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The benefits and drawbacks of laser skin resurfacing vs. chemical peels are slightly more difficult to ascertain, due to the relatively new nature of the laser resurfacing procedure. However, many doctors claim that the improvement to patients' skin after laser skin resurfacing is essentially equivalent to that seen with chemical peels and microdermabrasion. Lasers do allow doctors to target specific flaws and imperfections with much more precision than chemical peels.
They come in a range of strengths, from deeper phenol-based peels to more superficial peels like glycolic acid. Deeper peels may not be right for everyone, particularly if you have sensitive skin. A few light or medium-depth peels can often achieve similar results to one deeper peel treatment, with less risk and a shorter recovery time. Talk to a qualified provider about your goals to see if a chemical peel would work for your concern and skin.
“Potential things that could go wrong include skin infections, wound healing problems, seroma formation, hematoma formation, muscle plication suture failure, ‘dog ears’ or extra tissue on either side of the incision along the hips, blood clots, and uneven or unsightly scars,” says plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Megan Jack from Boca Raton, FL.
The cost of chemical facial peels varies from state to state and doctor to doctor. The current chemical peel price range is approximately $600 to $900. Possible additional expenses to keep in mind, especially with deep chemical peels, are the cost of anesthesia, use of the surgical facility, and a possible hospital stay. The final cost of your procedure will depend on the type of peel you want, the condition of your skin, and other factors unique to your case. Light chemical peels can cost as low as $150, while deep chemical peels are generally the most expensive, as much as $6000.
You need to ensure that you get adequate rest, “for comfort when lying down, rest in bed with two or three pillows behind your head and a pillow under your knees,” says San Diego plastic surgeon Dr. Gilbert Lee. “Get out of bed by sitting up first, then moving your legs over the edge of the bed, and then standing from there. This is when you might need to rely on your caretaker for the first day or so — to help you out of bed.”
Deep chemical peels involve a longer procedure and longer recovery time that lasts up to several months in some cases. Patients who want to correct blotches caused by sun exposure or age, minimize coarse wrinkles, or remove a pre-cancerous growth may benefit from a deep peel. There are certain factors which must be taken into consideration when contemplating a deep chemical peel. Darker-skinned patients and individuals with heart problems are not ideal candidates. Potential chemical peel candidates should be aware that the treatment may take an hour or more, and may require sedation. Anyone who decides on this procedure should be prepared for a long, slow recovery period, and should wear sunscreen whenever exposed to sun.