What are Chemical Peels?
Chemical peels are a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that can improve the appearance of dull skin. By removing the damaged outer layers of the skin, chemical peels help improve uneven skin pigmentation and reduce the appearance of scars, fine lines, and wrinkles with very little downtime.
How Do Chemical Peels Work?
There are three levels of chemical peels used by a qualified technician who can help determine the one that will provide the desired results. They are classified as light, medium and deep peels depending on the intensity of the formula. Typically, the deeper the peel is, the more dramatic the results are, and the longer they will last. Before undergoing a chemical peel, the skin must be free of all dirt, oil, and makeup. After cleaning the face, a technician will apply the solution. The treatment time depends on the chosen level.
Light Chemical Peels
Light chemical peels go by a variety of different names, including AHA chemical peels, salicylic acid peels, and glycolic acid peels. Glycolic acid occurs naturally in sugarcane and is a common ingredient in light peels. The exact ratio of ingredients in the peel will depend on the patient’s skin type and overall needs. A light chemical peel removes the outermost layer of skin on the face to reveal newer, smoother skin just below the surface. It can also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which are essential components of radiant, youthful skin. Patients with mild skin imperfections are good candidates for light chemical peels, and glycolic acid peels are a safe way to reduce mild acne scars, sun damage, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Medium Chemical Peels
Medium chemical peels contain trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and are effective at treating skin with sunspots and uneven pigmentation. Most patients experience a smoother, more even skin tone after just one treatment. Patients can expect to see the full results three to four weeks following treatment with continued improvement for months. Medium chemical peels can soften fine lines, reduce the appearance of acne scars, and even out the overall skin tone. They provide more dramatic results than light chemical peels without the extended recovery time of deep chemical peels.
Deep Chemical Peels
At Dermatology of Athens we do not perform deep peels; however, if appropriate we will refer you to a plastic surgeon. Phenol peels are the deepest kind of chemical peel that address more serious skin imperfections, including blotchiness, severe acne scars, and deep wrinkles. Patients only require a single treatment to see results. It is important to keep in mind that deep chemical peels require some recovery time, and they can be uncomfortable compared to the milder peels available. A deep chemical peel can provide dramatic rejuvenation. Once the face has healed, the skin is much more radiant and youthful. Deep wrinkles and severe discoloration will no longer be present, and the skin will be more elastic in general. The results of a deep chemical peel can last for decades without any additional care aside from avoiding excessive sun exposure.
What is the Recovery Period with Chemical Peels?
Most patients experience minimal downtime following light peels. After medium peels, redness and swelling may occur but usually goes away in less than one week. Deep peels are a bit more invasive, and recovery tends to take a little longer. Detailed instructions are given following any treatments.
What Is the Cost of a Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels vary in price depending on the condition of the skin and the extent of the procedure. We can help you choose the best chemical peel for the results you are seeking. We accept cash, check, and most major credit cards. The board-certified dermatologists and clinicians at Dermatology of Athens are skilled at performing safe and effective chemical peels. To schedule a consultation at one of our offices, contact us today.