Many patients inquire about chemical peel treatment and cost ahead of their appointments. A chemical peel is a cosmetic treatment in which the doctor applies a chemical solution to the client’s skin. That solution removes the top layer or layers of the skin and reveals a healthy new layer underneath. Chemical peels are typically used on the face, but light and medium peels can be applied to other parts of the body.
If you have any questions about chemical peel treatment and cost, please contact our office today.
Light Chemical Peels
Light or superficial chemical peels are the mildest type. They are used to treat acne, fine wrinkles and lines, uneven coloring, and dry areas. The solution used is typically made from alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). Common examples include fruit acids, glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. In addition to removing the topmost layer of the skin, the solutions stimulate the production of elastin and collagen. These are proteins that make the skin stronger and more elastic. A light chemical peel also unclogs pores, which is why it’s an effective acne treatment.
The doctor will gently clean the treatment area and then apply the solution. While the patient will usually not need an anesthetic, the doctor may give them a sedative or local anesthetic to keep them comfortable. As the chemical solution does its work, the patient will probably feel a stinging or tingling coupled with warmth. After leaving the solution on the patient’s skin for a given time, the doctor will wash it off and then apply a lotion to ease any discomfort.
A light chemical peel usually takes about an hour, and the patient may resume their usual activities right after the procedure. The patient will usually experience no side effects. They will need to follow their doctor’s instructions about aftercare and avoid the sun for a time. Most patients need five to eight treatments to get the desired results.
Medium Chemical Peels
Medium chemical peels are used to improve the skin’s tone and texture. They can also be used to treat fine lines and wrinkles, uneven coloring, and acne scars. The doctor typically uses a solution made from trichloroacetic acid (TCA). Medium peels penetrate more deeply than do light peels, and they remove more skin layers. They therefore have more dramatic effects, but they also require a longer recovery time. The strength of the effects will depend on the concentration of the TCA which will range from 15 to 50 percent.
Like light peels, medium peels are outpatient procedures, and the patient will not need anything beyond a sedative or local anesthetic. The doctor cleans the treatment area and then applies the solution. After waiting a set time, they wash it off and apply a soothing ointment. A medium chemical peel can take anywhere between 15 and 60 minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area. Patients usually need several treatments to get the desired results, and there will be two or three months between each treatment.
Although the patient may resume their usual activities right after the procedure, medium peels have a longer recovery period than do light peels. The treatment area develops a crust that flakes off within three to seven days. The new skin will be reddish at first, but the color will fade to normal within a week. It thus takes two weeks for the skin to wholly heal. Patients should avoid the sun and follow their doctor’s instructions.
Deep Chemical Peels
Deep chemical peels are the strongest peels and they are applied only to the whole face. Deep chemical peels are used to treat deep lines and wrinkles, acne scars, and blotches. They can even be used to remove pre-cancerous growths. While they produce the most dramatic results, they are the most likely to cause side effects like permanent lightening of the skin.
Carbolic acid or phenol is the solution used in deep peels. It penetrates deep into the dermis and removes several layers of skin. The effects of a deep peel last years, and the patient needs only one.
The doctor will provide sedation and a local anesthetic for the patient. They will then apply the phenol. The doctor will carefully monitor the patient during the procedure. After waiting a given time, the doctor will wash off the peel and apply an ointment like petroleum jelly. A deep peel takes one to two hours to complete, and the recovery takes two to three months. The patient will need to avoid the sun and picking at the crusts and flakes of their skin.
How Much Does a Chemical Peel Cost?
Chemical peels vary widely in price. The cost depends on the type of peel, the price of the anesthesia, and the initial condition of the patient’s skin. Since chemical peels are considered a cosmetic treatment, insurance does not cover their cost. However, special pricing is often available.
To learn more about chemical peel treatment and cost, contact our office today.