What is the Difference Between Chemical Peels?

My freckles on my cheeks are getting darker and I also have a verticle scar on my nose that is 22 yrs old. I've been using the Obagi Nu-Derm & tretinoin combo, but hasnt given me the result I want. What is the diff between lactic/salicylic/glycolic/TCA peels? Which would be best for my condition?

Doctor Answers 2

Difference Between Chemical Peels for Facial Skin Treatment

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Chemical peels are one option for skin resurfacing, in addition to lasers or dermabrasion. The most important factor for any resurfacing procedure is the depth of peel. The chemical agent, concentration, method of peel, skin preparation, and skin type are some factors that determine the depth of skin peel. Superficial chemical peels only treat the outer most layers of skin, with faster recovery but less aggressive results. Superficials peels are good for gentile skin refreshing and include the fruit peels and salicylic / glycolic acid. Medium depth peels are typically the TCA or Jessner peels. Medium depth peels are generally better for deeper wrinkles and skin irregularity. Initial recovery is generally within the first week after treatment, with continued improvement over time. Deeper peels are with phenol or similar agent. Speak with a chemical peel physician to help determine the appropriate option for you.

TCA peels tend to accomplish more than the lighter fruit acid peels

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Fruit acid peels like jessner's, glycolic, sal acid, lactic acid etc... tend to be good for refreshing the skin alittle or maintaining the skin once you get it where you like it.  TCA peels tend to do more and get your skin cleared up or smoothed out  to where the fruit acid peels can keep it. Light peel run $150-350 each and medium TCA peels run $750-1500 each.

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 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.