Is it normal for acne scars to get wider but shallower after acne scar treatment, such as TCA CROSS?
Hi doctors, I have severe acne scars and have been undergoing many different types of treatment for my acne scars. I have done subcisions, fractional lasers, TCA cross, micro-needling and Venus Viva. I noticed that while my acne scars are now shallower, they appear to be wider in size, making them more noticeable. This is especially so for the scars that had TCA cross done on it. Kindly advise if this is normal, as I am considering to seek a second opinion regarding my scars. Thanks!
TCA cross especially at higher concentrations of 70-100% when used to treat ice-prick scars can possibly lead to slight "widening" of the scars. Depending on when the treatments were performed, the appearance of the scars may take up to 2-3 months to improve as collagen remodelling takes place.
Beyond this period of time, you may consider injectables such as Rejuran (PDRN) or collagen-stimulators e.g Radiesse and Ellanse treatment on targetted areas, to further improve the appearance of your widen scars.
Do speak to your Aesthetic doctor to understand more.
Hope this helps!
Dr David Deng
Yes, It is possible for the scars to look slightly "wider" after TCA cross and other acne scar treatments. The appearance of 'wider' scars might be because of collagen remodelling and skin tightening of the surrounding normal skin. This stretches the scar and makes the scar look wider but shallower.
In general, your acne scars should look shallower after several treatments.
I suggest that you speak to your acne scar doctor to review before/after photos of your skin for a detailed understanding of how your scars have evolved after the series of acne scar treatments.
Hope that this helps!
Dr Justin Boey
It is possible for the scars to look slightly wider after aggressive spot treatments like the TCA cross or full beam ablation of deep scars. There could have been some damage to surrounding skin in the process of aggressively treating the deeper ice pick scars. This is usually not seen in the treatment of rolling or box scar types.
Collagen remodeling is a lengthy process and there may still be positive changes in time to come even without further procedures. I would advise you to discuss your concerns with your doctor first, before seeking a second opinion, as he may know your condition the best.
All the best!