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Only on SkinInc.com: Chemical Peels 101

Posted: December 14, 2011

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Depending on which peel you receive, you could look night-on-the-town or photo-ready; or you may have a little pink with skin tightness. Optimal results will be achieved in the following 2-4 days.

San Diego, California-based dermatologist Susan Stuart, MD, shared the basics and differences between light and medium chemical peels with SkinInc.com.

"Light chemical peels treat discoloration from acne, light sun spots and melasma. Chemical peels exfoliate the top layer of skin, causing the natural cell-turnover process to speed up. Salicylic and glycolic acids are the two most commonly used ingredients in light peels. They refresh the skin by removing discolored skin cells. For acne-prone skin, chemical peels help minimize oil production, unplug pores and shrink blemishes. Clients experience mild burning and stinging. It is normal for them to be red and dry a few days after treatment, which normally costs $150 per treatment.

"Medium chemical peels treat acne scarring and hyperpigmentation. Usually a trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel, which takes 10-15 minutes, will reduce medium-to-deep discoloration. It takes more than one treatment to achieve the desired results. Skin will crust or scab, and may be swollen for a few days. This treatment costs approximately $750, and it results in noticeably smoother, fresher skin after just one treatment."