Last updated date: 16-Jun-2023

Originally Written in English

TCA peel (full face)


    Patients' emotions and facial expressions vary when they hear the words "chemical peel." Some people associate the phrase with bright, freshly exfoliated, moisturized skin. Others associate the phrase with a recent terrible experience or dramatic photos they've seen on the internet, and the notion.

    Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) is a chemical agent that is used to exfoliate and regenerate the skin on a superficial to deep level. TCA is frequently used on the face, neck, décolleté, hands, and legs. TCA is also a good "spot therapy," and can be used to just peel small regions of skin.


    What is a Chemical Peel?

    Chemical Peel

    A chemical peel is a technique that exfoliates the skin chemically. Chemical peels range in depth from shallow to medium to deep. Only the top layer of skin is exfoliated by superficial chemical peels, whereas medium and deep chemical peels exfoliate into the upper and mid dermis, respectively. Superficial chemical peels can improve skin texture and level out skin tone, but medium to deep chemical peels can tighten skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

    In general, the depth of the chemical peel increases the time it takes to recover and the likelihood of adverse effects. As a result of the higher risk of scarring and hyperpigmentation, medium and deep chemical peels are normally avoided in darker skin tones. 


    What is TCA Peel?

    TCA Peel

    A TCA peel is a noninvasive skin treatment that may be used to address skin discoloration, scarring, and wrinkles. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is used to remove dead skin cells to reveal the newer, smoother skin layers beneath. TCA peels are a type of chemical peel that is used to exfoliate your skin by employing various strengths and combinations of harmless acid components.

    TCA is an acronym that stands for trichloroacetic acid. TCA chemical peels can range from extremely light to extensive chemical peels, depending on TCA content and whether they are paired with another form of chemical peel. To give you an idea, 10%-30% TCA gives you a superficial peel, 30%-40% TCA gives you a medium-depth chemical peel, and 50% or more TCA gives you a deep chemical peel.


    What are the benefits of TCA Peel?

    benefits of TCA Peel

    TCA peels are noninvasive cosmetic treatments that are used to address skin discolorations, scars, and wrinkles. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is utilized in these peels to remove dead skin cells and reveal the fresher, smoother skin layers beneath. TCA peels are a type of chemical peel that is used to exfoliate your skin by utilizing various strengths and combinations of harmless acid components.

    The flexibility to alter the depth to meet the skin condition is one of the most noteworthy advantages of superficial TCA peels. The peel will become deeper as additional coats are applied, as the solution searches for protein to neutralize itself. Because of the long-lasting effects, it is an excellent peel for people who want fewer peeling sessions at the expense of considerable downtime.

    Chemical peels can be applied as an outpatient procedure by a variety of practitioners. Dermatologists, physicians, physician assistants, and nurses are among them. Chemical peels may be beneficial in:

    • Minimizing blemishes
    • Reducing the appearance of wrinkles
    • Harmonizing skin color
    • Helping with removal of precancerous growths
    • Softening acne scars
    • Helping prevent and control acne

    A trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel is intended to remove your skin's damaged surface layer as well as defects such as:

    • Age spots
    • Fine wrinkles
    • Rough skin
    • Freckles
    • Sun-damaged skin

    These unattractive issues exist on the skin's top layer. A TCA chemical peel eliminates that layer while stimulating natural collagen and elastin synthesis, leaving your skin appearing brighter and younger. Each type of skin requires a different course of therapy. For clean skin, younger individuals often require one or two treatments, while older people typically require four treatments. Between treatments, one week of rest is necessary.

    TCA peels are usually modest in depth. This implies that they just remove the top layer of skin and a little portion of the underlying layer. TCA peels are available in a range of concentrations from mild to high. Stronger solutions produce a deeper peel, removing more of the skin's underlying layer. Which peel is ideal for each individual varies. A person should consult with their practitioner to choose the ideal peel for them.


    Who is a good candidate for TCA peels?

    Candidate for TCA peels

    Chemical peels are available in three strengths: superficial, medium, and deep. TCA peels are medium strength, which means they should only be administered by a licensed skin care specialist. The optimal TCA peel candidate is:

    • Is not breastfeeding or pregnant.
    • Does not have a skin condition such as psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea.
    • Does not have a job that requires them to be outside.
    • Has no history of keloids or poor wound healing.
    • Will be counseled by the doctor beforehand about realistic expectations of the results.

    People who have used isotretinoin (Zenatane, Amnesteem, Claravis) for acne should avoid chemical peels for a period of time after finishing therapy.


    How to prepare for a TCA Chemical Peel?

    TCA Chemical Peel

    It is, of course, critical that you follow the exact instructions provided by the individual doing your chemical peel. I would advise avoiding getting medium-depth chemical peels done outside of a dermatologist's practice. Only a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon should do deep chemical peels.

