The TCA peel is one of several chemical peel options used by the medical providers at California Skin Institute to help clients address a variety of problems associated with sun damage and aging skin. This procedure uses an ingredient called trichloracetic acid, a chemical that can be used in different concentrations to remove damaged skin cells and stimulate the growth of healthy skin. If you are interested in what the TCA chemical peel can achieve for you, your California Skin Institute provider can help you make an assessment as to whether this peel is the best choice in your situation, or if another treatment may be more appropriate.
How the TCA Peel Works
At California Skin Institute we take great care when performing the TCA chemical peel, because the results are tied directly to how much effort and attention is devoted to the procedure. For example, there are many companies out there that sell TCA peel solutions online for at-home application. However, what many consumers are not told is that the results of the peel depend directly on how well the solution penetrates the skin, and whether the acid penetrates the skin evenly. This is just one problem with at-home peels, and why it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced professional.
We take many steps to keep your skin safe. For example, when you visit one of our providers for a TCA chemical peel, your skin will be carefully analyzed to ensure that this treatment is the best option for you. Further, your provider will discuss in detail the pros and cons of this treatment in your unique situation, and working together, you will arrive at a decision on the strength of the peel which will be most appropriate for you.
During the TCA peel procedure, your provider will first cleanse your skin with a variety of topical solutions that remove oil and dirt buildup in the skin. This is essential because clean skin will help the trichloracetic acid penetrate more evenly; leading to results that are more aesthetically pleasing in the long term.
After the cleansing, the TCA chemical peel solution will be applied to the skin. It is common to experience mild discomfort (such as stinging) during this part of the procedure. However, any discomfort is mild, without the need for pain medication.
Upon the completion of the procedure, you will be able to go home. Because there is no sedation, you will be able to drive yourself. However, please keep in mind that from the moment the procedure is complete, to the time you recover, it is important to stay out of the sun. Therefore, please do not make any vacation or outdoor activity plans for up to 8 weeks after the procedure (the amount of time will greatly depend on the strength of the peel used).
Ingredients in TCA Peel
The active ingredient in the TCA chemical peel is trichloracetic acid, which was discovered in the 1800’s by the French chemist, Jean-Baptiste Dumas. This chemical is highly effective at destroying dead or damaged skin cells, and is often used to address pigmentation issues caused by sun damage.
What the TCA Peel Treats
California Skin Institute providers may suggest the TCA peel for a variety of skin problems; however, this procedure is most commonly used to target issues like hyperpigmentation and melasma. In many cases, these issues are caused by sun damage, such as sun spots (also known as liver spots). However, other discoloration – like acne scars, for example – and rough skin texture can also be addressed by this peel, as it will remove the damaged cells and stimulate the growth of healthy skin cells.
The recovery time after a TCA chemical peel will depend on the sensitivity of your skin and the strength of the chemical solution. The latter is an absolutely vital consideration, because though the stronger peels will penetrate deeper and provide more dramatic effects, the recovery time will also be longer.
For peels with the lightest concentration, you can expect a recovery time of approximately 7-10 days. During this time, your skin will blister and peel off, revealing a healthy layer of skin underneath. For stronger concentration peels, the recovery time may last several weeks, because the skin is targeted more aggressively.
If you have any questions about the TCA chemical peel, please schedule a consultation at a California Skin Institute practice near you, or fill out the Contact Form below!