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TCA peel for acne scars – Effects & Precautions

TCA peel for acne

What is TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peel?

tca peel skin care Trichloroacetic acid peels (TCA) are medium strength chemical peels aimed to repair and reviving damaged skin. These peels improve your skin issues such as discoloration, reducing fine lines, even out skin texture and reduce acne scars. TCA peel acne scars treatment is well known to be effective and efficient. The principal disadvantage of this treatment is the healing time your skin needs thereafter. Your skin needs at least a week, if not more, to recover completely from this treatment.

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TCA chemical peel: Side effects and precautions

Before you start with a TCA peel, you should know what you are going to apply to your skin. Some skin types are not suitable for a TCA peel treatment (i.e. dark skin; active acne). Some people experience their skin worsening instead of bettering with this treatment.

In case of serious doubts, you should consult a dermatologist before applying a TCA peel treatment on your skin.

We want to provide some further information about the risks and side effects associated with TCA peels. Keep reading to learn more about how to make a TCA peeling treatment both, save and effective.

Side effects and precautions with TCA peeling treatments

The principle side effects to worry about when applying a TCA peeling

  • Your skin may burn
  • Persistent facial redness (erythema)
  • Skin pigmentation may change
  • Scarring and/or infections
  • Post peel breakouts
  • Arising sun sensitivity

These side effects might sound scary, but they are generally avoidable if you take properly care for your skin before and after a TCA peel.

Using a too strong TCA peel solution and leaving it for too long time treating your skin, contributes to skin damage and persistent redness. Therefore we recommend starting slow and building your way up concerning the treatment pace. Never use a strong TCA peel before your skin has been acclimated to weaker ones.

We also recommend letting execute TCA peels by experienced and qualified professionals, instead of applying them you at home. It is much more secure to let this type of chemical peels being applied by an expert who knows what she/he is doing and to have someone monitoring the process, especially in case of some problems with yor dermis arising during the treatment.

If you haven’t taken good care of your skin during the peeling process, redness or pink skin may linger around long after you’ve finished the treatment. Taking good care means: not picking at any skin flakes, not using AHAs or retinols until your skin has completely healed. Never exfoliate right away. Don’t use harsh scrubs. Avoid swimming (chlorine pools and ocean); avoid tanning beds etc.

Staying out of the sun is very important if you want to avoid pigmentation changes. TCA peels remove the outer layer of your skin and if you want your skin to heal properly, you need to protect it from UV rays.

Many people experience breakouts after a TCA peel. There are three possible reasons for this issue to occur:

  • Your skin is too dry during the peel
  • The antibiotic or anti-itch cream was too strong for your skin
  • You performed the peel while you had active acne or clogged pores

If you don’t apply an ample amount of moisturizer to your skin during the peeling treatment, you could cause your skin to become overly dry and clogs the pores. A TCA peel is already a considerable shock for your skin and you want to keep it well moisturized in order to reduce irritations, though making it function to its best.

Please keep in mind; antibiotic or anti-itch creams can cause pimples on some type of skin. An emollient antibiotic is absolutely necessary unless you want your skin become vulnerable to infections. Those pimples caused by antibiotic creams usually disappear on their own, though not requiring additional treatment.

Performing TCA peels while suffering active acne causes breakouts because the peel exfoliates the top skin layer, allowing the push of plugs it has inside the surface.

Sometimes it’s talked about the breakout caused by the dead skin layer as produced through the TCA peel on your face, by trapping all the bacteria underneath. Although such “purging” tends to subside after a fourth TCA peel, it is generally recommended to avoid a TCA peel while you have active acne, because it may produce scarring and some really bad breakouts.

Who could be a candidate for a TCA peel?

Fairer-skinned persons are considered to be the best candidates, and, although darker-skinned persons can experiment successful chemical face peel procedures. It is highly recommended the acne scars treatment being monitored closely by a physician. Conditions for effective results from such face peel generally include, but are not limited to:

  • Skin that has developed brown spots
  • Wrinkling caused by the onset of aging
  • Sun damage
  • Complexion that has become dull


TCA skin peel patients experience improved colour and texture of their skin, depending on the depth of the chemical penetration. The patient may enjoy more extensive smoothing of scarring and wrinkles.

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