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TCA Chemical peel

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Filed under Chemical Peels At Home

The TCA chemical peel is a Trichloroacetic acid based chemical peel used to improve age spots, sun spots, stretch marks, freckles, acne and to reduce fine lines and wrinkles among others. Unlike other peels like medium and superficial peels that can be applied from home, the TCA acid peel is a deep peel which must be administered by an experienced dermatologist to avoid or lessen side effects such as scarring, swelling, after peel breakouts, sensitivity to sunlight, etc.

How TCA chemical peeling works

TCA chemical peeling works by shedding the top most skin layer. Because the TCA chemical peel is a skin-surfacing treatment, it removes the dead skin cells and allows a new layer of skin to develop. The deeper the peel applied, the deeper into the skin the TCA acid peel will penetrate. A 25 TCA peel for example will penetrate the skin much less than a TCA peel 50.

Downtime, application and results

Downtime ranges from a few days to about ten days depending on the concentration of the TCA chemical peel that is applied.

Your skin is examined and thoroughly cleaned by a professional dermatologist before application of the TCA peel at intermittent times and in several layers. Skin cleansing is done to remove any oils remnant in the skin as these cause uneven absorption of the TCA acid peel into the skin. Best results require application of the TCA acid peel in two or three visits because this allows time to heal. Peeling results will last for up to six months. This means application is sometimes done twice annually.

Just after the TCA acid peel procedure, the skin turns yellowish for about two hours. It then fades and becomes redder for up to three days. During this time, the skin will appear to be suffering from severe sun burn although there will be no or very little pain or discomfort. During this time, one should avoid sunlight at all costs or risk scarring. Doctors usually advise between two to eight weeks.

TCA chemicals are not without their side effects although as stated earlier, using an experienced dermatologist will go a long way in putting you at ease on most of them. Some of the side effects include:

Mild pains: Pain killers can be prescribed for this,
Pigmentation changes: Especially in darker skin, the treated area could heal but with more or less pigmentation than originally,
Eye exposure: To avoid this, it is strongly recommended to wear eye protection during treatment. You don’t want TCA in your eyes,
Cold sores: People prone to herpes (may experience fever blisters and cold sores) should be prescribed famvir or acyclovir before undergoing TCA chemical peeling. Further, exfoliating treatments must all be avoided during a Herpes breakout.

During and after healing

During and after healing, the skin requires a certain degree of care after undergoing TCA chemical peeling. Any makeup should be removed gently and ask the doctor when it is safe to apply makeup. Increase your application of effective moisturizer such as Homepeel’s Vitamins B and E as well as AHA boosters to your skin. This is because your skin becomes drier during healing.