Written by Dr. Ringpfeil
Whether you are looking to diminish the appearance of facial wrinkles and discoloration that have been present for years or wanting to make your skin glow before an upcoming event, we offer a chemical peel that addresses your dermatological needs. For years, our practice has offered chemical peels as a way to safely, quickly, and effectively treat various cosmetic and medical skin issues. To design a treatment plan that targets our patients’ specific concerns, our dermatologists determine which chemical, chemical strength, and length of time applied is right for you. We further customize our patients’ treatments by using chemical peels in combination with other modalities, such as microdermabrasion, light therapy, and laser.
We use chemical peels to address various cosmetic and medical dermatological issues. In cosmetic dermatology, chemical peels are used to improve skin blemishes, skin texture, skin elasticity, skin pigmentation, and fine lines. In medical dermatology, we use chemical peels to treat acne, rosacea, and melasma.
Chemical peels renew the skin by removing the damaged outer layer and allowing a new unblemished layer of skin to surface. They are applied in the office with little to no discomfort. The peel is then removed in the office or left on the face to be removed by you at home. We provide detailed at-home instructions to remove these peels. We also teach you how to care for your skin after having a chemical peel to ensure that you have the longest-lasting results.
Glycolic acid is a natural substance derived from sugar cane and certain fruits. Because of this, it is one of few dermatological substances safe for use during pregnancy and breast feeding. Glycolic acid provides a superficial peel that is most effective in treating acne, sun spots, skin discoloration, skin texture, and fine wrinkles. It also hydrates the skin. Glycolic acid is available in several concentrations, which allows for variability in strength. The peel is performed completely in the office, after which mild redness can be appreciated on the skin for a few hours. Applied on the day before an event, a glycolic acid peel provides a smoother skin texture and glow on the day of the event. For optimal results, 3-6 peels are needed every 3-4 weeks. The results last several months and can be enhanced by using glycolic acid topicals and a retinoid for at least 2 weeks prior to the first peel. All retinoids must be discontinued on the night before the peel and can be restarted on the night after the peel. Only a gentle moisturizer with sunscreen is needed after a glycolic acid peel. Those who have taken isotretinoin in the past 6 months or have had phenol peels cannot receive this peel.
Salicylic acid provides a superficial peel that is most effective in treating acne, sun spots, skin discoloration, skin texture, and fine wrinkles. It treats these issues and provides a rejuvenated glow by removing thickened skin. Salicylic acid is available in various concentrations. The peel is performed completely in the office and can cause mild redness for several hours and possible fine scaling for a few days. On the day after the first peel, a smoother skin texture is noted. Optimal results are seen after 3-6 peels spaced 3-4 weeks apart and last several months. When used for acne, the effects of this peel can be enhanced with nightly use of a topical retinoid. All retinoids must be stopped on the night before the peel and can be restarted on the night after the peel. Salicylic acid cannot be used by those who are pregnant, allergic to salicylic acid (aspirin), have taken isotretinoin in the last 6 months, or who have had phenol peels.
TCA peels utilize a synthetic substance called trichloroacetic acid to produce a superficial to medium depth peel. This peel is most effective in treating acne, improving skin texture, and reducing fine lines on the face. It is also used to remove sun spots, remove skin discoloration, even skin pigmentation, and reduce appearance of scars. Smoother skin is appreciated 5 days after a TCA peel, while collagen production is noticed after 3 months. For best results, 1-2 treatments are needed. These results can be enhanced with daily application of sunscreen and a retinoid for several weeks prior to the peel. Retinoids must be stopped the night before the peel and restarted only when renewed skin is visible after the peel. Contraindications for this peel include history of isotretinoin within 12 months and history of phenol peels.
The Melanage Skin Lightening System is used to reduce hyperpigmentation on the skin, such as that caused by melasma or sun spots. This highly effective superficial peel can be used on all skin types. It can also improve skin texture and subtly reduce fine lines. The Melanage peel consists of a medicated mask that is applied in the office and later removed by the patient at home according to specific post-peel instructions. This peel causes 7-10 days of irritation that is similar to sunburn. For best results, 1-2 treatments every 6+ months are necessary. Contraindications for this peel include pregnancy, breast feeding, active rosacea or cold sores, a history of warts, and a history of isotretinoin within 6 months.
The Quelage peel is the most effective peel we offer to reduce redness and irritation in rosacea. It can also reduce appearance of sun spots, improve skin texture, and brighten the skin. The Quelage peel is comprised of different fruit acids and anti-inflammatory agents, which makes it safe for use on those with sensitive skin. This peel is applied in the office and later removed by the patient at home according to specific instructions. After application, peeling and redness is possible for up to 2 days. For best results, 4-6 treatments are needed every 3-4 weeks. To prolong the benefits of this peel, a customized at-home regimen is established for daily use after the peel. Sunscreen must also be worn daily for 1 week after the peel. Preparation for a Quelage peel involves avoidance of electrolysis, waxing, depilatory creams, laser hair removal, cosmetic facials, Botox, etc. for the week prior to the peel. Additionally any retinoids or exfoliating products must be stopped 2-3 days before the peel. Contraindications include active cold sores or warts, open wounds on skin, sunburn, dermatitis, a history of herpes simplex, pregnancy, breast feeding, current chemotherapy or radiation, or having taken isotretinoin within 12 months.
The Gloss peel contains a combination of vitamin A, TCA, and compounds that promote cell turn over to provide the skin with a refreshed glow. It is a superficial peel that is most effective at brightening the skin and improving skin texture. The peel is completely performed in the office. It can cause redness and possible peeling for 2-5 days. To ensure the best results, specific at-home products are provided after the peel to be used for several weeks. Sunscreen with SPF 30 must also be worn daily for 1 week after the peel. Strenuous exercise cannot be done for 24-48 hours after the peel. About 1-2 treatments every 6 months are necessary for optimal results. Preparation for this peel includes avoidance of electrolysis, waxing, depilatory creams, laser hair removal, sunless tanning, spray tanning, UV-free tanning, cosmetic facials, Botox, retinoids, retinols, alpha hydroxyl acid, beta hydroxyl acid, benzoyl peroxide, or any exfoliating products that can be drying or irritating. Contraindications for this peel include an active cold, sores, warts, open wounds, sunburn, dermatitis, inflammatory rosacea, a history of herpes simplex, sensitive skin, pregnancy, breast feeding, current chemotherapy or radiation, or having taken isotretinoin within 12 months.