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When to Consider a Chemical Peel

Like many people, you probably have some skin issues. Over the years, your skin may have become dry and dull-looking, and you’ve probably developed age spots, fine lines, or even acne scars. But with so many anti-aging and beauty treatments available to choose from, how do you know if a chemical peel is the right option for you?

Here at Med Physique Center for Aesthetics in Austin, Texas, our aestheticians often recommend chemical peels to our clients, especially The Perfect Peel®, which we use in our office. They’re a minimally invasive way of treating a wide variety of skin problems, and they can be tailored to your specific aesthetic goals. Here’s what you need to know.

How do chemical peels work?

All chemical peels work by applying an acid solution to the skin to remove the top, damaged layers, as well as dead skin cells and debris. In the process, they also remove the blemishes that form in these layers. The process creates a wound in the skin tissue; your body responds by working to heal the area.

Collagen is a structural protein that gives your skin strength and suppleness, but its production declines as you age, leading to wrinkles and sags. The chemical peel removes worn-out collagen cells and triggers a round of new collagen production, allowing your skin to regain the strength and suppleness it had when you were young. And now it’s blemish-free, too.

When to consider a chemical peel

Chemical peels effectively treat a variety of issues, and they can be used on the face, neck, and/or hands. These issues include:

We should note there are things chemical peels can’t address. These include deep facial lines; loose, sagging skin; pore size; and deep scars. These require other treatments, such as dermal fillers, laser resurfacing, or a brow lift.

The different chemical peel strengths

Chemical peel strength is determined by how deep the solution goes. The deeper the peel, the more issues it can address, but the longer recovery takes. There are three types.

1. Light (superficial) chemical peel

For a superficial peel, we use either glycolic acid or salicylic acid to remove just the outermost skin layer, known as the epidermis. This type of peel addresses fine wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone, and skin dryness. It’s unlikely you’ll need any type of anesthetic, and you can repeat the peel every 2-5 weeks, as needed.

2. Medium chemical peel

A medium peel uses a different acid —  trichloroacetic acid, sometimes in combination with glycolic acid. It removes cells from the epidermis, as well as parts of the upper dermis layer just beneath it. It's effective at treating uneven skin tone, and the burst of collagen production fills in deeper wrinkles and acne scars. Because this peel goes deeper, you may need a sedative and/or a painkiller to stay comfortable during the treatment. You can repeat a medium peel every 6-12 months, as needed.

3. Deep chemical peel

A deep chemical peel uses a carbolic acid (phenol) solution and penetrates cells below the upper dermis layer. Deep peels are effective at treating deeper wrinkles and scars, as well as removing precancerous growths. A deep peel is invasive, so you’ll probably require a sedative along with something to numb the treatment area, and we’ll give you fluids through an IV to prevent dehydration. Deep peels can only be done once.

If you’re having skin issues and are looking for a multipurpose treatment option, a chemical peel might be the right choice for you. Give Med Physique Center for Aesthetics a call at 512-361-2650 to find out more, or book a consultation online with us today.

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