Chemical Peels (Facial Peels)

Chemical peels are primarily applied to the face or hands. These peels rid the skin of most fine lines, and remove or lighten age-spots or discoloration. Dr. McAvoy believes that chemical peels are better than laser-peels in that they produce a better result in many patients, they are less expensive, and result in shorter periods of skin redness.

The favorite of our patients is the TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peel, a deep peel now refined into a mask-technique to ensure that uniform concentrations of peel are achieved.

Before applying TCA peeling, the face is prepared with a two-week course of RenovaTM and a hydroquinone bleaching cream. These are stopped 48 hours before the peel. Oral anti-viral ZoviraxTM is started the day of the peel.

Dr. McAvoy has a Certified in-office surgical-suite where peels are applied in complete privacy.


  • Peeling of the skin starts about 4 days after the peel.
  • Pink skin capable of coverage with make-up usually appears by the seventh or eighth day.
  • Sun must be avoided during the healing period and for the first month after the peel. Sunblock of at least 15 SPF should be used for two months after the peel to protect the new skin. It is a good idea to continue to use sunblock thereafter to protect your skin from premature aging.
  • Your regular skin maintenance program can start two weeks after the procedure.
  • Cost is approximately $600-$1200 and includes one “touchup” session” appropriate in about 1 in 20 patients.

Clinical Studies

Patients willing to participate in clinical studies may sometimes qualify for reduced fees if they meet the requirements of the study, including publishing before-and-after photos.

How is the peel performed?

TCA peels are performed as an outpatient in the doctor’s office. A solution containing TCA is applied to your skin. This is usually associated with 2-3 minutes of a burning and stinging sensation. This burning is so brief that most patients choose not to use any sedation or anesthesia.

What happens to my skin during a TCA peel?

When TCA is applied to the skin, it causes the top layers of cells to dry up and peel off over a period of several days. When the old skin has peeled off, it exposes a new layer of undamaged skin which has a smoother texture and more even color.

How much time will I miss from work?

Most people take 5-7 days to heal from an average TCA peel. During the healing process there is no pain, but the skin looks as if it has had a severe sunburn. Therefore, most patients choose to stay inside during this healing time. However, if you are not too self-conscious about your appearance you may be able to work during part of your peel.

How soon can I resume my normal outdoor activities?

Anyone who has had a TCA peel is more sensitive to sunlight for at least 6-8 weeks after their peel. During this time it is very important to protect the new skin with sunscreens, hats and the avoidance of strong sunlight. However, most people are anxious to protect their new improved skin from the damage of sun exposure and they continue to wear sunscreen daily, even after they have healed completely.

Are There restrictions on who can have a TCA peel?

As with any procedure not everyone is a candidate for the TCA peel. Unlike other peels, those done with TCA usually do not permanently lighten the skin. Therefore they can be performed on patients with darker skin types including Hispanics, Orientals and Blacks.

Can TCA peels be performed on other areas of the body besides the face?

Most people have similar aging and sun damage changes on the neck, chest and hands as are present on the face. Fortunately, TCA peels can be performed successfully on these other non-facial areas as well.

Some Typical Results Of Dr. McAvoy’s Chemical Peels:




Pre Peel (Post Blepharoplasty)

4 weeks post peel