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Chemical peels are used to reduce fine wrinkles and eliminate discoloration by gently removing the outer (damaged) layers of the skin and stimulating the formation of new, healthy skin. Excellent cosmetic procedures, chemical peels involve less risk and recovery time than laser skin resurfacing and provide equivalent or better results. Because the recovery from chemical peel treatments is roughly similar to that of eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) , many patients opt to have both procedures performed simultaneously. However, many patients have this done as a separate procedure – contact us for more information about chemical peel treatment options.
Types of chemical peels
Chemical peels typically fall into one of two categories:
- Alphahydroxy Acid (AHA) Peels – The mildest of the peel formulas AHA peels (which include glycolic and lactic acids) are used to remove fine wrinkles, acne scars and dry skin. Over time, AHA peels will lead to improved skin texture. AHA peels do not affect deeper blemishes, as they work mainly on the surface of the skin.
- Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) Peels – While AHA peels work on the surface layer of the skin, TCA peels are most commonly used for medium-depth skin treatments. TCA peels are hence used for more pronounced wrinkles, blemishes or acne scars.
What to expect from chemical peel treatment
- Alphahydroxy Acid (AHA) Peels – Following an AHA peel, it is fairly common to experience dry or flaking skin and redness. As your skin adjusts to the treatment, you will experience a gradual improvement in skin texture. After the treatment, it will be necessary to protect your skin from the sun. Ask your doctor to recommend an appropriate sun block.
- Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) Peels – Prior to TCA peel treatment, it is important to prepare your skin. Discuss with your doctor whether you should have an in-person treatment or if you can use a peeling cream at home. Over the course of treatment, cease using any creams on your face, and keep the area covered in petroleum jelly. Sitting up while applying a cold, damp cloth to the affected area may also help reduce swelling. Speak with your doctor about the proper medications and sunscreens to use.