Laser vs Peel – What’s the best treatment for you?
What’s better? A laser treatment or an intensive TCA peel? It’s a question we hear from our clients all the time.
The truth is that there’s no quick, simple answer for everyone. Generally speaking neither is better or worse than the other, as they are different treatments altogether.
However, there is a chance that one is better suited to a particular individual than the other. If you’re trying to make this decision, there are some standard questions that we will ask to help you choose.
What are the skin concerns you are trying to solve?
How much downtime are you prepared to have? What are the results you are trying to achieve? We always talk through the different options on an individual basis, but in the meantime here are some quick facts about TCA peels and laser treatment to help you get a better understanding of each.
TCA Peel: What You Need To Know
- Prepare For 7-10 Days of Downtime
Having an intensive peel requires 7-10 days of downtime (we are talking proper downtime – you won’t want to be seen!) The skin will be red and swollen for 48 hours before peeling off, and there is no chance of it being covered up. You’ll need to make sure you can fit this into your treatment plan. For best results, it is recommended to do 2 or 3 treatments.
- The Thicker The Skin, The Better
While thick skin requires more preparation prior to treatment, TCA is a medium-depth peel that isn’t ideal for people who have sensitive skin.
- It’s Recommended For Precancerous Lesions
TCA is recommended for people who present with precancerous lesions, such as seborrhoeic keratosis and solar lentigos.
- It Suits Surgical Patients
We often perform TCA peels in conjunction with surgery. This is an ideal time to have a peel, because the anaesthetic from surgery will mean there is no associated discomfort with the treatment. You’ll also already be going home to a recovery period so, two birds with one stone.
- Peels Aren’t For Sun-Lovers
A TCA peel requires total avoidance of the sun following treatment, which is why it’s usually carried out in the cooler months. If you have a tropical holiday planned for the near future, it’s best to postpone the treatment. And if your work or lifestyle makes you unable to make this commitment, this isn’t the best option for you.
- Not For The Faint-Hearted
TCA peels are an intensive rejuvenating treatment option. If you’re up for that to achieve the results you want, this won’t be a problem.
- Suitable For Lighter, Caucasian Skin
While it is possible for people with darker skin tones to have a successful TCA peel, there is an increased risk of scarring and post-peel dyschromia (an alteration of skin colour).
Laser Treatment: What You Need To Know
- Increased Chance of Multiple Sessions
The number of sessions for any treatment choice is always dependent on the condition and desired outcome, but laser is much more likely than TCA to require a course of treatments over multiple sessions.
- More Manageable Downtime
Full recovery from laser is the same as a TCA peel, taking 7-10 days overall. However, following laser, people will generally experience 48 hours of redness, heat and tingling (similar to sunburn). Around day 3-5 the skin can be a little darker, dry and itchy, but this can usually be covered with mineral make-up. This makes laser treatment a bit more “user friendly” than a TCA peel.
- There’s Some Heat To Handle
Different clients report different levels of discomfort with each type of treatment, depending on what they find more tolerable. While TCA peel tends to give more discomfort during the treatment, laser can feel hot during the treatment and for a few days after.
- Laser Gives More Lift
Laser provides more skin tightening than a TCA peel, so it’s recommended if your desired results include getting more lift.
- It’s Melasma Friendly
Laser is suitable for clients presenting with melasma, whereas TCA peels are not advised if you have this skin condition.
- Suitable for Asian and darker skin tones
Laser treatments have the ability to alter wavelength and pulse duration, which creates a cold ablation with significant thermal side effects. This makes laser treatment more suitable than TCA peels for clients with darker skin.
As you can see, it’s not really a case of one treatment vs the other. Depending on the patient’s concern, options can often even involve a combination approach of both laser and peel plus skincare and injectables. We aim to develop comprehensive customized treatment plans to address your skins concerns that are realistic, safe and deliver optimum results.
Got more questions?We believe in the power of knowledge at Body Recon. Our goal is to give you all the information you need in order to make an educated decision about the best treatment for you. If you’re interested in learning more, book a free consultation with us here or by calling (03)5221 1747 and we’ll give you our expert advice.
Interested in learning more? Book a consultation today.