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Professional TCA Cross vs DIY Chemical Peels

November 2, 2021
Dr. George Moynihan

Chemical peels offer both men and women a non-surgical option to correct skin imperfections, usually on the face and for issues typically related to scarring and discoloration. There are various types of chemical peels, generally determined by the type of chemical used for treatment. A TCA cross chemical peel for instance, uses the chemical trichloroacetic acid for the procedure.

In general, chemical peels serve as an exfoliating agent to rejuvenate the skin. However, patients are reminded that chemical peels are offered at varying degrees; the strength of the peel depends on whether it is a light treatment, medium or deep. Both men and women are advised to seek a consultation first from a licensed facial plastic surgeon or cosmetic practitioner (dermatologist or aesthetician, for instance) to accurately determine which type of peel is the best fit for their skin type, blemishes, and treatment goals.

Are DIY peels better than professionally administered TCA cross peels?

When it comes to cosmetic DIY, women, and even men, should always proceed on the side of caution because one mistake could have long-lasting (even irreversible) consequences. With that said, the answer to whether or not DIY peels are better than professionally administered TCA cross peels, or if they even work, depends on three things: the chemical used, the blemish or skin issue to be addressed, and the patient’s skin type.

As mentioned above, there are specific factors that must be considered in order to have a chemical peel that actually works for you; and the best person to accurately determine these is a professional practitioner licensed and trained to treat skin issues. You may consult a facial plastic surgeon, dermatologist, aesthetician, or doctor whose expertise include cosmetic/aesthetic treatments.

If you’re considering a DIY peel over a professional peel like a TCA cross, for instance, it would still be to your advantage if you consult a doctor first. They can evaluate your skin condition and give recommendations as to what type of chemical solution to use for your at-home peel. They can also give you specific instructions on the procedure itself, from skin preparation to application, and healing and recovery.

Bear in mind, however, that a DIY, at-home peel may not produce the same results as that of a professional peel.

In-clinic chemical peel

Apart from the reasons mentioned above, patients may benefit more from seeking consultation and treatment from a skin specialist as there could be other treatments that they will benefit more from instead of (or aside from) a chemical peel like TCA cross.

Since skin specialists are trained to identify and treat skin problems, from those related to skin aging to issues that develop from environmental damage, they are better-equipped to accurately determine specific issues and the treatment/s that can effectively correct these based on your specific skin type and condition. Understand that each patient’s needs and conditions are specific to their unique makeup, which means a treatment that worked for one may not necessarily work for another even if they have similar skin issues.

So for instance, a TCA cross peel that effectively lightened acne scars and dark spots for you may not work for the same issues on another patient. This is why a professional consultation is always advised, especially if you are considering a certain type of treatment for the first time.

Consult a professional today

If you’re considering a TCA cross chemical peel or you wish to learn more about a TCA cross treatment at Gold Coast Plastic Surgery, please schedule an appointment with Dr. George T. Moynihan at (312) 736-7795. For your safety, comfort, and convenience, virtual consultations are also available.

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