Chemical peels have been around as long as women have paid attention to the condition of their skin. Cleopatra could be the first true proponent, as she used the lactic acid from milk as a mild peel on her facial skin.
At the Herte Center, we use TCA (trichloracetic acid) peels to freshen the complexions of our patients, addressing texture and pigmentation issues.
What is a TCA peel?
A trichloracetic acid peel is a surgical-level peel, meaning you’ll need some time away from work after the procedure. Usually one week is sufficient to allow for your skin to peel fully.
Trichloracetic acid is a relative of vinegar, which is acetic acid. When TCA is applied to your skin, it causes the top layers of cells to dry up and peel over a period of several days to one week. When this old skin peels away, a new layer of undamaged skin is exposed. This skin has a smoother texture and more even pigmentation.
How do we do a TCA peel?
This is a medium/strong peel and the application of the acid creates a tingling sensation in the patient. The facial skin is thoroughly cleansed; it’s important that all of the oil be off the skin to allow the peeling solution to penetrate evenly. The solution is then applied directly to the skin with an applicator. After the proper time duration of the acid on the skin, it is wiped away and the face washed to remove all of the solution. Dr. Herte then applies an ointment to relieve any residual stinging and to begin the healing process.
What will it feel like?
Most patients feel as if their skin is sunburned afterwards, but do not find it painful. A cold compress helps alleviate any discomfort or irritation.
The day of your peel, your skin will look a bit pink, but then bronzing will develop and the pigmentation areas will darken and lift. Your skin, during the recovery process, will resemble that of a strong sunburn that peels in sheets. Over the next few days most of your pigmentation will peel off, revealing pink, smooth, more even-toned skin.
This new skin is very fragile, so you must avoid rubbing, scratching, and any and all sun exposure.
What are TCA peels used for?
Dr. Herte uses TCA peels to:
- Reduce brown spots and age spots
- Improve the texture of leathery, sun damaged skin
- Treat some types of acne
- Reduce fine lines
Interested in a TCA peel? Call Dr. Herte at 702-732-9600 to schedule an appointment or to ask any questions you may have.