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Dont Try This at Home! 25% TCA - Nashville, TN

I was considering a TCA peel last year. I read up...

I was considering a TCA peel last year. I read up on it like gangbusters. I knew everything there was to know about the process. It was ridiculous how much I read.
I ordered the product online and did a patch test. The patch seemed to heal very slowly, but I assured myself that due to the low complication rate, the residual redness would go away in time.

I went ahead with the full 25% TCA peel and burned my skin. I will post pictures.
Please let me assure you of how careful I was. I had everything ready, had directions that I followed to a T. If I had a do-over, I would have ponied up the cash to go to the dermatologist and be under professional care.

I plan to undergo multiple v beam treatments to try to correct the persistent redness.

I wish I had just stuck to my salicylic acid peels. My skin loved them and they did no harm.

Photo...Six Month Mark

Hi there...after all the shocked replies I received about my skin, I wanted to post an update pic so everyone can see that everything has healed and there is just a bit of persistent redness. This last pic I am wearing makeup in; however, I wear very light makeup. I put in the arrows because without them, I dont even think people would notice. :)

A couple more pics

A couple more pics

Its been a 14.5 Months

The scarring is still there. It is lighter and finally I am seeing just the hint that it is starting to fade to a brownish rather than pinkish scar. I restarted a regimen of hydroquinone and RetinA about 6 weeks ago, so I will be back in a few months with more updates to see if there is any improvement. I look some pics in the bathroom this morning with no makeup (forgive ugly tired morning face!). The lighting in my bathroom stinks and I take pics with my iPhone, so I just did my best. All of my scars are easily covered with makeup. Fortunately, much of the red scarring is on the cheek, so i just use less blush
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I did a 35% tca peel on myself and it worked fine. I used a cotton bud and put one light layer all over my face, it burned like hell so I took it off after a couple of minutes and my face was well frosted. I would not apply it with a cotton pad as I think this method applies more product than you actually need. My face as totally healed after one week and my skin looks a lot better and next time im going to do two light layers. Just make sure you don't apply to much at once.
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AND FYI - even with a license a professional only is allowed to put a 20 TCA on the skin. Did you say you put a 25%.... and this is my point - these companies will sell anything to make a buck, yes, it cost to see a professional, but wouldn't you prefer someone who is trained in skin putting an chemical on your skin?
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Hi recegirl, Since it is the second time I've seen it, I would just like to let you know that typing in caps (LIKE THIS) is the typing equivalent of yelling, rather than adding emphasis. :) that may be why you got that passionate response from PinchPot (lol)! I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say 'professional.' I dont think you mean a medical professional, because they go much higher than that routinely. Generally, 25% is considered on the lower end of a deep peel. You can review the doctors comments on this site and I think you will find that it is considered the lower end of a medical grade peel. I would be curious to know why anyone would bother with a lower % TCA peel, since the goal of the TCA is to penetrate as deeply and evenly as possible? Perhaps those who cannot take time off work to deal with the very real down time? I'd love to know more about this! Regarding the cost, I dont think anyone is in disagreement that it is preferable to see a professional. I would really appreciate your professional insight into why the cost is generally so high? That was something that I was always left wondering and would love to know more about why. I'm sure anyone who reads this thread would love to know more about that :)
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I do not mean to sound condescending to any of you, but it just shocks me when I come across these sites, you may invite me to go somewhere else as well but as a professional it is important to share with you what the risk are when using chemical peels on the skin at home. First and foremost, there is a difference between an acid and a chemical peel, the results are drastically different as well as the rate in which these products react in the skin. The molecular size of peels are all so different. What is most fearful of all is sites that sell these products to unlicensed people, without real knowledge on what these products can do to the skin, or at what level and layer within the skin these chemical and acids go. It sounds like what took place with you was a deep level peel in which the skin responded with a post inflammatory response, in which more times than not these cant be corrected. Also, depending on how the skin was treated before introducing "TCA" to the skin and the skin tone and type of your skin - not to mention the pigment. There are many many clients with skin types and skin color that should never put TCA on the skin EVER. That is why I am so passionately telling you NOT to do this at home (yes, I yelled NOT) - on the subject of why the high cost, first off, you can seek less expensive ways to have a chemical and or acid peels, I own a medspa in Atlanta, and I do not charge 750.00 for a chemical peel, but I do charge 250.00. Perhaps seeing a licensed esthetician is a less expensive way to address your skincare issues. I don't know where you bought your chemical from nor do I want to know because I know enough about TCA to know that it should NEVER be sold to just anyone. Please just know that when you aren't trained in skin you should never ever ever put a chemical on your face alone. The risk are just far too great. Find yourself a local medspa, an esthetician you can trust, build tolerance in the skin before deciding to go through the process of chemicals. It really is serious ladies. Again, I am sorry if I sounded rude, I just wanted to stress the importance. (by the way, I am on day one of my own TCA peel and even after 20 plus years in the field, I still let another esthetician manage my chemical peel). Good luck girls. Hope what I shared was helpful enough. :))
