Chemical Peels


Each day, our skin cells die, flake off and are replaced by new cells from beneath. As we age, this process happens less often.

As the skin cell renewal process becomes less frequent, the skin becomes wrinkled and blotchy and begins to show signs of age.

Through the application of a chemical solution used to remove dead skin cells, a chemical peel tightens the skin and reduces wrinkling. This results in the stimulation and production of new skin cells and restores a more youthful appearance.

Like laser resurfacing, the chemical peel works by removing the top layers of the skin to expose unlined, new skin underneath. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) are used for this purpose.

Trichloroacetic acid is most commonly used for peeling. Fine surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes, sun damage and pigment problems are commonly treated with TCA. The results of TCA peel are usually less dramatic than and not as long-lasting as those of a phenol peel but it allows for greater control of the peeling process and therefore less chance of hyperpigmentation. (Light spots or blotches in the treated areas).

During a chemical peel a chemical solution is applied to smooth and generally improve the texture of the facial skin by removing its damaged outer layers. Each year thousand of chemical peels are performed.

While laser resurfacing has replaced the chemical peel to some extent in recent years, Dr. Wardle feels the chemical peel still has certain advantages over laser peeling. There is also some drawbacks associated with laser resurfacing that are not always associated with chemical peels. These include the lingering residual redness of the skin that can sometimes be a side effect of laser resurfacing.

Dr. Wardle will be happy to discuss the advantages of the chemical peel with you during your consultation. If you have a history of herpes, you should inform Dr. Wardle during your consultation.

A number of skin conditions can be improved with a chemical peel:

  • superficial lines and wrinkles, particularly around the mouth
  • hyperpigmentation
  • acne scars
  • sun-damaged skin
  • age spots
  • freckles
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