Tricholoroacetic acid (TCA) is an acidic liquid and is commonly used as a chemical peel. It comes in different strengths and is applied to the face to help exfoliate the skin and help regenerate a new layer of skin underneath it.
What happens to our faces when we age?
There are 3 main changes to the aging face that Dr Rayess likes to describe to his patients, and they can be summarized as the 3 ”Ds”
- Descent or droopiness of tissue. This is sagging of tissue due to loss of elasticity and results in the formation of a loose neck, jowls and deepening of your nasolabial folds or smile lines. This commonly needs a procedure to lift the tissue like a facelift.
- Deflation this results from loss of volume both fat and bony loss. To counter this you need to add volume back and your options are filler or fat grafting to the face using your own fat. Dr Rayess performs both of these procedures.
- Deepening wrinkles fine lines on the face start to get deeper. These wrinkles are often the result of sun damage to the skin. To treat these you need a resurfacing procedure such as a chemical peel or laser.
Am I a candidate for TCA chemical peels? What do they treat?
TCA chemical peels are commonly used to smoothen the skin and improve its texture. As we age and spend time in the sun, our skin gets damaged. This results in fine wrinkles especially in areas around the mouth, sun spots and brown spots around the face. The TCA chemical peel can improve the appearance of these lines. It will not completely get rid of deep wrinkles and that can require multiple treatments or more aggressive chemical peels such as phenol.
What is TCA and how does it work?
Tricholoroacetic acid is a chemical that resurfaces the skin or epidermis by denaturing proteins. This results in desquamation or sloughing of cells stimulating new cells to regenerate.
How is a TCA chemical peel performed with Dr Rayess?
A TCA chemical peel is an in office procedure, when you come into the office we will wash your face to make sure its clean and remove any oil so that the peel can be effective. We will then apply the TCA peel to areas of your face using gauze pads and q tips. The peel is then neutralized with tap water once the end point has been reached. Dr Rayess is an experts at this technique.
How does it feel?
Most people describe it as a burning sensation like getting a sunburn and this can last for a few hours.
How do I prepare for a TCA chemical peel?
Prior to receiving a chemical peel you need to pre treat your skin and prepare it so that it will have optimal results. This usually starts 4-6 weeks prior and involves avoiding sun and tanning beds, starting a retinoid cream at night and using SPF 30 sunscreen. During your consultation we will discuss this with you and provide you with detailed information.
What is the recovery?
After the peel is applied expect your skin to peel for about 10 days. Do not pick at the peeling skin as you can slow down the healing process. The most important part is to stay out of the sun. Going into the sun will excite your skin cells and can lead to changes in the pigment of your skin. We generally recommend you wash your face with water like that coming from your kitchen faucet. After 10 days the area peeled will be red. Once the skin is healed, you can apply water based makeup to cover the red spots.