Alternatives to Chemical Peels

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Chemical peels are not a miraculous remedy for all skin conditions, although the proven benefits are indeed rather substantial. Upon contemplation of receiving a chemical peel treatment you may consider that, for varying reasons, the treatment does not have the greatest suitability for yourself. It is important to recognise the benefits and risks entailed by possible alternative procedures.  Moreover we can differentiate alternative methods from chemical peels and this can help you to decide the best possible action to take.

Laser Treatment

Laser resurfacing is a relatively new development within the field of cosmetic surgery, however the numbers of people undergoing laser treatment is already growing.  Otherwise known as a laser peel, there are notable similarities that exist between chemical peels and laser treatment. Crucially, both of these methods are proven to improve the appearance of the skin.

Cosmetic laser skin resurfacing enables the skin to be greatly improved, through the reduction of such termed imperfections as; wrinkles, sun damage and skin disorders such as acne. Those with severe scarring are advised to also seek additional techniques to improve the quality of their skin. The procedure involves the application of a laser to the surface of the skin, which causes the molecular bonds of the damaged skin cells to be dissolved, peeling off the skin layer by layer. This process is one of utmost precision; chemical peels cannot merely target a single wrinkle whereas the ‘laser peel’ can.  Therefore a specific age spot or wrinkle for example can be targeted, without the need to affect the surrounding skin.

Notably laser resurfacing results in a certain amount of pain and consequentially you will be anaesthetised when the laser resurfacing is being performed.  In terms of chemical peels, it is only for the deep peels where sedatives may be given whereas this is unheard of for superficial peels. Moreover, they incur a similar risk factor to deep chemical peels, with the potential for laser scarring and altered skin pigmentation.

Laser treatment can penetrate deeper than the surface layers of skin, they can therefore remove unwanted tattoos. You may decide to get a tattoo for numerous reasons but later come to regret this decision; if this is the case then laser treatment is a plausible solution. Nevertheless chemical peels are not. When marked with the ink from a tattooist’s needle the ink directly penetrates the deeper layers of our skin, areas not affected by a chemical peel. Thus the chemical peel is completely futile in removing a tattoo.

As costs alternate, dependant on such factors as the clinic performed in, the type of laser resurfacing- it is vital to schedule a consultation with your laser surgeon to ascertain pricing and ensure that your individual needs are fully met.

Types of laser include:

  • CO2 lasers – Offers the greatest intensity of laser currently available. It is used for conditions ranging from the early stages of skin cancer to the removal of birthmarks.
  • Erbium lasers – Have the ability to remove thinner layers of skin than CO2 lasers allow . This is because the erbium laser offers greater precision than viable with CO2 lasers. Moreover, the shorter healing times make them ideal for those seeking to reduce the appearance of finer wrinkles


There is a prevailing misconception concerning chemical peels that they are akin to a facelift. This is false. Chemical peels concentrate upon improving the quality of an individual’s skin whereas facelifts do not. Furthermore facelifts are a surgical procedure and require a greater amount of recovery time than a superficial chemical peel.

If you have excessive facial laxity (your skin is sagging) or/and deep rhytides (deep wrinkles) then you are better suited to undergoing a facelift operation.  Nonetheless, you should always seek consultation with a cosmetic surgeon to approve the viability of undergoing a facelift.

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