What is a chemical peel and what does it do?
A chemical peel is a procedure in which a solution is applied to the skin to cause the top layers to separate and peel off. Chemical peels can remove the discoloration, age spots, and skin pre-cancers and allow new healthy skin to grow in its place, giving a more youthful appearance. Depending on the solution used, the depth of the peel can vary. Medium or deep peels such as TCA (Trichloracetic Acid) and phenol based peels are great resurfacing procedures to reverse the signs of aging skin and improve acne scars. They can remove age spots, precancerous lesions, discoloration and dramatically improve the appearance of wrinkles. More superficial peels such as alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) are useful for improving overall skin texture, acne and mild discolorations, but will not significantly change the appearance of wrinkles. While medium and deeper peels produce the most dramatic improvement, they do require 1-2 weeks of down time. Superficial peels can be performed by an esthetician, while deeper peels should only be performed by Facial Plastic Surgeons, Plastic surgeons and Dermatologists.
-Dr. Jessica Kulak