TCA Chemical Peel
Your skin is a living organ, made up of millions of cells. Everyday, thousands of cells die, fall off, and are replaced by new cells from below. This is a slow and haphazard process that does not allow your skin to shed dark spots, sun damage, or a dull, lifeless complexion.
The purpose of a medium facial peel is to cause the even, controlled shedding of several layers of damaged cells, so you are left with a new fresh layer of skin, with a more even texture and color. This process is similar to a snake shedding its skin.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels are one of the most commonly used medium depth peels. These peels can make marked improvements in blotchy pigmentation, freckling, sun damage, fine wrinkles, and some types of acne scars.
What is the treatment like?
The peel consists of the application of one or several layers of medication to your skin to create a controlled chemical burn. There is normally a few minutes of stinging and burning after the medication is applied. This usually stop within 2 or 3 minutes, and there is no more discomfort during the rest of the time you are peeling, although most people experience itching during the healing process. During the next several days, your skin turns darker, feels tight, then cracks and peels off, leaving you with a new fresh layer of skin.
During healing, you should have no pain. The healing varies with the depth of the peel which is based on the strength of the TCA and the number of passes applied to the skin. The average peel takes 5 or 6 days to complete. Deeper peels, for heavily sun-damaged and wrinkled skin, may take 8 or 10 days. There are specific medicated creams you may need to use during peeling.
Most patients require more than one peel to achieve their best improvement. For most skin types, two peels are needed to give the best results, but some skin problems, such as excessive pigmentation from pregnancy or birth control pills, may require multiple peels for maximum improvement. Everyone’s skin is different, so each person’s peel program is tailored to his or her individual needs.