Chemical peels address the common signs of aging and sun damage by resurfacing the skin with a chemical solution. Depending on the strength of the peel, light exfoliation to significant skin sloughing can occur. At Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa, we offer an esthetician-administered light Jessner’s peel, the Reveal Peel a Nurse-administered 10% light to medium peel, as well as deeper, more intensive peels with 30% TCA (trichloroacetic acid) and Phenol which are performed by Dr. Gilbert Lee, a plastic surgeon with extensive chemical peel experience.

Chemical peels are effective:

  • Precancerous lesions such as actinic keratoses

  • Fine to medium depth wrinkles

  • Hyperpigmentation

  • Sunspots

  • Uneven texture

  • Enlarged pores

How is a Chemical Peel Performed?

A chemical peel treatment involves the application of an acid solution to eliminate damaged skin layers. During a chemical peel procedure, hydroxyl acids (AHA), TCA or phenol acid is applied to the skin and closely monitored as the chemical is absorbed by the skin. Your provider will then neutralize the chemical agent to stop the action of the chemical.

What Types of Chemical Peels are Available?

There are three types of chemical peels:

  • Light: A light chemical peel, such as the Jessner’s peel, treats poor skin texture and uneven skin pigmentation. Light peels can be repeated every 4 to 6 weeks.

  • Medium: A stronger peel solution, such as a 10% TCA Reveal Peel, penetrates the skin at a medium depth level to address pigmentation issues and fine lines.

  • Deep: The strongest type of chemical peel using 30% TCA or phenol acid to aggressively treat coarse skin texture, facial wrinkles, pre-cancerous growths, and sun damage. A deep peel also stimulates collagen formation so some degree of skin tightening is realized.

There are many types and strengths of chemical peels and your Changes Plastic Surgery practitioner will help you determine which is right for you depending on the severity of poor skin quality, your skin type and the amount of downtime you are willing to undergo.


Down-time associated with a light chemical peel such as a Jessner’s peel is minimal. Some patients may not experience any significant peeling, although there is always exfoliation at a cellular level. Repeated treatments may be recommended with very light peels.

Redness, stinging and itching is common side effects associated with medium depth peels.

Deeper chemical peels such as TCA and phenol peels will result in significant skin peeling. Post-treatment swelling is to be expected and oozing can potentially occur. Proper care of the skin is required during healing. You will be prescribed an anti-viral medication to take prior to your peel. Post peel, you will be instructed to apply vinegar and water soaks to cool the skin and control the itching associated with healing. Your practitioner may recommend a post-peel product for moisturizing and hydrocortisone to suppress potential inflammation. Protection from sun exposure is paramount during the healing period and wearing a hat is strongly recommended.