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Chemical Peel Cost vs. Benefit

Updated on June 8, 2010

Chemical peels are growing in popularity as an effective treatment for removing blemishes and wrinkles and toning uneven skin pigmentation. Chemical facial peels treat acne and other skin problems by removing the top layer of skin and bringing healthier skin cells to the surface. Besides its cosmetic benefits, chemical peeling can also remove pre-cancerous skin growths and lessen the appearance of facial scars.

Chemical peels are made up of phenol, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and alphahydroxy acids (AHAs). The amount of each in any given treatment depends upon the needs of the patient. Each of the three chemicals produces a different type of peel. Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) are the mildest and remove fine wrinkling, areas of dry skin, uneven coloration and mild to moderate acne. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) produces a medium-depth chemical facial peel that is used to smooth wrinkles, blemishes, and pigment issues. Phenol chemical facial peels are the deepest and strongest chemical facial peels. These peels correct deep facial wrinkles, areas of skin damaged by sun exposure, or pre-cancerous growths.

Before choosing to have a chemical facial peel of any kind, it is important to examine the cost vs. benefit for chemical facial peels. Chemical peeling has many benefits. They are less expensive than facial surgery and can give you younger, healthier looking skin. They can remove precursor conditions for skin cancer. They can also allow your skin to absorb more moisture and therefore maintain a youthful appearance.

However, chemical peels can have many side effects. Several types of chemical peels may cause stinging, irritation, and crusting of the skin. The TCA and phenol chemical peel side effects can include changes in the color of the skin, and patients are advised not to expose the skin to the sun for several months following treatment. Deep chemical peels eliminate your skin’s ability to tan, and therefore patients receiving these peels must protect their skin from the sun permanently. The cost of chemical peels varies, but generally ranges from $600 to $900 for mild to moderate peels, and up to $6,000 for deep chemical facial peels.

All chemical facial peels require recovery after treatment. TCA peels require a moderate amount of recovery time, while phenol chemical peels can require several months of recovery during which treated facial skin should not be exposed to the sun.

You should always consult your doctor before beginning any chemical peel treatment.

Image Credit: lisa_at_home2002, Flickr 


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  • GmaGoldie profile image

    Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

    This is on my list of wishes - great Hub! Thank you!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Very interesting hub. I am leery of a chemical peel and other than a couple of brown spots I don't have any complexion problems, but there are many that do. If someone wants a peel then i think they should follow your good advice.