Chemical Peels

What is a Chemical Peel?
A Chemical peel is a skin care procedure that involves applying a mild acid solution to the skin to exfoliate the upper layers of the skin. The depth of exfoliation depends on the type and strength of the solution from mild to moderate to deep. Chemical peels are in-office treatments and healing times vary depending on the peel used. Types of chemical peels include the glycolic acid peel, lactic acid peel, salicylic peel, TCA peel, and phenol peel. These peels may be used not only on the face, but on the neck, chest, back, arms, hands, or anywhere you wish to rejuvenate or improve your skin.

The most common chemical peels are the AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) peels. AHA peels are considered minor peels with very minimal downtime. AHA are a group of fruit acids, which are naturally occurring. These main fruit acids are glycolic, lactic, citric, tartaric, and malic. These peels will assist in exfoliating the skin allowing the newer, healthy skin to emerge quickly.

The popularity of fruit acids is their exfoliating properties. Exfoliation helps to keep the top layer of skin free from dead cells, which in turn keeps the skin clear of both blemishes and fine lines. They are found in a variety of products from cleansers to moisturizers to peeling treatments. Home care products with AHA's assist in the penetration of topical skin products.

There are very minor peels (like AHA Peels) and there are deeper, more serious, peels that may require sedation and extensive recovery time. Please consult with Dr. Thao to determine what type of peel would be beneficial for you.

Lactic Acid Peel:
An in-office 70% or less alphahydroxy facial peel to remove dead skin cells, and promote healthier, softer and more radiant skin.  This peel is derived from either sour milk or bilberries. This peel helps with fine, superficial wrinkles, sun damage, unevenness, white and black heads, pimples and splotchiness.  It can also improve dryness and dehydrated skins.  It isn't very invasive and provides mild resurfacing or rejuvenation results without any downtime. However, because the Lactic Acid Peel is considered a mild peel, you will need several treatments in order to achieve the best results.

Jessner's Peel:
This is a medium depth peel designed for more extensive damage than AHA's can improve. It is made from salicylic acid (a beta hydroxy acid), lactic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid) and resorcinol. A Jessner's Peel is particularly beneficial for clogged pores, thickened, aging skin, severe acne, and environmentally damaged skin. There is no downtime and most patients are able to return to their normal activities soon after receiving treatment. However, because the Jessner Peel is considered a medium peel, you will need several treatments in order to achieve the best results.

Trichloracetic Acid (TCA) Peel:
A TCA peel is a common treatment used for medium to deep peels. It can be used for all skin types and is highly effective for fine lines and wrinkles, as well as sun-damaged skin. The depth of penetration of the TCA peel varies depending on the concentration and amount of solution applied. It can therefore be used as a mild, moderate, or deep peel. In general, TCA peels tend to peel deeper than AHA peels. The recovery time depends on the depth of the peel. The deeper the peel, the longer the recovery time. It is an office procedure that is done by Dr. Thao or a trained staff. Dr. Thao will advise you on how many peels are needed to give you the desired result.

Obagi Blue Peel:
The Obagi Blue Peel is a type of TCA peel that corrects fine lines, superficial scars, minimal laxity and pigmentation problems. It is very beneficial to persons of all skin types. With the Blue peel, persons of ethnic skin tones such Asian, African-America, Italian and other darker skins tones can safely undergo beneficial resurfacing. A cycle of Obagi Nu-Derm is recommended before doing the Obagi Blue Peel. For more information, click on Obagi Blue Peel System.

Your Consultation - Chemical Peels
An initial consultation is required for all skin care procedures and certain products. We invite you to schedule a private consultation with Dr. David Thao, one of Minnesota's top board certified plastic surgeon, to explore your skin care treatment options. During the skincare consultation all aspects of your proposed treatment will be discussed including preparation, relative risks, recovery, range of fees, and financing options. David Thao Plastic Surgery in Minnesota is committed to caring for the whole person by educating, nurturing and comforting our patients in a safe, professional environment.