Little Improvement from TCA Peel and Salicylic Peel

I had a 7% TCA Peel and 2% Salicylic Peel 2 weeks ago to remove pigmentation caused by sun damage. The skin is peeling well, but so far I see little improvement. Was this the most effective peel for me?

Doctor Answers 4

Strict sun protection, deeper peels, and be sure they're sun spots

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Sun spots, called lentigines, can be treated with chemical peels, certain types of lasers, or intense pulsed light treatments.

Chemical peels are a good option. Often, the pigmentation from lentigines is located superficially in the skin and can be removed with superficial peels. Multiple superficial peels are often required and usually performed 2 - 4 weeks apart. However, the peels you had were very superficial, and you will probably require deeper ones.

It is also very important to protect your skin from further sun damage; otherwise, repigmentation can occur very quickly. This means using a full-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen daily, wearing sun protective clothing, and avoiding direct exposure.

Lastly, be sure that what you have are lentigines. There is another type of pigmentation called melasma which can affect the face and, rarely, the arms. Melasma can also be treated with peels and sun protection, but it can be much more resistant to treatment.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon

Chemical peels are great for sun spots

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Chemical peels are an excellent choice for sun damaged skin. I always tell patients we can treat you slowly with a series of mild peels or quickly using a moderate to deep peel. Since you are having mild peels don't expect miracles yet. Stick with the program and I am sure you will please with the results in the end.

Patricia Farris, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon

Chemical Peel for Pigmentation

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Pigmentation on the face can be caused by a variety of conditions including genetics, sun exposure, hormones, and inflammation. No single peel or procedure will cure this condition, but a comprehensive plan of chemical peels done once monthly plus topical dermatologics will improve the condition significantly. I follow a very regimented protocol for melasma of the face in my office.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

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You may require multiple treatments

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This can be a very effective tool but the strength you have employed are relatively weak. You may want to consider additional sessions with higher potency peels.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.