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Chemical Peel
(TCA Peel)

Chemical peel procedures use a chemical solution to remove damaged outer layers of skin and reveal the smoother, clearer skin beneath.

Fine lines, uneven pigmentation, blemishes and other problems can make us look older than we are. Chemical peel addresses these problems by removing the outer layer of skin and revealing the younger-looking skin below.

Chemical peels may be done with trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or alphahydroxy acids (AHAs). The precise formula used is tailored to your individual needs.

  • Alphahydroxy acids, including glycolic, lactic and fruit acid, produce light peels and may be used to treat fine wrinkles, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne. They improve the texture of the skin and, because they are mild, do not require a period of recovery after their use. To provide the best results, customized concentrations of AHA are applied at weekly (or sometimes longer) intervals. Alphahydroxy acids can also be combined with a facial wash or cream and used daily to improve skin texture.
  • Trichloroacetic acid peels are stronger and produce a medium-depth peel. They may cause swelling, and a crust or scab forms on the treated area. Recovery from a TCA peel typically takes a week to ten days.

In addition to improving skin appearance and texture, chemical peels may also remove pre-cancerous skin growth, soften acne scars and control acne. In some cases, health insurance will cover the procedure.

Download chemical peels brochure in PDF format

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Chemical peel consultation

Chemical peels are often performed in conjunction with a face lift to deal with fine lines and wrinkles not addressed by the surgical procedure. They are not, however, a substitute for surgery and, while they make skin look fresher and younger, they do not slow the aging process.

During your consultation, your surgeon will ask about your health history and any previous skin treatments you have had. He will also discuss the various kinds of peels available and whether you will be able to take time out of work to recover from your procedure.

  • Based on your skin type and your desires, he will make a decision about which kind of peel is appropriate and what concentration of the chemical is right for you.
  • Regardless of the type of peel chosen, your surgeon will advise you to protect your skin from the sun after your peel and recommend a sun block with adequate UVA and UVB protection.

What to expect from chemical peel procedure

A chemical peel takes just ten to fifteen minutes and does not require anaesthesia or a hospital stay.

  • After an AHA peel, your skin may sting and be somewhat red and irritated. These symptoms should subside as your skin adjusts to treatment.
  • After a TCA peel, in the effort to look after your skin would involve using light application of moisturising cream and possibly an antibiotic cream until the crusts off.

Recovering after chemical peel procedure

With an AHA peel, any redness, soreness, dryness or flaking will not be severe enough to keep you from working and engaging in your usual activities. As you continue treatment, your skin will begin to look fresher and brighter and its texture will improve.

A TCA peel, because it is deeper, requires a longer period of recovery. During this time there are a number of things you should expect:

  • A crust or scab will form on the treated area. Your surgeon will advise you on how to care for your face to help it heal properly.
  • You may experience significant swelling of the area, depending on how strong your peel was.
  • Your face may throb or tingle and surgeon may prescribe a mild pain medication to make you more comfortable.
  • Any swelling and discomfort should subside in a few days. After a week to ten days, your new, fresher looking skin should be apparent and you should be sufficiently healed to resume most of your usual activities.
  • After about two weeks, you may return to work. At this time you may also begin using makeup again.
  • TCA peels do not bleach the skin; however they may produce some unintended color changes in the skin. It is very important to avoid sun exposure for several months after your treatment to protect the newly formed layers of skin.
  • If you suffer from herpes, please bring this to the attention of your surgeon as a herpes attack in the time after your surgery can lead to scarring. Preventive medication will avoid this risk.

Summary

Anaesthesia
Local anaesthesia

Hospital stay
Day case

Patient testimonials

"Though even with the swelling, my nose is still smaller, and I can see the improvement. It's softer and slightly shorter, and suits my face better I feel."

More testimonials

Your choice

Is cosmetic surgery right for you? As a practice dedicated exclusively to cosmetic surgery and headed by a highly experienced surgeon, we have the expertise and understanding to help you answer that question wisely.

This web site is intended to be a helpful starting point. You'll find answers to frequently asked questions, descriptions of the various procedures offered, information about the consulting surgeon who directs the practice and more. If you have additional questions, please fill in the Contact Form to arrange a private consultation with Mr Lucian Ion.

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Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Ltd and Mr Lucian Ion, FRCS (plast) have provided this cosmetic surgery website for informational purposes only. It is not intended for medical advice. For more information about cosmetic surgery in London, please contact Mr Lucian Ion for a cosmetic surgery consultation at our practice located in London, 129 Harley Street.