The phrase ‘chemical peel’ is widely used to refer to a category of treatments which use chemicals to remove the upper layers of the skin. During a chemical peel nothing is actually ‘peeling’. There are peels which can essentially remove the entire surface of the skin, as CO2 or Erbium laser resurfacing might. Those deepest of peels have been, in my opinion, largely replaced by lasers as lasers have a more predictable result.
Type of Peels
The most popular peels are the alpha hydroxyl acid peels and salicylic acid peel, both of which can be very effective superficially and have a relatively low risk of potential side effects.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels are another type of peel that, depending on the concentration, may be a deep or superficial peel which also removes the surface of the skin and allows new skin to come back and heal over in its place.
Phenol peels are usually the deepest form of chemical peeling that can be performed. These peels have a very high risk of side effects, including cardiac risks.
With most chemical peels you get a general superficial resurfacing of the skin, improvement in acne and acne scarring, as well as a stimulation of collagen development.
Consult with a Physician
Schedule a consultation with an experienced physician to learn more about possible treatment options, and to discuss your specific case.