Chemical peels are used for the treatment of Photoaging (from sun damage), Wrinkles, Scarring, Acne, and Discoloration (or dyschromia). Chemical peels are also used to treat Melasma (a skin condition characterized by irregularly shaped patches of brown skin commonly found on the face and neck), and pre-cancerous changes in the skin. Chemical peels can be performed on the face, neck, chest, arms, hands, and legs.
Chemical peels are categorized into superficial peels, medium depth peels and deep depth peels. The terms superficial, medium and deep peels refer to the depth of penetration into the skin. The deeper the peel, the greater the change or improvement can be seen.
Superficial peels are lighter treatments that use glycolic acid, alpha hydroxyl acid, or Betahydroxy acids peels are the mildest of the chemical peels. These peels include glycolic, lactic, and fruit acid peels (AHA) or Salicylic Acid (BHA). Microdermabrasion is another form of superficial peeling.
Medium depth peels are “doctor strength” peels containing trichloroacetic acid which “dissolves” the upper layers of the skin. The formula of the solution may be adjusted based on how aggressive the treatment needs to be. A stronger solution will remove more tissue and generally have greater recovery time. The physicians and physician Assistants at Dermatology Group of Southern California, Inc. will examine you and discuss your expectations for treatment. Based upon how aggressive the treatment goals are, the treatment time and recovery time may vary.
Medium depth peels do require a recovery period from a few days to one week. As the “old skin” peels away, new skin forms. New collagen and elastin are formed, improving fine lines and wrinkles.
35% TCA Peel Results
Source Rod Rohrich, MD
Patient results may vary
Please allow the Physicians and trainedmedical staff at Dermatology Group of Southern California to evaluate your skin to determine the best treatment options for you.
During the procedure, most people feel a brief burning sensation, followed by a feeling of numbness or stinging. The sensation will vary depending on the type of peel. The AHA, BHA and TCA peels are uncomfortable only during treatment.
After a chemical peel, most people experience some facial swelling and reddening. The recovery period is different for each type of peel.
Superficial peels: Superficial peels generally cause some flaking, redness and dryness, or skin irritation. These side effects diminish over time. Once the body heals itself naturally, the outer layer of skin will fall away. Patients are usually able to engage in normal public activities the day after a superficial peel. It is important to apply sun block with an SPF 30 or higher to the treated areas.
Medium peels: Trichloroacetic acids (TCA) TCA peels may cause significant swelling, depending on the potency of the chemical solution that was used. Swelling should diminish after the first week. The skin will heal sufficiently to resume normal activities in approximately 7-10 days. It is important to apply sun block with an SPF 30 or higher to the treated areas.
After TCA peels, some patients also have outbreaks of small whiteheads, called milia, which are formed in obstructed facial glands. Generally, these disappear with washing, but in some cases a doctor will need to remove them.
All chemical peels carry some uncertainty and risk. Chemical peels are normally a safe procedure when it is performed by a qualified, experienced medical practitioner. However, some unpredictability and risks such as infection and scarring, while infrequent, are possible.
Aging skin may require a variety of corrections in order to achieve a healthier, more youthful appearance. Alternative procedures that may be used in conjunction with chemical peels include dermabrasion, laser resurfacing such as Mixto, and injectable fillers. In addition, Retin-A (a prescription medication derived from Vitamin A) is often used to pre-treat the skin by thinning the skin’s outer layer. This pre-treatment allows for deeper penetration of the chemical solution. The pre-treatment period may take up to a month before the chemical peel is actually performed. The physicians and physician Assistants at Dermatology Group at Dermatology Group of Southern California, Inc. will help develop the best treatment plan for your skin.
IPL Intense Pulsed Light for treatment of redness and superficial brown patches
Photo Dynamic Therapy for Acne and Skin Rejuvenation
Mixto Resurfacing Laser for pigmentation and skin resurfacing
Vascular laser treatment for broken blood vessels
Microdermabrasion for manual exfoliation
*For any procedure and service described on this website, individual results may vary and may not be applicable in all cases.