Chemical peels are treatments which use an acid solution to remove the outer layers of the skin. Common types of chemical peels are alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), phenol, or trichloroacetic acid (TCA). Chemical skin peels smooth and enhance the texture of the skin. They are effective in treating wrinkles, blemishes, and hyperpigmentation.
Light Chemical Peels
These usually consist of AHAs such as lactic, glycolic, salicylic, or fruit acids. Light peels are ideal for treating fine lines, dry spots, acne, and uneven pigmentation.
Medium Chemical Peels
Many medium chemical peels use trichloroacetic acid (TCA). TCA is effective in treating fine surface lines, shallow blemishes, and pigmentation issues.
Deep Chemical Peels
These are the strongest of the facial peels, and require more recovery time. Deep chemical peels usually consist of phenol acid, which is effective in treating deep lines, blotchiness caused by aging, and pre-cancerous growths. Deep chemical peels produce dramatic results and may cause permanent lightening of the skin.
While chemical peels are generally safe, there are a few risks associated with this procedure. Side effects may include swelling, scarring, infection, skin tone changes, and cold sore outbreaks. Be sure to provide a complete medical history to your doctor before your peel to minimize any risks.