Chemical Peels vs. Microdermabrasion

Chemical peels and microdermabrasion treatments can both treat minor aging signs very effectively, and they work in slightly similar ways, so it’s difficult for some patients initially to know which procedure will work best for them. Basic facts:

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion manually exfoliates dead skin cells from the outer layer of skin, removing damaged cells and stimulating rapid regeneration of the outer layer of skin, and some regeneration of collagen fibers at the same time. The procedure uses microscopic crystals along with suction to remove the outer skin layer cells. Following the procedure, skin will become smoother, softer, clearer, brighter, fresher and younger looking.

Microdermabrasion is an effective treatment for superficial irregularities in the skin texture, superficial scarring, and fine wrinkles. Most doctors will suggest six to eight sessions of microdermabrasion procedures for optimal results. Most procedures are repeated after one- or two-week intervals. You may experience minimal redness of the skin following the procedure; most of this will subside within an hour, but you can expect to see results develop over a few days after your procedure as your skin rebuilds and restores itself.

Chemical Peel

Like microdermabrasion, a chemical peel aims to eliminate much of the damaged outermost layer of skin and stimulate tissue restoration in the process. However, a chemical peel has the added benefit of correcting some minor pigmentation problems that some types of microdermabrasion treatments might not.

A chemical peel is an effective treatment to remove aging spots or sun spots that may appear on your face or hands. During the treatment, a special chemical mixture such as phenol, trichloracetic acid, or glycolic acid, is applied to the skin. This mixture is designed to gently remove damaged cells by delivering a controlled type of superficial tissue destruction, which eliminates the outer layers of the skin. This procedure does temporarily irritate the skin; redness is normal, but this tends to disappear quickly over the first day after treatment, and clear completely over a maximum of seven days. Most patients notice dramatic and immediate improvements to pigmentation problems, and can expect to see aging signs minimize  further over a few days.

Chemical peel offers quicker and sometimes more thorough results than microdermabrasion, as the chemical mixture can be customized according to your skin type. Many patients choose chemical peel as an initial treatment, with occasional microdermabrasion treatments afterward to help maintain results.

For deeper exfoliation, some patients choose to alternate or combine treatments, but your skin type will determine if this is the best choice for you to create and maintain the results you want.

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