The TCA cross method is a hope for people wanting to improve pitted scars. The good thing about TCA cross is that, unlike other products or treatments, it completely focuses on the pitted scar and offers as much as 70% improvement (according to the original study which I will briefly discuss below). This, of course, still depends on your skin condition and the treatment itself.
I broke down this topic into several parts to make it simple and readable. There is a study and scientific explanations about the TCA cross method, and I will try to talk about them in layman's term. Okay, read on.
Dr. Jung Lee and the original study
|A before-and-after TCA Cross treatment photo from acne.org|
The TCA cross method was discovered by a Korean doctor (surprise), Dr. Jung Bock Lee, and this study was published in 2001. All in all, 64 patients that have acne scarring were studied, and all of them showed significant improvement. The observed results were better when using a higher concentration of TCA (65% versus 100%).
Read the abstract of the study in Cosmetic Skin and Surgery Center. There's also a follow-up study regarding the efficacy and safety of using 100% TCA in NCBI.
Basically, the TCA cross method uses a high concentration of trichloroacetic acid (TCA), which is applied locally on pitted scars. Reported complications are rare because of the localized and focus treatment; unlike other kinds of treatment, only the pitted scars are treated and not the whole face, which means that you spare the healthy skin tissues.
The TCA cross method reconstructs acne scars by inducing new collagen production and dermal thickening. The scar is treated with TCA, a scab forms and will eventually fall off, and the weeks of collagen regeneration begins.
The TCA cross methods works best on ice pick scars. According to the study, the TCA Cross method can also normalize deep rolling and boxcar scars. However, I have yet to see a testimonial on its effectiveness on the latter scars mentioned.
How does it work?
The TCA causes cell death to several years of the skin cells. These layers will then slough off and new tissues will form. Dermal collagen remodeling then follows and will continue for several months. The TCA cross method results in cumulative effect; since the skin is filled in gradually in each treatment, result improves with the number of treatments.
This procedure is conducted by professionals but can also be done at home. This is because the steps are quite basic and simple.
Ready? Read the basic steps here.
PS: Once formed, pitted scars will be hard to remove; in fact, with the current technology that we have now on skin care, I think that it would be downright impossible to bring back the old smooth skin. But you’re thinking, “I saw this testimonial, this advertisement, this comment on a forum…” well, that's just marketing folks. You can, however, improve the scars and make them less noticeable to the point that it's only visible in certain angles and lighting condition.