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Cosmetic Procedures – Facial Chemical Peel what are Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Tricholoracetic Acid and Phenol - Which Peels Work Best

March 22nd, 2006

Cosmetic Procedures – Facial Chemical Peel what are Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Tricholoracetic Acid and Phenol - Which Peels Work Best

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Chemical Peels that are performed at a plastic surgeons office can not only offer softer skin, but can also help prevent other problems.  A chemical peel can help prevent acne as well as remove layers of sun damaged and discolored skin patches.  Wrinkles can be reduced and sometime eliminated after going through a series of chemical peels.  It won’t replace other cosmetic procedures if you want to get rid of the wrinkles.  Chemical peels help the skin to tolerate outside elements.  A person with acne problems can have an easier time controlling outbreaks.

Having the cosmetic procedure of a chemical peel done by a professional plastic surgeon can cost on an average of $607 according to a 2004 report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The chemical peel can go up in price as there are different kinds as well as different intensity of treatment depending on the skin damage.  A chemical peel can also remove some pre-cancerous skin patches.


There are some potential for complications with deep chemical peels.  There is a chance for scarring and infection.  According to a report in Dermatologic Clinics July 2001 issue, there is potential for temporary or even permanent changes in skin color with chemical peels.  If a person has a history of cold sores, a deep peel may cause a cold sore breakout.

On Oprah’s aging show yesterday she had one of the ladies get a salicylic acid chemical peel.  The benefit to using this kind of chemical is that can reduce the irritation when compared to the other chemical peels.  Most of the time a person will have pink skin that needs to recover for a day or two after a chemical peel is done.  The chemical peel causes the top layers of skin to become dissolved.  It might be better to get several chemical peels than one deep-peel treatment.


Chemical peels are available at home, and would be the light duty chemical peel.  If you do go with a home chemical peel look for peels that contain one of the following ingredients alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid), beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid), tricholoracetic acid (TCA) or has phenol which is the exfoliating agent.   It is more than likely that you will only find the alpha hydroxyl acid chemical peels as it is not regulated by the FDA.  The glycolic acid in the alpha hydroxyl acids will work, but you will have to do treatments on a regular basis to see results.  When the chemical peel is a medium or deep the results are seen faster.  The tricholoracetic acid is usually found in the medium chemical peels.  The phenol based peel is used to treat deep chemical peels at the plastic surgeons office.


The phenol based peel is usually not used as a full face peel, but used in limited areas.  The down fall to the phenol based chemical peel is that it can sometimes bleach the skin in the area that it was applied.  Even though you have removed some wrinkles you may have to put on makeup to cover the skin color change.

Having a chemical peel offers benefits for preventing some types of skin pre-cancers as well as taming acne outbreaks.  It also makes your skin feel soft and smooth.

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication

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