Types of Chemical Peels
The type of peel you need is determined by the issues you want to address and your desired results. This also determines how frequently you should get treatment. Each type of chemical peel – light, medium, or deep – uses a different chemical solution. The chemicals used range in strength for each type of peel and include; alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), Jessner’s solution, retinoic acid, trichloroacetic acid, and phenol.
Light peels only penetrate the outermost layer of the skin using mild acids like alpha-hydroxy or salicylic acid, which gently exfoliate. Light chemical peels require little to no downtime and can take one to seven days to heal.
Medium peels are more effective for removing damaged skin by reaching the middle and outer layers of skin. Trichloroacetic or glycolic acid is mostly used for medium peels. Recovery can take five to seven days, though redness may persist for months.
Deep peels fully penetrate the deepest layer of the skin to address more serious skin imperfections and use carbolic (phenol) or trichloroacetic acid. Deep chemical peels can require two to three weeks of recovery time while new skin grows.