Chemical Peels (TCA)
TCA Peels can, when used properly, provide dramatic improvement in the appearance and condition of your skin. TCA Peels are adjustable depending on the specific skin problem they are being used for. The concentrations of the trichloroaecetic acid and method of application will determine the depth of the effects.
What skin conditions may a TCA Peel be used for?
- Excessive sebaceous oils
- Post acne scarring
- Excessive, stubborn blackheads and whiteheads
- Sun spots (actinic sun damage)
- Blotchy pigmentation
- Aging skin
- Dull, weathered skin
- Dark skin discoloration
- Scarring (non-keloidal scars)
Understanding the TCA Peel
Chemical skin peeling makes use of more concentrated exfoliants to accelerate the removal of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, thus producing regeneration of new and younger-looking skin cells. Out of all the skin peeling procedures available, the TCA skin peel is the most popular.
TCA Peel, which stands for Trichloroacetic Peel, uses trichloroacetic acid to remove superficial blemishes such as post-acne scars, correct pigment problems (melasma) and smooth out fine surface wrinkles. On some occasions, TCA Peel has even been used to remove and prevent the growth of pre-cancerous lesions. It is an intermediate to deep peeling agent that is normally used in 10 to 35% concentrations, depending on the extent of peeling that the patient wishes to achieve.
What happens during a TCA Peel?
Since TCA is a chemical that will slough off the dead surface of the skin, patients may feel a burning sensation once it is applied.
TCA is applied to the problem areas, one area at a time. Normally your skin turns slightly red after the chemical has been applied – this means that the TCA is working.
The TCA peel is able to effectively remove the thin surface layers of aged and damaged skin from the face or other parts of the body. These dead skin cells are replaced by healthier ones. This allows the skin’s own clarity and tightness to resurface. Deeper than a light glycolic acid peel, the TCA gets stronger results. The TCA peel is a medical procedure and should only be performed by a trained, licensed physician or properly trained high-level physician assistant or nurse. In our practice either Dr. Sikorski or our Certified Physician Assistant Terri Cho will perform your peel.
What happens after a TCA Peel?
Iced saline is applied on the skin following the procedure, to avoid further discomfort. Your skin will return to its normal color after 15 to 45 minutes. To finish off the procedure, an ointment will be applied to your skin to prevent the skin from becoming overly dry and to retain its normal moisture level.
After treatment on the first day your skin will look sunburned. On the second day it will look like it has a tan and will feel tight. For the next several days the skin will start to peel and reveal the younger, smoother skin beneath.
During healing from TCA Peel
You should not “help” the skin peel. Allowing the natural peel process prevents the likelihood of scarring or pigmentation. It may be tempting to pull off flakes of skin, but you should leave your skin alone and follow the post procedures instructions to achieve the best results. Sun protection is a absolute must. Your skin will be more sensitive and more easily burned.
Post-peel side effects may include swelling, discomfort, burning and redness of the skin.
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