9 Conditions Chemical Peels In DC Can Treat

chemical peels in DC

The skin is the body’s biggest organ. Its main goal is to protect our bodies from external threats, chemicals, and environmental damage. Over time, you probably won’t see the battle on your arm, chest, or legs. But you will see it on your face. The skin on our face is the thinnest and will show signs of wear and tear soonest. You’ll also notice hormonal changes, skin conditions, and signs of aging. So it’s natural to want to take action, and cosmetic peels are one of the simplest, most effective cosmetic procedures to treat your skin. If you’re in the DMV area, chemical peels in DC are one of the many services provided by Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics. Here are nine conditions skin peels can handle.


Here’s what chemical peels in DC can do for you

What is a chemical peel anyway? Chemical peels are special solutions, often made of acids, applied to your face (and sometimes neck) to address a range of cosmetic conditions. Our skin consists of several layers, namely the epidermis, dermis, and deep subcutaneous layer. The top layer sheds off every month, but this turnover slows down with age. Chemical peels help speed up this process by helping dead skin cells slough off. The result reveals fresher, smoother, more hydrated layers underneath. Chemical peels are cosmetic procedures performed by dermatologists or aestheticians. Based on the patient’s condition, your dermatologist will perform one of 3 types of peels:

  1. Superficial or light peels address issues on the epidermis level, particularly the stratum corneum, the topmost layers of the epidermis.
  2. Medium peels address the deeper epidermis and the dermis.
  3. Deep peels go deeper to treat severe skin conditions. Only a board-certified dermatologist can perform this procedure.

Each peel addresses one or more medical or cosmetic conditions. Here are 10 common conditions you can address with chemical peels in DC.


1. Improve your dull skin

Like a snake shedding its skin, we, too, shed the skin on our faces. This cell turnover happens quickly when we’re younger, and we see smooth, firm skin thanks to collagen production. Unfortunately, both collagen production and cell turnover decline significantly with age. The result of dead skin is skin that looks rough to the touch, grey, and lackluster. Stress, poor diets, harsh weather, and poor skincare habits slow down turnover further. A chemical peel can remove the dead skin cells quickly, revealing the fresher layers of skin beneath. Your dermatologist will likely use a light chemical peel consisting of glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, or others. Over several treatments, you will see a significant improvement in your skin’s look, freshness, and feel.


2. Clear up your hyperpigmentation

If you’ve noticed one or more patches of skin looking a bit darker than the other, the issue may be hyperpigmentation. Your skin cells contain melanocytes which creates melanin. Melanin is responsible for your skin color. Sometimes, an overproduction of melanin can cause darker spots or patches on different parts of the body. Most cases of hyperpigmentation occur due to overexposure to sunlight. Other reasons include hormone changes, certain medications, burns, or inflammation. Hyperpigmentation responds well to light peels such as glycolic acid peels at 20%, mandelic acid, or TCA peels. TCA peels are medium depth and should be managed by a board-certified dermatologist. Using severe strength peels or the wrong peel for the patient’s skin type can cause severe scarring or more post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.


3. Improve your melasma

Melasma is another common form of hyperpigmentation. The hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy manifest in different ways, and most women experience some form of melasma. Dark patches can occur on the stomach, neck, and forearms, but most cases appear on the chin, forehead, and nose. Other causes of melasma include thyroid disorders, stress, and hormone therapy (for example, IVF). Your dermatologist will first perform a physical exam and ask about your medical history before diagnosing the issue. Melasma responds well to medication like skin lightening creams or steroids. If these fail, a series of light chemical peels or medium peels can remove the layers of skin with melasma. Over time, you may see melasma return, and you may need subsequent peels, but great skincare can reduce the chances significantly.


4. Reduce your breakouts

Who doesn’t have a breakout or two? Our pores can get blocked by dirt, hair, sebum, and dead skin cells. These blocked cells can cause bumps, namely whiteheads and blackheads. The resulting inflammation can cause pus-filled pimples, papules, nodules, and other types of pimples. Acne affects over 40 million Americans in some form. We usually have acne during puberty and into our 20s, but some people have acne well into their 30s and 40s. Acne is also a common symptom of menopause. Chemical peels help remove dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells accumulated in the top skin layers. Even moderate to severe cases of acne benefit from several superficial peels. Your dermatologist will use chemical peels along with topical medication to reduce the chances of breakouts.


5. Skin peels clear up your acne scars

In some cases of acne, the inflammation causes the affected pore walls to break down, causing scars. The damaged tissue can cause indentations in your skin. In some cases, scars form from an overproduction of collagen when your skin attempts to repair the damage. Acne scars take on different forms, including ice pick scars, boxcar scars, or keloid scarring. These scars can affect your self-esteem and overall quality of life. Some issues result in cystic acne, which can be painful. Most acne scar treatments involve medication that speeds up cell turn turnover, including alpha and beta-hydroxy acids. Medium depth chemical peels speed up the cell turnover by removing the scarred layers of skin. The fresh skin has a chance to heal and reduce scarring.


Deep peels can help severe scarring caused but is only under the approval of a board-certified dermatologist. Deep peels need 2-3 weeks to recover fully and will cause pain, redness, and irritation. Follow the before and aftercare direction of your doctor to see the best results.


