Chemical Peels for Sunspots

  • Best Results1-5 sessions
  • Treatment Recovery0-8 days
  • Procedure Time10-30 minutes
  • Skin SpecialistNurse & Davin Lim
  • Duration of Results2-5 years
  • AnaestheticNil-sedation
  • Back to WorkVariable
  • Cost$-$$$

Chemical Peels for Sunspots

TCA & Jessner Trichloroacetic Acid peels are really old-fashioned peels. The flipside is that they have a high clearance rate for solar keratosis, sun induced pigmentation, freckles, as well as age spots. AHA peels, including glycolic acid are other treatment options that address both pigmentation & pre-cancerous changes.

FactsFacts on Chemical Peels for Sunspots

  • Chemical peels are an excellent option for both treatment of sunspots & prevention of actinic keratosis
  • The peeling agent can be customised according to depth, location & downtime
  • AHA peels including glycolic & lactic acid are classed as superficial peels
  • Superficial peels have no downtime
  • Jessner TCA peels are medium depth chemical peels
  • Jessner TCA has a recovery period of 6-9 days
  • Peels can be combined with CO2 lasers for better results

What types of peels are used for treating sunspots?

The four main peels used to treat sun damage are-

  • Jessner TCA peels: This is rated as a medium depth chemical peel.
  • Phenol Croton Oil peel: This is a deep chemical peel.
  • Retinoic Acid: either de novo or laser assisted peels, classed as superical.
  • Glycolic acid or AHA peels: classed as superficial peels.

How are they different from fuzzy cosmetic peels?

Specialist peels differ primarily with the depth & concentration of peels. For example, my peeling protocol for Jessner TCA gives a downtime of 6-9 days, retinoic acid peels are approximated 150 to 200 times stronger than retinol, whilst glycolic acid peels are maxed out at 70%.

How good are peels compared to Efudix, Aldara & Photodynamic therapy?

It depends on what is used, namely peeling agent, concentration & coats. Medium to deep peels are equal to or more effective than topicals including Efudix, Aldara & PDT. Peels have the advantage of addressing both sunspots, pre-cancer, superficial cancer & cosmetic elements such as pigmentation & wrinkles.  

What is the best peel for sun damage?

Medium to deep peels are best. The flipside is the recovery, ranging from 7 to 14 days. If downtime is an issue, AHA peels have a quick recovery of 1-4 hours, whilst retinoic acid peel recovery ranges between 2-9 days.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Chemical Peels for Solar Keratosis

Chemical peels are one of my favorite treatments. Why? Because they are tactile & can be customised for each patient. Peels can reduce the burden of solar keratosis, superficial skin cancers, wrinkles & pigmentation. Medium depth peels including Jessner TCA can be combined with lasers such as CO2 for even better results.

Superficial peels can be employed to prevent recurrence of sunspots. These peels include vitamin A peels (retinoic acid) as well as high concentration glycolic & lactic acid. AHA peels can also stimulate dermal collagen & reduce skin pigmentation.

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