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TCA Cross Acne Scar Treatment in Singapore

What Is TCA CROSS For Acne Scar?

hemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars (CROSS) with Tri-Chloroacetic Acid (TCA), is one way to treat atrophic acne scars. These are scars that develop when skin cannot regenerate tissue properly.  

There are different types of atrophic scars, each requiring a particular treatment or a mix of treatments. At SL Aesthetic Clinic, we find that TCA CROSS tends to work well for ice pick scars.

Read more about Acne Scars here.

TCA Cross Singapore for ice pick scars

How Does TCA CROSS Work?

Tiny amounts of concentrated TCA (70 to 100%) is applied onto the surface of the atrophic scar. This causes an inflammatory reaction in the area, leading to collagen remodelling.

This collagen remodelling and skin regeneration resurface the skin; resulting in the depression becoming shallower and scar shadowing lightened.
It’s important to note that it is not possible to restore the scarring to its former state.

However, a combination treatment with Fractional CO2 LaserSubcision and Fillers can improve your final results.

Also Read: Fotona Fractional Erbium Laser for Acne Scars

How Is TCA CROSS Performed?

TCA liquid toothpick procedure

This is a relatively simple procedure that can be completed in a few minutes. However, the time can vary, based on the number of scars a person has.

  1. An assistant will clean and prepare your skin for treatment.
    The doctor dips a blunt pointed instrument (usually a toothpick) into the TCA liquid and the excess is removed.
  2. Avoiding sensitive areas like your eyes and nostrils, the doctor applies TCA to the deepest surface of your atrophic acne scars.
  3. There will be “frosting” or white spots over the scar, usually within seconds of application of TCA.
  4. The doctor repeats the application for your remaining acne scars.


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Pre- Treatment Instructions: Always inform your doctor of all medications, including supplements you may be taking as well as your medical history. If you have had cold sores, you must also inform the doctor at least a week before as preventive treatment may be required.

Plan ahead. Schedule your treatment at least 1 week and a half prior to any special event as it may take 7 days or more for full recovery. Avoid any ablative lasers and/or excessive sun exposure/sun tanning at least 1 month before treatment.

Post- Treatment Instructions:

  • Frosting spots can last up to 12 hours.
  • The skin around the treated spots will turn red and sore for up to 2 days.
  • Tiny scabs will develop 2 to 3 days later, and fall off after another 3 to 7 days.
  • Use a gentle cleanser during the recovery period. We do not recommend applying any makeup.
  • Always use sunscreen to reduce the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).

We recommend a minimum of 3 treatments done at a 4-8 week interval for optimal results.

Although rare, some risks may include:

An extended period of skin irritation and redness.
Damage and potential scarring of sensitive skin areas if TCA is accidentally deposited.
Temporary hyperpigmentation (PIH) or permanent hypopigmentation.
Scars coalescing into larger scars.
Skin discolouration, mainly in darker-skinned individuals.

TCA CROSS is suitable for any healthy adult looking to treat deep ice pick scars.

It may be unsuitable in the following circumstances:

  • Unrealistic expectations or those seeking complete elimination of acne scarring or returning to a previous look.
  • History of forming hypertrophic scars or keloids.
  • Current or recent (within 12 months) of systemic oral retinoid medication.
  • An active bacterial or viral infection.
  • Active acne close to the site of treatment.
  • Allergy to trichloroacetic acid.
  • Hypersensitive skin.

TCA CROSS is priced from $300 at SL Aesthetic Clinic.

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