A chemical peel is a treatment in which an acid solution is used to remove the damaged outer layers of the skin to reveal and softer and healthier skin below. It is popular because it can be done quickly and results are almost immediate.
It is done to reduce or eliminate acne scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, or simply to rejuvenate the skin.
The type of chemical peel used is individual, depending on the type of skin, the problem being treated and what type of results are desired. Peels are often done in conjunction with microdermabrasion.
A “light peel” is ideal for those who want the benefits of a peel but don’t want the downtime connected with a deeper peel. In our office, we often call this a “lunchtime peel” as it can be done in a short time and the immediate appearance is a brighter, and perhaps pinker, complexion.
The solution used depends on the individual facial characteristics but is usually composed of alphahydroxy acids (AHA's), such as glycolic, lactic, salicylic, or fruit acids.
These peels can be purchased in series, so that one may have a peel every 4-6 weeks, resulting in a noticeable improvement in skin tone and appearance.
Medium and deep chemical peels are more extensive and work well for treating surface wrinkles, uneven skin surface and pigmentation problems caused by the sun. There are more dramatic and long-lasting results with the deeper peels but they also require the most healing time.
The strength of the chemical peel is determined by the patient's individual skin type and the degree of damage to the skin.
This procedure is not effective in the treatment of more severe wrinkles, sagging, and budging which often require a surgical procedure such as a facelift or liposculpture.