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October 16, 2018

Chemical Peel: Trichloracetic acid (TCA)

SOCAH Center

There are different types of chemical peels. Today’s blog is about how to apply a Trichloracetic acid (TCA) peel and how they are applied to the skin. A Chemical peel can act on superficial, medium, and deep levels of the skin. You can modify the strength of a chemical peel with each layer of application. This is influenced by the type of gauze you are using and the amount of pressure that is applied.

The first step is to complete a chemical peel patch test. This ensures the skin is responsive to the chemical peel and there are no allergic reactions. This can last from a few minutes up to one week depending on how sensitive your skin is. This is a good practice for all new hygienic products you introduce into your regimen.

The next step is to clean the skin in preparation for applying the chemical peel. Cleaning the skin will remove any of the skin’s natural oils, and any dirt and debris. This allows the chemical peel to penetrate to the appropriate depth. This step is extremely important because a chemical peel can only act after contact with the skin. So if there are extra layers of oil on top of the skin, it will not only inactivate the chemical peel but prevent it from getting to the desired depth of skin layers.

Now that the skin is prepared, we move on to applying the chemical peel solution to the skin. It is possible to make a superficial chemical peel act deeper by using a textured gauze or applying more pressure. In particular, if someone has sensitive skin you can simply apply more pressure than the previous peel or just change the texture of the gauze to make the chemical peel strength stronger.

When the peel is being applied, you must monitor sensations, frosting, and redness of the skin. TCA chemical peels should have mild frosting and mild stinging/heat sensations. There are different types of TCA peels and formulations. Some chemical peels are neutralized while on the skin, some have to be removed with water, and some are left on to be neutralized at home after a few hours. The neutralizing usually takes about one to three minutes for the spicy sensation to fade out. Neutralization is important. Chemical peels do not have to be painful to be effective and in some cases, more symptoms correlate with more tissue damage.

After the chemical peel is neutralized, the skin should be protected with a sunscreen of SPF30. Chemical peels are best during the fall and winter when sunlight isn’t as direct however the sun is out every day. Skin that has been exposed to chemical peels require additional protection so the skin doesn’t burn from the sun or dark spots tan quickly.

The TCA chemical peels are a little bit gentler depending on the strength that you are using. You should not have any redness or raw skin, and you should not have any extreme discomfort. On post peel day 1, there will be a little bit of tightness on the skin, and usually between days three to five, there will be light to moderate peeling. You may experience more peeling the stronger the strength, or the more aggressive the application of the chemical peel. Interested in brightening your skin for the summer chemical peels along with a night regimen can maximize a healthy makeup free glow. If you have any questions you can always call us to schedule your appointment today.

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October 16, 2018