Many people want to avoid the signs of aging, but they worry about scars and healing incisions. The TCA chemical peel addresses age spots, freckles, sun damage, uneven skin tones (melasma), and wrinkles.
In addition, the chemical is helpful in removing precancerous skin cells. At The Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Austin, Texas, TCA chemical peels are a great way to reduce the signs of aging.
It can be paired with dermabrasion or fractionated CO2 laser treatments for the best results.
In 2012, chemical peels were the fourth most popular cosmetic treatment, according to American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery statistics.) Only microdermabrasion, hyaluronic acid fillers, and Botox Cosmetic topped the chemical peel.
Fillers and Botox do not remove damaged layers of skin, however, so if you’re looking to shed damaged skin and precancerous cells, chemical peels are the best way to go. Here are five things you should know about them.
Chemical Peels Come in Various Strengths
Chemical peels do range in strength from mild to heavy. The TCA peel is a medical-strength chemical peel that will deliver amazing results. Dr. Buckingham uses an IV anesthetic to help control the discomfort that occurs during your peel.
Following the peel, your face may feel warm and tight, and there may be some swelling. This is not painful, however, and you may discover it feels a little like being sunburned.
How a Peel Works
A chemical solution is applied to your face. This solution begins to kill off the upper layers of skin. As those skin layers peel away, the underlying skin layers become the top layers.
These lower skin layers are more youthful in appearance and lack the signs of sun damage and aging that show up on the upper layers.
Expect to Follow Skin Care Instructions While You Heal
After a TCA peel, you will be given a set of skin care instructions to follow. You’ll use a special Cetaphil cleanser to keep your healing skin clean. Dr. Buckingham also gives you Aquaphor ointment to use for a period of 10 days. You cannot wear makeup for two weeks. It will be two weeks before you can go out in the sun, but a full month before you can wear heavier sunscreens.
They’re Performed as an Outpatient Procedure
The TCA chemical peel is performed by Dr. Buckingham in an ambulatory surgery center. Usually, the peel takes no more than an hour to complete. After that, you go home and recover for 5 to 14 days. Deeper peels do require a longer recovery time, so you might want to plan to take two weeks off from work or social activities.
Avoid DIY Chemical Peel Kits
One of the issues with the chemical peel is that some companies market them to consumers. While this may seem like a great way to save money, it can end up being a costly lesson. If you do not know what you are doing, you can seriously burn your skin and cause permanent damage.
View chemical peel before and after pictures to see the difference a chemical peel makes on an aging face. Dr. Buckingham performs a thorough consultation to answer all of your questions and decide if you are a good candidate for a TCA peel or if a lighter chemical peel is a better option. To schedule an appointment with the Austin, Texas, facial plastic surgeon, call (512) 401-2500.