Tricholetric Acid (TCA)


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If you desire more immediate satisfaction with the improvement of your skin’s appearance than offered by a superficial peel, such as a Glycolic Peel, then you may consider a medium depth peel as a suitable alternative.  Superficial scars, scaly patches, acne and wrinkles will all appear reduced with a Tricholetric chemical peel. Recovery time is less than you would experience with a deep peel, along with the amount of pain that could be felt.

When you read about TCA peels it is usually related to them being a medium depth peel.  However, if the concentration of TCA is varied then the chemical peel can be efficiently weakened to the purpose of producing a superficial peel, for example a 10% concentration.  Performed at this lower concentration, the peel can provide superficial resurfacing of the skin.

The concentration of TCA peels available to you range from 20-50%. The higher the concentration of TCA contained within the chemical solution to be applied to your skin, the greater the depth of penetration into the skin. If the concentration of TCA exceeds 35% then it is suggested that this is not a safe concentration, the risk of incurring such unwanted side effects as scarring is deemed too high.

If you are to receive a TCA chemical peel then it is strongly advisable that you complete a pre-treatment regime. This will be re-affirmed by the practitioner who will fully outline the best methods to achieve the optimum results for the quality of your skin. Pre- treatment usually consists of administering either AHA or retin-A cream to the desired skin area repetitively for a number of days as part of a daily skin routine. Moreover you will be persuaded to use sun protection every day e.g. SPF 15 sun cream.

Deep Chemical Peels

These chemical peels offer the most significant results and are therefore attributed as being a ‘one-off’ treatment unlike either medium depth or superficial chemical peels. If you are contemplating being treated by this type of chemical peel it is important for you to recognise the benefits and the possible negative outcomes of a phenol chemical peel.

Phenol (barbolic acid) is essentially a stronger form of the chemical TCA which is utilised within medium depth peels. Originally phenol chemical peels were realised as having the potential to treat scars by the dermatologist George Muller Mackee. There after this variant of chemical peel became highly popularised, acknowledge for the fierce deep peel it resulted in when applied to an individual’s skin.

Yet, it was quickly recognised that phenol peels, albeit infrequently, could result in a variety of undesirable complications.  The severity of one of these complications has undeniably impacted upon the popularity of phenol peels, which have seen a steady decline since the 1950’s.  Although a rarity some individuals have experienced abnormal heart rhythms as a direct result of the chemical substance phenol, which constitutes to a deep chemical peel. Potentially this can result in fibrillation (heart attack) a common cause of death. Phenol is categorised as being cardiotoxic.

Some practitioners have actually decided to stop offering this type of chemical peel treatment as a direct consequence of its cardiotoxcity.

It is advisable not to undergo a phenol chemical peel if you currently suffer from or have a history of any heart problems. The likelihood of phenol causing abnormal heart rhythms is low, however it is not worth the risk.


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