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Chemical Peel

Of the many chemical peels available for cosmetic resurfacing – lactic, glycolic, salicylic, TCA (trichloroacetic acid), and phenol – there are basically three levels:

• Minor, superficial peels – lactic, glycolic, salicylic
• Medium depth peels – TCA, Jessner’s
• Deep peels – phenol

Medium strength TCA peels are the easiest to apply (Jessner’s can require multiple concurrent applications and taping to aid in skin penetration), and are considered the safest and by far the most effective against numerous skin ailments/conditions. They are also one of the most effective treatments for acne currently known to the medical community.

The most common treated area is the face. TCA is applied usually in a cream. Doctors will mix a previously prepared cream with TCA and then apply this mixture to the face or body area to be treated. The creams tend to have a skin dye of green or blue so the doctor can easily see what areas have and/or have not been treated. It is usually applied with a cotton or foam applicator. This is then left on for 10-20 minutes. Some practitioners prefer to use a straight (non-cream) solution of TCA. This works much faster and penetrates deeper and is used for deeper peels.

After application and proper time for the desired depth is achieved, the doctor will apply a neutralizer. This is usually just a mixture of baking soda and water made into a paste. Some doctors will add chipped ice to further cool the skin. The skin will now be inflamed and if no dye was used will look like a bad sunburn. This will last two to four days until it starts to peel off and reveal new, clean, younger-looking skin. Depending on the skin problems treated, it may take several treatments, but a major difference will be seen immediately.

The results from a TCA peel are more far-reaching than with a superficial peel. Results can last six months to a year, and it has been known to keep acne at bay, shrink and lessen acne scars, reduce and tighten up wrinkles, improve color and pigmentation. A TCA peel cannot be applied as often as a more superficial peel. Generally speaking, a superficial peel can be applied every two to five weeks. A stronger, medium-depth peel needs more time between peels for the skin to properly heal and regenerate. Most practitioners like to wait two to six months or more between these peels.

This process of chemically exfoliating the skin is more rapid and deeper in a TCA peel than in most peels. Many skin peels, like lactic, glycolic and salicylic, are good at reducing oily buildup (overactive sebaceous glands), and very minor skin imperfections, but they cannot effectively treat acne, wrinkles, fine lines, etc. TCA has been proven to treat these deeper skin conditions and the noticeable improvement in skin color, tone, and texture is a delightful benefit to many satisfied patients.

Before and After Photos:
Chemical Peel acne
Chemical Peel Redness
Chemical Peel Wrinkles