Stronger than glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid helps smooth the surface of the skin, refine pores and reduce fine lines through the stimulation of reproductive collagen. This peel process is a deep skin exfoliation that can also help to decrease acne.
With a TCA peel, healed skin can continue to produce pigment and it does not bleach the skin. However, TCA-peel patients need to avoid sun exposure for several months after treatment so that the newly formed layers of skin are not damaged. Even though TCA is milder than phenol, it can produce some unintended color changes in the skin.
Anesthesia is not required for TCA peels because the chemical solution serves as an anesthetic. However, sedation can be used before and during the procedure in order to help the patient relax.
The surgeon carefully applies the TCA solution to thoroughly cleansed skin. There is a stinging sensation as the peel solution is applied, but it goes away rather quickly.
A full-face TCA peel usually takes about 15 minutes. Two or more TCA peels are typically needed to obtain the desired results and they may be spaced out over several months. Mild TCA peels may be repeated as often as every month. Sun protection for the skin is very important following a TCA peel. Your doctor will recommend a sun block that provides adequate UVA and UVB protection to be used everyday.