There seem to be an awful lot of different types of chemical peels out there. What chemical peels do you perform and what can they treat?
There are several types of chemical peels available; it is best to categorize them by the depth of the chemical peel. Superficial peels such as alpha hydroxyl (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid peels are the mildest type of peels because they penetrate the skin superficially effecting only top layer of the skin. Commonly used AHAs are glycolic acid, lactic acid and citric acid. Glycolic peels produce a mild improvement in wrinkles, skin texture, pigment discoloration, acne and dry patches. Salicylic acid is another commonly utilized superficial peel that is helpful in treating acne. Usually the benefits of a superficial peel will last for several weeks, often requiring multiple treatments to achieve the desired result. An esthetician or a nurse typically performs superficial peels. Medium to deep chemical peels are more effective at reducing wrinkles, age spots, scars, precancerous lesions and discoloration. A Dermatologist, Facial Plastic Surgeon and Plastic Surgeon should perform medium to deep chemical peels. Commonly, these are phenol based peels that require monitoring or higher concentrations of TCA (Trichloracetic Acid). The deeper peels often require more downtime (1-2 weeks) then the superficial peels as the fresh new skin replaces the damaged layers that were removed. In both of our greater Washington DC offices located in Reston, Virginia and Chevy Chase, Maryland we offer superficial peel; medium and deep chemical peels to our patients.
-Dr. Jessica Kulak