Chemical peels can be used to improve skin on the face, neck, or hands that has an uneven tone or that has become wrinkled, spotted, or scarred due to sun exposure, acne, or growing older. Liver spots, rough skin, and scaly patches may also be improved with chemical peels.
A chemical peel involves using a chemical solution to remove damaged outer layers of skin. Depending on the type of chemical peel, phenol, trichloroacetic acid, alphahydroxy acids, or a combination of these chemicals, may be used to meet the needs of the patient.
Light Chemical Peel
A light chemical peel can be used to address uneven pigment, dryness, acne and fine wrinkling. It uses the mildest combination of chemicals to remove the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) in a light exfoliation. The process can be repeated weekly for up to six weeks in order to enhance results.
Medium Chemical Peel
Acne scars, deep wrinkles and uneven skin color can all be corrected with medium chemical peels. These peels remove skin cells from the epidermis and the middle layer of skin (dermis). The patient’s skin may turn red or brown during the days following the procedure, and it may take up to six weeks for the appearance of the patient’s skin to return to normal.
Deep Chemical Peel
Though deep chemical peels provide the most dramatic and long-lasting results, they also require the longest recovery time and result in more pain than light or medium chemical peels. Peeling and discomfort may persist for several days, swelling may remain for two weeks, and the treated area can appear red for up to three months. Many patients may even choose to take painkillers during the week following the deep chemical peel. The improved aesthetic results of the deep skin peel can remain visible for up to ten years.