acid-peelsA chemical peel is a non-surgical treatment that uses chemicals to exfoliate the skin. The chemical solution is rubbed onto the skin and the solution works to dissolve the outer skin layers. As the tissue is being dissolved, new tissue is stimulated, that is reacting to the body’s natural healing process, and a new skin layer is revealed underneath.

There are different depths and strengths to chemical peels; also the length of time the solution is left on can vary. There are several different types of acid peels.

Phenol Peel

This is the strongest type of facial peel. It is used to treat severely aged skin and deep wrinkle tissues. One risk includes hyper pigmentation, or a darkening of the skin. Recovery time is longer than other peels.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) Chemical Peels

This type of face peel is the most popular and is often sold in low doses over-the-counter in most drugstores. Stronger doses are often performed by a professional.

AHA peels usually treat mild to moderate acne and other skin blemishes. Risks include mild scabbing, itching and rash development.

Glycolic Acid Peel

A glycolic peel is similar to a alpha hydroxy acid peel. It carries the nickname, “lunchtime peel,” as the treatment is performed very quickly. It treats acne and is used to rejuvenate the skin. Results last about a month or so.

Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA Peels)

Trichloroacetic Acid, or TCA peels, are facial peels that are very common. They can be deep or superficial, depending on the concentration level. They work to tighten the skin, improve brown spots, reduce blemishes, smooth out pigment problems, and resurface the skin.

Professionals generally advise their patients to avoid sunlight and wear sunscreen after having a TCA peel. Recovery time is generally very short. There is a small risk of a lightening or darkening of the skin.

Procedure Costs

According to a Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery survey, over 556,172 chemical peels have been performed in the United States. These are the average nationwide costs per treatment of each chemical peel:

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) - $188
  • Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) - $344
  • Phenol Peel - $1,100
  • Glycolic Acid Peel - $160

A majority of clinics offer financing or payment plans to cover these costs.

Before and After Images

Realistic before and after photos can be viewed by following this link:

Total treatment time for chemical peels can last from 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the depth and concentration level of the peel. Results are typically long lasting.