What is a chemical peel?
Chemical peels are used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands. A chemical solution is strategically applied to the skin that causes exfoliation followed by peeling of the top layers of the skin. The new, regenerated skin is smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. Other noticeable effects include improvement in pigmentation, active acne, and fine lines. The new skin is also temporarily more sensitive to the sun but heals perfectly when precautions such as sun protection are taken.
There are three basic types of chemical peels:
- Superficial or lunchtime peel: Alpha-hydroxy acid or another mild acid is used to penetrate only the outer layer of skin to gently exfoliate it. The treatment is used to improve the appearance of mild skin discoloration and rough skin as well as to refresh the face, neck, chest or hands.
- Medium peel: Glycolic or trichloroacetic acid is applied to penetrate the outer and middle layers of skin to remove damaged skin cells. The treatment is used to improve age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, freckles and moderate skin discoloration. It also can be used to smooth enrough skin and treat some precancerous skin growths, i.e. actinic keratoses.
- Deep peel: Trichloroacetic acid or phenol is applied to deeply penetrate the middle layer of skin to remove damaged skin cells. The treatment removes moderate lines, age spots, freckles and shallow scars. Patients will see a dramatic improvement in skin appearance. The procedure is used on the face and generally only can be performed once.
Chemical peels, when used by a professional, are a safe and effective way to improve the look of your skin. Make an appointment with one of our board-certified dermatologists to discuss if a peel is the right option for you!
Uses for Chemical Peels
- Acne scars
- Age spots
- Aging skin
- Crow’s feet
- Sun-damaged skin
- Sagging skin