A medium-depth chemical peel designed to burn away layers of aged or damaged skin, a trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel is used to treat mild acne scarring, sun damage and age spots. However, as the procedure is essentially a controlled chemical burn, a TCA peel can cause scarring if used improperly. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the risk of scarring is low and can usually be treated with good results.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Aloe vera gel
- Scar treatment cream
- Silicone sheets
Apply aloe vera gel to the affected area immediately. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends applying aloe vera up to four times daily for the soothing and healing of minor burns.
Apply a scar treatment cream or gel to soften the scar. Scar treatment creams are designed to soften scar tissue and improve the appearance of new scars. For best results, the creams must be consistently applied several times a day.
Place a silicone gel sheeting over the scarred area. According to the Make Me Heal website, silicone sheets apply direct pressure on a scar, minimising its appearance.
Ask your dermatologist about in-office scar treatments, such as microdermabrasion or laser therapy. Non-ablative laser treatments can reduce the appearance of minor scars, including TCA chemical peel scars.
Avoid sun exposure and protect scarred skin with sunblock each time you go outside. For extra protection, wear a wide-brimmed hat. Scarred and healing skin is very delicate and can be further damaged by UV exposure.
Tips and warnings
- Skin can appear red and hyperpigmented several days following a TCA peel. Although this discolouration can be mistaken for scarring, the pigmentation will even out with time.
- Do not attempt medium-depth chemical peels at home. Choosing an experienced skin care professional reduces the risk of post-TCA peel scarring.
- Eat a balanced diet, avoid nicotine and alcohol, and take vitamin supplements such as vitamin C to encourage skin healing.
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