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What are the different types of chemical peels?

Chemical peels work in varying degrees depending upon their strength. From mild to aggressive, chemical peels can address a broad range of skin-related issues.

  • A mild peel penetrates the epidermis, or the most surface layer of the skin. Mild peels are generally made with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). Mild peels offer patients the least amount of downtime.
  • Moderate peels are more aggressive and are usually made with glycolic acid. Moderate peels penetrate down to the dermis, offering patients a broader spectrum of rejuvenating benefits.
  • The most aggressive peels are generally made with trichloroacetic acid (ACA) or a mixture of various acids. These peels can reach the deepest layer of the skin, which is called the hypodermis. While these deep peels require the longest downtime, they also offer the most advanced benefits

Chemical Peel Media

Patient undergoing a chemical peel

The Chemical Peel Process (+ Day By Day Healing!)

What skin problems does each type of chemical peel treat?

During your initial consultation, our nurse aesthetician or Dr. Leong will help you determine which chemical peel is best for you. This is based upon your specific cosmetic concerns. In general, each peel treats the following conditions:

Best Chemical Peels Pittsburgh PA

Mild peel:

  • Acne
  • Fine lines
  • Chronically dry skin
  • Uneven pigmentation

Moderate peel:

  • Acne scars
  • Wrinkles
  • Uneven skin tone

Deep peel:

  • Deeper facial wrinkles
  • Blotchy skin
  • Sun damage
  • Potentially pre-cancerous growths

What happens during the chemical peel procedure?

When you come to Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery for a chemical peel, we will begin by thoroughly cleansing your skin. If needed, you may receive a topical anesthetic to manage your comfort. Once we are ready to begin, the custom chemical formula is gently applied to your skin. We will leave the chemical formula in place for a specified amount of time, allowing it to perform its rejuvenating work. In general, chemical peels take around 30 minutes from start to finish.

What can I expect during recovery from a chemical peel?

You are free to return home immediately following your chemical peel treatment, but we do ask that you get a friend or family member to drive you.

Regardless of the depth of your peel, the after-effects usually remain for about two weeks with varying levels of severity. In general, these effects include tenderness, redness, swelling, and peeling of the skin. If you received a deeper peel, these will be more severe.

Our office will ensure you have a thorough set of instructions so your recovery is as smooth as possible. This includes providing you with a gentle cleanser and skincare products to speed recovery and ease discomfort. Pain is usually well managed with over-the-counter medication.

Now Serving Morgantown

Dr. Paul Leong is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon specializing exclusively in aesthetic facial plastic surgery. With an international reputation for the quality of his chemical peel treatments, Dr. Leong’s practice has a regional scope, drawing patients from well beyond Pittsburgh. To better serve his patients in the region, Dr. Leong has expanded with an additional office in Morgantown, WV.


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