March 5, 2021

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Truth Talk: Should You Get A TCA Peel?

5 min read

Social Media image TCA Peel

Tanya Foster post TCA Peel

This has been one of the most anticipated blog posts – my TCA Peel journey. Today I will detail what it’s like to get one, recover and lay low for a solid week and get glowing skin afterward. Was it worth it? You’ll have to see for yourself. WARNING: There are graphic pictures in this blog post. By the way, this post is in no way sponsored. Here comes the truth and nothing but the truth…

WOW! I know my followers are REALLY with me when my daily views on Instagram Stories skyrockets to all-time high numbers! I had a medical grade TCA Peel on December 23 with board certified dermatologist Dr. Lori Stetler at Dallas Center for Dermatology and Aesthetics and you would have thought that I was the new star of a reality TV show. For some reason, I decided to document my daily healing process on Instagram Stories. I had no obligation to do so as I paid for this procedure. Maybe I was bored in that time vortex known as the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Regardless, over the past 7 years of blogging and influencing, you all have always told me how much you appreciate my honest approach.

What is a TCA Peel?

Trichloroacetic acid is used for medium depth chemical peels. This acid can go much deeper into the skin, removing a portion of the dermis. Trichloroacetic acid is very useful for the treatment and correction of sun damage. It may be used to remove skin freckling and other pigmentation irregularities, as well as pre-cancerous changes in the skin. Some improvement with fine lines and scars is noted with these peels. Immediately after this peel, the skin is pink to red in color and feels very tight (like a severe sunburn). Because of the depth of this peel, a recovery period is needed. Peeling of the skin begins in 2 to 3 days and may last for as long as 7 to 10 days.

Now that you know what a TCA PEEL is, let’s talk why I chose this procedure. I had it done on my face, neck and chest to help remove sun damage, fine lines and jump start that collagen production. As you might know, I had a skin cancer removed from my forehead several years ago so the added benefit of this peel removing pre-cancerous cells was the icing on the cake!

I’ve had many aesthetic procedures over the years and lots of them can be found HERE. Many of my followers inquired why I did a TCA Peel over fraxel or other laser procedures. The answer is because I consulted with my dermatologist and we agreed that the outcome would be the best with a TCA Peel. Let me also go ahead and say that I would NEVER have this procedure done anywhere else. Dr. Stetler has been my dermatologist for 25 years and knows my skin well. After all, we’re talking about acid and taking off two layers of skin with a controlled burn.

This is not for the faint of heart. Does it hurt? It’s not the best feeling in the world when you are having it done. It gets hot as she applies the solution. Once the solution has been applied, Dr. Stetler applied cold compresses to ease the heat and pain. I was also holing a hand-held fan to blow cool air on the areas treated. She applied 30% solution to my face and 25% solution to my neck and chest (thinner skin). Once your skin “frosts” she knows that the solution has completed its job. The entire appointment takes about an hour. You will leave with aftercare instructions and start to get a little pink on the day of the procedure. I wasn’t in pain when I left. In fact, we went out with our neighbors that evening to see the holiday lights at the Dallas Zoo. Click HERE to see a video of the procedure being done on their Instagram page. The pictures below are from that day.

The most crucial part of the TCA Peel is the downtime and after-care. I’ve documented the daily progress of the peel below and let me just say, I thought I was going to die on Day 5. The chest is the most painful part of the recovery. I felt and looked like a zombie. It tool me a solid week to recover and be able to appear in public. You CAN NOT get in the sun and believe me, you don’t want anyone to see you. That’s why I chose the last week of December. We had no plans and weren’t going anywhere. Our immediate family were the only ones coming over to our house for Christmas and they are used to me having everything in the world done. #BloggerLife

Dr. Stetler reminded me to stay on Advil to help with the swelling and called in a topical ointment and lotion (Triamcinolone Acetonide) to help with the raw skin and healing. This helps with the swelling, itching and redness during healing. I also used Cetaphil cleanser and Aquaphor.  DO NOT pick the skin off! You will cause scaring and that is the last thing you want. I found that sitting in a warm bathtub (treated areas out of water) or lounging in a warm shower was really soothing. You can’t apply anything to the treated skin except for a gentle cleanser and the prescription topicals. It’s probably the only time I’ve been make-up free and product free for 7 days!

The result? Beautiful, glowing skin! The picture above was taken on January 5, two weeks after my procedure. My face had completely healed but my neck and chest were still red which is why I’m in a turtleneck sweater. If you want to watch the daily check-in on my Instagram Stories click HERE. I suggest a solid week of downtime if you schedule this procedure.

I went in for a followup appointment two weeks after the procedure and Dr. Stetler explained that pink skin is good. That means it’s healing and collagen is being produced. YAY! On February 3, I had another follow-up appointment and we took my ‘After’ pictures. She told me that the results will get even better as my skin will continue to heal. YIPPEE!

Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! This is the best bang for your buck as far as results go. It’s priced out by area and I did three areas. Pricing varies depending on what you need. I highly recommend it. I’ll be happy to answer any questions. Just leave them in the comments below.

xoxo – Tanya

P.S. The outfit I’m wearing can be found in this blog post.

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TCA Peel Procedure | December 23

Dr. Stetler with TCA Peel

TCA Peel ingredients

Face Application - TCA Peel with Dr. Lori Stetler

Frosting after TCA Peel application

Neck - TCA Peel

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The Healing Process | 7 days

Procedure and healing progression - TCA Peel

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Before / After Pictures

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The Amazing Results of a TCA PEEL

photo: Audrie Dollins

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