TCA Peel is a non-toxic chemical substance that is used to induce the peeling of the outer layers of the skin. The chemical comprises of a mild acid known as Trichloroacetic acid (TCA). The acid itself has been in existence for decades, with its earliest use dated as far back as the 1950s. TCA is in a category of non-harmful acids from which vinegar (acetic acid) is derived.
The TCA concentrations in earlier solutions of chemical peels was as high as 50%, which is almost five times the concentration of the acid in the TCA peel used today. TCA can be highly effective even in small concentrations. As such, the solutions used these days have TCA concentrations ranging from 8% to 30%.
Despite being used in smaller concentrations, TCA peel is still one of the most effective skin peels. Other chemical peels that contain acids such as salicylic acid for instance, feature acid concentrations of up to 75%. The same effect can be achieved by using just 12% of the much stronger TCA peel solution.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
When applied topically, chemical peels dry up the top layers of skin cells, causing them to peel off over a period that lasts one week or more. TCA peel is preferred due to its effectiveness at reaching the deeper layers of the skin for a more effective and thorough clean. It reaches deep into the top layer to get rid of excess oils, dead skin debris and bacteria build-up. The chemical peel results in a more extensive peeling that is effective even in getting rid of moles and acne scars. It also speeds up cell turnover on regions with soft skin such as the face.
VIABLE CANDIDATES OF TCA PEEL TREATMENT
Unlike other skin peels that do are not as effective on darker skin tones; TCA is affective on a wide variety of skin tones. It can be used on dark skin tones without the risk of undesirable effects such as loss of skin pigmentation. Nevertheless, patients with darker skin tones can benefit from a pre-treatment plan that will further reduce the risk of that happening.
WHO SHOULD AVOID TCA PEEL?
TCA can affect a growing fetus and also contaminate breast milk. As such, pregnant or nursing women should steer clear of the chemical treatment as it can have harmful effects on their babies. Alternatively, patients who have taken the drug Accutane less than six months before should also avoid TCA treatments. The two chemicals combined can bring about some adverse effects. You should also inquire about the other chemical components of the drug to find out if you are allergic to any of them before proceeding with the treatment.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
Application of the chemical peel is an outpatient procedure that takes 15 to 30 minutes after which the patient is free to go home. The peeling goes on to completion and afterwards the TCA neutralizes on its own. The whole peeling process can take slightly more than a week, resulting in even peeling and discarding of old skin. TCA does more than mild peels by reaching deeper into the underlying layers of the epidermis, reaching the follicles and oil glands. It is the most effective chemical peel, requiring just a single treatment to get rid of the problem areas of the skin.
Patients who are taking other medications and supplements are required to consult with their doctor before the treatment to determine whether they are viable candidates for the treatment. Patients who have previously used Accutane must ensure that it has been over six months since taking their last dose. This is because; Accutane increases the skin’s sensitivity and significantly slows down the skin’s healing process after the peeling is complete.
Unlike oral forms of medication, TCA peels cannot be overdosed in the traditional sense of it. However, incorrect application of the peel (such as large amounts applied per session or the sessions being too closely scheduled) can result in serious trauma to the face.
It is imperative that you seek the best healthcare expert who has had sufficient experience in performing skin peel treatments. Always opt for the most recommended or doctors with the highest ratings. In the event that you ingest the TCA peel solution, contact your poison control center immediately.