Will the Redness After TCA Peel Go Away?

I had a 15% TCA peel done at a clinic 5 days ago. I'm not sure but I think I may have had a bad reaction as some areas still feel hot and a bit sore when I put cream on. Anyway, I was very stupid to peel some skin away myself on one side of my face, and my skin is fairly red/pink under it. Is this likely to fade in time? I wish I'd just been patient and left it.

Doctor Answers 8

It will fade but it may darken if you get too much sun on it

If you prematurely peel off the dead skin too soon then it turns red then brown in many cases. If you use a cortisone cream on the red areas it will fade to pink then to normal color faster. Be sure to stay out of the sun and use a sunscreen and even a bleaching cream to prevent dark spots from coming.

You can always do another chem peel to correct any discolorations from this one and be sure to use a cortisone cream after all your peels to fade redness faster.

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

TCA Peels and Post-Treatment Recommendations

Depending on the type and strength of a peel, a patient should expect to get some redness, swelling, crusting and peeling. We do a lot of aggressive TCA peels (35-50%), and the patients have about 1-2 weeks of redness, swelling, crusting and peeling, followed by several weeks of redness. We have a very detailed skincare regimen for after the peel to minimize the redness and peeling, and to help with healing.

Our regimen includes intense moisturization, complete sun avoidance, and telling patients never to pick at peeled skin. The redness will fade with time, it is just that it can take several weeks to months depending on the skin type of the patient and the type of peel. Keep up your moisturizing (hydrating) with bland emollients and stay out of the sun!

Channing R. Barnett, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Skin Redness after TCA Chemical Peel

Redness of the skin is normal after chemical peels. Weeping, flaking, and irritation is also common. The degree of these reaction largely depends on the depth of the chemical peel or skin resurfacing. The depth of the peel differs based on the chemical agent, concentration, and other factors. Redness generally resolves, but may take several days, weeks, or months, again largely dependent on the peel depth and other factors. However, redness may be a sign of allergy or infection. One should closely follow the pre-treatment and post-treatment guideline of your dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon to promote healing and reduce adverse reactions.

15% TCA peel is generally more superficial with faster recovery, as compared to phenol peel or some laser treatments. Speak with your cosmetic specialist about any concern you have.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Redness after TCA peel

Redness is common following a TCA peel so do not worry. Your skin may take 3 weeks to completely restore itself to it's normal state. Expect a lot of peeling and irritation and make sure you stay out of the sun.

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

Redness after Trichloroacetic Acid Peels (TCA)

TCA chemical peels can be performed safely at varying depths of the dermis. In most cases, healing is dependent on the rate of epithelialization of the skin. Redness may be

prolonged but will generally subside after several weeks.

I would recommend pulsed dye lasers.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

After care for TCA peel

A TCA peels should come with some after care. I see my patients for a month or so after a peel to assure that everything is moving along as we would like.

Redness fades if sun exposure is avoided and wound care is proper. The skin should be re-evaluated by your doctor who modifies wound care accordingly.

Best Regards.

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

Post-op care after TCA chemical peel

Successful post-op recovery from TCA chemical peel depends on carefully customized pre-op skin care routine, e.g. topical retinoid cream, prophylactic antibiotics, antiviral. Redness after TCA chemical peel is to be expected. Strict daily sun protection is critical. Your board-certified dermatologist may recommend a combination of topical green tea, vitamin C preparation and/or Oracea, a low-dose doxycycline which serves as a potent anti-inflammatory agent that may expedite resolution of swelling or redness after TCA chemical peel or laser resurfacing.

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

Remember to moisturize as well

Hello Ange,

Excellent advice given to you by Dr. Hansen.

I would also add that you should remember to do basic things like use only mild /sensitive skin soaps for the next few weeks and moisturizers to help "calm & soothe" the skin.

Aquaphor is a nice water based moisturizer that is non-irritating and helps the skin heal and feel better after TCA peels.

Take Care,

Dr. Jafri

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.