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TCA Chemical Peels: When Should You Consult a Doctor for a Peel?

November 8, 2021
Dr. George Moynihan

Chemical peels have been around for decades, before other popular non-surgical cosmetic treatments today such as the latest laser-assisted treatments like laser skin resurfacing, for instance. This is actually why a lot of patients still prefer TCA chemical peels or other chemical peels over newer forms of treatments. The tried-and-tested formula of chemical peels is what a lot of patients find appealing.

Despite its popularity however, there are still some patients who aren’t too familiar with a chemical pee, from what it does to how it works.

Chemical Peel: A Quick Look

In a nutshell, a chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure designed to treat such skin imperfections as acne scarring, skin discoloration, dark spots, age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines, among others. It is called a chemical peel because a chemical solution applied to the skin causes the outer layer of the skin to peel, thus revealing skin that’s smoother and more blemish-free.

Different types of chemicals are used for different levels of peeling treatment (light, medium, and deep). TCA chemical peels, for instance, use a chemical solution called trichloroacetic acid. A TCA chemical peel is performed on patients who need medium-depth peeling to treat their skin issues.

For light peels, glycolic acid is generally used; and for a deep peel, phenol-based chemical is used.

When to consult a skin specialist

As you can see, chemical peels aren’t a one-size-fits-all treatment much like other types of treatments, which is why it’s essential that you consult a licensed doctor who specializes in chemical peels not only to help you better understand how TCA chemical peels or other types of peels work, but more importantly, to learn which one is the best for you.

Now, the question is; How do you know when to consult a doctor for a chemical peel? Here are a few signs that could tell you it’s time to schedule a consultation for a chemical peel:

  • Acne scarring
  • Recurring acne breakouts
  • Skin discoloration (melasma)
  • Brown or dark spots caused by aging or sun damage
  • Noticeable lines and wrinkles on the face
  • Scaly patches
  • Rough skin caused by sun damage

If you have dull skin or you simply wish to rejuvenate your skin and regain your youthful glow, you may also consider a chemical peel. First-time patients may be advised to undergo a light peel for general skin rejuvenation, but if you have acne scarring, medium-depth chemical peels like TCA chemical peels may be a better fit for you.

It’s important to note that different types of chemical peels also have different after-treatment care. Your doctor will give you instructions regarding post-treatment care to help with the peeling and healing process. It’s important to strictly follow these to prevent infection or complications.

Who aren’t suited for a chemical peel?

As with any other cosmetic treatment, not everyone is the right fit for the procedure regardless of whether or not their skin concerns fall under the treatment category for a peel like acne scars or melasma. Patients who may notice “extra color” in their scars, those who are prone to abnormal skin scarring, and those whose job or lifestyle require them to be outdoors or under the sun every day may not be the best fit for a chemical peel.

Additionally, patients who are taking medications that make their skin sensitive may also be advised by their doctor to skip the chemical peel and consider other options instead.

Consult a skin specialist today

If you’re considering a TCA peel or you wish to learn more about TCA chemical peels at Gold Coast Plastic Surgery, you may 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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