Chemical Peels Specialist

Physician's Skin Solutions

Pamela J. Stuart, MD

Cosmetic Skin & Laser Specialist located in Morgan Hill, CA

Chemical peels can be formulated to treat each person’s unique skin problems. Skin dryness, acne, and fine lines may be diminished with a light chemical peel, while wrinkles, sun damage, and scars may need a deeper peel. Dr. Pamela J. Stuart, at Physician’s Skin Solutions in Morgan Hill, San Jose, and Gilroy, California, is a board certified physician with years of experience determining the type of peel that will yield optimal results for each patient. If a fresher-looking face appeals to you, call the office to schedule an appointment.

Chemical Peels Q & A

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel, also called chemexfoliation or derma-peeling, is a cosmetic treatment performed on the face to remove damaged layers of skin. The chemicals used can be formulated to remove just the top layer of skin, or to go deeper, depending on each person’s skin problems. After examining your skin and talking with you about the results you want to achieve, Dr. Stuart will recommend one of the following types of chemical peels:

Light chemical peel: The most superficial peel, a light peel takes only the top layer of skin to produce subtle improvements. It uses mild alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid.

Medium chemical peel: Skin is noticeably smoother and fresher-looking after one treatment because the chemicals used, such as trichloroacetic acid, penetrate to the middle layer of skin.

Deep chemical peel: Significant results are achieved as more of the damaged skin is removed. This peel uses the strongest chemical to penetrate down to the lower dermal layer of your skin.

What skin problems are treated by chemical peels?

Chemical peels give you an effective way to eliminate dull skin and improve overall skin texture and tone. They’re also used to treat a variety of skin problems, including:

  • Acne and acne scars
  • Age spots
  • Discolorations and blotchiness
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Dull skin
  • Rough skin
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Freckles
  • Melasma (brown patches)
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Some precancerous skin growths, such as actinic keratosis

What can you expect during and after the procedure?

Treatment and recovery time differs, depending on the type of chemical peel you get. Dr. Stuart will go over all the details with you, including any pretreatment that may be needed for a deep peel, but as a general rule, you can expect to experience the following:

During a light peel, you may experience mild stinging. After the procedure, you may have some redness, skin flaking, and irritation, but healing only takes 1-7 days.

A medium peel, will also cause some stinging and burning during the treatment, and then the skin will be red and slightly swollen, and may crust or peel. Full healing after a medium peel takes up to 14 days.

For a deep peel, you’ll be given a local anesthetic to numb your face, and your skin won’t fully heal for 14-21 days. Patients usually need to plan for some downtime during recovery, but that will vary for each person. However, the ultimate benefit is a dramatic improvement in your appearance.