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Chemical Peels

Glycolic, Salicylic, Lactic, TCA, Bleaching, Jessner’s

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What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is a tried and true procedure utilizing acids of varying strengths to cause the skin to exfoliate and produce new fresh skin cells. Chemical peels are one of the oldest skincare methods still providing solutions to many skin problems in our modern age.

What are chemical peels used for?

Chemical peels have been in use for decades to help treat a variety of conditions, including but not limited to: poor skin texture, acne and acne scarring, age spots, uneven pigment, sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles, and large pores. The technology continues to improve with time and the options for treatment are wide and varied.

How long does a typical treatment take?

Depending on the strength of the peel and the correction desired, the application of the peel can take between 30 minutes and 1 hour. Many of the advanced peels that treat melasma and hyperpigmentation are applied in office and removed between 6 and 10 hours later at home. Dr. Reinertson will help you to decide which peel will be most beneficial to reach your desired results.

What type of results can I expect?

Results will vary based on the type and strength of chemical peel utilized. Most patients will undergo a peeling process in which existing layers will begin to peel away to expose fresh, new skin. Many peels produce a bleaching effect to remove unwanted pigment, which helps to even out the complexion and produce a consistent tone and texture to the face. Other peels will dramatically improve the skin’s laxity and texture, creating a smoother surface. Specialized peels for treating acne will reduce the severity and quantity of breakouts, and can help to improve skin health. Results can develop as early as 1 week, or for more intense peels, the result will be evident after 1-2 months.

What are some common chemical peels?

Here is some useful information about 3 of our most common chemical peels: MicroPeel, Jessner’s Peel and Bleaching Peel.

The MicroPeel:

  • Minimal downtime
  • Ideal for 1st time chemical peel patients
  • Can be performed during a lunch hour
  • A “mild or superficial” chemical peel
  • Safe for all skin types
  • Ideally performed in an initial series of 6 sessions

Our most popular chemical peel process is called the MicroPeel. We combine a powerful yet comfortable microdermabrasion exfoliation treatment and follow this with the application of any number of chemical acids or acid combinations including: salicylic acid to reduce breakouts, glycolic acid to decrease fine lines and wrinkles, and/or lactic acid to promote cell turnover for sensitive skin. This peel is highly effective, yet gentle enough to be performed on a lunch break. The face does not become extremely flakey or dry since we remove the uppermost dead layers with the microdermabrasion portion of the treatment prior to the application of the acids.

Jessner’s Peel:

  • 3 or 4 days of down time
  • A “medium to moderate” chemical peel
  • A combination of salicylic and lactic acids, as well as resorcinol
  • Ideal for patients with acne and aging skin
  • Can be repeated every 1-3 months

A medium depth peel that is ideal for acne patients who also suffer from fine lines and wrinkles, or other signs of aging like sun spots. This peel tends to be a favorite among patients – and is often the “maintenance peel of choice,” performed twice a year.

Bleaching Peel:

  • 3 or 4 days of down time
  • A “mild to medium” chemical peel
  • Popular among patients of darker skin tones
  • Good for treating dark acne scars and/or pigmentation
  • Can be performed monthly, as needed

Darker skin tones require special care and attention when it comes to performing any chemical peel treatment. The bleaching peel is a safe, effective choice for patients with Fitzpatrick Skin Types V-VI (typically patients of Hispanic and African American decent) to remove dark pigmentation due to acne scars or hereditary traits. The peeling usually lasts a few days and the treatment can be repeated monthly until the desired effect or skin lightness is achieved.

What does a chemical peel literally do?

Chemical Peels encourage the exfoliation of old skin by removing layers of skin. The depth of exfoliation can be controlled and will be specifically tailored to your unique goals. The strength of the peel will also determine the length of peeling, the level of irritation, and the intensity of results produced.

Is a chemical peel painful?

Comfort level for chemical peels vary from patient to patient, and will change based on the type and the strength of acids utilized. Our advanced peels that treat pigment typically will not cause more than a tingle, whereas our glycolic acid and salicylic acid peels will provide an immediate sensation upon application. We find many patients appreciate the addition of a cooling fan with a chemical peel application. During your consultation, Dr. Reinertson will discuss your goals and concerns, and will create a treatment plan tailored to your skin.

What are the common side effects?

The objective of chemical peels is to shed layers of skin, most commonly the top layer. Peeling and redness are common and desired side effects, typically lasting from a few hours to a week. This is by no means a complete list of side effects. A full list of potential side effects is available at your consultation.

What does treatment cost?

Chemical peel pricing varies greatly based on the type of peel you are interested in. If you find during your consultation with Dr. Reinertson that you will require multiple treatments to reach your goals, we can build a package of chemical peel services that will provide a greater discount over individually priced services.