While all acids will basically perform the same [skin removal] function, some acids are naturally better at targeting specific issues than others. While any acid could be potentially helpful, we will always recommend trying to choose the best one for the job.
We already mentioned individual uses in the Learning Acids section.
For another quick tool, look at the following chart. This can help you to narrow down your acid choices:
Scars. On the chart above you will see that TCA is the only acid listed in treating scars. We want to take a moment to talk about a true scar – as opposed to just a pigmentation mark left after a peel. They are very different!
A surgery or deep blemish will leave a scar. This is a slightly different texture of skin that can be very pink, or light colored. A darker or lighter discoloration (PIH) is just that – a pigmentation change. This is not a scar. Here is an excellent video that will show you what you can use to treat scars.
Some scars are hypertrophic (raised) and won’t take well to having an acid peel applied. These are better treated with silicone strips and gels. A depressed scar though, such as an acne “ice-pick” scar is perfect for an acid peel.
The method called the TCA CROSS is one of the best ways to minimize these. The following video will go in depth – with a tutorial – on how to perform this method.
If you are in the Fitzpatrick 4-6 type, you can still potentially do a stronger TCA CROSS peel. We do need to stress that mandatory prep with a melanin inhibitor for at least 2-3 weeks must be followed.
You may use either the TCA 20 *of which we feel is the safest option for the darkest skin types, or you could potentially use the TCA 30. With these acid strengths on ethnic tones there is a higher risk of getting PIH, so understand that is a possible outcome [even with pretreatment] going in.
Here is a wonderful video from a customer of ours with a Fitzpatrick 4 skin tone. This is especially helpful as we are able to see how the scabs look on her darker skin. They are more visible than the lighter skin tones and you will want to know about that before you apply this method.