Please Explain the Healing Process from 10% TCA Peel

I am 24-year-girl working in a remote-area of Africa. I cannot consult with a professional, but I do have access to the internet. I have wheatish complexion, I have ordered for TCA 10% to treat under eye wrinkles at home. How much will the entire recovery take for 10% TCA? Does the skin dry and flake after?  I have heard that lower potency TCA peels take more time to heal and skin looks brown for longer, as the skin does not dry and peel off compared to stronger peels. Is 10% TCA effective for eye wrinkles and safe for very thin delicate skin?

Doctor Answers 5

Depends on the number of layers and your skin sensitivity.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
TCA peeling is a lost art given the explosion in the number of laser machines, such as Fraxel and other fractional devices. I still peel, and I do believe that low strength TCA (8-10%) can be helpful for improving skin texture and tone. My suggestion is not to multicoat, ie, do only one coat or application and one only. Your skin may react, and may peel, some people do not. After care is important, a moisturiser every day for 2-3 weeks. 
Repeat the process at least 5-6 times. Make sure you take before and after pictures. 
Do not multi coat TCA peels, especially if they are high strength. 

We use 8-10% TCA on occasion for melasma. The most commonly used peel is glycolic acid, however I do believe that multiple low strength TCA has its place. 


Dr Davin Lim
Laser and Cosmetic Dermatologist

Healing Process from 10% TCA Peel

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A 10% TCA Peel, in and of itself, does very little to the skin. There may be a small amount of superficial flaking. There is essentially no downtime and there should be virtually no restrictions following a 10% TCA application. I feel very strongly and it has been my experience over the past 22 years that glycolic acid applications in appropriate strengths (50% glycolic acid peel and 10% glycolic acid home applications) are far superior in achieving improved facial skin complexion. Accordingly, TCA is not currently in my treatment armamentarium.

TCA Peel in your home can be a little scary

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The lower the Percentage of TCA, the weaker the acid. It is neutralized by water, ie weakened.

Your complexion is "wheat" colored. I would be very careful because you can get hyperpigmentation after the peel.

10 % TCA will not improve wrinkles it will improve texture slightly so consider the risk benefit of doing by yourself. If you choose to do it, start with the small amount very light with barely any on your gauze and see how it goes. And than wash it off with cool water.

Be careful.

Dr Lenore

Lenore Sikorski, MD
Orange County Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

You might also like...

TCA peel and sun exposure

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Your skin will become dry and peel/flake following a 10% TCA; this will last 7-10 days depending on how many layers you do and depending on how your skin heals.

I would caution you to think twice about doing a TCA while in Africa, you need to be very careful about sun exposure following a TCA peel. If you do decide to do the the peel, Please be sure to protect you skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen UVA/UVB.

TCA or any type of peel for that matter can leave you with pigmentation issues. As far as the delicate eye area I would do one light layer of 10% TCA. BE CAREFUL!!

Lee Robinson, MD - RETIRED
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon

TCA Peels

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The strength of the peel depend on the acid used, the PH, and how many layers you apply.

Your color is probably safe for peels but I would still prep your skin for the peel.

Also, remember that you are in Africa and the sun is too intense and that may cause pigmentation problems.

USE SUNSCREEN, about SPF 45. TCA 10% will NOT improve wrinkles.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

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.