The abbreviation TCA stands for trichloroacetic acids which, depending on their efficiency, cause superficial to moderately deep skin peeling. Wrinkles and age spots on the face, neck, cleavage, arms, back and hands are mainly removed in the form of a peel. When carried out for medical reasons, it is used to treat and prevent sun damage and skin cancer precursors.
Both the epidermis and parts of the dermis are removed using trichloroacetic acid. A TCA peel is therefore considerably stronger than, for example, a fruit acid peel or microdermabrasion. The application stimulates collagen formation and cell renewal many times over and rejuvenates the skin.
The TCA peel is used for age spots, pigment changes, superficial wrinkles, and light-damaged skin. The application is also suitable for more difficult indications, such as deep wrinkles, severe acne or acne scars or sun-damaged skin with early stage skin cancer or its precursors. The result is a softer, fresher looking and more youthful skin. TCA peels are primarily applied to the face, but can also be applied to the neck, cleavage, back, arms and hands.
After thoroughly cleansing and removing any grease from the treatment area, the trichloroacetic acid is carefully applied. The intensity of the peel depends on the desired result. The treatment on the face takes about 30 minutes. After the exposure time, the trichloroacetic acid gel is removed again using plenty of water. The low-dose TCA solution feels painless on the tissue, so an anaesthetic is not necessary. A slight burning sensation may occur. Deep TCA peels burn intensely and are carried out under sedation for patients sensitive to pain.
One treatment takes about 30 minutes. Four treatments are generally recommended at intervals of four to six weeks for significantly fresher looking skin. One treatment is sufficient for deep peels.
This depends on the intensity of the treatment. With a simple TCA peel, you can resume your usual everyday activities straight afterwards. With a moderately deep peel, on the other hand, the healing process takes up to 14 days.
Compared directly to a fruit acid peel, the skin takes longer to recover from the treatment after a trichloroacetic acid peel. However, more significant results can be expected depending on the concentration of the peel.
With a simple TCA peel the following applies: You can resume your usual activities straight after the treatment. There is slight redness and the redundant skin peels off easily after three days. Adequate sun protection is also required for the next three weeks.
With a moderately deep peel, the following applies: The healing phase takes about 14 days. Antiseptic ointments also help prevent bacterial infection. It is particularly important to apply adequate sun protection, sunblock with at least factor 50, for several weeks after the treatment.
Stronger peels with TCA are carried out by one of our dermatologists at the HAUT- UND LASERZENTRUM AN DER OPER in Munich.
The cell layers appear smoother overall after the treatment, superficial wrinkles disappear, and pigmentation disorders are reduced. All in all, the skin appearance can be significantly rejuvenated with a TCA peel.
Slight redness and swelling may occur afterwards but should usually subside after a short time. Skin infections are extremely rare thanks to thorough cleansing beforehand. The risk of hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) can also be significantly minimised when the peel is applied properly and is extremely rare.
The peel is applied to previously thoroughly cleansed skin, otherwise there is an increased risk of infection. We cleanse and disinfect the face before the treatment. Nevertheless, we ask you to refrain from using make-up and skin creams on the day of treatment.
Patients with inflammatory skin changes or a herpes infection should not undergo a TCA peel. In the worst case, this could lead to health side effects or damage to the skin. Every treatment in our practice is preceded by a detailed consultation with a doctor, during which we closely examine the skin to determine whether a treatment is advisable or whether another treatment should be used.
This depends on the skin condition and the desired intensity. For a superficial peel, approx. 15 percent trichloroacetic acid is used, for a moderately deep TCA peel 20 to 30 percent trichloroacetic acid is used. It can then be 30 to 40 percent with a deep peel.
The intensive peeling effect of the TCA peel makes the skin sensitive to light. To protect the skin as consistently as possible from UV radiation afterwards, we recommend treatment during the months with few hours of sunshine.
The treatment with superficial TCA peels is associated with a slight burning sensation. Depending on the concentration used though, a tingling or throbbing sensation may occur afterwards, but this can be quickly alleviated by taking a mild painkiller. Deep TCA peels lead to intense burning and are carried out under sedation for patients sensitive to pain.