Living in beautiful, sunny San Diego, we all have sun damage. Well, maybe not that odd neighbor who you suspect of being a vampire, but the rest of us for sure! Dr. Kearney uses trichloracetic acid to peel away some this sun damaged skin, along with fine lines and wrinkles, and brown spots. While using acid on your face sounds drastic, it’s not, and the results are very pleasing.
Speeding up exfoliation
Our skin naturally sheds its outer layer on a regular basis. We’re not as dramatic as a snake shedding its entire skin, but the process is ongoing. The problem is, this shedding slows as we age. Chemical peels are an effective way to give the natural processes a little help.
Origins of peeling agents
Most chemical peeling agents have natural origins. The hydroxy acids used in light peels all come from food: tartaric acid from grapes, malic acid from apples, glycolic acid from sugar cane, and lactic acid from sour milk.
Dr. Kearney prefers to use a stronger peeling agent to remove sun damage and lines — trichloracetic acid (TCA). This acid is a modified synthetic chemical that is based in common vinegar and acetic acid.
How TCA works
TCA is considered a kerato- coagulant, meaning it coagulates the skin’s proteins together. On the skin, once the keratin proteins are coagulated, this will show as a slight “frosting” on the skin. This frosting is the sign that the TCA has done its job and is no longer active. This is the time to clean off the peeling agent and calm the skin. The goal is to create controlled inflammation, just enough to trigger the skin to shed its surface layer of cells.
At Dr. Kearney’s, our 40% TCA peel is performed in our office, and you return home afterward. You’ll feel a mild burning or tingling sensation as we apply the solution to your skin. We minimize these feelings through the use of a fan. Immediately after your treatment, your skin will appear red, and you may have some mild swelling. You should take it easy for a couple of days
Your sun damage spots will darken and rise to the surface of the skin; then your skin will begin to peel 2-3 days after your session. This peeling is not severe but will last up to eight days. Your skin will be somewhat pinker for the next few weeks, but this can be easily masked with makeup. As your skin calms down, you’ll see a dramatic lessening of the spots and fine wrinkles that have come from your sun exposure.