Chemical Peels
Available In Pittsburgh, PA or Columbus, OH  

What is a Chemical Peel?

A Chemical Peel uses a precise chemical solution to remove the damaged outer layers of the skin, revealing a bright, healthy, more vibrant complexion. Light and medium chemical peels are performed as a medical spa treatment while deep chemical peels are performed in our surgical center by one of our board-certified physicians.

Performed at The Skin Center locations in Pittsburgh and Columbus, chemical peels are among our most popular skin treatments, treating a variety of skin concerns.

What can a Chemical Peel Improve?

A chemical peel can dramatically improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, skin tone and texture and benefits all complexions, even the most sensitive.

Chemical peels may be performed on any part of the body, most commonly:

  • Face
  • Eyes
  • Hands
  • Chest

Many clients enjoy the benefits of chemical peels to simply clarify, brighten and polish the skin while other clients may choose a series of stronger chemical peels to improve more severe freckling, hyperpigmentation, acne scarring and age-related facial lines and wrinkles.

Who is the ideal candidate for a Chemical Peel?

Individuals wanting to improve the overall quality of their complexion and correct specific skin conditions may be good candidates for a chemical peel. Skin type and color, ethnic background and age are factors in determining which type of chemical peel would be appropriate.

Types of Chemical Peels

At The Skin Center Medical Spa in Columbus and Pittsburgh, a chemical peel is used to help improve a multitude of complexion concerns. An individual's skin color, skin type, degree of sun damage and personal expectations help determine which chemical peel is most appropriate.

Various types and concentrations of chemical solutions are used to penetrate different levels and produce different aesthetic results. Generally, there are three types of chemical peels:

  • Light Chemical Peel
  • Medium Chemical Peel
  • Deep Chemical Peel

Light Chemical Peel

Light Chemical Peel solutions contain low concentrations of non-buffered Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or light Jessner’s solution, which are the most commonly used facial skin-peeling agents. Also used are alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) - a group of naturally occurring acids, derived from certain plants and fruits.

A light chemical peel can:

  • Lighten freckles and age spots
  • Help reverse UV damage
  • Improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Brighten overall complexion
  • Soften and smooth dry, rough skin

Light Chemical Peel Treatment

A light chemical peel begins with thoroughly cleansing and drying the face. Next, the chemical solution is applied, during which time a warm sensation followed by mild stinging may be felt. The use of a hand held fan quickly alleviates any discomfort that may be felt.

Once the peeling agent is on the skin for several minutes, a white film, which is referred to as "frost", will develop, indicating how well the agent is penetrating. The solution is then removed after a pre-determined period of time.

Benefits of Light Chemical Peels

  • Performed by a medical esthetician or nurse

  • Quick 20-30 minute treatment

  • Zero to three or four days downtime

  • Can be performed on all skin types

Recovery after Light Chemical Peel

The downtime after a light chemical peel varies greatly from no downtime to three or four days, depending on the peel performed. Immediately following chemical peel treatment, a petrolatum-based gel will be applied to the face to promote healing and will need to be reapplied as necessary over the next several days as the damaged layers of skin deepen in color and flake or peel off, revealing a softer, smoother complexion.

VI Chemical Peel

The V.I.Peel™ chemical peel is our strongest light chemical peel, providing noticeable improvement after just one chemical peel or more dramatic results when performed in a series of facial peels.

After a series of three V.I. Peel chemical peels, results are comparable to those obtained from a medium chemical or a 30% TCA chemical peel but without the downtime.

Benefits of the VI Chemical Peel

When performed as a single treatment, the V.I. Peel:

  • Reduces age spots, freckles and hyperpigmentation
  • Softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Clarifies acne outbreaks and improves acne scars
  • Stimulates new collagen production
  • Tightens and tones the skin

Is There Discomfort with the VI Peel?

During a V.I. chemical peel, most people feel mild to moderate heat while the chemical peel solution is applied. After about 30 seconds the skin becomes desensitized to the solution so additional applications are not as uncomfortable. During the treatment, however, we routinely use a hand held fan to quickly cool the skin and diminish any discomfort.

VI Chemical Peel Results

A few days after a V.I. Peel chemical peel, the skin will begin to turn bronze and feel tight. Skin peeling will continue for five to seven days. Once the old skin has exfoliated, the new skin will appear brighter, with a more youthful glow.

Most people see dramatic improvement after just one V.I. Peel chemical peel. However, skin that is severely damaged will benefit from a series of chemical peels performed once a month for at least three months. To maintain the results, it is recommended that a maintenance peel be performed every 6 to 12 months.

Medium Chemical Peels

The medium chemical peel involves the use of concentrated Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) and Jessner’s solution and can correct moderate skin conditions experienced by individuals in their late thirties and forties.

Medium chemical peels can:

  • Brighten dull, drab complexions
  • Diminish fine lines and wrinkles
  • Help to prevent acne
  • Improve the appearance of acne scarring
  • Reverse UV damage
  • Lighten freckles and age spots
  • Improve discoloration related to melasma

Medium Chemical Peel Treatment

At The Skin Center Medical Spa locations in Columbus and Pittsburgh, medium chemical peel treatments are performed in an outpatient surgical center. No anesthesia is necessary; however a mild oral sedative is administered prior to the chemical peel treatment. Individuals usually feel a warm or slight burning sensation, which is quickly alleviated with a cool fan. The chemical peel usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes to perform. When deeper lines and wrinkles are addressed with a more concentrated chemical peel solution, a medium chemical peel may last up 45 minutes.

