What it is:
A TCA peel uses trichloroacetic acids (which are stronger than glycolic acids and penetrate deeper into the skin) to destroy and remove outer layers of the skin. Because they penetrate into the dermis, these peels are thought to reconstitute the lower collagen and elastin layers of the skin. During the 10-to-15-minute procedure, the patient feels a burning sensation. There is moderate discomfort and swelling of the treated areas for about a week, and minimal scabbing which lasts for a few days. Healing and toughening of the new skin takes place for a few weeks following a TCA peel, but most patients look presentable enough to return to their normal activities after about a week.
$1,500 to $3,000 for a full-face treatment
early wrinkling, mild scarring and age spots on the face and hands; also to counteract moderate sun damage, uneven pigmentation and weathered skin
While new skin is noticeably fresher and smoother following a TCA peel, anyone considering this procedure must be prepared for some discomfort and a week or more of "hibernation." As with any strong acid or laser peel there's a risk of scarring and destroying the pigment, leaving the treated skin white, if the procedure is improperly performed.