Chemical Peels

What is a TCA Chemical Peel?

A TCA Peel (Trichloroacetic acid) is a noninvasive skin treatment used to treat skin discoloration, scarring, and wrinkles and is also used to clear away dead skin cells to allow for the revelation of newer and smoother skin layers. TCA Peels fall under the group of chemical peels, which are used to exfoliate the skin by using different nontoxic ingredients.

Who is a Candidate for a TCA Peel?

Chemical peels are classified as superficial, medium, or deep strength. Trichloroacetic Acid Peels are considered medium strength, meaning they should only be done by a certified skin care professional. As with any cosmetic or medical procedure, everyone may not be a candidate. At the consultation you will be assessed and informed with regards to your suitability for the treatment.

However, the ideal candidate for a TCA Peel:

  • Is not breastfeeding
  • Does not suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea
  • Is not employed in a capacity that requires them to be outside frequently
  • Does not have a history of poor wound healing
  • Does not have a history of keloids

Those who have taken medication such as Isotretinoin (Claravis, Amnesteem, Zenatene) should avoid chemical peels all together for a period of time following the treatment.

What is the cost of a TCA Peel?

The cost of a TCA Peel is determined by the size of the area being treated as well as the result expectancy. Clients should be mindful that the cost of a TCA Peel will not always be limited to the treatment itself and products for skin aftercare may be costly.

How does a TCA Peel work?

A TCA Peel works by dissolving the top layer of the skin (the epidermis) and as the skin that has been treated with the TCA peels off new cell growth is stimulated. Once the top layer of skin has peeled off a new layer of skin will become visible. The new layer of skin is often smoother and less affected by issues such as wrinkles and acne scars.

Preparing for a TCA Peel

Before a TCA Peel you may need to change your skin care regimen.

You may be asked to:

  • Apply sunscreen daily for at least four weeks before the TCA Peel
  • Stop usage of skin care products containing retinoids at least three days before the treatment (these can thin the layers of the skin)

The Procedure

The TCA Peel treatment will take around 30 minutes and the patient will be instructed to lie down as the TCA solution is applied to the skin. The procedure is usually done in a single session but if a certain result is desired multiple sessions may be required.

Most patients feel a burning sensation for the first few minutes of the treatment followed by a stinging pain as the acid exfoliates and clears away the top layers of skin.

Target Areas of a TCA Peel

TCA Peels are usually applied to the facial area but can also be used to improve smoothness and tone in other area of the body such as:

  • Back
  • Chest
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Upper Arms

TCA Peels also target issues such as:

  • Fine Lines
  • Melasma
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Skin Texture
  • Facial Scarring
  • Acne
  • Actinic Keratosis
  • Age Spots
  • Stretch Marks
  • Enlarged Pores
  • Sun Damage

Risks of a TCA Peel

All Chemical Peel have a potential for allergic reactions, risks, and side effects. It is important to inform your doctor of any allergies or medical conditions that you suffer from.

Some risks and side effects of a TCA Peel include:

  • Redness (lasting days or weeks)
  • Swelling
  • Dryness
  • Blistering
  • Herpes flare-up (if you suffer from the herpes simplex virus)
  • Changes in the color of the skin
  • Bacterial or fungal infection
  • Organ damage due to chemical exposure
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Hypopigmentation
  • Pain
  • Scarring
  • Eye Exposure
  • Sun Sensitivity

If you experience side effects such as excessive redness, swelling, oozing, blisters, or pus on the treatment area you should contact your health care provider immediately.

After a TCA Peel

After the application of the TCA Peel you many notice changes right away, and it can also take up to three or four days to see the development of the full effects.

After the initial redness subsides the skin in the treatment area will feel tight and throughout the days following the area will shed the skin that has been exposed to the TCA. It is normal for the peeling skin to come off in patches over the course of several days.

