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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
SkinMedica® Chemical Peels
- Little to no downtime
- Good for all skin types
- Gentle, superficial peel
- Can give the skin a healthier, more radiant glow
The Illuminize Peel® is a very mild treatment that can be a good option for those who are having their first chemical peel. The treatment combines alpha-hydroxy acids with phytic acid, salicylic acid, and resorcinol to rejuvenate your skin with minimal peeling or irritation. Patients have been known to experience more radiant skin only hours after treatment with the Illuminize Peel®.
- Minimal downtime typically necessary
- Good for all skin types
- Can improve signs of age, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and other issues
- Three to six peels should yield the best results
This powerful peel is known for its minimal downtime and reduced skin irritation, in addition to its ability to effectively rejuvenate the skin with beautiful results. The Vitalize Peel® can be very beneficial for patients experiencing sun damage, melasma, pigmentation changes, and signs of age such as wrinkles and fine lines. Many patients notice results after just one peel; however a series of three to six peels may yield the most optimal outcomes.
SkinMedica Rejuvenize Peel®
- Minimal Downtime
- Reduced skin irritation
- Used only on certain skin types
- Effective for wrinkles and signs of age, melasma, hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, and sun damage
- A series of three to six peels can yield optimal results
The Rejuvenize Peel® is a strong peel that can be very effective for areas of the skin showing signs of age, acne scarring, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and melasma. There is minimal downtime typically necessary for this treatment, and most patients do not experience extensive skin irritation.
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.