Industry News

All about-Chemical Peels

September 28, 2012 | 6:44 AM

When it comes to chemical peels, there’s a lot to talk about. Depending on the results desired, there are many different types of peels that can be used – with varying degrees of depth, recovery time and beautiful results. Here is a look at the three main types of peels, what they are used for and considerations for both patient and practitioner to take into account.



Alphahydroxy acids (AHA), like glycolic, lactic and fruit acids


- Smoothes rough, dry skin

- Improves texture of sun-damaged skin

- Aids in control of acne

- Can be mixed with bleaching agent to correct pigment problems

- Can be used as TCA pre-treatment


- A series of peels may be needed

- Sunblock use is recommended

- May cause stinging, redness or irritation that subsides with frequent use



Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)


- Smoothes out fine surface wrinkles

- Removes superficial blemishes

- Corrects pigment problems


- Can be used on neck or other body areas

- May require pre-treatment with Retin-A or AHA creams

- Treatment takes only 10 to 15 minutes

- Preferred treatment for darker-skinned patients

- Peel depth can be adjusted

- Repeat treatments may be needed to maintain results

- Sunblock must be used for several months

- Healing is usually much quicker than a phenol peel





- Corrects blotches caused by sun exposure, birth-control pills and aging

- Smoothes out coarse wrinkles

- Removes pre-cancerous growths


- Used on the face only

- Not recommended for dark-skinned clients

- Procedure may pose risk for patients with heart problems

- Full-face treatment may take an hour or more

- Recovery may be slow, with complete healing taking several months

- May permanently remove facial freckles

- Sun protection, including sunblock, must always be used

- Results are dramatic and long-lasting

-Permanent skin lightening and lines of demarcation may occur


Information courtesy of American Society of Plastic Surgeons. For more information, visit

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