Understanding Trichloroacetic Acid: Why Dermatologists Love TCA


Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) - What’s it all about and why do dermatologists & dermal clinicians love to use it?

Trichloroacetic acid; or more readily known as TCA is used to treat a wide variety of skin concerns here at Skindepth Dermatology


What is TCA Trichloroacetic Acid used for?

The two most predominant concerns we choose to use TCA treatments for are; collagen loss and acne scarring.

COLLAGEN LOSS and Trichloroacetic Acid

Through the natural process of ageing; accompanied by lifestyle factors (too much wine, late nights with friends, hikes in adverse weather conditions!) our collagen starts to slow in natural production which leads to concerns such as; fine lines, dull appearance and decreased elasticity. 

TCA has the ability to work down to differing layers of the epidermis and dermis (depending on their strength – the higher the % the deeper it goes!) Once there, it starts to stimulate the epidermal protein needed for the skin to create its own brand new collagen.

The best TCA treatments we offer at Skindepth for collagen loss are performed by our senior Dermal clinicians as a full facial peel

These include;

These can be booked as an ‘Advanced Peel’ under the Skin Treatments category via our online booking portal.

Our most advanced full face treatment utilising TCA acid at Skindepth is our Cosmo Peel Forte

The Cosmo Peel Forte peel contains a blend of Phenol, TCA & Glycolic acid. Although this is our deepest TCA peel on offer, with the addition of phenol the treatment is extremely tolerable as this ingredient acts as a numbing agent in the skin. 

The TCA is delivered deep into the dermis with the assistance of glycolic acid, accessing the layers where pigment & photodamaged cells are created. 

This is an excellent treatment for both extrinsic (external) and intrinsic (internal) skin damage.

ACNE SCARRING and Trichloroacetic Acid


Acne scars can be divided into 3 main scar categories:

  • Ice pick 
  • Boxcar
  • Rolling

Each category has identifying factors that will ultimately determine the treatment avenue by our dermatologists or dermal clinicians. 

Ice pick scars are narrow and have a deep vertical penetration down into the dermis, with some even reaching the subcutaneous (fatty) tissue! 

Rolling scars are shallow and undulating in appearance and are a result of the dermis and subcutis skin layers being ‘tethered’ together by scar tissue. 

Boxcar scars are depressions with sharply formed edges that usually have the same depth to width ratio, unlike ice pick scars.



When using TCA acid to treat these varying forms of scars, our Dermatologists will often utilise the TCA as a deep peeling agent, this is known as TCA CROSS (Chemical Reconstruction of Skin Scars).

At Skindepth, TCA CROSS involves using a high percentage TCA concentration on specific scar sites. Using a fine application technique allows accurate targeting of the scar base while minimising spill-over on to the surrounding healthy skin. This method can be used in conjunction with other resurfacing treatments such as AcuPulse Co2 Laser, Nano-Fractional laser, subcision and skin needling.

How much do TCA Trichloroacetic Acid treatments cost?

Levels of TCA treatment we offer at Skindepth:

TCA 12% peel – Dermal clinician $250

TCA 15% peel – Dermal clinician $250

TCA 18% peel – Dermal clinician $250

Cosmo Forte peel – Dermal clinician $650

TCA CROSS 50% - 100% – Dermatologist $ price on consultation

Book your treatment, here.

Supporting homecare:

Crystal Retinol by Medik8 $85 - $121 varies on retinol strength

Tretinoin cream 0.05% $75

Dual+ serum by Dermaceutic $145

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