Can TCA be Used on a Fair Complexion which Tans Easily?

My complexion is fair & tans easily w/ little burning if protected. I heal very well, get little to no scaring. I've been avoiding the sun since late summer 2010 after a Dr visit where I was told I was too olive for TCA. I'm not olive, I was just end of FL summer tanned. So now I'm faded again & trying to re-visit TCA. A lifelong sun worshiper, I now have brown/sun spots on my face. Not too bad but they're on my face. Is TCA really not for Miami's freckled &fair who tans easily?

Doctor Answers 5

TCA for fair skin who tans easily

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TCA comes in different strengths. The medium depth strength of 35% should still be safe for someone who is fair skinned. You need to see a dermatologist who is trained in cosmetic procedures to get safe optimal results .

Boulder Dermatologist

TCA good option for "Freckled and Fair" skin

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From what you describe, a TCA should be a good treatment option for your skin.  While their is a  risk of hypopigmentation after chemical peels in any skin type, it is highly unlikely in yours.  I would recommend a foundation of retinoids, glycolic and hydroquinones to control and reduce hyperpigmentation, and as a pre-peel regimen starting about 1 month prior.  This helps to ensure a more even response to the peeling agent.

Jeffrey C. Poole, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

TCA for fair complexion which tans easily

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Your skin type would still make you a good candidate for TCA peels.  Low to medium-depth peels are generally safe for individuals with your complexion, but even with a medium-depth peel, temporary brown discoloration (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) and rarely, scarring can occur.  You would want to consult with a practitioner who is experienced with peeling, who can help minimize these risks.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

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Fair complexion patients who tan easily do good with various TCA peels.

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For your skin you may need a few various TCA peels to get rid of the age spots but should do well.  See your dermatologist and get started.

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

TCA chemical peels

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Dear Yvonne Freckled & Fair in FL:

TCA is a strong agent, but I find it to be extremely versatile. TCA is available in a wide range of concentrations, so the result can be tailored to each patient. Unlike phenol, TCA can be used on a wider variety of skin tones. The experience of the person doing the peel is paramount. Find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist in your area who is experienced.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.