During this time, patients should:

  • Avoid scratching or peeling the skin
  • Apply sunscreen daily
  • Wash the area with a gentle cleanser to prevent removal of additional moisture from the skin
  • Avoid excess exposure to UV light
  • Avoid waxing the treatment area, this may damage the skin

Alternatives to TCA Peels

TCA can be combined with other ingredients and acids to create different kinds of chemical peels. Jessner Peels and Glycolic Acid Peels may provide similar results to a TCA Peel.

Some milder chemical peel options are available with ingredients such as lactic and citric acid. While these peels may not offer results that are as dramatic as TCA Peels they are more affordable and carry a lower risk and chance of side effects.

Benefits of a TCA Peel

Benefits of undergoing a Trichloroacetic Acid Chemical Peel include, but are not limited to the following, it:

  • Reduces pigmentation
  • Minimizes age spots
  • Minimizes freckles
  • Minimizes sun damage
  • Softens fine lines
  • Softens wrinkles
  • Treats acne
  • Treats congestion
  • Is suitable for most skin types
  • Treat both facial and bodily areas
  • FDA approved treatment

Choosing a Health Care Provider

If you are interested in a TCA Peel you can schedule a consultation with Modern Surgical Arts and one of our board certified surgeons will discuss the procedure, your expectations, risk factors, and side effects with you at length. Results will vary depending on factors such as skin type, skin color, and age and you should take the opportunity to ask as many questions as you need during the consultation.

There is no magic wand or spell that can magically transform your skin into the clear and vibrant skin that you want, but a Glycolic Peel is about as close as it gets. They are one of the most popular of chemical peels and can work wonders to transform your skin.

What is a Glycolic Acid Peel?

Glycolic Acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid or AHA used for chemical exfoliation on the skin. It is derived from sugar cane and can be used to treat issues such as:

  • Signs of aging
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Sun exposure
  • Acne
  • Acne scars

How does a Glycolic Acid Peel work?

Glycolic Acid Peels are chemical exfoliants, this means that they remove dead skin laying on the outer layer of the skin. When applied to the skin the Glycolic Acid Peel affects the epidermis by breaking up the “cement” that holds older, rougher, and dryer skin on the surface. By removing this “cement” the dead cells are then released and a fresh new layer becomes visible. One Glycolic Acid Peel is often not enough and patients will usually opt for a series of treatments over a period of time.

What to expect from a Glycolic Acid Peel Treatment

Glycolic Acid Peels are offered with different levels of concentration. For in office treatments there are three different options for Glycolic Acid Peels: light chemical peels, medium chemical peels, and deep chemical peels.

Before the procedure the patient’s hair and eyes will be covered and the treatment area will be cleansed. For deep peels, local anesthesia may be applied or a sedative may be delivered.

During the procedure the chemical peel containing the Glycolic Acid will be applied to the skin with a brush, cotton ball, or gauze. A small amount of tingling is normal for a light peel but for medium and deep peels patients may experience a burning or stinging sensation. After a few minutes the skin will have been cleansed and neutralizers are applied for medium and deep peels.

Light and medium chemical peels may take as little as ten to fifteen minutes where as deep chemical peels can last up to ninety minutes since the practitioner can only apply the chemical peel to certain areas of the face at a time in order to limit exposure.

In most cases it is better to start with peels that have a low concentration of Glycolic Acid and work the concentration percentage up as you go along. This will allow the skin to adjust as the level of concentration rises.

Risks of a Glycolic Acid Peel

All Chemical Peel have a potential for allergic reactions, risks, and side effects. It is important to inform your doctor of any allergies or medical conditions that you suffer from.

Some risks and side effects of a Glycolic Acid Peel include:

  • Burning
  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Sensitivity
  • Dryness
  • Peeling
  • Tightness of the skin
  • Risk of infection

After a Glycolic Acid Chemical Peel

Aftercare and recovery for a Glycolic Chemical Peel will be heavily dependent of the type of peel you have received.

