Can I do just one section (forehead) of my face at a time? (Photo)

I just ordered a 20% TCA chemical peel. This will be my first time trying it myself. I have done my research, making absolute sure I'm doing all the necessary steps correctly, this way I can see exactly how it reacts to my skin and measure the down time so I can adjust my work schedule accordingly. So how long should I leave the 20% on my face for the first time and before I begin neutralizing? Thank you! ~Valerie~

Doctor Answers 5

20%TCA peel of gorehead

No one in their right mind will instruct you how to apply TCA peel solution on yourself.  Serious scarring can occur even with a 20% TCA solution.  In most states it is not legal for a lay person to perform a chemical peel of this kind.  It should be illegal everywhere.  Do yourself a favor and refrain from going ahead with peeling yourself and seek a professional consultation.


Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Applying this agent yourself is a huge mistake.

It may not be illegal to buy the product but it is definitely an extraordinarily bad idea to apply this yourself.  In California, only a physician can apply this product.  It can cause scaring and hyper pigmentation.  Please do not do this to yourself.  This is no way to save a few dollars.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Chemical Peels

I would strongly advise against applying this chemical peel to your own skin.  You are placing yourself at risk for serious complications to the delicate skin of the face, including the eyes.  I would highly advise that you seek treatment by a board-certified provider.

Paul B. Johnson, MD
Philadelphia Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

At Home Chemical Peels

There are many at home peels that are safe and effective to use.  I would strongly advise you not to use this medial grade strength acid on your own skin.  Please consult a board certified dermatologist who is an expert in chemical peels for the best cosmetic results.  Best, Dr. Green

Can I do just one section of my face at a time?

Thank you for sharing your question and photograph.  In answer to your question, yes a single area of the face can be treated with a TCA peel to assess your results and sensitivity.  That said i would STRONGLY recommend not performing this peel on yourself.  TCA is a very strong acid that can lead to any number of possible complications when not administered by healthcare professional - scarring, hypo/hyperpigmentation, skin loss, burn, etc.  As an example, TCA effectiveness is not based on time of contact but rather the number of coats applied, and it can not be neutralized except by your skin.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 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.