I think the problem is the word ‘chemical’. When it comes to our skin, the word chemical sounds harsh and, truthfully, a bit frightening.
Throughout life, we’re almost conditioned into thinking that chemicals are bad for our skin. And don’t get me wrong, there are LOTS of chemicals that are bad for your skin, which is why you see warnings on house cleaning products and various other products we use in day-to-day life, however, there are many, many chemicals that are not only safe to use on your skin but can help you to achieve better skin.
Just to give perspective on what a chemical is… a chemical is simply any substance that has a defined composition.
Hey, even water is a chemical. Its ‘chemical formula’ is H2O.
So, when it comes to chemical peels, I hope you can now better understand that the ‘chemicals’ used in skin peels can be derived from something like almonds or milk. Doesn’t sound quite so intimidating now, right?
So, with that in mind, let’s dive into one of the strongest chemical peels. TCA.
What Is In This Blog:
TCA is a relative of vinegar (acetic acid), and one of the useful things about it is that you can customise your TCA peel treatment as TCA comes in different strengths.
When applied to your skin, TCA breaks down a protein in your skin called keratin, allowing us to remove any dead skin cells and stimulating new skin cell production, resulting in smoother, softer, more even-toned skin.
TCA chemical peels are mostly used on the face for concerns such as wrinkles, dull skin, sun damage, some forms of hyperpigmentation, and scarring. However, they’re also used on the body in areas such as the back and chest, neck, arms, and shoulders.
Yes, TCA chemical peels can help to improve some types of scars, however, it is not generally our go-to treatment. In our experience, there are more effective treatments for most scars such as Fraxel Dual laser, Subcision, Clear and Brilliant laser, and if you’re looking to treat true keloid scars (a scar that continues to grow beyond the original site of trauma), steroid injections.
Stretch marks are approached in a very similar way to some types of scars; fundamentally, they are both tears in the skin. Much like scars, TCA chemical peels usually would not be our first choice of treatment. In our experience, Fraxel Dual, micro-needling, and PRP are usually more effective in treating stretch marks.
Yes, TCA chemical peels can be used for hyperpigmentation. The only type of hyperpigmentation we would avoid using a TCA peel on is melasma; our protocol for melasma is the Obagi Nu-Derm treatment and, if appropriate, mandelic acid chemical peels.
TCA peels are a good option for those with sun-damaged skin that are showing signs of ageing such as wrinkles and uneven pigmentation.
Hmm, good question! An experienced professional should be able to guide you in the right direction but generally, a glycolic peel is good for those wanting to refresh and brighten dull skin and for those with superficial concerns around texture and tone.
TCA is a more powerful chemical peel than glycolic acid. TCA peels are suited to those wanting to treat more advanced signs of ageing and hyperpigmentation; these people can have a glycolic peel to refresh their skin and for exfoliation purposes but a glycolic isn’t going to address the more advanced concerns.
We wouldn’t treat anyone during pregnancy and breastfeeding with any kind of chemical peel. If you’re interested in treatment during pregnancy, Byonik of one of the only results-driven treatments that we would offer.
Yes, we can treat your hands with TCA chemical peels. Hands are one of the first places to show signs of ageing because they’re constantly exposed to UV rays- we might use a daily SPF on our face, but what about our hands?!
Age spots, thinning skin, uneven pigmentation, and wrinkles are all common skin concerns we see on our hands and TCA can help correct this.
Nurse Jane Lewis adds: “TCA chemical peels have been around a very long time and are great for certain, well-selected patients to help rejuvenate their skin and improve some forms of hyperpigmentation. Most skin concerns require a combination of treatments to allow patients to achieve their best results and this chemical peel is one that we often strategically combine with other treatment modalities such as Fraxel Dual, HIFU, and micro-needling, depending on their concern, to get their ULTIMATE results.”
Should you like to learn more about what chemical peels may be right for you and, indeed, any other treatments to help improve your particular concerns, please contact us today to arrange a consultation.
Disclaimer: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic purposes. We are all unique which means that our results, recovery and suitability for any type of treatment will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional should you have any health or cosmetic concerns or to discuss treatments specifically for you.
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