Deep or superficial peels can be done with both laser and chemicals. But I think the trend is moving toward chemical peels being a lighter depth peel, and a laser being used for deeper peels. Aestheticians and cosmetic therapists can perform superficial chemical peels. These peels come in a kit (e.g. the Vitalize Peel by Skin Medica), and the results are very predictable. There is minimal to no redness afterward. Mild flaking starts at about two days after the peel, and lasts 3-5 days. Deeper peels should be done by a physician. I prefer to use a laser because the depth of the peel is very consistent and easy to adjust. The deeper the peel, the more impressive the result is, and the longer the downtime. Having a series of peels instead of a single peel will also give more dramatic results. So chemical peels and laser peels are really just different tools used to achieve similar goals. Your doctor will help guide you toward a specific treatment depending on the results you’re looking for, how much downtime you have, and your budget.
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