Chemical peeling with trichloroacetic acid and lactic acid for infraorbital dark circles

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2013 Sep;12(3):204-9. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12044.


Background: Periorbital dark circles are relatively common, affecting individuals regardless of age, sex, and race. Available treatment includes bleaching creams, topical retinoid acid, chemical peels, laser therapy, autologous fat transplantation - injectable fillers, surgery (blepharoplasty), and chemical peeling.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a combination of trichloroacetic TCA 3.75% and lactic acid 15% on improving the periorbital hyperpigmentation.

Patients/methods: Thirty patients with periorbital dark circles and skin types II, III, or IV were included in the study. Chemical peeling was performed every week for a series of four treatments. The effect was photo-documented, and a patient's and physician's global assessment was evaluated.

Results: Almost all the patients showed significant esthetic improvement. Physicians assessed a fair, good, or excellent improvement in 93.3% of the patients. Patient's global assessment rated a fair, good, or excellent response in 96.7% of the patients. The procedure itself had only mild and temporary adverse effects, such as erythema, edema, frosting, dryness, and telangiectasias. The effects of treatment remained for at least 4-6 months in the majority of patients with appropriate sun protection.

Conclusion: The combination of trichloroacetic TCA 3.75% and lactic acid 15% showed encouraging results on improving periorbital hyperpigmentation.

Keywords: chemical peeling; dark circles; infraorbital hyperpigmentation; lactic acid; trichlo-roacetic acid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Caustics / therapeutic use*
  • Chemexfoliation / adverse effects
  • Chemexfoliation / methods*
  • Esthetics
  • Eye
  • Facial Dermatoses / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperpigmentation / therapy*
  • Lactic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Trichloroacetic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Young Adult


  • Caustics
  • Lactic Acid
  • Trichloroacetic Acid