What Depth of Chemical Peel is Right for You?

If you are curious about chemical peels then you may have noticed there is an overwhelming amount of information available online.  The problem is finding a simple explanation as to what exactly a chemical peel can do for your skin.  The easiest place to start is by understanding the three basic depths of a chemical peel and the purpose each of them serves.  This will provide a foundation of information which will allow you to identify which chemical peels Houston are right for you.  In general, chemical peel depths are superficial, medium, and deep.  This classification is based upon how far they are able to penetrate into your skin.

Superficial Chemical Peels

Superficial chemical peels are designed to penetrate only the top layers of your skin.  As a result, the entire process usually consists of a series of superficial peels which are applied on a weekly or biweekly basis over the course of several months.  Superficial chemical peels can be used to treat mild sun damage, dryness, mild acne, uneven skin tone, and can also help smooth your skin.

When you use a superficial chemical peel, you can expect slight to moderate stinging sensations throughout the duration of the process, which is typically five minutes or less.  Most patients require no methods of pain control, such as painkilling medication.  The most common strategy to minimize pain is by using a small fan to blow air across the treated area.

Once the peel has been completed, your skin will be slightly pink.  It will also be more likely to suffer a sunburn, so using a broad-spectrum sunscreen for several days following the procedure is recommended.

Medium Chemical Peels

Medium depth chemical peels are the most commonly used type of peel in today’s Houston med spas.  This type of peel will penetrate into the middle layers of your skin and provide significantly more noticeable results than the superficial peel.  Medium chemical peels are more effective against reducing dark patches and sunspots which lie deeper in the skin.  They can also be used for people with visible, but not deep wrinkles.

In general, fairer skinned patients will have fewer problems with this depth of chemical peel than darker skinned patients.  Following the treatment, the recovery time is significantly longer than a superficial peel.  For most people, a medium depth chemical peel will require 4 to 7 days for a complete recovery.  Using a mild sedative before the peel and something to reduce inflammation following the procedure is common.

Deep Chemical Peels

While you can still get a deep chemical peel, they are not as common as they used to be.  This type of chemical peel is designed to get into the deep layers of skin.  As a result, if it is not properly monitored scarring is a possibility.  It is also a very labor intensive process which can only be done by the most skilled professionals.  Laser skin resurfacing and light-based treatments have started to replace deep chemical peels because they provide similar results without the risks of scarring.

When you get a deep peel, you will normally be sedated and monitored because the pain can be intense at times.  The recovery time will normally take 2+ weeks, although there can be redness for several months.

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