A TCA peel, or trichloracetic acid peel, is a medium-depth chemical peel that Dr. Williams uses to renew the skin and minimize the appearance of sun damage, uneven pigmentation and fine wrinkling. TCA peels may be used in a variety of concentrations and may require more than one treatment. Good candidates for a TCA peel include physically healthy men and women who are realistic in their expectations and are looking to improve the appearance of the facial skin.
TCA peels are typically administered in a plastic surgeon’s office and can take anywhere from ten minutes to an hour to complete. Because an anesthetic is typically contained within the chemical solution, additional anesthesia is not required though sedation may be used in some cases. During the procedure, the skin is first cleansed and then the TCA solution is applied. Patients may experience a slight stinging sensation. The recovery after a TCA peel will depend upon the strength of the peel. Patients undergoing a 10% TCA peel can expect a recovery period of two to three days while those undergoing a stronger 25% to 35% TCA peel may require one to two weeks of recovery. Some throbbing, tingling, swelling and redness can occur after the peel, and the treated area will develop a crust or scab. Any discomfort can be controlled with mild pain medication. Patients will need to protect the treated area against sun exposure for several months.
The potential complications associated with TCA peels may include cold sores, fever blisters, infection, scarring, skin allergies and the formation of whiteheads.