The TCA Chemical peel (Trichloroacetic acid), also known as a medium chemical peel, is basically used to treat fine wrinkles (especially around the eyes) and superficial skin discoloration such as age spots. It can sometimes, but not always, improve darkness under the eyes if it is caused by pigment in the skin. It can also temporarily reduce pore size. It can be used on most skin types.
It is especially useful for getting a more youthful and smooth skin appearance during the first 4-6 weeks while the sub-clinical inflammation cuases many fine lines to disappear. I frequently recommend it as a low cost, short recovery time (but shorter acting) procedure that is often perfect to spruce up one’s appearacne before a special event or social season.
TCA peels are typically associated with mild redness and swelling for the first few hours after treatment, but it is truly a ‘lunchtime’ procedure – patients can often return to work or attend a working lunch immediately afterwards.
The next 48 hours are uneventful and the skin will begin to tighten and darken slightly. Wednesday afternoon is a popular time to have this procedure for those who work during the week. The peeling will start on Friday afternoon and evening and the worst of the peeling will occur on the third and fourth days – Saturday and Sunday. There will usually be some minor residual flaking on the fifth and sixth days, and your new smooth skin will ‘break through’ at about a week, with perhaps a slight rosy glow that will rapidly fade.
The areas treated should be kept clean and hydrated to avoid the risk of soreness or infection, and individuals are advised to avoid direct sun exposure for several months after treatment to protect the newly formed layers of skin.