TCA or trichloroacetic acid is a common ingredient used for cosmetic skin peels, one type of facial resurfacing. It comes in varying concentrations, allowing for varying depths of peeling (depending on the concentration). TCA peels can help treat pigmentation, discoloration, fine lines and aging grooves. It works by removing the top few layers of skin, allowing new skin cells to appear. TCA is effective in promoting skin softness and vitality.
TCA is a non-toxic chemical. When applied to skin, it causes the top layers of cells to dry up and peel off over a period of several days to one week. When the old skin is peeled off, it exposes a new layer of undamaged skin, which has a smoother texture and more even color. Some dermatologists, in fact, prefer TCA peels for treating sun damage or melasma, usually in combination with prescription creams.
TCA peel is considered a medium strength chemical peel. As many other peels can only be used on the face, TCA peel can be used on the patient’s face, neck, and back of the hands. It has deeper exfoliating effects than those obtainable from glycolic acid peels.
Chemical skin peels are cheaper and less invasive than plastic surgery, but they can yield similar results. Like TCA peels are effective for fading dark spots, sun spots, and freckles, smoothing marks left by acne, relieving congested pores, removing pre-cancerous lesions, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles and removing skin damaged by sun exposure. TCA peels are not recommended for reducing or eliminating acne scars or moles, but have been found to be effective in removing or fading tattoos. Due to such wonderful effects many patients opt to have this treatment done every two or three years to maintain its effects.
TCA peels brighten and even out your skin tone by reducing the appearance of hyper pigmentation and skin discoloration. They revitalize dull-looking skin, helping skin look soft and smooth. Because of their deep exfoliating effects, TCA peels can clean out congested pores to refine the surface of your skin.
Cosmetic skin peels with trichloroacetic acid (TCA) are generally performed by dermatologists or plastic surgeons because the solution is too caustic to be safe for home or salon use. After several weeks of pre-treatment with alpha-hydroxy gels and anti-viral medications, the doctor performs the peel. Following the peel, the skin looks severely sunburned, and crusts and scabs may form. The recovery time for a peel is at least two weeks, though it might be longer for some people.