Annabelle L. Garcia, MD

San Antonio Dermatology

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Chemical Peel

Chemical Peels - Skin Rejuvenation - Dermatologist in San Antonio, TX*

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About Chemical Peels

When a patient is looking to rejuvenate unhealthy, damaged skin, he or she has to look no further than a chemical peel. This procedure involves applying a topical acid onto the skin to peel away and remove skin to initiate skin regeneration so new, fresh skin can replace the old. San Antonio dermatologist, Dr. Garcia, provides this treatment for patients with aged, sun damaged, scarred or pigmented skin. There are varying strengths of peels such as superficial or light, medium depth and deep peels to transform the appearance of a wide range of patients.

Types of Chemical Peels

There are several types of chemical peels offered by our dermatology office. The strength used will be determined based on the skin condition of the patient, as well as the aesthetic goals and desired downtime. Our dermatology office offers the following peels:

  • Superficial/Light Peel: This is the mildest chemical peel. It is performed in a matter of minutes with only about 3-5 days downtime of peeling. During this peel, only the top layer of skin is removed, which causes the skin to immediately look smoother, more even toned, and brighter. These peels are usually comprised of alpha hydroxyl or beta hydroxyl acid, along with salicylic acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid. Usually, multiple treatments are recommended to get the best possible results.
  • Medium Depth Peel: This peel goes deeper than a light peel and therefore, provides more dramatic results. This particular peel is usually derived from Trichloroacetic acid (known as TCA); it is a type of acid that penetrates deeper into the skin. A medium depth peel is used to treat hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and sun damage. Since the peel goes deeper, a patient can expect a longer recovery period and should plan ahead since the face can be swollen, itchy and red for about 10 days following the treatment.
  • Deep Peel: This is the strongest chemical peel is the deep peel and is used for deep scarring, excessive wrinkles, and more serious skin irregularities. While these peels promise the most dramatic results, a patient can be quite shocked by his or her appearance immediately following the procedure. High-strength TCA or carbolic acid, or phenol, is used to penetrate the deeper layers of skin. Since this peel is more invasive, some form of anesthesia may be used. Following the peel, the skin will be intensely red comparable to a severe sunburn. The entire face will be swollen and then scab. Intense peeling will occur and the downtime could last 3-4 weeks, or longer.

What to Expect

Regardless of the peel used, the overall procedure is similar. The skin will be cleansed thoroughly and the chemical solution will be applied to the face. This process takes just a few minutes and a handheld fan is used to help decrease discomfort. During a light peel, the skin will tingle during treatment. A medium peel will produce a bit more discomfort, and a deep peel will require a numbing agent or anesthesia. The differences between the peels are the type of solution used, the number of steps taken during the actual procedure, as well as the amount of solution that is applied. A soothing ointment will be applied to the skin after the treatment. In the days that follow, the skill will begin to naturall flake and peel away. Patients should avoid picking at the skin or trying to speed up the peeling process in any way because this can result in scarring. Patients should avoid sun exposure and keep their skin protected at all times.

Expected Cost

The cost of a chemical peel varies by type. A light/superficial peel typically ranges between $100-$150. Multiple treatments are usually recommended.

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In order to achieve a more flawless, brighter and overall better-looking appearance, there are a number of options available to a patient. Choosing the right treatment is dependent upon the patient’s condition as well as the patient’s personal goals. Chemical peels are ideal for sun-damaged skin, pigmentation, scarring, and other skin irregularities. We invite you to call our dermatology office today to schedule your chemical peel treatment.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.