A Medium-depth Chemical Peel, also known as a TCA Peel, involves the application of a chemical exfoliant that causes controlled damage of the epidermis and part or all of the papillary dermis (top layer), which ignites regenerative changes and restores the skin’s tone and texture in just a single setting. The most common combination of agents in a Medium-depth Chemical Peels is trichloroacetic acid (TCA), for which it is named, plus Jessner’s solution (Dr. Max Jessner’s mix of salicylic acid, lactic acid, and rescorcinol), and glycolic acid.
Because the strength of a peel determines the level of penetration, the nature of destruction, and the inflammatory response, a Medium-depth Chemical Peel causes moderate destruction and offers intermediate results when compared to a Superficial Peel or Vi Peel. Medium-depth Chemical Peels can be applied to the face, neck, and body and are highly effective in smoothing texture, improving superficial discoloration and mild photo-aging, eliminating fine wrinkles, and enhancing vitality of skin. There is moderate downtime associated with Medium-depth Chemical Peels, and they can be applied up to four times per year.
Medium-depth Chemical Peels are ideal for those who want more dramatic results than a Superficial Peel can offer but wish to avoid the risk and recovery time associated with deeper peels.
Unlike deeper-grade peels, Medium-depth Chemical Peels may be performed safely on people with olive and light brown skin; they may also be used on dark brown skin tones, but there is a slight risk of discoloration that should be discussed by your doctor.
A Medium-depth Chemical Peel is an in-office treatment that may require pain management or sedatives at your doctor’s discretion because there may be an intense burning sensation during the application of the peeling agent.
During the treatment the skin is first cleansed and then the solution is evenly applied one area at a time with gauze, small brush, or cotton-tipped applicator. The solution stays on the skin for usually no more than 15 minutes—the burning sensation will last about 5 to 10 minutes—and then the solution is neutralized by applying iced saline with gauze or cotton; this will eliminate any discomfort. Your face will then be covered with an ointment to keep your skin moist and promote healing. Post-operative pain management is not required.
A Medium-depth Chemical Peel takes 15 to 60 minutes for the face; larger body parts will require more time.
After a Medium-depth Chemical Peel treatment, you can expect mild swelling, redness, crusting/scabbing, cracking, flaking, and peeling. Often skin may also turn a darker shade and become stiff before it begins the peeling process. The downtime before your skin is restored can be anywhere from 5 to 10 days depending on how quickly your skin heals.
You will physically be able to return to normal activities immediately following treatment; however, your appearance may dissuade you from wanting to be seen in public. You should be able to comfortably return to the public eye within seven days. You will maintain a flushed appearance that will fade slowly over the course of several weeks post treatment.
Taking caution to properly moisturize skin before and after treatment will dramatically lessen the effects. Your doctor can recommend the appropriate timeframe for makeup application, but usually it can be applied several days after treatment.
Results from a Medium-depth Chemical Peels include improvements in texture and skin tone, reduction in fine wrinkles, age spots, pore size, and dark under-eye circles, and clearer, brighter skin over all. These effects will last for six months to a year, and improvements may persist if you adhere to usual skincare maintenance regiment with treatments like microdermabrasion or superficial chemical peels. It is important to keep in mind that Medium-depth Chemical Peels do not reduce acne scarring or dynamic wrinkles.
For optimal results, Medium-depth Chemical Peels should be repeated every 4 to 6 months.
Only aboard-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who specializes in Medium-depth Chemical Peels should administer this treatment. Board certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), American Society Of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), or the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) ensures that the doctor meets nationally recognized standards for education, knowledge, experience and skills to safely and effectively administer this treatment.
Preparing your skin prior to a Medium-depth Chemical Peels will result in deeper penetration, faster recovery, lower risk of discoloration, and a better result….Ask your doctor how you can help make the most of this treatment well in advance.
In the days that follow your Medium-depth Chemical Peels, use a cool washcloth when washing your face…it’s calming and will prevent irritation.
Disclaimer: As always, this information is provided to you for educational and/or informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an endorsement of any particular product, treatment, or procedure. This information is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about any procedure or treatment, users should always consult their doctor or other qualified health care professional. Please visit our Terms of Service to view our full disclaimers.
Superficial Peels are customized to address minor skin irregularities like discoloration, acne, surface scarring, fine lines, and sun spots.
The Vi Peel is a gentle medical-grade chemical peel for the treatment of various skin conditions including scarring, fine lines, and sun spots.