How TCA Skin Peels Work
By David Maillie
While it is true that physical beauty is just skin deep, it is still no reason why people, particularly women, should disregard basic skin care. Since the skin is our outermost layer, it is exposed to the harsh elements of the environment. And because it is not uncommon for people to base judgments from our cover, with the face being the first thing they look at, it is only proper that we go to great lengths to keep our skin looking clean and fresh.
There are a lot of skin care products in the market today. Unlike before when a normal bar of soap was used for skin cleansing, cosmetic companies are now producing a wide variety of skin care treatments that can address various skin concerns. However, there are cases when treatments need to be more aggressive, especially for those who have aging or blemished skin. Most, if not all, of the over-the-counter products are topical in nature, meaning it only affects the epidermis or the outer layer of the skin. Aging or blemished skin needs to be treated down to the root of the problem to see definite changes.
This is where skin peeling comes in. While OTC medicines treat minor skin irritations, skin peeling makes use of more concentrated drugs to accelerate the removal of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, thus producing regeneration of new and younger-looking skin cells. Out of all the skin peeling procedures available, the TCA skin peel is the most popular.
TCA Peel, which stands for Trichloroacetic Peel, used trichloroacetic acid to remove superficial blemishes such as post-acne scars, correct pigment problems (melasma) and smooth out fine surface wrinkles. On some occasions, TCA Peel has even been used to remove and prevent the growth of pre-cancerous lesions. It is an intermediate to deep peeling agent that is normally used in 10 to 35% concentrations, depending on the extent of peeling that the patient wishes to achieve.
According to Dr. Jean M. Loftus, an American plastic surgeon who is recognized as an expert in the field of cosmetic surgery, claims that the TCA peel is "perfect for women who want to have more than superficial peel but cannot afford the expense or recovery time of a deeper treatment. A good alternative to having the treatment done at a clinic would be through one of the medically-certified kits available online.
Unlike more aggressive modes of treatment, the TCA skin peel is considered as a minor office procedure and can be done within 15 minutes to an hour. Since TCA is a chemical that will slough off the dead surface of the skin, patients may feel a burning sensation once it is applied. Some surgeons offer their patients pain killers or sedatives in order to tolerate the pain of the procedure. After taking the medicine, TCA is then applied to the problem areas, one area at a time. It is only normal that the face turns slightly red after the chemical has been applied - this means that the TCA is already working its purpose. Iced saline is applied on the face after the procedure, to avoid further discomfort brought about by the chemical. The face will achieve to its normal color after 15 to 45 minutes. To finish off the procedure, an oil-based or steroid ointment will be slathered on the face to prevent the skin from being overly dry and to retain its normal moisture level.
About The Author
David Maillie is a chemist with over 12 years experience in biochemical research and chemical analysis. He is an alumni of Cornell University and specializes in biochemical synthesis for public, private and governmental interests.
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