What is a TCA peel?
TCA stands for tri-chloroacetic acid and is one of the original skin rejuvenation peels. They are recommended for men and women of all ages wanting to improve moderate to severe sun damage and or signs of ageing.
Superficial TCA Peels are designed as mild to moderate peels. Their strength, and therefore peeling effects can be increased, by layering the applications. The peel depth is dependent on the patient's skin type, skin condition and desired outcome, though you will see a noticeable improvement after each peel.
What can TCA treat?
• Improves photo ageing (premature ageing caused from the sun)
• Speeds up cell turn over
• Helps stimulate collagen production
• Blotchy pigmentation is reduced
• Freckles are reduced
• Fine lines are reduced
• Some types of acne scarring are reduced
Contra-indications (Reasons why TCA peels may not be suitable for you)
• Roaccutane use in the last 6 months
• Dermatitis or infection in the area to be treated
• Abnormal wound healing
How many sessions do I need?
We recommend a course of 2 to 4 peels, which is dependent on skin type, skin condition, peel strength and the desired outcome.
What does it feel like?
TCA 12% peels have a burning sensation when initially applied, which subsides in a couple of minutes as it neutralises. During this time the patient holds a device over their face, which blows out cool air, significantly helping to reduce the sting. Cold compresses are applied after completion to help cool the skin.
How does my skin look after the treatment?
• Mild to moderate redness and sensitivity (similar to a sunburn) lasting 12 to 48 hours
• Skin feels dry and tight with almost a plastic type appearance
• Some darkened areas of skin may occur (this is skin preparing to shed)
• Varying amounts of sheet peeling (like sunburn) will occur for approximately 3-7 days after your treatment. It is very important not to pick or peel the skin prematurely as this can lead to prolonged healing or even scarring
• Makeup is fine to use, though just keeping the skin moist often looks better and assists in faster peeling time
• After the skin has shed it is often slightly pink for 1-2 weeks, has a healthy glow, feels softer, smoother and is more even in colour
• It is important to protect the new skin from the sun by using a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF 30+ sunscreen daily
• If the peeling skin is removed prematurely, prolonged healing and or infection is possible and may lead to a scar
• Possible herpes simplex outbreak if prone to cold sores
• Hyperpigmentation (darker areas of pigment on the skin) lasting 1 to 12 months
Prior to having a TCA peel, we recommend that the skin is primed with active ingredients for at least two weeks prior. This is to maximise peel outcomes, assist in speeding the healing time and reduces the risk of post peel complications. A specific skin care regime will be recommended to you at your initial consultation.
Patient After-Care for Superficial Peels
Now that you've had your first peel, there are a few simple steps for after care that you will need to follow:
Avoid the use of moisturisers or lotions containing active ingredients such as retinol, glycolic acids, perfumes and colours. Please use the moisturiser supplied to you for 3-7 days or until your skin is no longer sensitive. Thereafter, continue with your usual moisturises unless advised otherwise.
Your skin will be a little more sensitive to the sun so keep sun exposure to a minimum. Please wear a hat and sunscreen daily. This should be a regular routine for you anyway!
Apply foundation as you wish.
Slight crusting and/or scabbing in particular areas may develop. If so, please do not rub or pick the skin as this may lead to a scar.
If you have any concerns or questions please call the office.
Expected changes over the next 7 to 14 days include:
Day 1 to 3 – Tight, dry skin with moderate redness and sensitivity
Day 2 to 5 – Areas of darkened skin (this is the old skin in preparation to peel)
Day 3 to 7 – Peeling or slight flaking lasting 2 to 5 days
Home care products to use for the following 5 to 7 days:
Morning: Cetaphil cleanser and moisturiser (which we will provide) and a broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 30
Night: Cetaphil cleanser and moisturiser