Your cosmetic dermatologist will use a specific formula for your chemical peel based on the characteristics of your skin and your desired result. Light chemical peels are used to treat fine wrinkling, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation, and acne. The solution used for light chemical peels is usually comprised of alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic, lactic, salicylic, or fruit acids. Light chemical peels are ideal for people who want the benefits of a facial peel but do not wish to spend the time required to recover from a deeper peel.
Chemical Peels range from the Superficial, which will give you gentle exfoliation and can be repeated at frequent intervals, to Medium which will use stronger solutions and achiever greater peeling, to Deep, which as the name suggests will produce more visible results but the potential for complications and side effects with Deep Peels is also much greater.
Certain chemical peel solutions are useful for treating acne blemishes and diminishing existing acne scars. Light chemical peels administered with a solution of alphahydroxy acids (AHA) can be beneficial for treating acne. A lower-strength AHA solution can be mixed with a facial wash as part of a daily skin-care routine. DocShop provides detailed information about acne chemical peels to help you decide if this treatment is right for you.
Deep peels must be performed by a medical doctor and can take 14 to 21 days to heal. Deep peels require special aftercare including antiviral medication, ointments and follow-up visits, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. The chemical solution used for deep peels may be phenol or trichloroacetic acid, which both reach far into the middle layer of your skin and remove damaged skin cells. Phenol chemical peels may require sedation and should only be done on the face, as the skin on the hands and neck is too thin. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery explains this procedure may only be performed one time on a patient and is not recommended for people with darker skin or freckles, as it can cause hypopigmentation. Deep peels may cost anywhere from $3,500-$5,000—not including the doctor’s fees.
Depending on the extent of your surgery, you can expect to spend anywhere from three days to a week or more limiting yourself to minimal physical activity. You certainly will not be bed ridden during this time, but you will be expected to avoid activity that is more strenuous than walking very short distances. You will also have to take very special care to avoid placing any strain on your incisions.