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Those who struggle with difficult-to-treat or severe skin conditions such as sun damage, advanced signs of ageing, excess pigmentation, acne or scarring, know that this can have an impact both physically and psychologically.
It’s good to know, then, that there are effective and only mildly invasive options available, when a superficial peel won’t do. Deeper medical peels such as Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) peels are indicated in this instance. Plus they are great for general firming and tightening, rejuvenation, skin resurfacing and stimulating healthy collagen and elastin formation.
These peels penetrate deeper into the skin – to the level of the upper dermis, and often produce dramatic and long-lasting improvements. TCA achieves superb results very quickly, but this does increase the risk of more discomfort both during treatment and recovery, with some downtime (visible skin flaking and redness) for up to a week.
When considering a TCA peel, you need to know the following:
- There are many TCA peels available with differing concentrations of acid. Some peels simply destroy the upper layers of the skin, while others penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin to address deeper lying concerns.
- For the very aggressive TCA options, sedation/local anaesthetic may be needed to make the peel more comfortable, but newer technologies minimise discomfort.
- No two chemical peels are alike. We might erroneously assume that the concentration (expressed as a percentage) of a type of peel tells us all we need to know about its strength and qualities, but there’s more to the story, says Medical Director at Lamelle Research Laboratories, Dr Bradley Wagemaker. “The chemicals used, along with the manufacturing processes and standards, as well as the training provided to your therapist on the product, all play a very important part in how effective the peel will be,” he says.
- These peels often require preparation and post-peel care, which you need to strictly comply with. The therapist will give you the guidelines.
- Due to all of these factors, to ensure a successful result and maximum safety, you should only have the more aggressive TCA peels administered by a physician and choose a well-researched, recognised and safe brand.
- Exfoliation treatments make your skin more sun-sensitive. A sunscreen with SPF 50 should be used daily, and sun exposure needs to be avoided.
Pick your peel
Skin Renewal offers different peel options:
Skin Renewal’s 3D Peel is a combination peel made up of three layers. The first layer is a modified Jessners Peel, followed by 10%/15% TCA, followed by a retinol serum.
This peel can be done two to three times a year, during winter and will result in four to seven downtime. It’s recommended for severe sun damage, pigmentation and lines and wrinkles.
The name Obagi is almost synonymous with chemical peels. In their famous Medical Blue Peel, the TCA solution is mixed into the Obagi blue dye solution, which allows the TCA to be released slowly into the skin. The result of this is less irritation as well as a greater control of the TCA penetration and depth reached, making it a very safe option. One peel per year is recommended. Obagi also offers a preparation and maintenance skin care range for lasting results.
Lamelle Retistore Peel is a light superficial chemical peel because it will not “peel” the entire epidermis, yet its effect on basal cell division and activity is similar to a deep chemical peel.
It is positioned for clients reporting poor complexion, texture and hyperpigmentation, as well as skin thinning, reduced skin firmness and fine lines. In essence, Retistore peel falls between the age-prevent and the age-correct client, offering unique effects, taking a revolutionary step in the market of effective professional skin restoration with minimal discomfort, resulting in a post peel result with a significant change in skin smoothness, firmness, glow and texture.
Other deep peel options:
Skinceuticals Pigment Balancing Masque is a customisable, medical-only treatment targeting hyperpigmentation and dramatically improving the uneven appearance of photodamaged, mottled skin.
The masque combines high-performance brightening and anti-inflammatory agents with a peeling acid solution to accelerate cell renewal and diminish uneven skin tone and localised hyperpigmentation.
The result can be a significant improvement in your skin condition, if you adhere to the pre- and post-treatment plan. A series of four to six treatments is recommended.
The very popular Skintech Easy TCA Pain Control Peel from Genop can easily be done without anaesthetic. Skintech regenerates the skin, as opposed to destroying the skin layers. A solution that includes antioxidants is added to the TCA, ensuring a consistent, predictable and safe result with almost zero discomfort. SkinTech’s Post Peel Mask is applied afterwards, significantly reducing destructive inflammation and reduced redness, with almost zero social downtime following the peel. As the new formula is also more potent, fewer treatments are needed to achieve your desired result.
Take the quick Beyond Beauty Survey and you could win a R2000 Skin Renewal voucher to spend in our online store, with free delivery within South Africa. T&Cs apply.