Laser Skin Rejuvenation vs. Facial Peels

chemical peels

When certain skin conditions start to rear their ugly heads and our go-to products just aren’t cutting it anymore, we tend to look into other options. Often this is when people start looking into chemical facial peels and laser skin rejuvenation, as these are the two best noninvasive procedures that can turn your skin around.

While these two treatment options might seem like one and the same, they’re actually very different and one might be better for you than the other, depending on what skin imperfections you need treated, your skin color, and skin type.

What Can Be Treated

  • Sun Damage
  • Fine Lines
  • Wrinkles
  • Acne
  • Acne Scars
  • Unwanted Freckles
  • Scars
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Irregular Skin Surface
  • Birthmarks
  • Age Spots
  • Collagen Production
  • Sun Damage
  • Fine Lines
  • Wrinkles
  • Acne
  • Acne Scars
  • Unwanted Freckles
  • Scars
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Irregular Skin Surface
  • Birthmarks
  • Age Spots
  • Collagen Production

Procedures

chemical peel is a substance that is placed on the face or the area of the skin being treated that removes the top layers of the skin. Typically a mixture of phenol, trichloroacetic acid, and alpha hydroxy acid is used. The amount depends on the intensity of the chemical peel and the desired results. The substance will typically stay on the face for 10 minutes.

A licensed medical laser technician targets imperfections using set wavelengths to create wounds in the skin. This encourages the body to naturally replace the damaged skin cells with healthy new ones, leaving the area looking fresh and youthful. The intensity level depends on several factors including the kind of treatment you’re getting, and your desired results. Treatments typically take an average of 10 minutes.

Treatment Options

Superficial Peels: These are the mildest form of facial peels that can be performed on any skin type; they remove only superficial skin imperfections on the surface of the skin.

Medium Peels: These are more intense chemical peels that will penetrate deeper layers of the skin and cause a slight burn that will require time to heal.

Deep Peels: These are the most intense form of chemical peels that penetrate the deepest layers of the skin. Due to their intensity level, they can only be performed once in a person’s lifetime and can not be done on those with darker skin as they will bleach it.

Ablative Lasers: Laser skin rejuvenation using ablative lasers is the original kind of laser treatment and is considered an invasive procedure. The wounds created by the laser are visible and require several days or weeks to heal. Only one laser session is required and typically takes 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the area being treated.

Nonablative Lasers: As a newer technology used to treat skin imperfections, fractional lasers are used to create microscopic wounds in the skin that require little or no downtime. Since these treatments are gentler than those using ablative lasers, they will require several laser treatments. These treatments, however, only take an average of 10 minutes.

Side Effects

For chemical peels, the degree of side effects depends on the intensity level of the peel. The effects include:

  • Stinging
  • Burning
  • Temporary skin discoloration
  • Redness
  • Blistering
  • Peeling

Those who receive laser treatments with nonablative lasers are likely to see mild or no side effects. These might include:

  • Redness
  • Slight swelling
  • Possible acne breakout
  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Itching

Recovery

Recovery from chemical peels takes a minimum of two weeks, in which strenuous activity, or even going to work, is not recommended. Additionally, no makeup can be worn on the treated area during this time. Taking birth control or any medications containing hormones are not recommended. Complete skin recovery can take up to six weeks.

There is little or no downtime required after getting laser skin rejuvenation with nonablative lasers, but makeup and sun exposure should be avoided. Laser treatments using ablative lasers take longer to recover from, typically several days to several weeks.

Cost

Averages $600 – $900 for chemical peels

Averages $800 – $1,000 for nonablative laser treatments.

Averages $2,000 – $2,300 for ablative laser treatments.

Results

Mild chemical peels will provide lasting results anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. The more intense the peel, the longer the results will last. With proper skin care, deeper chemical peels can last for years.

Laser treatments can last for several years if the skin is properly taken care of. Laser skin rejuvenation using nonablative lasers can also be performed as a mild facial every few weeks, to keep results fresh.