Trichloroacetic Acid

What is Trichloroacetic Acid

Trichloroacetic acid is a topical cauterizing agent recommended by the CDC for the treatment of condylomata acuminata, including warts found in the external genital/perianal areas. It has also been used as a chemical peel in the treatment of actinic keratoses and other signs of photoaging, including melasma and lentigines.

Trichloroacetic acid rapidly penetrates and causes protein denaturing and cell death when applied to skin. As a chemical peel, the depth of the protein destruction of skin layers (i.e. epidermis or dermis) depends on the concentration.

For condylomas, a single application will usually not produce successful clearance and repeated applications is required. In comparative studies, trichloroacetic acid was associated with condyloma clearance rates of 70—80% after six applications.

Recurrence rates at 2 months are still relatively high at 36%.

Investigators have found that trichloroacetic acid has resulted in the eradication and/or improvement of actinic keratosis and other visible effects of photoaging, including melasma and lentigines.

Brand Name

Tri Chlor


  1. actinic keratosis
  2. condylomata acuminata
  3. facial wrinkles
  4. lentigines (freckles)
  5. melasma
  6. photoaging

Side Effects

  1. infection
  2. skin hyperpigmentation
  3. skin hypopigmentation
  4. skin irritation
  5. skin ulcer

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary


  • accidental exposure
  • breast-feeding
  • pregnancy


There are no drug interactions associated with Trichloroacetic Acid products.


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