure, some patients have been seen to develop Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation but this is rarely anything to worry about. This simply means that the treated areas have become darkened, leading to a prolonged period of redness (typically up to three months). However, over time, this should resolve on its own, as cases of permanent pigmentation are exceptionally rare.
Can I perform TCA cross at home?
No, you should only ever have TCA cross performed by a medical expert with the training required to do so. Otherwise, there is a strong likelihood you will end up causing severe permanent scarring to yourself.
I’m unsure whether TCA cross is right for me. Can you help?
Yes, absolutely. We understand it can be confusing identifying which type of treatment is right for your exact circumstances so, by booking a consultation with us, we can help pinpoint the best way to overcome any skin or acne-related issues you’re currently struggling with.