The chemical peel is one of the oldest cosmetic procedures in the world, and was performed in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to help people achieve smoother, more beautiful skin. Today, chemical facial peels are popular because they offer nearly immediate results and can be performed as an outpatient procedure. If you want to reduce or eliminate the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, and uneven pigmentation, or if you simply want to rejuvenate your skin, DocShop provides detailed information to help you learn more about chemical peels — their risks benefits, cost, and more.
What are Chemical Peels?
Patients who have never heard of this treatment before will want to know, what are chemical peels? A chemical peel is a treatment in which an acid solution is used to remove the damaged outer layers of the skin. Typically administered as a facial peel, a chemical peel enhances and smoothes the texture of the skin. It is an effective treatment for facial blemishes, wrinkles, and uneven skin pigmentation.
Chemical Peel Candidates
In general, patients with fair skin and light hair are the best chemical peel candidates. However, patients with other skin pigmentation and hair color can achieve good results as well. Ideal candidates for the chemical peel procedure are individuals who are unhappy with the appearance of their skin, have realistic expectations of their procedure, and do not smoke.
Cost of Chemical Peels
The cost of chemical facial peels varies from state to state and doctor to doctor. The current chemical peel price range is approximately $600 to $900. Possible additional expenses to keep in mind, especially with deep chemical peels, are the cost of anesthesia, use of the surgical facility, and a possible hospital stay. The final cost of your procedure will depend on the type of peel you want, the condition of your skin, and other factors unique to your case. Light chemical peels can cost as low as $150, while deep chemical peels are generally the most expensive, as much as $6000.
Risks and Benefits of Chemical Facial Peels
Chemical peels rarely result in serious complications, but certain risks do exist. These risks include scarring, infection, swelling, changes in skin tone, and cold sore outbreaks. You can reduce the risks associated with facial peels by following all of the doctor’s instructions completely and by providing your doctor with a complete medical history.
A chemical facial peel can provide several benefits to the skin. The procedure can restore a more youthful appearance to skin and reduce wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, sun-damage, and blotchy patches. DocShop provides extensive information about chemical peel risks and benefits to help you fully understand the procedure.
Light Chemical Peels
Your cosmetic dermatologist will use a specific formula for your chemical peel based on the characteristics of your skin and your desired result. Light chemical peels are used to treat fine wrinkling, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation, and acne. The solution used for light chemical peels is usually comprised of alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic, lactic, salicylic, or fruit acids. Light chemical peels are ideal for people who want the benefits of a facial peel but do not wish to spend the time required to recover from a deeper peel.
Medium Chemical Peels
For medium facial peels, many doctors use trichloroacetic acid (TCA). This chemical works well for treating fine surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes, and pigmentation problems. Similar to the light chemical peel, medium chemical peels require less downtime than a deeper peel. TCA peels are the preferred choice for patients with darker skin.
Deep Chemical Peels
Deep chemical peels are the strongest of the facial peels. The chemical used for deep chemical peels is phenol acid. Deep peels are used to treat coarse facial wrinkles, blotches caused by aging or sun exposure, and pre-cancerous growths. While a deep chemical peel produces the most dramatic, longest-lasting results, the procedure takes longer than other peels (one to two hours) and requires the most healing time. Phenol acid is typically used only for facial peels. Because a deep chemical peel may cause permanent lightening of the skin, prospective patients should seek advice from a qualified cosmetic dermatologist before undergoing the procedure.
Acne Chemical Peel
Certain chemical peel solutions are useful for treating acne blemishes and diminishing existing acne scars. Light chemical peels administered with a solution of alphahydroxy acids (AHA) can be beneficial for treating acne. A lower-strength AHA solution can be mixed with a facial wash as part of a daily skin-care routine. DocShop provides detailed information about acne chemical peels to help you decide if this treatment is right for you.
Chemical Peel Side Effects
When performed by an experienced cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon, chemical facial peels are safe. With light and medium peels, relatively mild chemical peel side effects such as redness, stinging, and crusting usually subside within a day or two after the treatment. The side effects of deep chemical peels are typically more pronounced, and recovery time is longer. More serious side effects, such as infection and scarring, are possible, especially with medium and deep chemical peels. However, serious side effects are rare when the procedure is performed by a qualified doctor.
Chemical Peel FAQs
Before undergoing a chemical peel for the first time, patients often have many questions and concerns. Being well informed about every aspect of your chemical peel procedure can help ensure that you are satisfied with the outcome of your treatment. DocShop provides a detailed Chemical Peel FAQs page where you can find information on cost, the different types of facial peels, recovery from the procedure, and much more.
Locate a Dermatologist in Your Area
To learn more about the different types of chemical and facial peels, including TCA chemical peels, glycolic acid (AHA) chemical peels, and phenol peels, use DocShop's extensive directory of cosmetic dermatologists to contact a skin treatment expert near you.