What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is the application of an acid solution to the skin for the purpose of dissolving your skin's topmost layers of dead skin cells. Dermatologists have been using peeling agents for more than 50 years for skin rejuvenation.

What can a chemical peel do for my skin?

Chemical peels can correct sun damage, flatten mild scarring, diminish wrinkles, and improve irregular pigmentation. They can also shed outer dead cell layers thereby improving clogged pores and acne

What can a Chemical Peel not DO? 

Chemical Peels cannot change pore size, improve lax skin, improve deep scarring, remove hyper- pigmentation in dark-skinned individuals, and remove broken blood vessels on the face.

What types of peels do we offer?

The types of chemical peels differ based on how deeply the chemical penetrates and what type of chemical solution is used. Factors that may affect the peel include the concentration of the peeling agent, the number of coats that are applied, and the amount of time allowed before the peel is neutralized. Deeper peels result in more dramatic effects as well as higher risks and longer healing time.

  • Superficial peels are the mildest type of chemical peel and can be used on all skin types. Superficial peels usually use a liquid containing a mild acid, most often glycolic acid or salicylic acid. Typically a series of 4-6 superficial peels are performed every 3-4 weeks. These are called “lunch time” peels because of the quick recovery. Patients can usually return to work the next day with only a mild sunburn-like look, which is followed by fine scaling that lasts 3-5 days.

  • Medium peels penetrate the skin more deeply then superficial peels. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is the main peeling agent used for medium peels, though the peel may also be done in several steps using a different chemical solution followed by TCA. Patients usually have redness, swelling, scaling and crusting that lasts 1-2 weeks, though makeup can be used after the first week.

How are chemical peels performed?

Prior to the chemical peel, the skin in cleansed with an agent that removes excess oils. The chemical peeling agent is applied to the skin, which produces a controlled wound. Most patients will experience a warm to hot sensation that lasts 5-10 minutes. Cool compresses may be applied after the peel is complete to relieve the stinging.

what are possible side effects?

People with certain skin types have a risk of pigmentation problems; this can be reduced by avoiding the sun. Skin infection and reactivation of cold sores can rarely occur; you may be prescribed antibiotics or antiviral medication to reduce these risks depending on the depth of the chemical peel. Prolonged redness may also occur after a deeper peel. Although very low, there is a risk of scarring after a chemical peel. If scarring does occur, it can usually be treated with good results.

WHat to expect after a medium-depth tca peel:

You will feel a warm, sunburned sensation the day of the procedure followed by swelling and possibly scabbing for up to 48 hours. As your skin continues it will look dry and red after 3-4 days. Healing may take a full week.

THings to avoid after your peel

Avoid direct sunlight. No tanning beds. Avoid spray tans.