Good or Excellent Response
87%
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
1
2
3
4
5
Moderate Response
100%
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
1
2
3
4
5
How to Get It
Have a dermatologist or plastic surgeon? Make an appointment to get this procedure done.

Don't have a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon? See The American Academy of Dermatology Physician Database to find a dermatologist or the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to find a plastic surgeon.
Read All About Chemical Peels (Deep Peels)
5
25%
4
37.5%
3
12.5%
2
0%
1
25%

Used Chemical Peels (Deep Peels)? Rate It:

Choose from 1 to 5 stars
March 11, 2016
Great for ice pick scars
I had several ice pick scars treated with deep tca peels. It worked. My rolling and box car scars I have yet to treat. The downside about high strength TCA peels is that it took 5 days to heal. My skin was pink for a few weeks, but by the 4th or 5th week, my scars were definitely shallower. Would recommend this treatment.
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Leigh
March 7, 2009

Pros:

I have had absolutely great results with TCA chemical peels. I have had them done at an expert dermatologist's office and had no adverse reactions. Acne scars are have been diminished significantly.

Cons:

The only con is the redness and peeling that occurs for about 5 days after.

I first got a 35% TCA peel, then moved up to 55% and have had great results. Never do them at home! Spend the money for a professional. They work great at removing red marks and fading and smoothing deep acne scars. I haven't had any permanent scarring like the people stating they did them home. TCA peels are a lot safer than phenol peels, and as long as you follow the doctor's orders and don't pick at your skin and stay out of the sun, you should be fine.
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Michelle
February 8, 2009

Pros:

more even skin tone

Cons:

very expensive for very little results! very painfull and severe peeling for about 1 week. left skin very sensitive

i paid a plastic surgeon the procedure was extremely painful and def not worth the money!! my skin tone has improved alot but the scars are still the same and now 4 weeks on my skin is still very sensitive and i'm not able to use my normal products to combat acne therefore i am getting more breakouts than before. my skin does not really look a great deal better. considering the pain and downtime i am very disappointed with the result
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Kate
March 27, 2008

Pros:

I don't know yet.

Cons:

I mainly wanted to warn anyone doing this at home. I bought a 50% solution online and fortunately tested it on my arm first.

... my arm now has a very dark mark that looks like a raised burn and there is no peeling in site after 4 days. I am beginning to think it will be a permanent scar. It dripped when I applied it to the small area I'd intended, so it ran down around my wrist, leaving a dark scar along the path. Friends instantly see it and ask what happened. I am so thankful I did not do this on my face first. Maybe it will peel and go away, I can only hope and at this pt I don't know if I'll do it to my scars- only if I dilute it a lot first. I'm upset with myself for paying $50.00 online. I will write again if it peels and I can report anything.
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Jessica
January 25, 2008

Pros:

The phenol peeling (deep chemical peel)offer the best results.
I hAd it only one time and it was a great improvement on the surface of my skin.

Cons:

It takes about 6 weeks before the skin is fully healed. The area is red.
Reduce exposure to sun or use sunscreen, there is some risk of hyperpigmentation.

With the phenol peel the ice pick scars, can be reduced.
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mamaa
March 31, 2007

Pros:

TCA peels, done by a professional are the best!I had an accident occur to me from using an "AT HOME" TCA peel.

Cons:

I did an 80% deep peel for my deep scars on cheeks but I did not realize how much skin it would actually take off.

I only put the TCA on those certain scars and the results around those areas were great. The scars were GONE! but the rest of my skin was EXTREMELY uneven. I had to seek professional help after this. I had 3 professional TCA peels done to my skin to make it even with the new skin. Now it looks great! but please! please DO NOT DO AT HOME PEELS!! ITS DANGEROUS AND WILL COST YOU MORE MONEY IN THE END...
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Finding a Doctor

The right dermatologist can make a big difference to your patient experience and the success of your acne treatment plan. Here are the steps to find a dermatologist who is a good fit:

  1. Use the search feature on the American Academy of Dermatology website to look for board-certified dermatologists in your area, and filter the search results for doctors with a special interest in treating acne.
  2. Read online patient reviews of any dermatologists you are considering and ask people you know whether they have any experience with these dermatologists.
  3. Do your research and go to your first appointment with questions prepared.
  4. Listen to what your gut feeling tells you once you see a dermatologist in person. If you are not completely comfortable, try a different dermatologist.

Finding a Doctor

Only a select few plastic surgeons specialize in acne scar revision surgery. Be certain to find a provider who specializes in acne scar repair and who is passionate and experienced in this area.

Be sure to:

  • Look at before and after photos, the more the better, especially patients with similar scarring to your own.
  • Be realistic about results. Look for improvement, not a cure.

Questions to ask a potential scar revision specialist:

  • Are you board certified? Be certain that they are board certified.
  • How long have you been performing these procedures? Normally, the more experience the better, however, some younger surgeons may be more on top of the latest procedures.
  • Can I speak to some of your other patients? Ask for references for several patients who had similar scarring and speak to them about the process and their satisfaction with results.

Red flags:

  • Their story changes: As you discuss different treatment options, if they tend to change their mind easily, or agree with whatever you say, consider this a red flag. A confident, experienced surgeon will possess strong, unwavering opinions.
  • Your gut tells you "no": Trust your gut. If you just don't feel that the doctor is the right fit, trust that and move on. On the other hand, if you feel they are the perfect specialist for you, trust that feeling.