  • For light chemical peels the patient will be advised of an ointment to apply to the area to soothe the discomfort and recovery may take between one and seven days. Patients will experience redness and flakiness.
  • For medium chemical peels patients may be advised to use petroleum jelly or ice packs to pacify discomfort. Over the counter medication such as ibuprofen can also be used. A follow up appointed will be scheduled to monitor healing and the treatments areas can tale anywhere between one to two weeks to heal. Patients should avoid cosmetics and makeup during this period.
  • For deep chemical peels patients will experience swelling and severe redness (this is normal). Waterproof dressing is applied to the treated area and prescription pain medication may be necessary. Patients should sleep in an upright position to assist with the reduction of dwelling. Cosmetics and makeup should also be avoided for at least two weeks after the Glycolic Acid Chemical Peel procedure.

Usage of Glycolic Acid can result in the skin being more susceptible to sun damage; patients will be advised to wear sunscreen every day, avoid exfoliating for at least two weeks following the procedure, and use a gentle moisturizer to prevent flaking. It is also best to avoid skin care products that contain high concentrations of retinol or vitamin C, as usage of products with these ingredients can cause excessive dryness of the skin

During the recovery period patients should also take initiative to:

  • Avoid scratching or peeling the skin
  • Apply sunscreen daily
  • Wash the area with a gentle cleanser to prevent removal of additional moisture from the skin
  • Avoid excess exposure to UV light
  • Avoid waxing the treatment area, this may damage the skin

Benefits of a Glycolic Acid Peel

The benefits of undergoing a Glycolic Acid Peel treatment are endless. Some of these benefits include:

  • Stimulation of natural collagen production
  • Diminishment of fine lines over time
  • Diminishment of wrinkles over time
  • Lightening of skin discoloration
  • Unclogs pores
  • Reforms skin texture

What are the alternatives to getting a Glycolic Acid Peel?

Glycolic Acid Peels have the potential to be incredibly effective but are accompanied with a number of risks and side effects. If a patient wishes to avoid any of these risks or side effects in particular alternative methods of treatment include:

  • Laser resurfacing treatments
  • Hydrafacials
  • Hydra-microdermabrasion
  • Microneedling
  • Traditional microdermabrasion

Choosing a Health Care Provider

For the best Glycolic Acid Peel for your skin type it is important to speak to a board certified doctor or skin care provider. If you are interested in a Glycolic Acid Peel you can schedule a consultation with Modern Surgical Arts and one of our board certified surgeons will discuss the procedure, your expectations, risk factors, and side effects with you at length. Results will vary depending on factors such as skin type, skin color, and age and you should take the opportunity to ask as many questions as you need during the consultation.

What is a Salicylic Acid Chemical Peel?

Salicylic Acid Chemical Peels are treatments that are used to deeply exfoliate the layers on the surface of the skin. Salicylic Acid breaks the bonds that hold the skins’ cells together, this causes them to shed away or peel off. And as new skin regenerates the skin is rejuvenated.

In comparison to other types of Chemical Peels, Salicylic Acid provides a gentle exfoliation. Superficial Salicylic Acid Pees can be done at home with over the counter treatment products but stronger peels that penetrate the layers of the skin more deeply should be performed by a qualified health care or cosmetic professional.

Benefits of a Salicylic Acid Chemical Peel

Many different skin types can benefit from a Salicylic Acid Peel. And because of their gentleness on the skin, they can be used by those people who are not an ideal candidate for other types of Chemical Peels.

Benefits of a Salicylic Peel include:

  • Brighter, Smoother skin – immediately after a Salicylic Acid Peel, patients will notice their skin feels softer and smoother. Salicylic Acid Peels also brightens the complexion, gives the skin better texture, and makes pores look smaller.
  • Treats acne and blackheads – salicylic peels are particularly helpful for these issues. It is a strong comedolytic, which means it helps in unclogging pores. It also assists in decreasing the amount of oil in the skin. Salicylic Acid Peels can be used to improve both inflammatory acne and comedonal acne.
  • Reduces sun damage, fine lines, and wrinkles – salicylic acid peels are used to soften fine lines and give the complexion a boost. It is also very effective in treating sun damage.
  • Fades hyperpigmentation – a series of Salicylic Acid Peels can fade dark spots, melasma, freckles, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

What is the cost of a Salicylic Acid Chemical Peel?