6. Clear up fine lines and wrinkles

Wrinkles and fine lines are natural signs of aging. Some of these wrinkles occur due to a combination of reduced elasticity and gravity. Others are caused due to repeated movements, like frown lines, laugh lines, or lip lines. Whatever the reason, wrinkles can make us look older than we feel. You can cover up some of your wrinkles with makeup, but if you want a long-term, anti-aging solution, chemical peels can help. Minor to moderate wrinkles can clear up with light chemical peels. Deeper peels can clear up with medium-depth peels. Getting chemical peels in DC is a great part of wrinkle treatment like Botox.


7. No more uneven skin tone

When you have rough, bumpy skin, or dark spots, you’ll want to find a solution to your skin woes. Hyperpigmentation is the main cause of uneven skin tone, but other reasons include acne scarring, hormones, poor diet, or genes. Like hyperpigmentation, correcting those dark spots around your mouth and cheeks is possible with chemical peels. A series of light peels or medium peels over several weeks can clear up your uneven skin tone, regardless of the reason.


8. Reduce your rosacea?

Rosacea is another common condition that can impact the look and feel of your face. Rosacea patients have red, flushed skin on the face and sometimes the neck and chest. Other symptoms include swollen blood vessels, hot, tender skin, dry eyes, and irritation. The redness flares up for various reasons, including stress, dry weather, spicy foods, sun exposure. The flare-ups can come and go for weeks or sometimes months. In severe cases, rosacea creates red, pus-filled bumps around the nose. If rosacea affects your quality of life, your dermatologist may suggest a chemical peel along with your ongoing care. The peels will reduce the redness and clear up those acne-like bums around your nose. A light salicylic acid peel can help clear things up while being gentle on your sensitive skin.


9. Treating actinic keratosis

Prolonged sun exposure can create rough, scaly patches on your skin called actinic keratosis. Older people who work outdoors are more likely to develop the condition. Actinic keratosis is common on the face, particularly around the lips, forehead, scalp, neck, and arms. These patches can look pink or brown, depending on your skin color. Over time, these patches can become itchy, crusty, or bleed. Actinic keratosis could turn into skin cancer if left untreated. Some cases go away without treatment. However, severe cases can benefit from chemical peels.


Bonus: Your skincare products work better

Chemical peels have a high satisfaction rate. Most patients are amazed at the fresh look, removal of hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and scars. However, your dermatologist or aesthetician would not perform chemical peels in a vacuum. Instead, your doctor will recommend a skincare routine, often consisting of a cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen to keep up the amazing results. One of the biggest advantages of chemical peels is that your skincare products work better. This is because the active ingredients no longer have to work through dull, dead skin cells. As a result, you’ll see long-term results with a consistent skincare routine.


Are you a good candidate for chemical peels in DC?

People in good health with fair skin are good candidates for chemical peels. All skin types benefit from chemical peels, and your dermatologist will use the best formulation for your skin’s needs. Darkecan have chemical peels but should not have deep peels since these could cause scarring or uneven skin tone. Darker skin tones can benefit from beta-hydroxy acid peels or medium peels containing TCA. Jessner’s peels are also safe for darker skin tones. You may not be a good candidate for chemical peels if:

  • You have a history of keloids or scarring.
  • You’ve used acne treatments for severe acne within the last year.
  • For deep peels, you may not be a good candidate if you have a known heart condition.
  • If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

What should you expect during your treatment?

At Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics, we ensure that the process is smooth and enjoyable for our patients. Chemical peels first start with a consultation. Then, our dermatologist will assess your skin, discuss your concerns, and formulate a plan for your needs. For light and medium peels, you’ll have a simple procedure that lasts just a few minutes.

  • First, your dermatologist will cleanse your skin.
  • The chemical peel is then applied using a brush or similar applicator.
  • The solution stays on your skin for a few minutes.
  • The dermatologist will neutralize the solution then wipe it off.
  • A cold compress helps cool the skin, and then you can leave shortly.

Deep peels require more preparation a few weeks before the procedure. On the day of the procedure, you will be placed under general anesthesia. Deep peels also require bandages and several weeks of recovery time. After that, your doctor will decide if a deep peel is right for you. All chemical peels require extensive aftercare, including moisturizer and sun protection with a broad-spectrum sunscreen.


Get the best treatment with chemical peels.

Chemical peels are one of the most versatile cosmetic treatments in your dermatologist’s toolkit. The procedure can deal with a range of conditions, particularly hyperpigmentation, dull skin, wrinkles, acne scars, and much more. Your dermatologist will determine the best procedure to match your skincare needs. While the procedure is simple and effective, it’s not without risk. There is a low chance of inflammation, swelling, and redness. Most symptoms resolve within a few days. More severe symptoms include scarring and infection, which may need medical help. Make sure to discuss any risks and concerns with your provider.


If you’re struggling with one or more skin conditions affecting your confidence and quality of life, Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics can help. Our board-certified dermatologist, Ife Rodney, MD FAAD, has extensive knowledge of chemical peels for all skin types. As a result, we can formulate a plan to safely yet effectively treat acne, dark spots, wrinkles, and more. Get the best chemical peels in DC by scheduling a consultation with our team. We serve patients in Fulton, Columbia, Silver Springs, Howard County, Baltimore, and surrounding areas. 


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