TCA Chemical Peels

Here at advances aesthetics, we offer TCA (trichloroacetic acid) chemical peels provide a medium depth peel to the skin. This treatment can help to remove abnormal skin cells whilst boasting significant cosmetic benefits to the procedure.

Whilst all peels work the same, removal of sun damaged skin, ‘light’ peels only remove the ‘stratum corneum’ (top layer of skin). Medium depth peels offer a greater level of skin removal.

Light TCA chemical peels are usually done in a series of treatments (usually 3-6, but we advise 6 treatments, 3 weeks apart for optimum results). Medium TCA chemical peels are recommended twice per year and do require a week or so downtime, this is when the peeling will be obvious (this being said, if you’re planning on having a TCA chemical peel to look radiant for a big event, we suggest having treatment a minimum of two weeks before your event).

Deep TCA peels are not offered here at advanced aesthetics as this treatment must be performed only by board-certified dermatologists or plastic surgeons who are highly experienced in this procedure. This is due to risks of uneven absorption, blistering and possibly scarring.

When will I see results from my TCA chemical peel and how long will they last?

You will see results as soon as you’re finished peeling and your skin will continue to improve for 30-60 days (as long as you follow our advise and keep your skin hydrated and protected from the sun). How long you results last is dependent on previous skin condition and depth of the peel. Our staff will be able to give a more accurate time frame during your consultation.

What does a TCA chemical peel feel like? What is the procedure?

It’s a very simple procedure. Once you arrive at our clinic, we will ask you to get comfortable on our examination table. Your skin will be thoroughly cleansed so that your skin is oil free and the peel solution can penetrate evenly into your skin.

The peel solution is then applied. There may be some stinging and a sensation of heat while the peel solution is active (don’t worry, we will help to ease this sensation with the aid of a hand held fan). We then rinse off the peel solution and apply our ointment which helps to sooth that burning sensation and speed up healing times.

Post care instructions and aftercare products are provided at the end of the procedure.

How will I look after treatment? How long will I take to heal?

With a medium peel, you will peel for about one week. Whilst your skin may be slightly yellowed straight after the treatment, this will gradually fade and leave your skin slightly redder and tighter than usual for 2-3 days.

You will begin to peel approximately 48-72 hours after the procedure, which lasts for 2-5 days. Whilst this is painless, it will look like you have severely sunburned skin. You’ll be more sensitive to sunlight for upto 8 weeks after the procedure so it is extremely important that you protect yourself from the sun every time you leave your home.

Are there any side effects or complications?

Our fully trained aestheticians will provide specific pre and post treatment care for each individual, but here are some possible side effects or issues:

  • Pain: Whilst there is usually no discomfort after the peel, some mild sensation of heat can cause a small amount of pain during the procedure. Please inform staff if you have taken any pain medication before the procedure.
  • Wound healing: TCA chemical peels cause superficial wounds to the skin. These take approximately a week to heal. These treated areas may be pink and sensitive to sun for 2-8 weeks post procedure.
  • Redness: The pink/red colouration may be persistent and last for 2-8 weeks. In rare instances, the redness may occur for upto 6 months. This can occur in certain spots, patches or all over.
  • Pigment change: Changes to pigmentation occcur most often in darker pigmented skin and can lighten or darken the pigment. This will usually fade in 3-6 months, in rare cases, pigment changes can be permanent.
  • Swelling: There will be mild to moderate swelling immediately after the TCA peel. This is temporary and will resolve in 2-3 days.
  • Scarring: Whilst the chances of scarring is extremely low, there are rare cases of hypertrophic scarring and extremely rarely, keloid scarring. To minimize these risks even further, it is important that you follow post-procedure instructions carefully.
  • Eye exposure: It is important that you keep your eyes closed at all times during the procedure.
  • Sun sensitivity: As previously stated, your skin will be sun sensitive for 6-8 weeks post-procedure, so keep that sun screen topped up and wear hats and sunglasses whenever possible.
  • Cold sores: If you’re already prone to cold sores, fever blisters etc you may need a prescription for acyclovir or famvir prior to having a medium depth TCA chemical peel (also, you need to avoid all exfoliating treatments during a breakout so if you arrive with a breakout, we will have to rearrange your treatment.)
  • Isotretinoin: If you have used isotretinoin in the past 12 months, you should not have a medium depth peel.

General aftercare

Our aestheticians will go through aftercare with you after your treatment, but here are a few general aftercare tips.

  • Use a very gentle cleanser to remove any make up (check with our aestheticians for the all clear to wear make up post-procedure)
  • Wash nightly with a gentle cleanser
  • Apply a think, perfume free, water based moisturiser (check the ingredients, aqua should be the main/first ingredient on the list) several times a day.
  • Avoid sun exposure for 2-8 weeks. If unavoidable, use plenty of high spf sunscreen and wear a sunhat and sunglasses.

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