    Before booking a chemical peel, have a look at your schedule. A chemical peel will normally cause skin to peel for 4-10 days. Check your calendar to ensure that no crucial activities or dates fall within your peeling window. Although you may wear makeup while recovering, peeling skin might be difficult to conceal.

    It is also critical to prevent sun exposure as the skin heals. So don't acquire a peel just before your vacation. It's also best to avoid getting a new tan on the day of your operation. Your aesthetician or physician would most likely request that you discontinue your nightly retinol or retinoid a week before your treatment, but this should be checked. It is occasionally helpful to prepare the skin with retinol or a retinoid before doing a superficial peel.

    If you have a history of cold sores, your doctor will prescribe you a preventative medicine to reduce the likelihood of an eruption after medium-depth chemical peels.


    How is a TCA Peel performed?

    TCA Peel performed

    The actual therapy time is rather short. It is advised to avoid wearing makeup to your visit. If you're coming from work and wear a lot of makeup, bring your favorite makeup remover with you so you can remove it yourself.

    TCA peels remove an even layer of skin cells from the epidermis and, at higher doses, the dermis. The epidermis is the skin's top layer, while the dermis is the layer underneath it. The peel is applied to the skin by a practitioner and removed at the proper time. Scarring and adverse effects can be reduced by using proper application and removal techniques.

    The health care provider will first degrease your face with acetone, which smells similar to nail paint remover. This feels a bit strange and chilly, but it's an important step since it helps the peel solution to efficiently interact with your skin. he will next apply a barrier to the corners of your eyes, nose, and lips. Because these locations naturally slant downward, peel solution may accumulate in them. To protect them, a heavy ointment is administered.

    The peel will then be applied to the face using either a cotton tip applicator or a gauze pad in the next phase. In most cases, this is followed with tingling and warmth in the treated locations. Often, one region will react more strongly than another. A fan is usually sufficient to alleviate pain in a superficial peel. For medium-depth chemical peels, oral or inhalation analgesics may be administered prior.

    The length of time you leave the TCA peel on depends on the depth you want to achieve. TCA is available in three concentrations ranging from 15% to 25%. All of these concentrations are of the highest caliber and will produce spectacular effects. A TCA peel can cause moderate to intense peeling, and most people will have substantial downtime. TCA peels can be administered in layers of up to four. Before applying the next layer, each layer will be left on your skin for five to fifteen minutes, or until icing begins.

    The number of layers used will be determined by the desired depth of the chemical peel as well as the reaction of your skin. The individual doing your peel will keep a close eye on the ideal finish point. The skin is cooled with cold water after the desired end point is achieved, which is normally within 3-5 minutes. The operation is completed with the application of a tiny balm to preserve the skin.


    What happens after a TCA Peel?

    After a TCA Peel

    You may notice some changes immediately following a TCA peel treatment. It may potentially take three or four days for the full benefits to manifest.

    Aftercare will be described in details following your surgery, but in general, it is vital to keep it simple and mild. You'll wash your skin with a mild cleanser and hydrate with a light ointment or moisturizer. It is also critical to use proper sun protection.

    Following the treatment, a person will require some rest. A medium depth peel normally takes 7-14 days to heal for medium concentrations and 14-21 days for higher concentrations. For several months, they may also need to take special measures in the sun.

    Picking at the skin to try to speed up the peeling process might increase the chances of infection, poor healing, and dark patches. Regular skincare can be resumed once the skin has healed completely from the chemical peel and feels normal again (normal but better).

    After the first redness fades from the skin, you'll find that your skin starts to feel tight. The afflicted region will lose the skin that has been exposed to the TCA therapy during the next three days. It is typical for peeling skin to fall off in areas over several days.

    Avoid scraping or peeling your skin off with your fingernails. When the skin is entirely removed, the skin beneath may seem firmer, smoother, brighter, and younger. Wear sunscreen and keep your skin protected from the sun every day while your skin is peeling. To avoid depleting your skin of further moisture, wash your face with a moderate cleanser.

    TCA chemical peels may need to be repeated if one peel does not produce the desired results. The peel can be done periodically as a refresher peel depending on the intensity of the TCA. TCA chemical peels are conducted every 4-6 weeks depending on the condition of your skin if the therapy is meant to fix significant problems.

    Apply sunscreen every day after your peel. Avoid excessive UV light exposure. You may also need to adjust your grooming habits: waxing and sugaring the hair where you have a TCA peel may cause skin damage in the weeks after the procedure.


    Are TCA peels safe?

    TCA Peels

    TCA peels are available in medium- to deep-depth solutions, according to a 2018 research, and people typically tolerate them well at lesser concentrations. The study's authors observed that increased TCA solution concentrations can raise a person's risk of problems such as:

    • Reactivation of herpes
    • Bacterial infection
    • Scarring
    • Change in the skin color

    After applying a medium-depth peel, a person might expect 7-14 days of recovery time. Their skin may also:

    • Become red
    • Swell for 24–48 hours
    • Blister and break open

    If a practitioner utilizes a larger concentration, the recovery period might take 14-21 days. They will also need to take efforts to care for their skin for the first week after the peel.


