Chemical Peels


Looking to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scars, or pigmentation problems? A chemical peel, also called chemo exfoliation, may be what you are looking for to restore the vibrancy of your skin. A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck, or hands. Chemical peeling provides a safe, non-surgical, time-honored approach to uncovering your facial skin’s prior youthful appearance. Over the years, the sun, wind, dryness, and other factors can result in facial skin appearing wrinkled and blotchy. A chemical peel can be used to remove the top layer of the skin to rejuvenate its appearance. In this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, causing it to peel off several days later. Shedding of the old skin triggers a fresh new layer of skin cells to develop. The new, regenerated skin is less wrinkled, generally smoother, and less blotchy than the old skin. Depending on the depth of the peel, new collagen production can be stimulated for additional improvement in skin texture. Chemical peels offer superior safety, predictable results and value.

Chemical peels are ideally performed in a series of three to six treatments, spaced two to four weeks apart. This will generally result in visible, lasting rejuvenation of the skin. Peeling can smooth sun-damaged skin, erasing mottling and yellowing. It may even decrease the number of sun damaged pre-cancerous growths or scaly patches that might be present. The effect may be so favorable that the new lesions or patches are less likely to appear in the future.

Superficial Chemical Peel

A superficial chemcial peel removes only the very top layer of the epidermis. An example of this type of peel is glycolic acid. It causes little permanent change in the skin, but it does improve appearance. The superficial peels resemble mild sunburn in appearance. No sedation or local anesthetic is required. After the acide is applied to the skin, a light white frost appears. A mild amount of stinging during the procedure occurs, which quickly resolves on its own. A sensation of warmth may also be felt for several minutes during the procedure. A mild amont of redness and swelling may follow for a few days with minimal downtime.

Obagi Blue Radiance Peel

The Obagi Blue Peel Radiance is a superficial chemical peel. It is for patients with acne prone skin, scars, large pores, and anyone seeking to improve the texture and tone of the skin. It can be performed on patients of all ethnicities and ages. Its main ingredients are salicyclic acid, glycolic and lactic acid. The Obagi Blue Peel Radiance remains on the skin for 10 minutes. Most patients experience a warm to hot sensation, which may last as long as 2 – 3 minutes, followed by a stinging sensation. Obtain results without downtime. The skin may be tighter, smoother, and brighter looking. A series of 4-6 provides best overall results.

Medium Chemical Peel

A medium depth chemical peel removes the epidermis and alters the dermis, which is the middle layer of the skin. The medium depth peel is performed in a similar manner to the superficial chemical peel, but with the addition of a degreaser such as alcohol or acetone to pre-treat the skin. Two separate agents are used: Jessner’s solution and trichloracetic acid (TCA). They are applied with a cotton tip applicator, and treatment can be individualized for maximum improvement in fine lines, brown spots, etc. After their application, the skin frosts moderately and ice packs are applied to cool down the heat and stinging associated with the chemical peeling. Redness and peeling will develop between three and seven days after the peel, and redness may persist for two weeks or longer. Usually the patient will experience peeling skin similar to that, which occurs after sunburn.

Chemical peels are not a panacea or cure-all. A thorough evaluation by a physician knowledgeable and experience in chemical peeling techniques is imperative. There are some situations, such as deep acne scars or large pores, which would not benefit greatly from chemical peeling. The chemicals used simply do not penetrate deeply enough to alter the dermis or scar tissue. Various types of lasers, including the Fraxel Laser may be helpful in these situations. The choice of treatment that is best for you depends on several factors. Some factors to consider are:

  • the depth of the wrinkles or scars
  • your skin type
  • the resulting “down-time” and expense
  • your risk threshold

Chemical peeling can be combined with laser resurfacing, or soft tissue fillers to obtain skin rejuvenation customized to patient’s individual needs.

Call 703-648-2488 today for your consultation.