Chemical peels are applied to the face in controlled fashion to improve a variety of aging changes in the skin. Dr. Vivian Schiedler, at her Oasis Eye office in Ashland, OR, may recommend a chemical peel to enhance the results of your facial rejuvenation surgery. She uses trichloroacetic acid (TCA) in a concentration that is considered a medium depth peel in order to improve several skin conditions. Some of the benefits of TCA peels are:
- Tightening and smoothing the fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes
- Evening out skin discoloration or pigmentation
- Improving a rough or leathery texture
- Reducing blemishes / acne
- Smoothing certain types of acne scars
- Lightening sun damaged age spots and liver spots (lentigines)
Your skin is the largest organ in your body but it is often taken for granted until you begin to notice the negative effects of the aging process, environmental factors and in some cases neglect of properly caring for your skin.
What is a TCA Chemical Peel?
Trichloroacetic acid is a non-toxic acid used for the past 20 years for facial skin rejuvenation. It is synthetically derived from vinegar (acetic acid) and is 100 times stronger than vinegar. It is also stronger than the typical alpha hydroxy acids (such as glycolic acid or lactic acid) that are used in salons and medical spas, and thus much more effective at improving skin texture and discoloration by removing more of the damaged outer layers of skin. At the concentration that Dr. Schiedler prefers to use, it is considered a medium depth peel and takes about 7-10 days to finish peeling. Most of her patients are already undergoing some downtime for healing from surgery, so it is a great time to simultaneously heal from a chemical peel in order to improve their facial skin. As the dead outer layers of skin peel off, new, healthy, smoother, and vibrant skin is revealed.
TCA is helpful in removing dark spots of hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and skin damage from old blemishes. The precise formulas of the peel’s acid balance are adjusted according to each patient’s needs and facial renewal goals by Dr. Schiedler. This type of medium depth chemical peel is best performed by a medical physician in order to maximize safety, efficacy, and comfort.
How does a TCA Chemical Peel feel?
Because TCA does penetrate to a depth that removes all the dead layers of skin and slightly beyond, Dr. Schiedler makes sure that her patients are comfortable using a combination of sedation, numbing blocks, and air blowing on the skin. She applies cold saline water right after the chemical peel has reached the desired depth in order to reduce any stinging.
Do I need to prepare for a TCA Chemical Peel?
In most cases, it is very advantageous to start skincare products 6-8 weeks prior to a strong chemical peel. Tretinoin (also known as Retin-A) and sometimes hydroquinone may be recommended in order to make the chemical peel work more evenly, as well as to heal faster from the peel. In all cases, it is important to avoid sun exposure and to use a zinc oxide sunblock on a daily basis.
What is the recovery like from a medium depth TCA Chemical Peel?
For 7 to 10 days, your skin will likely feel tight, somewhat itchy, and occasionally a little swollen. It is very important to keep the skin from drying out. Topical emollients or moisturizers are very important during the peeling process. This is because the dead layers of skin are peeling off, similar to a scab. Oral antihistamines and topical steroids can also make the peeling process more comfortable. While the skin is peeling, there should be no sun exposure whatsoever. After the skin is done peeling, it will be pink for a few weeks, and needs to be protected with regular consistent use of zinc oxide sunblock. This is great to do daily anyways to prevent further aging caused by collagen damaging UV rays.
Is a TCA Chemical Peel Right for Me?
Dr. Schiedler can meet with you for a complimentary consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for a chemical peel.
If you are wondering how to revitalize your complexion and restore a more youthful look and feel to your skin, we invite you to call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vivian Schiedler to see if chemical peels are for you. Call 541-708-6393 Today!