TCA Peels (Trichloracetic Acid)
What are TCA Peels?
These are TCA crystals dissolved in water. There are variable percentages depending on what depth you and your doctor decide is necessary.
TCA peels are more medium to deep depth peels.
- One-off procedure.
- Non-toxic, so large areas can be treated in one session.
- Excellent improvement to pigmentation and skin texture
- Effectively treats actinic keratosis
- Anaesthesia. These peels are painful so local anaesthetic can be provided.
- Very noticeable peeling.
- 7-14 days downtime.
- Risk of PIHP (post-inflammatory hyper or hypo-pigmentation)
Risk of infection.
An intermediate TCA peel should give a fantastic improvement in skin texture, pigmentation, fines lines and wrinkles. An intermediate depth peel should be expected to last about 2 years and a deep TCA chemical peel should last 5 years. However this can’t be guaranteed. A specific skin care regime is available post peel and if complied with will give long lasting results. TCA peels are not for treatment of deep wrinkles or acne scarring. These should be treated with surgery, laser resurfacing or phenol peels.
Indications for TCA Peels:
- Skin Types 1- 3 only.
- Solar lentigines.
- Fine to medium wrinkles.
- Solar keratoses.
- Great for a mature sun damaged skin.
Contraindication to TCA peel:
- Roaccutane treatment within 6 months.
- Broken skin
- Active skin infection.
Aftercare for TCA Peels.
Patients will need both emulsifying ointment and aqueous cream post peel. The aqueous cream needs to be applied hourly and emulsifying ointment every 4-6 hours. Peeling will start about 48 hours after the peel and w ill be quite aggressive for about 5 days. If the neck and décolletage are treated at the same time the application of the creams is the same but it may take up to three weeks for the healing process to complete in these areas. A daily factor 50 sunscreen is recommended post peel. It is very important never to pick peeling lesions post-peel as this can result in scarring. Instead keep rubbing in the creams as instructed.
If you decide to opt for the deeper TCA peel antibiotics may be recommended for a few days as there is a higher risk of infection.