Chemical Peel Uses: What Patients Need to Know

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From uneven skin tone to scarring to wrinkles, chemical peels have a wide range of functionality.  There are those that can give skin a light refresher with little downtime, while others may be used to address deeper skin concerns but come with several days of redness and peeling.  Determining exactly which type of peel is needed for your own skin concerns is a decision that should be made with your board-certified dermatologist.  However, the following information will allow you to walk into your appointment informed and with a head start on finding the best treatment option.

Uses for Glycolic Acid Peels

Glycolic acid is a naturally-occurring alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA).  It is gentle enough to use even on sensitive skin but still offers great results.  Its small size makes it a great exfoliator and gives it the ability to more easily penetrate the skin than some other options.  If you’re looking for a way to improve superficial problems such as sun damage or minor acne, glycolic acid peels can work wonders.  Even better, their gentle nature minimizes side effects and recovery.  For best results, use these peels in a series.

Uses for Beta Lift Peels

Beta lift peels use beta hydroxyl acids (BHAs) to achieve skin improvements.  Again, this is an option that is best-suited for those who would like something gentle on their skin.  Because beta lift peels are excellent at penetrating oil glands, they are a great option for those suffering from acne.  Additionally, they can address some other common skin surface concerns such as discolorations.  In most cases, patients will need a series of peels to achieve ideal results, but side effects such as peeling or redness is minimal.

Uses for Melanage Peels

For some skin concerns, stronger, deeper peels will be needed.  Melanage peels rely on tretinoin, a powerful ingredient also found in Retin-A.  Just like the previous two peels, melanage peels can address discolorations.  However, given their strength, they are better-suited for more bothersome cases of hyperpigmentation such as melasma.  While the treatment will take a bit longer than other options (about 20 minutes) and will come with lengthier down times, the results delivered are often dramatic.

Uses for Jessner’s / TCA Combo Peels

Combination Jessner’s / TCA peels are among the most powerful peels available for truly dramatic results.  Not only are they great for various forms of hyperpigmentation, they can also help minimize the appearance of scars, lines, and wrinkles.  For the treatment, patients should plan on at least half an hour and should anticipate several days of recovery in which the treated area will experience redness and peeling.

If you are considering a chemical peel to help improve the appearance of your skin, you have several great options from which to choose.  Just keep in mind that each peel is different, offering varying levels of strength, results, and down time.

Want to learn more?  Contact the Baton Rouge or Lafayette offices of Dermasurgery Center and schedule a consultation with one of our practitioners to learn more about your options and to decide which peel will deliver the results you’re looking for.

Chad Prather, M.D.