The TCA is a blend of salicylic and trichloroacetic acid. Trichloroacetic acid, a cousin of vinegar, has been used for many years in facial peels. When it is applied, the outer layer of skins dries and sluffs off, revealing newer, younger-looking skin underneath.
Benefits of TCA
- Brightens and evens skin tone
- Reduces appearance of dark spots, acne scars, sun damage, and freckles
- Recommended for treating melasma
- Helps skin look soft and smooth
- Because of the depth of this peel, it also helps clean out congested pores
- Erases fine lines and wrinkles
- Increases collagen production for younger looking skin over time
- Increases product penetration for healthier skin
Can TCA be used at different skin depths? Can it be adjusted to be a light or a heavy peel?
Yes, TCA can be customized for your skins and your needs. It can be used for a light, shallow peel. Or it can be concentrated to penetrate deeper skin layers. The deeper it goes, the more potential side effects it has as well as potential benefits for evening out your skin tone and reducing sun spots and wrinkles.
Light peels are often done in a series of 2-3 peels. With a light peel there is no downtime. Medium peels are done 1-2 times a year and require up to a week of downtime.
What is the procedure like?
To do this procedure, you would come into our office and we would thoroughly cleanse your face. Then we apply the peeling agent. You might feel a burning sensation and some pain. The length of time it is on your face varies but isn’t for long—about 5-8 minutes.
What is my skin like right after the procedure?
Immediately after the procedure, your skin may look white or yellow. That usually quickly fades but after that your skin will look red. Many people experience some swelling for the first day. Your skin will be very sensitive to sun. Plan not to be in the sun.
What is the aftercare?
Yes, with a medium depth peel, you can expect 3-7 days of downtime. Soreness, swelling, and redness are also possible. Your skin will be sensitive to sun, especially the week of the peel but for a few weeks afterward. Make sure to wear a broad spectrum sun screen on it and to use hats and sunglasses to limit sun exposure. After a day or so, your skin will start to flake and peel off. Your skin may have a brown crust on it temporarily. Don’t pull on it or scrub it. For optimal healing, just let it sluff off naturally.
How long does it take to see the full benefits of the peel?
Around days 7-10 after the peel, when you skin is done peeling, you will definitely notice an improvement—a reduction of acne scars, sun spots, and wrinkles. However, keep in mind that your skin will continue to heal for the next few weeks. You probably won’t see the full benefits of the peel until about day 30. The best thing to do is to continue to take good care of your skin. Use a good sunscreen and a good moisturizer.
*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person.