TCA Peels with Malena Amato MD FACS in Austin, TX
Your skin is constantly refreshing itself as new tissue replaces the old. Chemical peels speed this process, removing roughened, wrinkled, discolored skin from the surface and stimulating the growth of smoother, brighter, more even skin to replace it. At Eyelid & Facial Plastic Surgery Associates in Austin, TX, Dr. Malena Amato uses the TCA (trichloracetic acid) peel to exfoliate and revitalize the skin, restoring a healthy, youthful glow.
Meet Malena Amato MD FACS
Learn more about the Georgetown and Stanford alumna and why you should visit Dr. Amato for your next procedure.
What is a TCA Peel?
The TCA peel is a gentle, versatile update on the traditional chemical peel. The TCA peel contains trichloroacetic acid, a more potent form of the organic acid found in vinegar. Different concentrations of TCA are used for different treatment outcomes. Milder TCA solutions have the benefit of minimal to no downtime for recovery, while stronger solutions produce results more quickly and do require some recovery time. Dr. Amato provides the medical-grade TCA peel in her office with results in one to two treatments.
How does a TCA Peel Work?
Chemical peels work by deeply exfoliating the skin and inducing cellular renewal. Unlike at-home exfoliation, peels do much more than dislodging debris; these treatments gently remove the thin layer of dry, damaged facial skin. This process both dissolves cells that have been marred by discoloration or aging and stimulates the production of new, healthy cells to replace them. As these new cells are produced, the body generates a surge of fresh collagen, which is used to form new cells during healing. This replaces some of the collagen that’s been lost during the aging process, making the skin healthy, full, and supple. Having regular chemical peels can counteract some of the effects of normal aging by maintaining optimal collagen levels.
For younger patients, TCA peels are an excellent way to combat treatment-resistant acne; chronic or cystic acne that hasn’t responded to topical medication can often be minimized by a TCA Peel. Unlike a cream, this treatment can penetrate deep into the skin. TCA kills acne-causing bacteria, cleanses pores and hair follicles, and reduces pore size, making it harder for bacteria to settle in. Repeated peels can also gradually dissolve the thickened bands of collagen in acne scars, making the skin smoother.
HOW WILL A TCA PEEL IMPROVE MY SKIN?
A TCA peel will rejuvenate your skin, giving it a smoother texture and a younger, fresher look. It can also be applied selectively to remove discolored or scarred skin and to treat acne.
TCA peels are used to treat a wide range of skin problems, including:
- Fine lines
- Sun damage
- Areas of rough, leathery skin
- Excessive freckling
- Darkened patches of skin from melasma
- Reddened, rough, or bumpy skin from rosacea
- Broken blood vessels
- Spider veins
- Acne and acne scars
Though most people seek the TCA peel to refresh, smooth, and brighten skin on the face, it can be used on other parts of the body as well, such as the neck, chest, and hands.
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If you are ready to take the next steps, or simply want more information about a procedure, please contact our team! Dr. Amato looks forward to speaking soon.
How Does a TCA Peel Work?
A TCA peel works by dissolving the topmost layer of skin and stimulating the production of new, healthy skin to replace it. Unlike at-home peels, TCA peels do much more than clean the skin and dislodge debris; these treatments gently remove a thin layer of dry, damaged outer skin.
When the outer layer of roughened, wrinkled, discolored skin is removed by the chemical peel, the tissue below it is prompted in a natural healing response to grow new cells. This new growth includes a surge in the production of collagen, a key compound that gives skin vigor and elasticity. As we age, our production of collagen naturally declines, which is one of the reasons our skin begins to loosen and wrinkle as we get older. Chemical peels can reverse that trend, restoring more youthful collagen levels in the skin. Having regular chemical peels can counteract some of the effects of normal aging by maintaining optimal collagen levels.
For younger patients, TCA chemical peels are an excellent way to combat treatment-resistant acne. Chronic or cystic acne that hasn’t responded to topical medication can often be successfully treated by a TCA chemical peel. Unlike a cream, this treatment can penetrate deep into the skin. TCA kills acne-causing bacteria, cleanses pores and hair follicles, and reduces pore size, making it harder for bacteria to settle in. Repeated peels can also gradually dissolve the thickened tissue in acne scars, making the skin smoother and more even.
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What can I expect during a TCA Peel?
TCA peels are done in our medical spa as outpatient procedures. Before the treatment, Dr. Amato will clean your face. Depending on the treatment, she might also cover your eyes and protect your hair. She will then use gauze or a cotton-tipped applicator to apply the chemical solution to your face.
The concentration of the solution will be adjusted based on the treatment planned. Mild peels use a weaker solution and don’t remove as much of the outer skin. Moderate peels use a stronger solution to provide a deeper treatment. Mild peels typically involve little discomfort. For a moderate peel, Dr. Amato might offer you a sedative or painkiller.
As the TCA solution is applied, your skin will begin to whiten. In a mild treatment, Dr. Amato will apply a neutralizing solution or wash the solution from your skin. In a moderate treatment, she will apply cool compresses.
You might feel a mild stinging sensation while a mild peel treatment is on your skin. You might feel a stinging or burning sensation for up to 20 minutes in a moderate peel treatment.
What can I expect After a TCA Peel?
Recovering from a TCA peel can take as little as 48 hours for mild treatments or up to seven days for stronger treatments.
After a mild TCA peel, your skin will look brighter right away. Your skin may have a pink flush at first, but this will soon disappear. In the days and weeks after your treatment, you’ll gradually see its full effects: reduced wrinkles, smoother texture, and a healthy, even skin tone. The effects will be subtle with a mild peel, and you may choose to repeat the procedure for more comprehensive results.
After a moderate TCA peel, you can expect some mild redness and irritation for a few days, and your skin to gradually begin to flake as it heals. Most patients liken this process to healing after a sunburn. As the old skin peels away, a layer of incredibly soft, smooth skin is slowly revealed. You’ll see a dramatic reduction in lines and wrinkles and a remarkable change in the texture and color of your skin.
After your TCA peel, your skin will be susceptible to UV damage for a few weeks. You should, therefore, stay indoors as much as possible and use both a high-SPF sunscreen and a hat to protect your face when you go outside. You should also avoid the use of cosmetics, acne creams, and other topical medications for at least two weeks after your peel. Dr. Amato will provide you with specialized creams to use while you recover; these will keep your skin moist and prevent discomfort.
Dr. Amato will want to see you for follow-up visits, both to monitor your progress and to answer any questions you may have.
Arrange a TCA Peel in Austin, Texas
Brighter and more youthful skin is a universal beauty goal. The TCA peel provides a safe, gentle, and flexible way to refresh your skin and achieve that sought-after glow. This treatment can be used on its own, or it can be applied after surgery as a complementary procedure. To learn more about the TCA peel and how it can help you, contact Dr. Amato at Eyelid & Facial Plastic Surgery Associates online or by phone to arrange your free consultation.