    What are the possible side effects of TCA peels?

    Side effects of TCA peels

    The technique has potential dangers and negative effects. The following are common side effects:

    • Redness that lasts for several days or even weeks
    • Herpes flare-up if you have the herpes simplex virus
    • Changes in skin color

    Rarely, a TCA peel can cause:

    • A bacterial or fungal infection
    • Organ damage due to chemical exposure

    People with darker skin tones may be more prone to hyperpigmentation following a chemical peel. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin layer exposed by the chemical peel appears darker or uneven. Before undergoing a chemical peel, consult with your doctor about the risks associated with your skin type.

    If you have extreme redness, swelling in your peel, seeping, blisters, or pus development on your skin after your peel, call your doctor right away.


    TCA Chemical Peels vs. Other Chemical Peels

    TCA Chemical Peels vs. Other Chemical Peels

    TCA peels are the most versatile chemical peels available. From a professional viewpoint, this makes it an excellent tool because it can be used to treat practically any ailment at varied doses and application approaches. However, from the standpoint of the patient, the only thing that counts is whether or not the surgery is appropriate for you. In general, hiring a provider that understands what they're doing is the most critical step in picking a chemical peel.


    Can I perform TCA peel at home?

    TCA peel perform

    TCA peels should, in general, be conducted by a professional. Because the number of layers and application pressure impact the depth of penetration for this peel, it should not be done at home. Medium-depth chemical peels should only be performed by a board-certified dermatologist or an expert professional.

    For your information, the level of penetration distinguishes an at-home chemical peel from an in-office/professional treatment. In order to be foolproof, at-home chemical peels are quite shallow. It will take numerous at-home treatments taken on a regular basis to equal one superficial in-office peel.

    However, as compared to in-office procedures, at-home peels often do not cause obvious peeling and so have little to no downtime. There is no at-home counterpart to a medium-depth peel; no quantity of at-home peels will produce the same result since medium-depth peels in-office penetrate considerably deeper than at-home treatments.


    How much does a TCA peel cost?

    TCA peel cost

    The cost of a TCA peel is based on the size of the treatment area as well as the desired outcomes. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, a chemical peel treatment cost an average of $693 in 2018.

    It's important to remember that the expense of a TCA peel isn't necessarily confined to the procedure itself. It is suggested that you use additional moisturizing products after a TCA peel to protect your face while it heals and to rehydrate your skin. These skin care products may be costly, and the quality of the goods you choose can affect both the final outcome of your chemical peel and how long the results persist.

    If you work in an office or spend the most of your time inside, you won't need to take time off from work following a TCA peel. Your skin will seem quite red and inflamed immediately after the peel has been applied. TCA peels, like other chemical peels, are considered a cosmetic surgery. That is, they do not have health insurance.



    Chemical peels

    Chemical peels have been around for a long, but they are still an excellent treatment choice for the majority of skin issues, including acne, hyperpigmentation, melasma, uneven skin texture, and fine lines and wrinkles.

    TCA chemical peels are among the most flexible types of chemical peels, offering a variety of depths and treatment choices. Superficial treatments are good for treating whiteheads, blackheads, uneven skin texture, and pigmentation, and medium-depth peels are better for treating fine lines and wrinkles. Because the danger of adverse events rises with depth, it is critical that this peel be performed by a qualified specialist. 

    Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) is a chemical agent that is used to exfoliate and regenerate the skin on a superficial to deep level. This is one of the most powerful peels available, and it is well-known for producing excellent results. TCA is most commonly used on the face, neck, and hands. It's also a good spot treatment, and it may be used to just peel specific sections of skin. 

    The depth of a TCA Peel varies depending on chemical strength, application methods, and, of course, skin type. The concentration and quantity of layers used throughout the treatment will have a significant impact on the intended results of the TCA Peel.

    The peel will penetrate deeper into the skin as more coats are applied, until the solution reaches the proteins of your skin cells to neutralize itself. This peel is typically linked with 2-3 minutes of stinging, itching, or burning.

    UV protection sunscreen is then applied. This UVA/UVB daily sun protection moisturizes while protecting your skin from the sun, which is especially vital after a chemical peel. To ensure safety and best results, you must adhere to the post-treatment guidelines advised by your paramedical clinical esthetician.

    The downtime is moderate and varies depending on individual skin characteristics and concentration/application methods used. There is normally little to no discomfort throughout the healing phase, although the skin seems burnt. The top layer of your skin will naturally flake or peel away after a few days. This might last 5-7 days on average, but it is possible that it will take longer. In essence, this procedure exposes significantly brighter and smoother skin. You can work at this period if you are not too self-conscious about your looks.