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Chemical Peels for the Face

A peel improves common skin conditions such as acne, age spots, wrinkles and sun damage. It can also improve skin’s texture and tone. A chemical solution, usually an acid derived from a natural source such as fruit, milk, or sugar cane, is applied to the face, neck, and/or back to ‘peel’ away the top layers of the epidermis.

There are a variety of acids used in peels—glycolic, phenol, tricholoracetic, kojic, citric, salicylic and lactic, to name a few. Each has its own set of risks and advantages. Depending on the skin condition you wish to treat, one substance might be preferable to another. The most important variable when comparing peels, however, isn’t substance, but strength.

Peels come in different strengths that determine how deeply they act on the skin. Light-to-medium-depth peels with a lower concentration of acid will have a more superficial action, carry a low risk of complication, and produce results that last approximately one to three months with little or no downtime. Stronger, higher concentrations of acid work at a deeper level, and while their application can correct deeper wrinkles, scars, and marks, there are risks associated with their use and there’s a recovery period of five to eight days.

Because the peels used in both Dr. Yagoda’s office (located in Manhattan, New York) and the Rejuvenessence SPAce for Beauty are medical grade (in other words, stronger and more effective than what you’d find at a day spa), Dr. Yagoda administers them herself in her New York  City (NYC) office. Although some medical spas use “physician supervised” peels administered by an aesthetician, Dr. Yagoda feels strongly that peels, like other medical treatments, belong in the hands of a qualified physician.

Light-Medium Depth Chemical Peels – These treatments are for superficial wrinkles, irregular skin tone or texture, acne-prone skin, large pores, scars or age spots on the face, back and/or neck. A personalized, twice-daily home regimen is enhanced by a series of weekly physician administered chemical peels and includes one or a combination of glycolic, salicylic, and/or lactobionic acid.

Medium-Deep Depth Chemical Peels – These physician administered applications correct deeper wrinkles, scars and marks, involve a healing period of five to eight days, and include one of the following: Accupeel, tricholoracetic acid, Jessner’s, or phenol solution.