Light and medium-depth peels use the chemical TCA 10%-15% (Trichloroacetic Acid) to create their peel. TCA is a non-toxic chemical, which has been used to perform skin peels for over 30 years. Unlike some other types of peels, TCA peels have the additional advantage of creating a fresh natural appearing complexion, while preserving the normal skin color. For this reason, they are often referred to as "freshening peels."
What is a chemical peel?
Chemical peels are essentially a controlled injury to the skin that allows for tightening and smoothing of the skin. The function of a skin peel is to create an even controlled shedding of several layers of damaged cells. This exposes a new fresh layer of skin with a more even color and a smoother texture. In addition, the peels stimulate new cells to grow, thereby tightening the skin, which decreases wrinkling.
How can you benefit form Chemical Peels?
Peels can effectively improve many conditions, including:
- Dull, weathered skin
- Blotchy pigmentation (including the mask of pregnancy)
- Sun damage (including precancerous lesions)
- Fine wrinkles
- Acne and acne scarring
Light peels do not require any anesthesia. After preparing the skin, the peel solution is applied followed by the proper moisturizer and sunscreen. A consultation is required to determine which type of peel (if any) will be most suitable for you.
How much downtime will I have?
After light peels, the treated skin turns red or pink and heals without crusting. The skin redness may last 1-3 hours. As for a medium peel, most people take 5-7 days to heal from an average peel. During the healing process, there is no pain, but the skin looks as if it had a sunburn. You will also experience light shedding to peeling of the skin that typically lasts for one week.
How soon can I resume my outdoor activities?
Since light peels have no downtime you may resume regular activity after 24 hours with the use of Sunscreen greater than 30. As for anyone who has had a TCA peel is more sensitive to sunlight for at least 6-8 weeks after his or her peel. During this time it is very important to protect the new skin with sunscreens, hats, and the avoidance of strong sunlight. However, most people are anxious to protect their newly improved skin from the damage of sun exposure and they continue to wear sunscreen daily, even after they have healed completely.
This procedure is considered cosmetic and therefore is not covered by insurance.