Trichloroacetic Acid Peel

What is Trichloroacetic Acid Peel?

A trichloroacetic acid peel is a chemical peel that can be done on the face, hands, the back of the hands, the legs, the chest, and the neck. It is a medium depth peel that can be done in either the dermatologist office or in the comfort of your own home with over the counter peels. These peels were designed to repair and rejuvenate the skin. They are formulated with a concentration of 8% to 30% in strength. Tricholoroacetic peels are often referred to as TCA peels and can be done on the entire face or just done by spot peeling. Often time’s more than one peel is needed to see huge results on the skin. Generally, a trichloroacetic acid peel lasts about 6 months, but if they are supplemented with lactic acid peels or glycolic acid every two weeks, they will last longer. It is recommended that if you have a trichloroacetic acid peel done for the first time, to have it done professionally. Any trichloroacetic acid over 20% should be done by a professional.

Best Uses:

Trichloroacetic acid peels are done to reduce age spots as well as brown spots. They can improve melasma, and treat different types of acne.  They will reduce the fine look of wrinkles, improve leathery textures on the skin, give a glow to the face, and help treat sun damaged skin.

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Preperation for the Trichloroacetic Acid Peel

Before having a tricholoracetic acid peel done, there are a few steps that should be taken. Many dermatologists will recommend using AHA serum or a retinoid cream for 2 weeks prior to the treatment. This will ensure that the peeling is more even and will penetrate even better. Three days before the peel is done all exfoliants must be stopped. Hair removers and scrubs that are grainy should also be avoided. Two days before the peel is done, a patch test should be done. The patch test must be done wherever the peel is to be done.

Before a trichloroacetic peel is done, the skin must be thoroughly cleansed. The skin will be washed several times and an astringent will be applied to wipe all traces of oil off the face. The peel will then be applied and allowed to set on the skin for a determined amount of time. A second or third layer may be added. A fan will be running to help cool the skin down, as it will feel like a burning, hot, tingling sensation. After the solution is washed off the face, a thick layer of antibacterial cream will be applied to help speed healing and protect the skin.

Trichloroacetic Acid Peel Recovery

Since the trichloroacetic acid peel is done as a medium depth on the skin, there will be healing time needed. Usually a week is needed as there will be peeling skin. The skin will also see some redness, which can last from 2 to 8 weeks or longer. After the peel minor pain can be felt in some individuals after the chemical peel is done. Mild swelling will most likely take place after the peel and should be resolved in two to three days. The skin will be very sensitive to the sun for 6-8 weeks after a trichloroacetic peel. Sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat should be worn at all times.

Things to do for after a trichloroacetic acid peel are to wash the skin nightly with a gentle cleanser. After washing the skin and patting dry, moisturise the skin like crazy. Moisturise the skin several times daily as this will help with the flaking and peeling. Avoid exposure to the sun, and always wear a sunscreen.



4 replies
  1. Josephine
    Josephine says:

    I had one of these done last year. My skin was very sensitive to the sun for several weeks after the tricholoroacetic peel and is even still very sensitive. I make sure to keep plenty of sunscreen on it daily and even carry some with me in my purse. I also carry a hat around with me. I do not want a bad sunburn, especially since my skin is now renewed and glorious and gorgeous. I will probably save for another peel to do sometime soon. A second peel would make my skin look and feel even better!

  2. Mayley
    Mayley says:

    Wonderful article on tricholoroacetic acid peels. I have had one done earlier this year in March. It was wonderful for my skin. I was really worried about the burning and stinging sensation, but honestly it was not too bad. Yes it was not the most comfortable thing in my life to deal with but it also was not too bad either. I would have one done again if I had to. I made sure to have plenty of skin lotions and creams at home to slather on so my face would not peel so bad. I do feel that this made a world of difference to me. I basically set the rule that any time I would use the rest room I would apply a cream to my skin. And then use one at night too. It helped keep my skin fully moisturized. I also made sure to drink a lot during the first week just so my skin was hydrated.

  3. Eva
    Eva says:

    Hi, this is a great article. I have been wondering what to do for my face. It is aging, and I want something that is not going to break the bank, that will give results, and that will not make me have to go back for countless treatments. A tricholoroacetic acid peel sounds like just the thing for me. I have never heard of this treatment til now but it sounds like it will be a good one to do. I look forward to doing more research in it and talking to my dermatologist as well.

  4. Petra K.
    Petra K. says:

    I am looking into having a Tricholoroacetic acid peel. I think that my face needs it as I do have some brown spots that I am just dying to have erased. I also have a few fine lines that I would love to see gone. I have a week of sick time that I could take. What I would like to know is after a week will I be able to wear makeup? I am really worried that my skin will look awful after a week and I either will not be allowed to wear makeup or if I do wear makeup, my face will look blotchy and awful. Is there a certain brand of makeup that those who have had a tricholoroacetic peel done allowed to use?


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