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A Guide to At-Home TCA Facial Peels

TCA peels are some of the most effective chemical peels available. These peels are stronger than glycolic peels, and the depth at which they peel will depend on the time left on before you neutralize.
Trichloroacetic acid peels can be used on the face, neck, arms and legs; these peels are capable of treating a variety of skin conditions ranging from mild to severe.


Acne results from clogged hair follicles, when oil and dead skin cells become trapped under the skin. Acne can manifest in a range of ways, but is most commonly seen in the form of pimples, blackheads and whiteheads. Acne is most obvious on the face, however, it commonly also occurs on the chest, back and shoulders.
Although it is often seen throughout the teen years due to excess hormone production, acne can affect anyone at any age. Contributing factors are excess oil production, clogged hair follicles and bacteria. Together, these elements create an ideal environment for acne outbreaks. TCA peels dissolve dirt, exfoliate and reduce oil production.

Fine Lines

Fine lines are a natural part of aging, however, more often than not, we'd rather avoid seeing the evidence of our advancing years written across our faces in this way.
Fine lines result from sun damage and decreased collagen production, but genetics also play some role. TCA peels help increase cell turnover, reveal a brighter complexion and plump up skin. This greatly reduces the appearance of lines.


Melasma is commonly seen on the forehead and cheeks, taking on the form of brown or grayish-brown patches. This discoloration is caused by sun exposure as well as hormonal changes from pregnancy or birth control pills, and affects mainly women.
Some women experience melasma only as part of their pregnancy or while taking contraceptive pills, while others are affected by even mild, irregular sun exposure. Since melasma is a topical condition, a chemical peel can greatly reduce and eliminate the appearance of dark areas associated with melasma.


Rosacea is a condition that manifest in chronic facial inflammation. This condition will worsen over time if it is left untreated. Risk factors for rosacea include fair skin tone, extreme flushing/blushing, excess H. pylori bacteria in the gut, excess demodex folliculorum mites on the skin and genetics. A mild TCA peel can reduce the appearance of skin discolorations or blotchy skin.


Milia are sometimes referred to as whiteheads, however, these tiny bumps are not acne pimples; rather, they are very small cysts. Milia bumps consist of a hardened plug of dead skin cells, and can oftentimes be combated with regular exfoliation. Milia are similar to keratosis pilaris, however, whereas keratosis pilaris can be forced out through a pore opening, milia cannot. That's because these small cysts live under the skin's surface, not in your pores.
Many cases of milia will resolve on their own within a few weeks, however, stubborn instances can be treated with a TCA peel to remove the outermost layer of skin.

Age Spots

Age spots are the direct result of sun exposure, appearing commonly on the face, arms and chest. Spots like these can make you look and feel older than you actually are. Reducing these unsightly blemishes, also commonly referred to as liver spots, can be achieved with a medium-level chemical peel designed to remove the outer layers of the skin. This will reveal smoother and newer skin cells underneath.

Shallow Scarring

We all have scars. Shallow scarring from small cuts or superficial burns are a common occurrence, however, when scarring affects the face, the resulting feelings can be emotionally devastating.
Medium-level peels significantly improve the appearance of acne scars, and the TCA peel is one of the best peels for acne scars. As new skin replaces old skin, the overall appearance of any superficial scar will be much smoother and less obvious.