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TCA Chemical Peels

Cutis Dermatology is one of Brisbane’s leading chemical peel centers, specializing in AHA peels, salicylic peels, Vitamin A peels, lactic acid peels and Dr Davin Lim’s favourite – the TCA peel. TCA peels, including the more powerful Jessner TCA can markedly improve skin quality, erase sun damage, pigmentation and wrinkles. This peel can also improve skin laxity by contracting collagen. Only one session is required. Epic results, with epic downtime. 

Key Points

  • TCA peels are classed as medium to deep peels
  • Jessner TCA peels enhance penetration into the deeper layers of skin
  • This peel can markedly improve skin aging by well over a decade
  • Collagen contraction can improve laxity
  • Jessner TCA can erase smoker’s lines and eye wrinkles
  • Downtime is typically longer than a week
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TCA Chemical Peels at a glance

For: Pigmentation, wrinkles, skin tightening
Procedure time:  90 minutes
Duration of results: >10 years
Best outcomes: 1 session
Recovery: 8-11 days
Anaesthetic: Blocks, sedation
Your specialist: Dermatologist
How much: $$$

Our results speak for themselves



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        What can TCA chemical peels do for my skin?

        TCA peels are the peel of choice for treating:



        • Deep wrinkles on the upper lip, cheeks and around the eyes
        • Sun damage including solar keratosis and age spots
        • Dull skin
        • Skin laxity
        • Enlarged pores, acne scars
        • Improve clarity and reduce pigmentation

        When will I see results?

        Results can be seen at day 5 when new skin starts to grow back. By day 8 post peel there is a significant change and this continues to improve up to 6 months post peel. 


        The first result you will see is a marked reduction of pigmentation.

        Skin tightening and collagen takes 3-6 months for optimal results.

        How long do the results last?

        A deep Jessner TCA peel will give results that last well over a decade, especially if fractional CO2 is performed at the same time.


        To increase the longevity of your results, simple low downtime rejuvenation lasers can be conducted annually. 

        Which is better - laser resurfacing or deep peels?

        It’s hard to say, much like asking what is better- a filleting knife or a steak knife? It really depends on the job. Dermatologists are skilled in both deep peeling and fully ablative laser resurfacing.

        Deep peels including laser assisted Jessner TCA and phenol peels generate more collagen than CO2 laser resurfacing. The downside is that recovery time exceeds 12 days. Be guided by your dermatologist as to what is the correct procedure for you.

        How do I know if peeling is the best option for my skin?

        Our experienced nurses at Cutis Dermatology can guide you through the best skin rejuvenation procedures. We have over a dozen types of peels and over 35 lasers and energy devices, hence will prescribe a bespoke rejuvenation program based upon your goals

        Why do we add Jessner prior to TCA?

        Jessner potentiates the TCA. This increases the depth of penetration and amplifies the results. Jessner contains salicylic acid, lactic acid and resorcinol.

        We tailor the number of coats according to the patient. More coats equate to a deeper peel. The deeper the peel, the better the result, however downtime will also increase. 


        Medik8 Physical Sunscreen SPF50+

        Dermaceutic All Things Pigment 21 Day Kit

         TCA peels, including the more powerful Jessner TCA can markedly improve skin quality, erase sun damage, pigmentation and wrinkles.

        What are other common variations to this peel?

        Dermatologists may also elect to use retinoic acid prior to the peel. This prep can keep TCA more superficial and limits the downtime. 


        Where called for, we also use fractional lasers during the peel. This is especially useful to treat ultra-deep wrinkles involving the upper lip and jowls.

        As a guide:



        • TCA only: 4-5 day recovery 
        • Jessner TCA: 8 day recovery
        • Retinoic acid TCA: 5-6 day recovery

        Jessner TCA + Laser: 8-9 day recovery

        Are TCA peels painful?

        Yes, therefore medium depth peels are done under conscious sedation. This entails nerve block, a strong painkiller by injection and some sedation. With all these measures, TCA peeling is comfortable. 

        Post peel, there is no pain, just epic swelling for 72 hours.

        How long does it take to heal from Jessner TCA peels?

        This peel removes the entire surface of the skin, right down to the middle layer. It’s a seriously excellent peel, with excellent results. The downside?



        • 4 days of swelling
        • 8-9 days to heal up
        • 4-6 weeks of redness
        • Best results 9-15 weeks post peel 

        Who is not suitable for Jessner TCA peeling?

        This peel is not for you if you have:



        • Dark skin. This includes Asian/mixed, Middle Eastern, African.
        • Rosacea. This peel will make it worse.
        • Short downtime. It takes over a week to heal up.
        • Lots of UV exposure. In this group of patients, post peel pigmentation is high. 
        • Smokers. This markedly increases healing time and reduces collagen production. 


        Our specialist team will devise a safe and effective skin rejuvenation program if you are not suitable for Jessner TCA peels. 

        What are the side effects of AHA peels?

        Performed by dermatologists, TCA peels are safe. Side effects though rare, include:


        • Post peel redness-seen in 10% of cases, easily treated with vascular lasers. 
        • Post peel pigmentation – seen in 5% of cases, treated with pico lasers.
        • Scarring – very rare <1%
        • Infection – reduced with antibacterial and antivirals given on the day of the peel. 
        • Delayed healing, blotchy skin- 3-5% of cases, treated with appropriate skin care.


        TCA peels should not be performed on inflammatory rosacea or sensitive skin. There are far better options. 

        How much does it cost?

        Jessner TCA peel is conducted by our specialist dermatologists in an operating theatre under partial sedation. Cost ranges from $2990 and goes up to $4990 if laser is used with peeling. 


        As a guide, fractional lasers range in price from $990 to $2290. In many cases fractional lasers can give up to 80% of the results of deep peels, at a fraction of the costs. 

        The medical team at Cutis Dermatology can formulate a bespoke chemical peel treatment plan based on your skin type, concerns and clinical examination. Book a FREE consultation at our Brisbane clinics by calling (07) 3088 6985 or use the contact us page. *T&C applies

        What should you consider before undertaking TCA chemical peels?

        TCA peels are only one of many skin rejuvenation techniques performed by dermatologists at Cutis. We match a patient to a treatment and not the other way around. Things to consider:



        1. Are medium to deep peels right for your skin type? Fair skin patients are candidates, if you have ethnic or mixed skin, Jessner TCA peels are not for you.



        1. Clinical findings. Medium to deep peels are an over serviced treatment if you have mild sun damage and wrinkles. Simple lasers can give you an equal outcome with less downtime and costs. 



        1. Downtime- its significant. Swelling will last 4 days, peeling for up to 8. Redness for up to 4 weeks in some. The deeper the peel, the longer it takes to recover. 



        1. Costs. As this peel is conducted by our specialist dermatologists, TCA peels start at $2990 and go up to $4990 if laser is used with peeling. 


        Fractional lasers range in price from $990 to $2290. 


        Ask us more about this treatment

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