• TCA peels are cosmetic treatments that use trichloroacetic acid (TCA) to improve your skin’s appearance.
  • The peels come in a variety of strengths or concentrations of acid.
  • A TCA peel works by removing dead skin cells and stimulating new skin cell growth.
  • People use TCA peels to try to get younger looking skin, and to treat certain skin conditions, like melasma and acne scarring.


  • Nearly 130,000 chemical peels were performed by dermatologists in 2018, many using TCA.
  • The TCA peel application process sometimes causes temporary side effects such as burning and discomfort.
  • After a chemical peel, you may experience redness and skin sensitivity. In rare cases, there is a risk of scarring and infection from a TCA peel.
  • Finding a licensed and certified health practitioner to perform the TCA peel will lower your risks of negative side effects.


  • The peel itself typically takes about 30 minutes to apply.
  • You can resume your regular activities after the peel has been applied, but protecting your skin from the sun is essential as you heal.
  • This procedure is available through dermatologists trained in the procedure.


  • TCA peels aren’t typically covered by insurance.
  • The average cost of a full-face TCA chemical peel is $693. This cost varies according to your region and provider.


  • TCA peel results vary according to the results you expect and the reason you’re using the peels.
  • Studies show that peels containing TCA have been found to be effective for the treatment of acne and melasma,
What is a TCA peel?

A TCA peel is a noninvasive skin treatment used to treat skin discolorations, scarring, and wrinkles. These peels get their name from trichloroacetic acid (TCA), which is used to clear away dead skin cells to reveal the newer and smoother skin layers below.

TCA peels are part of the group of skin treatments called chemical peels, which are used to exfoliate your skin by using different strengths and combinations of nontoxic acid ingredients.