Benefits of Medium Chemical Peels

  • Quick 20-30 minute treatment

  • Provides dramatic improvement in skin color and texture

  • Corrects multiple skin conditions in one visit

  • Firms and brightens skin

  • Improvement is seen in 7-10 days

Recovery After Medium Chemical Peel

After a medium chemical peel, a petrolatum-based gel will be applied to the face to promote healing and minimize scabbing. The gel will need to be reapplied as necessary for the next nine days.

During the medium chemical peel recovery period, which is generally two weeks, varying degrees of swelling will occur. The damaged skin will dry and peel off in layers within three or four days. As the new skin emerges, after about a week, normal activities may be resumed, however, the skin will be very pink before fading back to a normal color.

It is important that sun exposure is avoided for several months after the medium chemical facial peel to protect the newly formed layers of skin. Daily use of a sunblock with both UVA and UVB protection is essential. In Pittsburgh and Columbus, medium chemical peels are most popular during the fall and winter months so direct sun exposure can be avoided. However, the chemical peels can be performed year-round.

Aesthetic Facial Peel

Available at our med spas in Pittsburgh, the aesthetic facial peel gives new life to dull, sun-damaged complexions by deeply exfoliating the epidermal layers, and smoothing and tightening the skin while fading brown spots and diminishing fine lines and wrinkles.

The aesthetic chemical peel is a medium peel that uses a combination of Trichloracaetic Acid (TCA) and Jessner’s Solution to penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin.

Benefits of Aesthetic Facial Peel

The aesthetic chemical peel improves the appearance of:

  • Mild to moderate wrinkles
  • Brown spots
  • Uneven pigmentation
  • Skin tone and texture
  • Sun damaged skin

Is There Discomfort with the VI Peel?

During an aesthetic facial peel, most people feel a mild to moderate burning sensation while the chemical peel solution is applied and for as long as it remains on the face. During the treatment, however, we routinely use a hand held fan to quickly cool the skin and diminish any discomfort. For individuals who have difficulty dealing with discomfort, a mild oral sedative may be recommended. If a mild sedative is used, a friend or family member should be available to drive home after the appointment.

Aesthetic Facial Peel Results

A few days after treatment, the skin will begin to turn bronze and feel tight. Skin peeling will begin and continue for seven to ten days. Once the old skin has exfoliated, the new skin will appear brighter, with a more youthful glow.

Most people see dramatic improvement after just one aesthetic facial peel. However, skin that is severely damaged may benefit from two or three chemical facial peels eight weeks apart. It is also a good idea to do a maintenance facial peel every 6 to 12 months to help maintain the results.

Deep Chemical Peel

A deep chemical peel uses a solution called Phenol, which penetrates to the deeper layers of the skin. Deep chemical peels are usually performed once and produce dramatic, long-term results.

Deep chemical peels:

  • Diminishes fine, medium and deep coarse wrinkles
  • Improves severe pigment conditions
  • Offers dramatic improvement
  • Minimizes Scarring
  • Reduces Precancerous growths
  • Offers skin tightening and firming
  • Can erase up to five or ten years from one's appearance

Deep Chemical Peel Treatment

The deep chemical peel is performed in The Skin Center Medical Spa's outpatient surgical center. Typically, a deep chemical peel takes about an hour, while a deep chemical peel to a smaller area on the face, such as the upper lip, may take only 20 minutes.

Some types of deep chemical facial peel treatments may lighten dark skin tones permanently*; therefore they may not recommended for darker skinned individuals such Hispanics, East Indians, Asians and African Americans.

In Pittsburgh, deep chemical peels are performed by board-certified cosmetic surgeon Dominic Brandy, MD in our state-licensed and AAAHC —accredited outpatient surgical center located in Mt. Lebanon, PA.

In Columbus, a deep chemical peel is performed by board-certified plastic surgeon, Fernando Colon, MD in our outpatient surgery center located in Gahanna, OH.

Recovery After Deep Chemical Peel

Following a deep chemical peel treatment, a petrolatum-based gel is applied to the face to promote healing and minimize scabbing. The gel will need to be reapplied periodically for the next several days.

The initial recovery period with a Deep Chemical Peel is approximately 10 days to two weeks. A mild pain medication may be prescribed to relieve any discomfort, however, over-the-counter pain relievers are usually all that is needed.

During the recovery from a Deep Chemical Peel, swelling and oozing may occur the first week as the damaged layers of skin dry and peel off. As the new skin cells emerge, the face will be very red at first, gradually fading to a pinkish color over the next few weeks. It may take up to three months for the pinkness to completely subside; however, it can be corrected with camouflage makeup provided.

After two weeks, the treated skin will be healed enough so that normal activities can be resumed and makeup worn. To protect the delicate new skin, a UVA and UVB sunblock must be used at all times.

How Do I Know Which Chemical Peel Is Best For Me?

To best determine which type of chemical peel would benefit your specific skin concerns, you should schedule a free skin consultation. During your skin consultation, your specific skin concerns will be discussed, your skin will be evaluated and a personal treatment plan developed.

Is a Chemical Peel Too Harsh for Sensitive Skin?

Not at all! As described, chemical peels are available in a number of different strengths and solutions. Most light chemical peels are suitable for sensitive skin. Typically, when starting a series of chemical peel treatments, the first chemical peel is very mild and as the series of treatments continue and the skin develops a tolerance for the chemical peel solution, the strength of the solution is increased. It is a gradual, gentle process

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