Chemical peel vs. microdermabrasion: Which is better?

Patient receiving a chemical peel

Chemical peel vs. microdermabrasion: Which is better?

Patients ask me all the time, “Should I do microdermabrasion?” Usually, I advise that if you’re going to put the money into doing something to help brighten the face, I would at least do a superficial chemical peel where you will receive a deeper treatment. Microdermabrasion (Microderm) involves simply taking the dead stratum corneum off the skin, which gives the patient’s skin a little bit more of a glow. 

Chemical peel vs. microdermabrasion: Which is better?

So let’s start with a chemical peel. A chemical peel is an excellent way to exfoliate dead skin, brighten your face, even out your skin tone, and ultimately give your face that gorgeous glow you’re longing for. At Center for Surgical Dermatology, we offer a range of options, including an Illuminize Peel, a Glycolic/Salicylic/AFA Peel, a Vitalize Peel, a Rejuvenize Peel, and a Gentleman’s Peel. Our aesthetician can help you decide which peel will give you the results you desire.

While both the chemical peel and microdermabrasion treatments are considered to be forms of exfoliation, the difference between the two is in the type of exfoliation and how the dead skin cells are removed. Chemical peels are chemical exfoliations, and microdermabrasion is a physical exfoliation. 

We don’t offer microdermabrasion at our practice, but from a knowledge standpoint, Microderm is just extracting the dead layer of skin, which is the top layer of skin. Basically, the treatment improves the skin’s tone and texture by taking away the dullness, but that’s the extent of it. In my opinion, there is even a big difference between a superficial chemical peel and a Microderm. 

There are superficial, medium, and deep chemical peels. At Center for Surgical Dermatology, our estheticians provide superficial chemical peels, like glycolic acids and salicylic acid chemical peels. They can also provide medium depth Trichloroacetic Acid Peels (TCA), which are available in a range of strengths and combinations. While we don’t offer any true deep chemical peels, a medium depth peel can be driven deeper based on the number of passes and how much frosting we get with certain peels. 

Ultimately, with a superficial chemical peel, you are getting a little bit deeper than a Microderm, even hitting the epidermal layer of skin to help with abnormal pigmentation and such. 

Who can benefit from a chemical peel?

While those are the main three types of patients who could benefit from a chemical peel, anyone who desires a healthy glow or feels like their skin has changed as a result of aging can benefit from a chemical peel. 

    1. Patients with acne and/or hyperpigmentation: Chemical peels are great for patients who have issues with acne and hyperpigmentation. Certain peels, like the salicylic acid peel, help calm the active acne while helping with exfoliation. Our goal here is to not only remove the dead layer of skin but to also help even out the skin tone. 
    2. Patients with melasma: Chemical peels are also great for melasma patients battling dark patches are their faces. Depending on the depth of the patient’s pigmentation, we will determine if a superficial or medium depth peel is right for the patient.  
    3. Patients with significant sun damage, sun spots, and freckling: Chemical peels are an effective way to treat these damaged skin spots. 

Contact Center of Surgical Dermatology for more information on chemical peels vs. microdermabrasion in Westerville, OH

Center of Surgical Dermatology is the largest medical and surgical skin treatment and wellness facility in Central Ohio. Since 2007, our board-certified Dermatologists, fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons, and caring professional staff have provided patients with the treatment they can trust in an environment second to none. Learn more about our state-of-the-art Dermatology Center before booking your appointment today.

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