Chemical peels are an efficient way to reduce the appearance of sun damage and age spots on the face. The type of peel is usually dictated by how aggressive the penetration of the agents involved. Here is an in-depth look at the different types of chemical peels, how they work, and the benefits of each.
Superficial peels are the gentlest chemical peels and are made of AHAs and BHAs (alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids). Salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid are the three acids usually used. These peels are ideal if your main goal is to lighten age spots and reduce the appearance of minimal blemishes. There isn’t any recovery time needed with superficial peels so they are also termed lunchtime peels, because the patient can have a peel done at lunch and return to work immediately afterwards.
Medium-depth peels (also known as TCA peels) are more effective in softening moderate lines and wrinkles because the penetration is deeper.
Due to their more aggressive penetration, there is recovery time with medium-depth peels, usually about one week. The face will become itchy and swollen after a medium-depth peel, and there may be some crusting of the treated skin.
Phenol is the main ingredient in deep chemical peels. As the strongest type of chemical peels, deep peels are excellent for improving the appearance of moderate to severe age spots and similar hyperpigmentation issues. Phenol peels are mildly painful and recovery generally takes months to a year. During this time, patients really need to take care when out in the sun, as their skin is very sensitive to sun exposure.
Give us a call at 732-219-0447 if you’re interested in possibly getting a chemical peel to address sun damage and pigmentation issues on your face.
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