One of the two primary reasons that people seek non-emergency dermatological care is to rejuvenate the skin for a youthful appearance or to obscure and eliminate unwanted blemishes. The way that the best dermatological practices address those needs can vary, as there are numerous procedures used to reach those goals. Two of the most common ways of improving the appearance of the skin and reducing the prominence of blemishes are chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing treatment in San Diego, CA.

While both can achieve the desired results when properly applied, there are some significant differences between the two procedures. These differences could be meaningful to the individual, which would make one better suited to the needs of the patient than the other. Regardless, it’s important to know more about each procedure, how it’s performed, the probable outcomes, and any potential side effects. Keep reading to see an in-depth comparison of chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing procedures.

The Goals

Both chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing are used to target the same types of skin conditions. They are both used to treat skin blemishes such as wrinkles, sun damage, age-related skin damage, scars from acne, or brown spots. Laser resurfacing is also sometimes used to tighten the skin and stimulate collagen production to present a more youthful tone.

How They Work

While chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing procedures may have shared goals, the way they go about attaining those ends are quite different. Chemical peels, as the name would indicate, use chemicals to strip away the damaged top layers of skin to reveal the fresh layers beneath. The chemicals, usually acids, can be derived from natural sources such as fruit, though other non-organic chemicals are sometimes used to achieve the desired results. Laser skin resurfacing involves the use of a high-speed pulsating laser that directs high-intensity light at problematic areas of the skin. It can reach deeper blemishes than chemical peels because it can penetrate beneath the top layer.

Power of the Procedure

Both types of procedures can be tailored to the patient’s needs or the skin condition that is being treated. This is done by varying the intensity of the treatment to minimize potential side effects while still getting the results that the patient wants. A range of chemicals can amp up or tamp down the level of intensity in the course of a chemical peel. Laser skin resurfacing can use the powerful ablative laser to treat major blemishes, or a less invasive non-ablative laser to simply stimulate the skin to produce additional collagen, which will provide a more youthful appearance.

Side Effects of the Procedures

Since both chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing can be used to treat a similar list of blemishes and conditions, the deciding factor may come down to which one has the fewest potential side effects for the patient. For those with sensitive skin, chemical peels may result in harsher reactions, though one of the milder types of chemical peels may not elicit adverse side effects. Laser resurfacing side effects differ from patient to patient and, depending on the type and intensity of the treatment, can result in red skin, discomfort, and potential scabbing as the skin heals following the procedure.

Procedure Cost

Though chemical peels have an average cost of entry that’s significantly lower than laser resurfacing, the cost for full peels can range up to $4,000 in some cases. Most, however, are substantially less than that, beginning at $100 for the most basic peels and moving upwards at a price from there. Laser skin resurfacing usually costs more, and pricing varies depending on the type of laser used. Resurfacing with an ablative laser can cost as much as $2000, while non-ablative treatments are usually around $1000.

While their goals are the same, there are many points of difference between these two procedures, such as chemical peel and laser skin resurfacing price in San Diego, CA. Both can be effective, but it’s up to the individual patient and the dermatologist to determine the best course of treatment for skin blemishes. To learn more about the differences between chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing, or to make a same-day appointment, contact Academic & Aesthetic Dermatology Consultants at (858) 292-7525.