TCA Cross, Week 2

Days 0-2
Days 3-7

Day 8: Almost of the scabs have fallen off. I continued using antibiotic ointment on the remaining few scabs, but for the rest of my face I used Isotrex gel (0.05% isoretinoin, not available in the US – my mom purchased it in Asia). I don’t have access to a hydroquinone/tretinoin product which is standard, so I ordered some Alpha Hydrox Spotlight Targeted Skin Lightener with  2% hydroquinone, 10% glycolic acid (was on closeout clearance because the company changed their name to Alpha Skincare; the same product is now “Dual Action Skin Lightener“) and am planning to alternate the Isotrex with the Spotlight.

Day 8, right. Scars are pink with surrounding hypopigmentation.
Day 8, left. Still some scabs.

Day 9 – Haven’t received the Alpha Hydrox stuff yet so just using Isotrex all over. The scars haven’t changed much, still pink. Remaining scabs fell off. The Isotrex gives off really strong alcohol fumes. Am starting to get pimples on my chin, probably because I’ve disrupted my skincare routine.
Day 10 – The skin on my nose is peeling slightly and there are a few other areas that feel sensitive. That’s what I get for jumping into an all-over retinoid regiment. Skipped the Isotrex today and used ointment all over.

Day 11 – Skin still peeling/irritated in patches. The Alpha Hydrox stuff arrived today so I covered the irritated areas (my nose, mostly) with ointment and used the Alpha Hydrox lightener everywhere else. I forgot how much I hate the smell of hydroquinone. It burned a little bit at first but calmed down pretty quickly.

Day 10, right.
Day 10, left.

Day 12 – Skin irritation seems to have calmed down. Used the Alpha Hydrox Spotlight all over without any burning. Scars are still very pink. A couple on my left cheek are peeling again.

Day 13 – The Spotlight packaging says to use 2x/day but I don’t think I can do that. Woke up with dry skin and slathered on Origins’ Drink Up Overnight Mask. Can’t tell if certain patches are dry/scaly or re-scabbing (or both). Used Spotlight again at night.

Day 14 – Woke up with more acne on my chin. Great. Remembered I had a mini of Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream (from a Target Beauty Box) and used that all over, followed by ointment on the areas that had been TCA-ed.

Day 14, right. There’s nothing on my skin here, it’s just shiny.
Day 14, left. Still very red.

Some of the scars look like they’re starting to fill in, but they’re filling in with red/pink, so they still look pretty bad. I’m optimistic that their appearance will continue to improve.


2 thoughts on “TCA Cross, Week 2”

  1. How’s things looking now? I have ice pick scars on my nose. Not sure if I can handle weeks looking a mess for only slight improvement. 🤔


    1. Slight improvement over baseline; haven’t a good chance to do another round yet. If you can’t handle ‘weeks looking a mess’ you shouldn’t do TCA because it’s not intended to be a one-time treatment; usually it’s 3-6 treatments with ~6 weeks between each treatment with a reasonable goal of 50% improvement.


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