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TCA Peel – Strengths, Peel Benefits, Acne Scars, and More

TCA Peel – Strengths, Peel Benefits, Acne Scars, and More

TCA Peel

TCA peel treats acne scars, hyperpigmentation, melasma, fine lines, and sun damage.

These peels are performed with light to medium strength and require days or weeks of downtime.

TCA is safe for all skin types when the proper precautions are taking. Home peel kits carry the risk of damaging the skin and should be used with caution.

What is a trichloroacetic chemical peel?

  • Here TCA is derived from acetic acid, a derivative of vinegar, and is available in concentrations ranging from 15 to 70%. It is applied to remove the top layer of skin from the face, neck, hands, or other parts.
  • However, a TCA peel chemically exfoliates the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines, hyperpigmentation, melasma, acne scars, and sun damage; It improves skin texture.
  • Here TCA peels can be performed with various strengths from light to medium and can be customized based on the number of coats applied and any pre-peeling agent used.

How does a TCA peel work?

TCA breaks down keratin, a protein found in the skin. It causes the keratin to stop working correctly, transparent in color, and peel off the skin over several days.

As layers of damaged skin are removing, healthier, smoother skin is revealing underneath.

While a light peel only affects the top layer of the skin, the epidermis, a medium peel, can penetrate the papillary dermis below to treat more profound damage.


  • Here the concentration of TCA used determines the depth of the shell. Lower concentrations provide more subtle changes to the skin.
  • Though higher concentrations significantly improve overall skin tone and texture while eliminating scars, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
  • Light peels with 10-15% concentrations can treat hyperpigmentation, while 20% of peels treat sun-damaged or aged skin and minor scars.
  • Medium 30-35% peels treat deeper wrinkles, deeper spots, and precancerous growths.
  • Although TCA in higher concentrations was using in the past for deep full-face peels, it is no longer recommending due to the risk of post-procedure complications.
  • In concentrations of up to 70%, TCA can be applied to tiny areas of the skin to treat individual scars or lesions.
  • While lower concentration peels can be performing on the face, neck, hands, or any part of the body with sun damage. p
  • Peels of 20% or more should only be performing on the front as other parts of the body have more likely to heal.

TCA chemical peel benefits

TCA chemical peels offer many notable skin improvements, including reducing the appearance of scars, signs of aging, and sun damage.

Acne and acne scars:

  • TCA can temporarily reduce blemishes by intensely exfoliating the skin. However, it can not address the root cause of acne, such as hormones and the overproduction of natural oils from the skin.
  • Since this and the long recovery time comparing to other peels, TCA is generally not recommending for treating acne.
  • Though, TCA is an effective treatment for post-acne scarring. It simultaneously smoothes the skin’s texture while eliminating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • The dark spots of discoloration appear after a blemish has healed. One education found that TCA was more effective than microdermabrasion. And glycolic acid in removing acne scars.
  • Atrophic acne scars, commonly called ice pick or boxcar scars, can be effectively treating with high concentrations of TCA (70%) using the CROSS technique.
  • In this study, patients reporting being very satisfying or satisfying in 81% of cases, with better treatment outcomes associating with more severe pretreatment scars.
  • However, the CROSS technique involves the targeted application of TCA to each depression to rebuild scar tissue and even skin. Here this treatment is repeating every few weeks over several months.
  • The CROSS method is more efficient in treating atrophic scars than a whole facial peel because only small amounts of the chemical are applying to selected areas, reducing the recovery time required.

sun damage:

  • Here TCA is effective in any concentration to reduce sun damage, and it does so by removing sun spots ( flat, brown spots that develop due to sun exposure). And improving skin tone and texture.
  • It is particularly effective in increasing skin elasticity and hydration, which are significant for healthy, undamaged skin.


  • TCA can be using successfully to lighten all types of hyperpigmentation, including freckles, age spots, dark spots, and melasma.

Also Read: Best Keratin Treatment – 4 Best Keratin Treatments for Smooth, Healthy, and Gorgeous Hair.

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