Trichloroacetic Acid Peel
If you would like to improve the overall smoothness of your skin
and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, a TCA peel
may be right for you. TCA stands for trichloroacetic acid and is
considered to be what is called a medium chemical peel.
Basically, a solution of TCA is applied to your skin where it
burns the upper layer of skin to a predetermined depth. After a
few days, the burned skin becomes leathery and eventually peels
off, revealing healthy, flushed, youthful skin underneath.
Now before the word “burn” scares you off, be assured that the
burning won’t cause damage to your skin. In fact, a TCA Peel is
a most innovative way to easily and optimally rejuvenate the
Pros of a TCA Peel
A TCA peel can improve the overall color and freshness of your
face while evening out your skin tone and texture. It can also
help reduce the visibility of age spots and fine wrinkles and
improve blotchiness and, in some cases, those dark circles under
TCA peels are also safe and can be repeated every three to six
months for optimal results. And, since TCA peels are medium
peels (as opposed to deep peels), they are safe for people with
olive and light brown skin. They have also been successful on
darker skin tones, but the risk of discoloration is higher, the
darker the skin tone.
TCA peels can effectively treat:
Blotchy pigmentation (including melasma)
Sun damage (including pre-cancerous lesions)
Shallow acne scars
Cons of a TCA Peel
While a TCA peel can improve the appearance of fine lines and
shallow wrinkles, it will not improve dynamic wrinkles or deep
acne scarring. Also, in order to keep up the improved appearance
a TCA peel will give you, you may need to repeat the procedure
as often as every three months. With the right skincare regimen,
some patients can go as long as a year between peels, but it is
much more common to see patients repeat the procedure at least
every six months.
How to Prepare for a TCA Peel
If you properly prepare your skin
for your TCA peel, your peel will penetrate more deeply, giving
you longer-lasting results. Proper preparation can also help
speed up your recovery time and lower your risk of
discoloration. Start six weeks to a month out by applying a
product containing tretinoin daily. The tretinoin is a
derivative of vitamin A and will help you shed your outermost
layers of skin, resulting in deeper penetration of the TCA and
will also stimulate your skin to regenerate more rapidly. If
your skin tone is darker, a bleaching agent may also help even
out the effects of a TCA peel.
What to Expect
A TCA peel can take anywhere from
15 minutes to an hour. The procedure is very simple – the
surgeon applies the TCA solution to one area of your skin at a
time and allows it to reach the desired depth. Once it has, the
surgeon neutralizes the burning process with iced saline and
moves on to another area to repeat the process. The burning
sensation lasts anywhere from two to ten minutes, but stops
after the iced saline is applied.
After the procedure, your face will return to its normal color
within an hour and you will be given an ointment to apply. There
should be no discomfort after the procedure is over. Over the
next week, your outer layers of skin will stiffen, crack, flake
and peel. Even though that sounds bad, it is really something
like the effects of a sunburn, but without the itching and
burning. That said, most patients elect to stay out of the
public eye for a week while these superficial layers are shed.
A TCA peel will result in providing your face with a new, fresh
layer of skin and pores with a more even color and a smoother
texture. In addition, the TCA peel stimulates new cells to grow,
thereby tightening the skin and decreasing lines and wrinkles.
If you decide that you are interested in a TCA peel, you will
need to have a consultation with our Registered Nurse and Skin
Health Specialist to discuss the benefits and risks of a TCA
peel for your particular skin type and condition. Let us help
you erase lines and wrinkles, and improve the health of your
pores and skin. With clients from all over the Tampa Bay area,
our TCA and Blue Peel center is conveniently located to serve
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Contact the Kass Center for Cosmetic Facial and Eye Plastic Surgery
today or call 727-522-FACE to put our exfoliation and skin
renewal techniques to work for you!