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Best of luck with your peel, recegirl! Rock on \m/ Hope you see great results! Have you posted a review on RealSelf on TCA peels? That might be a great place to share your concerns and help bring down the 'Worth It' Rating. I would really like people to think twice before doing this at home as well. I have never heard that post inflammatory hyperpigmentation cannot be treated. Is that what you are referring to? I have read that lightening agents, such as hydroquinone, are effective, but take time. I am in month two of my second round of hydroquinone and retina. It has helped things greatly, but progress is slow and that is ok. I am really the only person who notices the unevenness in my quest for perfect skin, so if it takes a little while, that is fine. I am actually looking into getting a v-beam treatment to help tone down some of the mildly persistent redness. I already got one (ohh...I need to review it!), but the redness seemed to come back; I think the settings may have been too low. Take care and no more yelling on my review, lol! So many passionate people when it comes to TCA! haha!
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Please explain to me why any of you are putting acids on your face at home, these peels need to be done by a professional. Please do not fool yourself and think you know what you are doing! No reputable company would see these types of peels to anyone without a license.
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Recegirl, Without knowing your credentials, I can perhaps shed some light on your question. Many types of peels are generally considered to be totally safe to self-administer, such as AHA and BHA and even lower % TCA peels. When it comes to higher % TCA peels, many, in fact most, people an get a good result if they don't go higher than 25%. My experience was in fact the exception, but still important for people to be aware of. But there is another component to your question...all things being equal, why not have a professional administer the peel? In fact, this was my initial intention. Sadly, because people can achieve such great results, doctors grossly overcharge for this procedure (in my opinion). In my personal opinion, they are preying on the ignorance of the consumer. If you knew that the total cost to the doc was $2 for materials and maybe $25 if you consider labor and overhead, would you think $650 was a fair price? A good deal might be $350. Anyone can successfully apply a peel with a little education. There are important details to know, but it's far from brain surgery, if you get my drift. Lastly, to address your concerns about companies selling these products direct to consumers, I fully support them. These are not controlled substances and many people are benefitting. To those of you who choose to proceed with at home peels (even though I don't recommend it at least initially), do your research and start slow. Do your patch tests, start with full face Lowe TCA peels, like 8%. Best of luck to everyone and remember, it may be worth it to just go to the doctor and overpay for the race of mind..
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I am a licensed clinical esthetician, and due to the instability of chemicals on skin I would NEVER recommend you do it alone, hence what happened in the case of the person who posted this, (might be you) When you are buying these chemicals online, you never fully know what you are actually putting on your face nor do you know what type of outcome you will experience, TCA in the wrong hands can be extremely dangerous not to mention where you are getting this product from, what are the additives, when is the expiration, TCA does in fact get stronger as it ages. Don't believe everything you read over the internet, it isn't in fact safe to do at home. There are take home peels that can be done at home, however, TCA is NOT one of them. And it scares me that sites like these exist making someone whom is untrained think that it is ok to put such things on the skin alone. Save your money and allow a profession to take care of you. No its not brain surgery, but it is in fact, YOUR FACE!
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Recegirl - what is the title of this post?
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yes, I certainly can read, but also read the comments as well, which goes on to talk about the benefits and savings of doing them yourself.
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Obviously there are benefits and drawbacks - she was telling people that overall it wasn't worth it to her. No one appreciates sharing there story and warning people and then having judgmental people jump on to chastise them even though on the opening sentence she says don't try this at home. You said you don't like sites like this? Then find another where estheticians can bash people and no one minds.
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I am the person who posted the review and as you can see, I fall squarely in the 'dont try this at home' camp (so much so that I made it the title of my review!)...and the reason is exactly what you stated, it may not be brain surgery, but it is your face and its worth it for the peace of mind that everything was done properly. I was trying to address your statement "Please explain to me why any of you are putting acids on your face at home" (which to be honest sounds a bit condescending to the reader, although that may not have been the intention). If people are doing it, there is a good reason; and that reason, in my opinion, is the extremely high cost of getting it done professionally. If I were able to find a doctor's office that was charging $250, I would have absolutely gone to the doctor. To state it another way, I wanted to have it done by a professional. That was my first choice. But my dermatologist wanted $650. I believe that the reason people try this at home is not because they are stupid or ignorant, but possibly they have tried to get it from the doctor and have been told it would cost the down payment on a small car. I wish these peels were better priced. At least for me, it would have made a difference. Lastly, while there are certainly risks, there are a number of reputable dealers where you can get top quality TCA. Also, while there are risks, they are truly minimal. Even my scarring is barely visible, but still worth making others aware of. Had a possibly been more cautious in my approach and heeded the bad results of my patch test, I would not have been in this mess. You might wonder why I address this at all if I dont believe people should do these at home. Its because I know that people are going to do it anyway, even after reading this, and I hope that they at least decide to take as much precaution as possible.
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PinchPoke, I appreciate your concern; I really dont think recegirl meant to bash anyone by her comment. I think it may have sounded that way unintentionally :) I appreciate and welcome her concern. I would really like to hear what her thoughts are regarding the high cost of getting the procedure done in office, as that was one of the most vexing aspects of the TCA peel. Any thoughts on that, recegirl? I would love to get your professional feedback on the reason for the high cost of a TCA. thanks to the both of you and have a great day!
