Is Chemical Peel or Laser Skin Resurfacing the Best Treatment for Me?

Hi there, I am currently investigating either a Chemical peel or Laser Skin Resurfacing, ideally I'd like to spend £1500 (I think about $2200). I have fair and sensitive skin (blue eyes, and light brown hair) and am 38 years old, I would like to know what treatments you would recommend.

Reason for treatment is to ideally diminish lines on forehead and around eyes and also reduce the size of pores, thank you (btw I live in the UK but am happy to travel to the US).

Doctor Answers 8

Non-ablative fractional Erbium laser resurfacing is best option for reducing pore size and rejuvenating skin

The non-ablative 1540 Erbium fractional laser resurfacing is your best option. This modality goes deeper than the chemical peel and is one of the few treatments that can reduce pore size as well as improve skin texture and fine lines. Ablative laser and chemical peels can increase pore size.

Forehead lines and crow's feet are dynamic lines-which means they are caused by contraction of muscles. Only Botox or Dysport which relax the muscles can reduce forehead lines-simple skin treatmenhts will not work because the muscles will continue to contract and cause the lines.

The non-ablative laser treatments are competatively priced with the chemical peels.

Laser, or Coblation VS Peel

For wrinkle reduction, the gold standard non-surgical treatment would be CO2 Laser. This is excellent but has a very high likelyhood of causing skin depigmentation. It makes wide pores narrower. There is some risk of scarring.

In my experience, peels are also effective, but will leave pores wider, in many instances. I am not sure if there is a peel that won't cause this effect on pores.

Coblation acts like laser, only uses radio frequency energy waves rather than light like the laser, to create its effects. Coblation is about 85% as effective as CO2 laser, and is less likely to cause burns or depigmentation.

Another option might be a combination of brow lift and laser/coblation, perhaps blephaorplasty and laser or coblation.

Also, don't forget that botox will work with wrinkles, and is less expensive.

Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

You will do great with Active FX

You sound like a perfect candidate for the Active FX, possibly combined with Deep FX treatment.

Ideally this fractional laser resurfacing treatment is great for younger patients, like yourself, who have early aging changes and want to have a refreshed look and maintain their youthful appearance. It is great for removing or diminishing fine lines, improving skin tone and texture, decreasing pore size and new collagen formation.

It is a one-time treatment, and you will have several days of downtime, usually 5-7, depending on how aggressive the surgeon decides to be with your treatment. The price is usually about $2000 - $2500 US.

Stella Desyatnikova, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Both Chemical peel and laser resurfacing may help

If you have dynamic (with facial expression) and static (with muscles at rest) wrinkles, you may benefit from Botox injections, followed 2-4 weeks later, with laser or chemical peel resurfacing. If you are going to have laser resurfacing, I would suggest one of the newer fractionated devices (Fraxel Repair or Total FX).

If you are going to choose the chemical peel resurfacing route, find someone with experience in full face/neck phenol peel procedures.

Good luck.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Laser treatments are more accurate, with lesser downtime

Reducing fine lines and pore size can be accomplished with so many different modalities. I prefer lasers because I think they afford less of a downtime and more accuracy than a chemical peel.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Laser Resurfacing is probably the way to go

In general, for more controlled and dramatic results, laser skin resurfacing tends to work better. In the past, chemical peels were the way to go, but with the newer lasers out in the market, you can achieve a more controlled and safer result than a chemical peel can give you.

In the past, phenol chemical peel produced the most dramatic results. I think more doctors have moved away from this procedure secondary for the reasons sited.

Hope that helps.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Chemical Peel and Lasers are good techniques for skin resurfacing

Chemical peels and lasers are excellent resurfacing techniques. Doctors often tailor the treatment to every patient. In general, we like to use the medium depth peels(TCA 15-35%) to treat fine lines around the eye and mouth and improve the look and feel of skin. However, to use peels, we like to prep the skin with some prodcuts e.g Retin A or some AHA prodcuts e.g Glycolic acid. The peel might need to be repeated in 8 weeks or so depending on the response.

We like to use lasers on deepers lines or to acheive a faster result. The 3D approach we like to use addresses different levels of the skin structure. We tailor the treatment to the desired down time that our patients can afford.

Hope that helps!

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Chemical Peel versus Fraxel

If you are looking for a quicker response of treatment then I would suggest you consider the Fraxel Laser. Fraxel is the "magic eraser" and I love this laser.  We have had fabulous results with the Fraxel.  I do recommend that you consult a board certified dermatologist with experience with Fraxel for the best cosmetic results.  Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.