What is a TCA peel, or chemical peel?
Chemical peels improve the overall appearance of your facial skin by removing the damaged outer layer, and as a result, facial blemishes, wrinkles and uneven skin pigmentation are virtually eliminated. A variety of peeling agents and formulations can be used, but the most consistent and commonly used agents are alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), and phenol.
What are they used for?
Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic, lactic, or fruit acids are the mildest of the peel formulas and produce light peels. These types of peels can provide smoother, brighter-looking skin for people who can't spare long recovery periods. AHA peels may be used to treat fine lines, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) can be used in concentrations of 20% or 35% and is most commonly used for medium to deep peeling. Fine surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes and pigment problems are commonly treated with TCA peels.
Phenol is the strongest of the chemical solutions and produces the deepest peel. It is used mainly to treat deep facial wrinkles, areas of blotchy or damaged skin caused by sun exposure, or pre-cancerous growths.
What is the treatment plan?
Various concentrations of an AHA may be applied weekly or at longer intervals to obtain the best result. An alphahydroxy acid, such as glycolic acid, can also be mixed with a facial wash or cream in lesser concentrations as part of a daily skin-care regimen to improve the skin's texture.
The results of a TCA peel are usually less dramatic and not as long-lasting as those of a phenol peel, but the recovery time is significantly shorter. Since phenol sometimes lightens the treated areas, your skin pigmentation may be a determining factor as to whether or not this is an appropriate treatment for you.
If you are interested in a TCA peel or another type of chemical peel, please use the form on this page to schedule a consultation at Hollywood Dermatology or visit our contact page for information about our South Florida locations.