Chemical Peels Uncovered

A chemical peel can effectively treat a range of skin problems such as acne, skin discolorations, fine lines and even wrinkles. A chemical formula is applied to the face, removing the damaged outer layer of skin and leaving a softer smoother foundation of skin underneath. Most chemical peel procedures take less than a couple of hours out of your day, and carry the major “plus” of being very low on the physical discomfort scale. There are a variety of chemical peels offered today, which affords you and your skincare professional to partner together to find the best formula for your specific needs. Check out our list of common chemical peels, which we have explained from the most “hands-off” approach to the deepest peel.


Alpha Hydroxy Acid Peels

Alpha hydroxy acids, which you may also know as AHAs, are one of the most popular ingredients in any mild chemical peel. Glycolic acid is the most common AHA used for this purpose. AHA peels very rarely need any sort of anesthesia to be administered to the patient, and the discomfort both during and after the procedure is relatively minimal. This peel is typically used to smooth/reduce the appearance of fine lines, reduce rough skin and produce an overall improved skin tone. With this being a mild chemical peel, it may be necessary for a series of treatments to be conducted in order to achieve the desired effects.


Beta Hydroxy Acid Peels

The most common beta hydroxy acid used in chemical peels is salicylic acid, a substance also frequently used in both over the counter and prescription acne products. The also happens to be why salicylic chemical peels are often used to treat skin that is prone toward acne outbreaks. Salicylic acid is more potent than glycolic acid, meaning it provides a slightly deeper chemical peel with longer lasting results. Because beta hydroxy acid chemical peels are also considered mild resurfacing treatments, there is no anesthesia needed and the recovery time after the procedure is relatively short. As with the Alpha Hydroxy chemical peel, it is typically necessary for more than one treatment session to achieve desired results. Please note that the procedure will need to be repeated periodically to maintain soft smooth skin.


Jessners Peel

Jessners peel is a combination of ingredients mixed into a single “one stop” formula. It is considered a light chemical peel that is slightly stronger than both the alpha and beta hydroxy formulas. Jessners peel uses lactic acid, salicylic acid and resorcinol, which is also sometimes used as a disinfectant or acne medication. It is applied to skin that is too damaged to respond well to an AHA peel, but does not require a medium to deep treatment. Jessners peels are often applied without the use of anesthetic and complete recovery after the treatment takes about a week.


TCA Peels

Trichloroacetic acid is the most common ingredient found in medium chemical peels. This substance can successfully treat a host of skin imperfections, including sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles, and acne scarring. The procedure offers effective results with minimum risk. Most patients do not require anesthesia during the procedure, although over the counter pain medications may be needed for a day or two afterward to reduce the stinging sensation that can sometimes occur. TCA chemical peels usually take about a week to recover from, and the results are much more dramatic than lighter peels can offer. Some patients need more than one treatment session to achieve desired results.


Phenol Peels

Phenol is the substance of choice for deep chemical peels that provide the greatest and most dramatic results. In addition to treating skin imperfections, this type of chemical peel may be used to remove precancerous growths or completely diminish deep wrinkles. Because the formula works more deeply than other types of chemical peels, most phenol peels require an hour or two in the doctor’s office and usually involve a local anesthesia during the procedure and pain medication afterward. Phenol peels can take up to a month to recover from completely, but the result is impressively smoother skin that will last much longer than that treated with other types of peels.


The right type of chemical peel for you will depend completely on the skin imperfections you are treating, and the results you are hoping for. The chemical peels described in this article are just a sampling of products you may encounter in your search for the “right” Tampa cosmetic surgeon; call Castellano Cosmetic Surgery Center at 813-872-6093 to learn more.