Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is typically used as an intermediate-to-deep peeling agent in concentrations of 10 to 35%. This type of peel is useful for patients with surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes, and pigmentation problems. TCA may be used on the neck as well as other areas of the body such as the hands, forearms, and chest. The treatment is rapid, requiring only thirty minutes from beginning to end. There is some burning upon application, and intravenous sedation may be necessary.
Once the treatment is completed, you can expect to shed the dead, outer layer of skin for approximately three days. Following this, you can expect your skin to be completely healed within ten to fourteen days. At that time you will notice improvement in the appearance of your skin, which will have less wrinkles, blemishes, and pigmentation problems. You will also notice a healthy glow as your face appears radiant and shining.
TCA is a deeper peel than most of the superficial peels discussed in this section. Because it is a deeper treatment, your “downtime” will be approximately one week. During this time of peeling and healing, you will be required to keep your facial skin moist with A&D Ointment or Vaseline at all times. After you are healed, sunscreen use is very important because you are initially much more sensitive to the harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun.