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A Beginner's Guide to Choosing Your Ideal Chemical Peel

A Beginner's Guide to Choosing Your Ideal Chemical Peel

Chemical peels are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the United States, for several reasons: They're safe, they’re affordable, and they work. 

In fact, today there are many types of peels to help women and men get the results they’re looking for. The key is to pick the right peel.

At Metroderm DC: Medical, Laser, and Aesthetic Dermatology Center, our board-certified dermatologists Edward Stolar, MD, and Todd Perkins, MD, and master aesthetician Danielle Jackson offer several kinds of chemical peels, so each of our patients can receive truly customized care. 

Here’s how to decide which peel is right for you.

How peels work

Peels gently loosen the top layers of your skin, enabling them to slough off, along with the damage they contain. Peels come in different strengths, depending on the issues you want to address.

Most chemical peels contain acids that have a lower pH than your skin. When we apply the peel solution, it dissolves the bonds that connect the upper layers of skin with the lower layers. By dissolving the bond, those upper layers easily shed in the days after your peel.

Peel treatments begin with a gentle cleansing. We leave the peel solution on your skin for a specific period of time before neutralizing it and washing it away. 

Depending on the strength of the peel, you might receive a topical anesthetic before we apply the solution.

After a peel, you receive instructions on how to care for your skin, including when it’s OK to wear makeup, what type of peeling to expect, and how to wash and moisturize the area. 

Using sunscreen is extremely important, since your skin will be extra sensitive to UV rays during the healing period.

What peels treat

Chemical peels can treat a broad array of skin issues, including:

A peel can rejuvenate the skin on your face, neck, chest, hands, legs, arms, and back. We also use peels to remove precancerous skin lesions.

How to choose the best peel

At Metroderm DC, we offer three types of peels:

Light peels

Light peels use milder formulations of acids, making them an ideal choice for:

For patients with acne, we combine light peels with other therapies, like medication, to unclog pores and help prevent acne breakouts.

Medium peels

Stronger than light peels, medium-strength peels remove the upper layers of skin along with a portion of the inner (middle) layer of cells. We might recommend these peels if you want to reduce or eliminate the appearance of:

After a medium peel, your skin may sting a bit and have a reddish appearance, similar to having a sunburn. You can expect flaking of the dead skin layers within a couple of days of your peel.

Deep peels

Deep peels use the strongest chemical solutions to reach deeper into the skin’s inner layers. We use deep chemical peels to treat:

Deep peels have the longest healing period, accompanied by crusting, redness, peeling, and some swelling. Proper post-treatment care is essential for protecting your skin while it heals.

Chemical peels can substantially improve the way your skin looks and feels, and with so many options, it’s easy to get the results you’re looking for. 

To learn more about the peel options we offer at our Washington, DC, practice, call us at 202-659-2223 or request an appointment online today.

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