What Can a Chemical Peel do for Your Skin?

By: Dr. Ashish Bhatia


Chemical peels are a popular way to encourage natural cell turnover and skin exfoliation. This tried and true treatment can do wonders, from soften lines around the eyes and mouth, brighten your skin, reduce discoloration and age spots, to minimizing acne scars. The result is a refreshed, healthier-looking complexion. At Oak Dermatology, chemical peels are often used as part of our exclusive Skin Health Restoration therapy. Chemical peels involve applying a chemical solution to the skin to remove dead skin cells and improve skin texture and tone.

Call Oak Dermatology to learn about our individualized treatment plans and why so many people in Naperville, IL receive chemical peels at our clinic.

What causes problems with our skin?

Collagen production slows down as we age, leading to wrinkles and creases that only deepen over time. Frequent sun exposure causes dark spots and areas of discoloration. Hormone changes, stress, smoking, poor diet, and environmental pollutants also contribute to uneven skin texture and tone. Just like our bodies, our skin ages and its health decline. When the skin health declines, skin conditions such as those mentioned will begin to surface. Hence it is important to not only treat visible blemishes but also restore your skin’s health in order to prevent future issues from surfacing.

Acne is another common skin issue, especially among young adults as well as those having hormonal changes. While over-the-counter products temporarily ease symptoms, they do not address the underlying cause of acne: blocked pores due to excess oil and bacteria buildup. Professional treatments like a chemical peel specific in targeting acne can penetrate deep into the pores and clear away these impurities.

How does a chemical peel work?

Chemical peels work by using a chemical solution to dissolve the outer layer of skin cells. The most common chemicals used in chemical peels are alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), and trichloroacetic acid (TCA). The strength of the chemical solution used will depend on the severity of the skin concern being treated and the patient's skin type. Chemical peels at Oak Dermatology take about 30 – 60 minutes. During the treatment, the chemical solution is applied to the skin and left on for a specific amount of time. The solution is then neutralized and removed, and the skin is treated with a soothing cream or ointment to promote healing After your chemical peel, it's important to follow your dermatologist's aftercare instructions to ensure proper healing. This may include avoiding sun exposure, using gentle skincare products, and avoiding activities that may cause sweating or irritation to the skin.

There are different kinds of chemical peels depending on the desired level of exfoliation. For example, light peels manage mild concerns, while medium-depth peels target mild to moderately damaged skin. Deep peels are more aggressive and address sun damage, age spots, and deep-seated scars. You can read more about the various kinds of chemical peels Oak Dermatology has to offer here.

About our specialty chemical peels

Some skin conditions may restrict treatments to a combination of chemical peels and at-home medical grade skincare regimen, Oak Dermatology is proud to offer specialty chemical peels for addressing very specific skin concerns like melasma, acne, ultimate skin restore (laser-peel combo) amongst others.

Ask how you can benefit from one of these treatments during your next visit.

What Results Can You Expect from a Chemical Peel?

The results of a chemical peel can vary depending on the type of peel you receive and your skin concerns. However, in general, chemical peels can improve the following:

  1. Skin Texture: Chemical peels can improve the texture of your skin by removing dead skin cells and smoothing out rough patches.
  2. Acne: Chemical peels can be used to treat mild to moderate acne by unclogging pores and reducing inflammation.
  3. Hyperpigmentation: Chemical peels can help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, including age spots, sun spots, and melasma.
  4. Fine Lines and Wrinkles: Chemical peels can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production and improving skin elasticity.
  5. Scarring: Chemical peels can help reduce the appearance of scarring caused by acne or other skin injuries.

It's important to keep in mind that the results of a chemical peel may not be immediate, and it can take several days or even weeks for your skin to fully heal and reveal the final results.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.