TCA is normally used for shallow peels (EasyPeel), where the concentration of acid is low, or for a medium deep peels, which is effective against fine wrinkles, freckles, pigmentation changes, acne and other superficial skin conditions, malasma being one. 4 t0 5 TCA peel treatments are required in order to achieve a good result. A shallow peel with AHA or TCA only affects the top layer of the skin (the epidermis), whereas a deeper peel with TCA or Phenol also works on the underlying skin layer (the dermis). The purpose of a peel is to remove old and wrinkly, pigmented, or sun damaged skin and to stimulate the production of new and fresh skin cells. A peel can reduce the fine lines underneath the eyes and around the mouth, wrinkles caused by sun damage, sign of ageing as well as liver spots, freckles, and pigmentation changes. A peel is also able to improve the appearance of shallow scars, and can treat some forms of acne. It can be used on certain types of acne. TCA peeling can improve the appearance of acne and can be beneficial in combination with clinical and dermatological treatment. TCA is mostly used for shallow or medium deep peels, and is the most commonly used acid for chemical peel. Phenol is the strongest of the three, and is used for medium deep and deep wrinkles, as well as for pigmentation changes. Persons with a tendency to form of keloid (excess scar tissue) or other forms of irregular scar formation are not suited candidates.
The procedure The treatment takes 15-20 minutes. Usually, the patient will be asked to apply pre peel skin care product on the skin for 2 weeks before the treatment. These cream contain active agents, which help prepare the skin for the peel, and which will improve its ability to form new skin cells afterwards.
What is the treatment like? After cleansing the skin to remove oils, the peeling agent is carefully applied. Within minutes, there is a very warm sensation that feels like sunburn. This lasts for a few minutes and is rapidly relieved by the application of post peel mask. Usually, no sedation is used during a chemical peel. For a Deep chemical peel, a local anesthetic is required to numb the face. Sedation is also an option for this procedure. The skin is cleansed and a strong chemical peel formula is applied and left on for around 30 minutes before being removed. Patients can feel ill after a deep chemical peel, and may experience moderate to severe pain lasting many days. The face swells in the first two days and it can be very itchy during the peeling and healing process. The face will be very red and may ooze a little fluid after the deep chemical peel treatment and it will take around two weeks before the face is healed enough that you may want to venture outdoors.
Risk of complications There is a risk of temporary discolouration of the skin in the treated area. With medium peel hyrer-pigmentation can occur even if you use sunscreens. Brown blotches can be treated with bleaching and bleaching cream. The risk of pigmentation changes increases when taking contraceptive pills.
Healing and recovery After the peel, the skin will react similar to when getting sunburned. The skin will typically turn red and start to peel off, and it might swell up a little. This usually stops within a week. After having a deep TCA peel, you might get fluid filled blisters, similar to having a second-degree burn. These will disappear within 1-2 weeks though. Normal activities, such as work, can be resumed after 10-14 days(medium peel). The new skin on the treated area will be very sensitive to sunlight for at least 6-8 weeks afterwards. During this time it is very important to protect the new skin with sunscreens, hats and the avoidance of strong sunlight. Use sunscreen with a high protective factor for several months.
Duration of the result The result after a few TCA peels is a smoother, fresher skin, where freckles as well as other imperfections in the skin will be significantly reduced, or gone. One deep chemical peel treatment can give remarkable results and the effects last for a decade.
Frequently Asked Questions How much improvement will I have? In principle, the amount of improvement is individual and depends on the initial condition of the patient’s skin. Maximum improvement of damaged skin and wrinkling ranges from50%-80% and, although 100% percent improvement is not possible, most patients view the results as dramatic. Chemical peel cannot heal loose or sagging skin, and do not serve the same function as a face-lift. Laser resurfacing, or soft tissue fillers may be much more effective. These options should be discussed with your medical practitioner. Chemical peels can not remove broken blood vessels on the face. However, chemical peels may improve the appearance of these conditions.
What happens after the treatment? After having a TCA peel patients are advised not to wash the treated area with water for 24 hours and protect fromUVA radiation. Apply Post peel moisturising cream and sunblock as required. Patient’s progress should be monitored and should be invited back to clinic at prescribed intervals for follow-up examinations with the practitioner and given specific post-peel instructions.