Acne scars. Wrinkles. Dark spots. Any of these names ring a bell? Unfortunately, they happen, and when they do, we find ourselves in panic mode. From skincare products that claim to cure age spots to endless online searches, we have hunted everywhere hoping to eventually find that ‘magic’ treatment to erase the skin’s textural irregularities and beyond.
Luckily, there are solutions out there. Enter chemical peel and laser treatments, two skin resurfacing procedures that remove damaged regions to encourage skin regeneration. The end product? Smoother, revitalized skin. Combatting your problem areas has never been easier, but it can be overwhelming if you are new to the world of skin resurfacing.
We consulted with board certified dermatologist Sejal Shah, MD, of SmarterSkin Dermatology, to get the 411 on everything you need to know about chemical peels, laser resurfacing treatments, and how it affects the skin.
The Differences Between Chemical Peels and Laser Treatments
Chemical peels and laser treatments are skin resurfacing procedures that remove old skin to promote new skin growth. Both treatments are commonly used to minimize acne scars and hyperpigmentation, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and correct sun damage issues such as age spots.
Foremost, what differentiates chemical peels and laser treatments is the procedure itself. As the name already implies, one utilizes chemical solutions to remove skin and the other uses lasers.
Chemical peel use acid solutions of varying strengths to treat the outer layer of skin. There are three types of peels: superficial, medium, and deep peels. Superficial chemical peels (e.g. VI Peel® and lactic acid peels) are gentle and utilize mild acids to lightly exfoliate the skin. Medium chemical peels (e.g. glycolic acid peels and TCA peels) are more intrusive and penetrate the middle and outer layer of skin. Deep chemical peels (e.g. phenol acid peels) are the strongest, using powerful acids to not only penetrate the skin, but remove damaged skin cells.
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