Chemical peels remove layers of skin (to different depths based on the specific peeling agent) chemically, laser resurfacing vaporizes the upper layers and dermabrasion mechanically planes down the layers of skin. Once removed, elements from the deeper portions of the skin heal the wound, only in a smoother fashion.

Other, light based treatments, such as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or Nd-YAG lasers, can be used to remove age spots, spider veins and broken capillaries, reverse sun damage, permanently reduce unwanted hair or tighten the skin.

Superficial skin peels, like glycolic acid peels, use stronger concentrations than those performed at salons and produce a noticeable softening and smoothing of the skin. They are often useful in cases of mild acne as well.

More potent peels, such as the trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel, penetrate more deeply. These peels can help even complexion, soften fine lines (especially around the eye and mouth) and smooth skin. Laser resurfacing is generally reserved for more aggressive treatment of lines and wrinkles.

TCA peels are performed in the office, and discomfort is limited to a brief “stinging” during the procedure, and “down-time” is limited to 4-6 days of skin peeling.

Laser resurfacing vaporizes the upper layers of skin without damaging the surrounding tissue. Once the upper layers of the skin have been removed, the deeper structures in the skin assist in healing the abraded area. There is some evidence that laser treatment stimulates new collagen production in the deeper areas of the skin, tightening and restoring elasticity to the treated skin.

Intense Pulsed Light and Nd-YAG laser treatments take advantage that certain wavelengths of light will pass through the outer layers of skin without causing damage. Within the deeper layers of the skin, these light based treatments can target dilated blood vessels, age spots, sun damage, and unwanted hair. Treatments can be quick and effective with little to no recovery time.

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