Chemical Peels

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Non-surgical cosmetic procedures are becoming increasingly popular among men and women who desire a more youthful appearance. Although many of these services are offered at "spas," it's important to remember that these are medical procedures best performed by experienced physicians such as Dr. John J. Seaberg. This is especially true of chemical peels, which the Columbia plastic surgeon offers at his office.

If you live in Columbia, Jefferson City, or nearby areas and are interested in a chemical peel, please request a consultation online, or call Dr. Seaberg's office at (573) 443-5500 to schedule an appointment.

John J. Seaberg, MD, FACS Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Seaberg earns the trust of patients by listening to their cosmetic goals and achieving the results they desire.
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Am I a Good Candidate for a Chemical Peel?

People who see the most benefit from chemical peels are fair-skinned and have light hair. People with darker skin may achieve good results, depending on the issues being treated, but they are more likely to have uneven skin tone following the procedure. Chemical peels can be done on the face, neck, and hands and are appropriate for:

  • Reducing fine lines around the eyes and mouth
  • Treating wrinkles caused by sun damage and age
  • Improving the appearance of mild scars
  • Treating certain types of acne
  • Reducing age spots, freckles, and dark patches that result from pregnancy or taking birth control pills

Chemical peels are not effective treatments for sagging skin and more severe wrinkles. Those conditions are best addressed either with dermal fillers or surgical procedures, such as a face lift, brow lift, or eyelid lift.

The Procedure

A chemical peel is done at Dr. Seaberg's Columbia practice as an outpatient procedure. In all chemical peels, a solution is applied to your skin to treat wrinkles and scars caused by the sun, acne, or aging. The damaged layers of skin are removed by the chemical solution. There are 3 types of peels, depending on the depth and duration of the treatment:

  • Light (Superficial): A combination of mild chemicals remains on your skin for up to 10 minutes, removing only the outer layer of your skin (the epidermis.) A series of light peels results in smoother skin with a healthy glow. The treatments are done weekly for up to 6 weeks for the best results.
  • Medium: In medium peels, Dr. Seaberg uses trichloroacetic acid, or TCA, which removes the epidermis along with the upper portion of the dermis. The deeper penetration of chemicals is accompanied by a slight burning sensation, which can be alleviated with cool compresses. Pain-relief medication may be needed after the procedure for a brief time. Medium peels improve the appearance of acne scars and deeper wrinkling. Medium peels may be repeated in 6 to 12 months to maintain your refreshed look.
  • Deep: As its name implies, a deep chemical peel removes several layers of skin cells. If you have deeper wrinkles, sun damage, scars, or blotchy skin, a deep chemical peel can provide an improved appearance that may last for years. A deep peel is a serious medical procedure, and it requires some pre-treatment that may last up to 2 months. Dr. Seaberg uses a sedative to help patients remain comfortable during a deep peel. Redness, swelling, and peeling will continue for up to 2 weeks, and it is usually about 3 months before the redness fully fades.

The First Step

Dr. Seaberg will examine your skin during your consultation to assess whether you are a good candidate for a chemical peel and, if so, what depth of peel will achieve the best results. He will also ask about your personal medical history, specifically whether you have a history of scarring or cold sores that often return, and whether you've had facial X-rays. Ultimately, the decision about what peel to have will depend on your goals and the condition of your skin.

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John J. Seaberg, MD, FACS