Medium Chemical Peel (TCA)
Is a medium peel using trichloroacetic acid (TCA) right for you? If you have fine wrinkles, age spots, uneven skin tone, and superficial scars, talk to us about how a medium peel can rejuvenate your skin by helping improve its color, smoothness, and texture.
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Age spots
- Blotchy skin
- Superficial scars
For skin rejuvenation, Dr. Farella uses a medium chemical TCA peel to remove the top layers of the skin, allowing your body to replace the treated layers with
fresh, wrinkle free skin. (The procedure does not work on dynamic wrinkles caused by repeat movement of muscles in your face, like crow’s feet and frown lines.) Dr. Farella often begins the TCA peel by first applying a Jessner’s solution, a combination of salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol that yields a superficial to medium peel. If you have olive or light brown skin, ask Dr. Farella whether medium peels are appropriate for your skin tone and type.
About the Procedure (Board Certified)
Preparation for skin rejuvenation with a medium peel often begins weeks before the procedure. We may recommend topical products for your face that will help lead to better results from the peel. During a medium peel, TCA is applied to the treatment area. Often Dr. Farella prepares the skin by applying Jessner’s solution. Both Jessner’s and TCA are stronger than the alpha-hydroxy acid and beta-hydroxy acid used in superficial peels. In the final step, your skin is quickly cooled to minimize discomfort. Each medium peel procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
The best results are achieved in people who follow recommendations for skin preparation before the medium peel. A medium peel lasts for six months to two years but may need to be repeated to maintain results. As with all skin rejuvenation procedures, sun avoidance is necessary to maintain optimal results.
Anesthesia and Pain
Dr. Farella can use IV sedation or oral medications. You may want to take an oral anesthetic or sedative before a TCA peel. Mild to moderate post-operative discomfort is expected with this procedure.
After a TCA peel, redness of the skin is expected. While you will be able to return to work or activities, you may prefer to remain at home until your skin appearance improves after approximately one week. The outer layer of your skin will darken over the course of several days, followed by cracking and peeling. The new skin that appears after peeling will be pink and flushed; the flush will fade over a few weeks. Your doctor will provide you with an ointment to help keep your skin moist and aid healing during the recovery period.
Risks and Complications
With any procedure, risks and complications can occur but generally are rare. New skin that appears after a medium peel may be sensitive for several weeks. Skin must be protected from the sun after the peel. You will receive instructions on contacting our staff if you have concerns or questions after your treatment.