Do you feel self-conscious because of facial imperfections? Perhaps your face shows the remains of a bad case of teenage acne. You may be bothered by fine lines and wrinkles that have suddenly appeared. Perhaps you have dark spots from sun damage. All of these problems and more can be improved by a chemical peel. You can start the new year by smoothing these facial blemishes away with a chemical peel.
Although it’s for cosmetic purposes, a chemical peel is a medical procedure. You should only trust a board-certified physician to administer this treatment. In the wrong hands, a peel could damage your skin.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jeff Angobaldo with Renaissance Plastic Surgery, PLLC in Plano, Texas, is dedicated to helping you look your best. He explains the benefits of a chemical peel and discusses which type is best for you based on your skin flaws and skin type.
What is a chemical peel?
During a chemical peel, a chemical mixture is gently brushed on your skin and then removed after a specific time — usually minutes — depending on the type of peel. The solution makes the skin peel over the next one to 14 days, depending on the type of peel.
Chemical peels remove signs of sun damage and acne and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. New skin cells begin to form, replacing those that have peeled off. Peels consist of various types of beneficial acids.
What type of chemical peel is right for me?
There are three types of chemical peels.
Light chemical peel
A light chemical peel, also called a superficial peel, is the gentlest type. It sloughs away the epidermis, your outermost layer of skin that’s visible to the eye. A light chemical peel helps the following skin issues:
- Fine lines and surface wrinkles
- Dark spots caused by sun damage or acne scarring
- Dry skin
Dr. Angobaldo may choose glycolic acid, which provides light skin exfoliation. He may also select salicylic acid if you have acne; it acts on your oil glands. You’ll likely need a follow-up session or two at the one-month mark to achieve the look you want.
Medium chemical peel
A medium peel is a bit stronger than a light peel. It removes two skin layers: your epidermis and the top of the dermis, just below the epidermis. A medium peel targets the following types of blemishes:
- Dark spots/mottled skin tone
- Acne scarring
Dr. Angobaldo may use TCA, a particular type of acid, for a medium peel because it penetrates deeper than the acids used in the light peel. Depending on how pronounced your blemishes are, you’ll likely need more than one treatment to achieve the look you want.
Deep chemical peel
A deep peel removes three layers of skin: the epidermis plus the top two layers of your dermis. If you have deep acne scars or wrinkles that are grooves, you may opt for a deep peel. You only get a deep peel once, as the effect lasts for years. Phenol is the chemical used most often. A deep peel is not recommended if you have dark skin, as it has a bleaching effect.
Dr. Angobaldo reviews your medical history and examines your skin during your consultation. He lets you know If a chemical peel is right for you. If it would harm your skin, he provides information on other treatments that can help you.