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Chemical Peel
Chemical Peel


Chemical peels, a popular option for those who desire a younger and smoother skin appearance, cause the skin to blister, which is replaced by newly regenerated skin. Peels come in varying strengths and depths, which provide solutions for multiple skin annoyances such as fine wrinkles, sun damage and uneven pigmentation.

Light to medium peels generally use a combination of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic, fruit or lactic, or trichloroacetic acid (TCA), which is stronger and provides a greater depth of peel. No anesthesia is necessary for the mild tingling or stinging of the solution, which is applied with a cotton pad, sponge or brush. You can expect to return to normal activities the same or next day, with relatively no down time. While this option is quicker, safer and less expensive, multiple treatments may be necessary to achieve desired results.

A deep chemical peel (phenol peel) is recommended for deep facial wrinkling or uneven skin pigmentation caused by long-term sun exposure. To numb and relax the face, a local anesthesia is injected before applying the acid with a brush or cotton balls. The solution is left to work on the skin for 5 to 15 minutes before a neutralizer is sprayed on the skin and the chemical solution is washed off. Finally, a thick layer of petroleum jelly (or in cases of severe wrinkling, a mask formed with strips of adhesive tape), is spread over the protective crust of skin, which forms rapidly and is left in place for 1 to 2 days. Swelling, skin sensitivity and/or redness typically subsides after a few days.

No matter the type or depth of chemical peel, care should be taken to protect the skin with sunblock.

Procedure: 30 to 90 minutes, depending on peel

Recovery: 1 to 2 days (light/medium); 7 to 10 days (deep)

Average Cost: Varies: $50 to $6,000

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