Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is a derivative of acetic acid (widely-known as ethanoic acid). Depending on the concentration, it works either superficially or penetrates deeper to affect all skin layers. The size of TCA dosages is chosen by a dermatologist. Basically, TCA acid of 10% – 35% is applied the most frequently; its action is superficial. Medium-deep peeling is possible due to regular TCA application of the above-mentioned 35% -50% concentration. And here comes the fun fact. Did you know that TCA is the strongest acid used to remove dead epidermis cells? How do such treatments look like? A doctor applies a few coats of the preparation mixed with the acid, in a controlled manner, to evoke necrosis of upper layers of skin (epidermis). Thanks to this, old skin cells are removed as the new skin cells are stimulated to multiply. What is more, such peeling accelerates collagen and elastin production, leaves skin firm and improves oval of face. Perceived by some people as a drawback, TCA treatment is connected with the obligation to stay at home for at least 4 days. Last but not least, if one is not satisfied with the outcomes of dead skin cells exfoliation that TCA delivers, the procedure can be repeated after approximately three weeks.
Before & After – TCA acid peeling
Two weeks prior to the treatment, one has to apply moisture-delivering products. Moreover, it is forbidden to have sunbaths as well as to undergo any medicinal nor beautifying procedures. When the session is over, the skin has to be treated with delicate cosmetics, and a special preparation of protective and healing action. Furthermore, one must not rub nor scratch face skin. Otherwise, one can expect to suffer irritations and discolorations. Finally, throughout a month since the day of the procedure, it is not allowed to have sunbaths nor apply make-up.
How does the procedure of TCA acid look like?
First of all, skin is cleansed from sebum and make-up to make it completely degreased afterwards. Secondly, eyes are protected by putting on them soaked with water or easing cosmetics cotton pads. Lips, delicate parts of nose and spider veins are protected with Vaseline. Then, a preparation is distributed all over the face. After approximately 3 minutes one can experience a stinging sensation. In order to soothe this effect a small fan is used. At this stage, epidermis becomes whitened as the damaged skin layer is destroyed. A dermatologist can apply no more than 5 layers of TCA acid at one session. Patients with super sensitive skin receive either a preparation that relieves the pain or a local anaesthetics; there is no need in using a neutralizer. Another important issue, it is completely common that skin becomes reddened right after the procedure is over. After two days since the treatment skin starts exfoliating. This stage lasts approximately four days. Finally, face skin restores its normal look after more or less 10 days.
How does TCA acid works?
TCA acid lightens up skin discolorations as it makes scars and stretch marks less visible, but this is not all. Also, Trichloroacetic acid helps to reduce wrinkles as well as stimulates both cell self-renewal processes and collagen production. What is more, it evens skin tone, regenerates and makes skin more radiant. Indications for the procedure are: scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, photo ageing, discolorations and acne. Unfortunately, not everyone can take advantage of the beauty treatment. The most common contraindications are: herpes, allergies, rosacea, cancers, pregnancy, breastfeeding, atopic eczema and psoriatic arthritis.