What is the Most Effective Chemical Peel?

What is the most effective chemical peel?

Doctor Answers 4

This question is incorrectly phrased.

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


The right question should be" What is the most effective peel for my issues?

The reason this is the correct question is that there are many types of peel that very profoundly in strength.  The key with correctly using a chemical peeling agent is to select and use an agent that just accomplishes the desired improvement.  This is more art than science.  Using an agent that is stronger than necessary means unnecessarily damaging the skin.  This most be avoided at all costs.  It is much better to have less effect than end up with a waxy unnatural appearance because too strong a chemical peeling agent was used.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Chemical Peel: would it be right for me?

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

Since all patients have skin, it is worthwhile to evaluate what type of skin care would be most suitable for each individual. Age of skin, skin type and heritage, amount of sun damage, and other factors are very important. And when it comes to chemical peels, there are varied factors:  type of peel, how deeply it can affect skin, and amount of healing needed are just a few questions that we try to answer for our patients. Some very light peels can be performed by patients themselves and the effects are mild. Moderate depth peels for improved skin texture and color may be performed by trained professionals. The deeper "resurfacing" peels are best performed by an experienced physician as the depth of penetration (effect) is more critical and the "risk: reward" ratio is greater.

We have been very gratified with some of the phenol-based chemical peels we have used for treating sun-damaged and aging/wrinkled/ pigmented skin of our patients over the years. Discomfort is well-controlled, temporary swelling last just a few days in most cases, and new improved skin begins to form in about 8-10 days, The new skin is typically pinker, smoother, less wrinkled, and healthier than the old skin.  

In the world of lasers, some people consider the chemical peels to be "old fashioned".  But when carefully performed in the proper patient with the right skin and educated expectations,  the results can be very gratifying.  The first step is to consult with an experienced aesthetic surgeon or physician who can help you understand the best peeling option for your unique skin. 

Donn R. Chatham, MD
Louisville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

I agree with Dr. Retire with a couple of exceptions.

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

I don't believe that any of the chemical peels do a good job on pores. Phenol peels are the most effective peels for wrinkles, but also the most risky often causing loss of pigment and a flat white porecelain scarred appearance.

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

It depends on what you are trying to accomplish

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
If acne is your problem and you don't have sensitive dry skin, Salacylic acid peels are great. For acne or rosacea patients with sensitive skin, TCA peels at 10-18% are great, especially when combined with calming ingredients. The phenol peel is the most effective for wrinkles but there are considerable risks. Glycolic peels are great for superficiAl mild pigmentation issues. The 35% TCA is workhorse peel which is great for pigmentation, large pores, acne scarring, fine lines, and some coarse lines. The Melanagr peel by Young Pharmaceuticals is great for melanoma and pigmentation as well.

Carla R. Retief, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon

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.