The cost of a Salicylic Acid Chemical Peel is determined by the size of the area being treated as well as the result expectancy. Clients should be mindful that the cost of a Salicylic Acid Chemical Peel will not always be limited to the treatment itself and products for skin aftercare may be costly.

Risks and side effects of a Salicylic Acid Chemical Peel

Chemical Peels are generally very safe procedures. The deeper the peel the higher the chance for risks and side effects, so patients are more likely to experience side effects from deep Salicylic Acid Peels than from superficial ones.

You may experience:

  • Stinging
  • Tender skin
  • Dryness
  • Peeling
  • Flaking
  • Crusting
  • Herpes simplex blisters
  • Abnormal lightening of the skin
  • Abnormal darkening of the skin

You are not a candidate for Salicylic Acid Chemical Peels if:

  • You are allergic to salicylates
  • You are pregnant
  • You have a rash
  • You have broken skin
  • You are currently using isotretinoin

However, the ideal candidate for a TCA Peel:

  • Is not breastfeeding
  • Does not suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea
  • Is not employed in a capacity that requires them to be outside frequently
  • Does not have a history of poor wound healing
  • Does not have a history of keloids

What to expect from a Salicylic Acid Chemical Peel

Superficial to medium strength peels can be done by an esthetician or a skin spa but stringer Salicylic Acid Peels that work on deeper layers of the skin have to be done by a doctor. Professional peels range from thirty percent to fifty percent Salicylic Acid.

A professional Salicylic Acid Peel is fairly quick.

The steps are as follows:

  1. The skin will be cleansed and a peel preparation solution will be applied to the skin using cotton balls or pads.
  2. Petroleum jelly is applied to the lips and around the nostrils to protect these more sensitive areas.
  3. The Salicylic Acid solution is applied to the treatment area using cotton pads, swabs, or sponges. One to three applications are done, one atop the other, and more application equals a stronger peel.
  4. The solution is left on the treatment area for three to five minutes. During this time patients may experience some amount of burning and stinging.
  5. After the three to five minutes have passed, the peel is neutralized with water or a special solution. And a very mild moisturizer may be applied.

Undergoing one Salicylic Acid Chemical Peel will give skin a bright, healthy glow and leave the area feeling smoother and softer.

In order to treat other skin issues a series of peels will be necessary.

After a Salicylic Acid Chemical Peel

Immediately following a Salicylic Acid Chemical Peel the skin will appear tight and shiny.

A hot stinging sensation will linger for a few hours after the treatment and depending on the strength of the peel patients may experience flaking and peeling of the skin for anywhere between two and four days post treatment. Peeling will be minor and should resolve within a week.

Skin should be washed with gentle cleansers and gentle moisturizers should also be used to help with dryness and flaking.

Usage of Salicylic Acid can result in the skin being more susceptible to sun damage. As such during the recovery period patients should also take initiative to:

  • Avoid scratching or peeling the skin
  • Apply sunscreen daily
  • Wash the area with a gentle cleanser to prevent removal of additional moisture from the skin
  • Avoid excess exposure to UV light
  • Avoid waxing the treatment area, this may damage the skin

Choosing a Health Care Provider

For the best Salicylic Acid Peel for your skin type it is important to speak to a board certified doctor or skin care provider. If you are interested in a Salicylic Acid Peel you can schedule a consultation with Modern Surgical Arts and one of our board certified surgeons will discuss the procedure, your expectations, risk factors, and side effects with you at length. Results will vary depending on factors such as skin type, skin color, and age and you should take the opportunity to ask as many questions as you need during the consultation.