What is a TCA Chemical Peel?

What is a TCA chemical peel? What does the "TCA" stand for?

Doctor Answers 15

TCA is Trichloroacetic Acid and is great for peeling

TCA stands for trichloroacetic acid and is a common agent used for chemical peeling, one type of facial resurfacing. It comes in varying concentrations, allowing for varying depths of peeling (depending on the concentration). TCA peels can help treat pigmentation, discoloration, fine lines and aging grooves. A TCA peel should be done by a well-trained physician (dermatologist, plastic surgeon) in their office. The downtime and recovery can range from a few days to several weeks, depending on the strength of the peel. A TCA peel is not appropriate for all skin types, nor is it the best treatment modality for certain types of facial rejuvenation. But a strong medium-depth TCA peel can give great results when done properly on the right patient.

Hope this helps.

New York Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

TCA is trichloroacetic acid

A Form of Resurfacing: The TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peel is one of the oldest forms of skin resurfacing. Skin resurfacing refers to use of an agent or device to remove layers of skin, thereby allowing newer, refreshed skin to grow in its place. Dermabrasion and lasers are also used for skin resurfacing. Chemical peels such as TCA and phenol have been around for many years and have a long track record of success.

A TCA peel can be used as a mild, medium, or deep chemical formulation; this relates to the depth of penetration of the acid. The depth of penetration correlates to the percentage of TCA in the solution. In my hands, a medium depth TCA peel (35%) is usually used. Prior to application of the TCA, I use a light chemical peel known as the Jessner's peel, which is salicylic acid based. This cleans epidermal cells down to the layer of the stratum corneum, allowing the TCA to penetrate more deeply and more evenly.

Safety: Is a TCA peel safe. The answer is yes if used by an experienced Physician; it is a serious treatment and requires a practitioner with superb training and experience. TCA penetrates the skin via a process known as coagulative necrosis; it can only penetrate to a specified depth based on its concentration. The key is to make sure the peel is formulated correctly. Most Facial Plastic Surgeons will have a Pharmacist who formulates the peel in a consistent, specified fashion.

Downtime: Much less downtime than a CO2 laser treatment, but more downtime than a Dermabrasion or a Portrait Plasma Skin Regeneration (PSR); there is a week of initial recovery followed by moderate redness for 4 weeks or so. However, since TCA is relatively inexpensive to formulate, it gives a great result for less patient cost than most of the other treatments mentioned.

Conclusion: TCA chemical peel is a treatment I have always used in my practice as part of the armementarium of skin resurfacing, and something I will probably continue to use based on the consistency of results, acceptable downtime, and cost factors involved.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

TCA Peels

TCA stands for trichloroacetic acid. It is a very common chemical used to perform medium depth chemical peels. The concentration of the chemical will vary, depending on the desired depth of skin penetration. In general, concentrations used for such peels vary between 20% and 35%. The procedure results in red, swollen, and crusted skin which peels over the weeks following the procedure. This will help improve the skin texture, tone, and reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and superficial discoloration. However, it will not have a significant effect on acne scars or deep wrinkles.

Adam Schaffner, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

TCA Peels for Correcting Skin Texture, Melasma and Large Pores

TCA Peels are potent medical-grade treatments  that effectively improve skin texture, uneven color, pigmentation from acne, large pores and melasma.  These peels result in an aggressive exfoliation resulting in collagen stimulation  and epidermal renewal.  For great results with a minimum of down-time, these peels continue to be effective ways of correcting problem skin!

#BluePeel  #melasmatreatments  #sundamagedskintreatments

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

TCA Peels for Uneven Skin Color, Fine Facial Lines and Collagen Stimulation

TCA Chemical Peels are considered potent medical-grade peels that work to maximize skin texture, uneven discolorations and wrinkles. They are  highly effective for  aggressive exfoliation and epidermal stimulation. Benefits of a TCA peel would include: improving the skin's ability to repair and renew itself, erasing signs of aging, melasma, sun-damage, fine  lines , uneven texture, large pores and dull skin after acne breakouts. 

#3stepPeel  # melasma # largepores  #Bluepeel

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) Peel

Thank you for your question.

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is a commonly used agent for chemical peeling and has the potential to decrease the appearance of sunspots and fine lines. Chemical peeling removes the outer layer of skin generating new cell growth and collagen formation that results in younger looking skin.

Depending on the concentration and application, TCA peels can target superficial to deeper layers of skin.  Generally these concentrations range from 10-50%. In California, TCA peels greater than 20% should only be applied by board certified healthcare professionals specializing in plastic surgery or dermatology and who are experienced with deep chemical peels. These concentration requirements vary from state to state. The concentration Downtime for TCA peels is typically 5-7 days during which time treated skin appears to “slough” off.

Patients with darker skin may benefit from pre-treatment with topical retinoids (i.e. Retin-A or Renova) and/or hydroquinone to reduce the risk of post-treatment darkening of the skin, which is the most common side effect.  For all skin types extensive measures must be taken to avoid sun exposure after treatment, especially during the first two weeks.

I hope this helps.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

TCA chemical peel

Trichloroacetic acid or TCA chemical peel is one of the most tried and true aesthetic procedure. The strength varies from 10% to 70% where 35% is most commonly used to bring out medium depth peel. The application of the TCA by a board-certified dermatologist can effectively minimize precancerous lesions, smooth out facial texture and fine lines. Some dermatologists may perform Jessner's peel prior to TCA peel to bring about medium-to-deep peel and augment the cosmetic benefit. Expect to have a week of downtime and commit to strict daily sun protection before, during and after chemical peel.

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

TCA stands for trichloroacetic acid

TCA stands for trichloroacetic acid. This chemical peel is good in varying strengths to improve pigment and fine lines. Your skin needs to be evaluated for the peel before it is done. TCA does not work well for all skin types. It can also help decrease sun damage and remove some signs of aging.

Best Regards.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Chemical Peels, TCA

TCA is Tri Chlor Acetic acid. It is one of the best established solutions used in chemical peeling. It comes in concentrations varying from 10% to 40% for mainstream usage in the office, allowing superficial & medium depth peels. It also can be used in higher concentrations 80-90% for acne scar treatment using the CROSS technique. The TCA results , when done by a well trained dermatologist or plastic surgeon , are excellent.

Khaled El-Hoshy, MD
Detroit Dermatologic Surgeon

TCA stands for Trichloracetic Acid

Trichloracetic Acid is what TCA peel stands for. The TCA peel is an excellent peel to treat discolorations, pigmentation, superficial and fine lines. It is an excellent effective procedure that can be varied by the individual practitioner with a variety of methods to cause changes in depth of peel.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.