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Chemical Peel

What is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a skin-rejuvenation technique used to enhance the appearance of the skin on the face or neck. During a chemical peel, an exfoliating chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove dead or damaged skin cells. After a peel, skin imperfections are minimized and the newly regenerated skin appears smoother and more radiant.

Chemical peels are comprised of various chemical agents and can be formulated in different strengths (superficial, medium, or deep) to address your unique skin concerns. The severity and type of your skin problems will determine the strength and composition of your customized chemical peel formula. Chemical peels are ideally suited to improve the following skin conditions:

  • Pigmentation irregularities (sun/liver/age spots)

  • Oily or acneic skin

  • Facial scarring due to injury or acne 

  • Photoaged skin

  • Dry, rough, or scaly skin

  • Fine lines and wrinkles

  • Sagging, loose skin with poor elasticity

  • Uneven skin tone or texture

  • Dyschromia (abnormal skin discoloration)

There are many different formulas that can be used during a chemical peel; Dr. Liu most commonly uses a medium depth Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) peel to achieve an appreciable improvement. While some physicians use lower concentration peels, Dr. Liu uses a 30-35% concentration, which is stronger than what you would use at home. Her patients have experienced dramatic results, and fewer treatments produce similar (or better) results than one could achieve with a weaker monthly peel.

Commonly asked questions

What strength peel do I need?

10-20% TCA Peel: appropriate for patients seeking a gentler peel to subtly refresh their facial appearance. After a 10% TCA peel, you may experience temporary redness and a mild burn, but these side effects should subside quickly, leaving you with revitalized, smoother skin (the effects of the 10% peel can be amplified with stronger formulations of up to 20% concentration).

25-35% TCA Peel: this powerful peel is appropriate for patients who present with lines/wrinkles or significantly photoaged skin, and who would benefit from a more dramatic facial rejuvenation. The 25-35% TCA peel is strong enough to warrant local or regional anesthesia and oral or intravenous sedation, and for the first 24 hours after the peel, patients may experience a frosting of the skin, redness, and then a darkening of the peeled skin. As the dead skin cells shed over the next 5-7 days, a fresh, pink epithelium will be revealed, which may take several days to completely heal. Post-operative skin care can be managed with bland petrolatum application and gentle wound debridement until the epithelium is fully regenerated.

How long does the procedure take?

A TCA chemical peel takes ~30 minutes and can be combined with other procedures.

How much do TCA peels cost?

It is difficult to provide pricing before a patient has had a consultation with Dr. Liu. The cost can vary depending on the strength and amount of peel a patient needs and how well the patient responds to the treatment.

Are TCA chemical peels safe?

Although chemical peels are non-surgical procedures, improper administration increases your risk of developing potentially serious complications (i.e. allergic reaction, infection, scarring). Your chemical peel should only be performed by a licensed, experienced professional.

There is a low risk of hypopigmentation (skin lightening) after chemical peels; however, a conservative approach is always best, and TCA solutions should not be applied in concentrations above 50%, as these levels are unpredictable and can result in facial scarring. The skin-rejuvenating results of your chemical peel can be maximized and extended with good skin care.

I received the results I wanted. They are not interested in just selling you a procedure or treatment, but want you to accomplish your goals. Dr. Liu is the consummate healthcare professional. She knows about the procedures and gives you a realistic expectation of the results that you will receive. She cares about doing a great job so that the patient will receive the best results from the procedure. She hears what your concerns are and directs you down a path that will help you accomplish your goals.

Ladera Ranch

Dr. Liu is the top rated oculoplastic surgeon in Orange County.

Click here to read more patient testimonials.

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