How Long After 20% TCA Peel Before I Can Safely Have a Facelift/Fat Graft And a 35% TCA Peel?

My recent 20% peel made me really red/swollen and did not even begin to really peel for 5 days and remained quite red for another week or so. There is so much variance with peoples experiences with the 20% TCA I'm wondering if mine was actually deeper or is my skin less tolerant than some. Thanks so much for your opinion.

Doctor Answers 4

How long after 20% TCA peel can I have more?

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Depth of trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels depend not only on the concentration of TCA measured weight/volume, but how saturated the gauze is with peeling solution, how forceful the gauze was rubbed against the skin, how many times the gauze was applied and/or re-applied over the same area, whether or not the TCA was neutralized at a certain point after application, the thickness of your skin, etc.  This explains some of the inter-individual variation.  Wait until you are well healed before subjecting yourself to additional procedure(s).

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Facelift after TCA peel

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The effects of a 20% TCA peel can vary as does skin type, and it seems best to delay facelift until your skin has fully recovered from the peel, perhaps four weeks. The second peel could be applied again after the facelift has fully healed in six to eight weeks. If your 'response' to the 20% peel was so strong, you might consider a second 20% peel rather than the 35% strength.

Best of luck,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Facelift Surgery After A Chemical Peel

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There are many variables that affect the depth of any chemical peel. But a 20% TCA peel is still a very mild intemediate depth peel and your postpeel experience sounds fairly typical and certainly not unduly prolonged. You could proceed with a facelift and a stronger TCA peel within four to six weeks after this last peel. Your skin will have had more than enough time to recover for proper healing.

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TCA Peel and Having a Facelift

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In general, if you have had a TCA peel in the last 3-6 months you are fine to proceed with having a facelift. However, I like to do the TCA peel in the perioral and central face area. If in doubt, I would wait 3-6 months.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas 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.