My First full-face TCA Peel

I decided to do a full-face TCA peel since I’m out of school on Monday.  I’m going to use 15% TCA, which is just slightly stronger than the patch I did on my face last month.

Tricholoracetic acid (TCA) is a chemical solution. It is a strong acid made by chlorinating acetic acid - and is widely used as a chemical skin peel. This procedure aims to improve the skin's appearance by removing the outer layer of damaged skin to reveal the underlying layer, which is newer and smoother in texture.

I’ve been doing 35% glycolic acid (a type of alpha hydroxy acid, AHA) peels weekly for about the last eight weeks, but TCA chemical peels are more effective than AHA chemical peels  in removing superficial skin, but it doesn’t penetrate deeply as phenol, which is definitely too strong for home use.

TCA is generally referred to as a "medium depth" chemical peel. The main targets of a TCA chemical peel procedure are those individuals with:
  • Fine surface wrinkles
  • Pigment discoloration (blemishes and blotches)
  • Age/sun spots
  • Superficial acne scarring

The advantage of TCA is that the degree and depth of penetration within the skin can be adjusted according to what you want.  The concentration of TCA alters the depth of the peel. Concentration can vary from 10 to 100%, with the higher concentrations leading to a deeper peel, but I don’t know that anyone would ever apply 100% acid to the face—that would be disfiguring, so don’t do it!

The 15% TCA peel I’m applying today will be the first of a series of four, I hope, over the course of this winter, to address fine wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.  It should start to peel within three days, according to the various patch tests I’ve done.

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