Chemical Peels

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands. A chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. The new skin is also temporarily more sensitive to the sun. 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 out 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 rough skin and treat some precancerous skin growths, i.e. actinic keratosis.
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 only can be performed once.

-Chemical Peels and Microdermabrasion for Skin of Color (PDF)

acne scaring

Chemical peels improve the appearance of acne scars by using a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of old skin. The new skin that replaces it is usually smoother and less scarred in appearance.

Age spots

Chemical peels improve the appearance of age spots by using a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of old skin. The new skin that replaces it is usually smoother and less wrinkled in appearance.

Aging skin

Chemical peels improve the appearance of aging skin by using a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of old skin. The new skin that replaces it is usually smoother and less wrinkled in appearance. During the procedure, patients may experience a burning sensation lasting five to 10 minutes. Cold compresses may be applied to lessen the pain. Pain medication may be required for deeper peels

Crow’s feet

Chemical peels improve the appearance of crow’s feet by using a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of old skin. The new skin that replaces it is usually smoother and less wrinkled in appearance.

Hyperpigmentation

Many patients may begin to notice the presence of tan to brown to gray patches on their skin, which are often worsened with sun exposure. This condition is called hyperpigmentation and affects both men and women. It can occur in all skin colors, but is typically more common in patients with darker skin tones.

Melasma

Many patients may begin to notice the presence of tan to brown to gray patches symmetrically distributed on the cheeks, upper lip, and forehead, which are worsened with sun exposure. This condition is called melasma, and it occurs most commonly in women, but men can be affected in 5-10 % of cases. Many patients also have family members with a history of melasma.

Scars

Chemical peels improve the appearance of mild scarring by using a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of old skin. The new skin that replaces it is usually smoother and less irregular in appearance.

Sun-damaged skin

Chemical peels improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin by using a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of old skin. The new skin that replaces it is usually smoother and less wrinkled in appearance.

Wrinkles

Chemical peels improve the appearance of wrinkled skin by using a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of old skin. The new skin that replaces it is usually smoother and less wrinkled in appearance.