What to expect from a TCA peel

TCA peels are typically performed during the fall and winter months.  It is advised to avoid sun exposure following the peel as this can cause hyperpigmentation.  We typically start performing TCA peels in the clinic in November for this reason.

This type of peel typically requires a down time of 7-10 days. Skin will be red and swollen. Blisters may form and break open. This will not leave scars, however. Skin will scale and peel within 7-10 days. We recommend moisturizing the skin immediately after and several days after the peel.

The day of the peel:

Avoid wearing makeup the day of the peel. If makeup is worn, you will be asked to remove makeup and wash with a mild cleanser. TCA solution is then applied to dry skin. During the peel, your skin will feel tingly, prickly and then turn hot. There is usually a fan running to cool your skin and ease the burning sensation. “Frosting” sometimes occurs – your skin may turn white during the procedure. This may look scary, but this is the area where your skin will turn brown and peel away the most.

After the peel has completed, you will be asked to wash your face very gently and apply moisturizer. Do not use any abrasive products and do not scrub skin after a peel has been performed.

Days Following the Peel:

Skin will be red in the beginning and turn brown and begin to peel away. It may even blister and break open. This will not leave scars. Continue to use moisturizer and stay out of the sun. You can use makeup at this point as peeling has typically not yet begun.

Everyone responds differently to TCA peels. Some people will have more peeling and redness and some will have less. Peeling typically begins on day 3 and may even peel for 10 days. Do not pick at skin or peel away layers. This can cause damage. Continue to use moisturizer and stay out of the sun.