Better Skin Through Chemicals

Chemical Peel



In Dr. Hetzler’s practice we offer three types of chemical peels: phenol, trichloroacetic acid, and alpha hydroxy acid. Each peel is a different strength with different goals. With any peel the overall goal is to get the body to shed the damaged outers layer or layers of skin, replacing it with younger, renewed skin. Chemical peels are helpful for treating facial blemishes, wrinkles, and uneven pigmentation.

Types of peels

The type of peel is dictated by the active ingredients.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are the mildest peels. Most of the acids used come from natural sources such as glycolic acid (sugar cane or sugar beets), lactic acid (sour milk), and fruit acids. AHA peels can provide smoother, brighter skin without recovery time. They are helpful for fine wrinkles, dry areas, acne, and uneven pigmentation. Because they are mild, a series of AHA peels may be necessary to achieve the results you want.

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is used for medium-depth peels. TCA peels address fine surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes, and pigmentation problems by peeling more deeply than an AHA peel. Although a full series of TCA peels is not advised, a second peel could be needed. The depth of the penetration of the TCA can be adjusted. A total sunblock must be worn for months following your TCA peel.

Phenol peels are the strongest chemical peels and they produce deep peeling. Carbolic acid is the active ingredient. Phenol peels treat coarse facial wrinkles, areas of blotchy or damaged skin caused by sun exposure, or pre-cancerous growths. Phenol peels can permanently lighten the pigmentation of the treated areas, so your natural pigmentation can be a determining factor as to whether a phenol peel will work for you. We perform phenol peels only on the face, as they can cause scarring on other areas of the body. Complete healing from a phenol peel can take months, and full sunblock is an absolute necessity throughout.


AHA peels commonly cause some temporary flaking or scaling, redness and skin dryness. But these are short lived.

With TCA and phenol peels there will be swelling, sometimes severe enough to almost swell your eyes shut. Your skin will crust over in the process to building new skin. With a phenol peel, due to the extensive crusting, you may be limited to a liquid diet and advised not to talk or open your mouth if possible for the first week to 10 days.

If you’re interested in a chemical peel to refresh your skin, particularly on your face, call us at 732-219-0447 to schedule an appointment or ask any questions.

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