Chemical peels remove damaged outer layers of skin on the face to smooth texture, reduce scarring, and remove blemishes to produce healthy, glowing skin. There are many different types of peels available, ranging form mild to strong, which can correct different levels of skin damage to provide each patient with results customized to their skin's individual needs.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels are medium-depth peels that can effectively treat fine surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes and pigment problems, and are often performed in conjunction with an alphahydroxy acid (AHA) peel or other treatments such as a facelift or laser skin resurfacing. Treatment can be fully customized for each patient's skin type and may even be covered by insurance if performed for medical rather than cosmetic reasons.
TCA peels can be performed on patients of any skin type, and are considered ideal for those with darker skin. It can be performed on several different areas of the body, including the face, neck, chest and hands.
During the peel procedure, the skin is thoroughly cleaned before the peel solution is evenly applied to the targeted areas. Peel depth can be adjusted to ensure that each patient receives treatment that targets their individual needs. Some patients may be given Retin-A or hydroquinone to apply to the skin prior to treatment in order to maximize results.
There is no anesthesia required with a TCA peel, as the peel's unique solution acts as an anesthetic on its own and mildly numbs the skin. There may be a slight stinging sensation when the peel is first applied, but this goes away quickly. Some patients may request sedation before their treatment in order to promote comfort and relaxation for their peel. The entire peel process takes only 10 to 15 minutes to perform.
After a TCA peel, patients may experience tingling, throbbing, redness, swelling and scabbing, which usually last for about a week, depending on the strength of the peel. It is important for patients to protect their skin from the sun for several months after the peel in order to reduce the risk of complications and maintain desired results. Dr. Kurtzman will provide you with specific post-treatment instructions.
The results of a TCA peel are visible after seven to 10 days as new skin layers form. Patients can return to work and other regular activities at this time. The skin may continue to appear slightly pinkish for several months before true results develop. Most patients notice smoother and fresher-looking skin after treatment, although these results do not last as long as those achieved with a phenol peel. Additional treatments may be recommended to reach desired results and maintain these results over the long-term.
Although a TCA peel is considered safe for most patients, there are certain risks associated with any type of treatment. Some of these risks may include infection, scarring and permanent pigmentary changes, among others. Patients can reduce these risks by choosing an experienced doctor to perform their treatment and by following the doctor's instructions before and after the peel.