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What Is a Chemical Peel?

Chemical peels are one of the oldest types of cosmetic procedures to make skin look younger and healthier. During a chemical peel, a doctor will apply a safe, medical grade acid to your skin to remove damaged skin layers. Removing old or damaged skin layers rejuvenates your skin, making it look brighter and smoother. Chemical peels are mainly used to treat:

  • sun damage,
  • uneven skin coloring (like pigmentation problems from melasma),
  • acne scars,
  • fine lines and wrinkles,
  • blemishes caused by aging, and
  • a dull complexion.  

While most peels are performed on the face, this procedure can also be used on other part of your body like your neck or chest. The depth (level) of the chemical peel depends on what your treatment goal is.

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Types of Chemical Peels

We offer different types of peels to give you options to best match your skin care needs:

Superficial Chemical Peels (light TCA peels, Jessner’s, Cosmelan, Dermaceutic peels, Glycolic, salicylic acid)

These peels are ideal for treating mild sun damage, pigmentation (skin color) problems, acne, and melasma. They have a quick recovery time and require multiple treatments.

Many patients will see their melasma or brown spots darken for about one week after the peel. Patients usually have a second light peel four to seven days after the first treatment.

Medium Chemical Peels

These peels are designed to reach deeper into the second layer of skin, giving your skin a more significant facial rejuvenation. Medium depth peels are best for treating sun damage, actinic keratosis (pre-skin cancers), fine wrinkles, mild acne scarring, pigmented (darkened) lesions, and overall skin dullness.

Because medium chemical peels penetrate deeper into your skin layers, recovery time is longer with this type of peel.

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