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I agree. Performed professional peels for 20 years. TCA travels very fast in to the skin. To get good results 30% is needed and professionals should do that. Lower is exfoliation
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Go to a medical aesthetician that specializes in chemical peels and has the credentials. Pay half of what a Dr would.
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I paid $150 per peel for 6 peels ( mother's Day specail at a DR office) . she changed peels during this time. I also was alternating with IPL . 6 weeks peel next 6 weeks ILP. She was a 2 layer peel first took all of 10 min. later she changed brands and did 5 layers. Some was so close to my eye a very very very small amount got into my eye. She again in and out 5 to 10 mins. I do a way better job here at home then she did. Also burned me with the ILP BAD .I was blistered and scared, went back within 2 hours crying and in pain she said it was just a deeper peel in those spots were the ILP burned me. $2000 and 18 months of treatments and I use a site online that it products seem good they have youtube videos customer support excellent, warnings step by step directions. More professional and better results then a trainned Dr.
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I've done several 25% peels to myself, and it turned out just fine, healed quite nicely. I refuse to pay outrageous prices for something I can do myself. I did thorough research on it for many months before testing it. I've been to a few "professionals"... Many of them haven't a clue what they are doing. They don't deserve to be called "professionals", because professional, they are not.
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Please explain to me why any of you are putting acids on your face at home, these peels need to be done by a professional. Please do not fool yourself and think you know what you are doing! No reputable company would see these types of peels to anyone without a license.
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I read all the comments here and am shocked at the poor manners of a few people. This website is intended to help others by sharing personal experience. I have read many reviews here on RealSelf and this is the first time I have encountered such regrettable behavior. The woman who posted the review spent a lot of her own time sharing her experience with readers and that is to her credit. If it prevents even one person from permanently scarring themselves from an at-home peel gone wrong, then I say thank you. Insults are completely inappropriate here. Consider another site please if you cannot be civil. To the reviewer - thank you for your post. If someone who did as much homework as you can still encounter problems, I think it's best to think twice about an at-home peel.
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Did you prep your skin for at least three to six month with Retin-A and hydroquinone before the peel. That is the biggest part and very important to get a safe and good out come. Never use TCA on a non prepped skin.
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I most certainly did. In fact, I am a long time user of RetinA and an as needed user of Hydroquinone. They have done wonders for my skin and I am actually currently using both. I hope they improve some of the residual TCA scars. I appreciate your concern. Again, I would like to restate that this review is not a how-to or a play-by-play of what I did. I state that my research was extensive and it was beyond complete. I did everything (preped with Retina, started at a low %, did a patch test). I had everything I needed ready and more. I did everything so very darned carefully. The only stupid mistake I made was ignoring the fact that the patch test healed so slowly. That was a red light I chose to ignore because the lower strength TCAs had been fine and I wanted beautiful flawless skin so badly. I posted my review specifically to warn other people that you can do everything, and I mean everything, and have it go wrong. Like I state below, my derm told me my skin was too thin. He was absolutely right and would probably have steered me in a different direction had I come into his office and not been a cheap skate. My skin is so thin that I have redness under my eyes because you can actually see through it. I just thought that was only my under eye area, not my whole face. Apparently I am just thin skinned. Stupid genetics! Thanks, mom! Anyway, at the end of the day, being cheap isnt worth it. Just go to a derm. Have it done once and make sure your skin reacts well. Pay attention and, if everything goes well, then try it at home the next time. Final note - it really frys my cannoli how much derms over charge for this procedure, which takes just a half hour and costs next to nothing in supplies. If they didnt overcharge, I would have gone to the derms office.
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Yes it is good and will help for sure. Also peptides work the same but less irritation. I know they do, but an aesthetician specialize in that area charge less. You want to get the right depth down to the papillary dermis to get good result, down time from that is around 10-12 days.
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I have cured people with rosacea with TCA peels and they have thin skin.
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That's wonderful! I was not aware that rosacea could be cured. I'm glad that you were able to help them, since for many I have heard it can be a life long struggle. Based on what my dermatologist recommended, I think I will stick to his professional opinion that I avoid TCA peels unless performed by a professional. Are you referring to copper peptides? The research that I have read on copper peptides is mixed, so until there is better long term clinical evidence, I will stick to my tried and true RetinA. I know that I will never again try TCA at home and if I do try again, it will be with my awesome dermatologist, but it is great to hear that there are other options, such as aestheticians. Thank you!
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With heavy use of Retin-A and peels you can get well from Rosacea have many clients that got well and never got it back. Yes, peptides (not a fan of copper) its many different peptides on the market suggest one from a Dr office or from an aesthetician, it works the same way as Retin-A with no side effects. and I think its a better alternative in the long run. Look for Matrixyl 3000 , Syn-Tracks, stem cell, Syn-coll, Syn-hycan, needs to be at least 5% strength. Good luck:)
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