Chemical Peels

Chemical Peels

Acne, melasma, pigmentation, wrinkles, and acne scarring can all be treated with chemical peels. The strength and type of chemical peel can be tailored to suit the patient and skin condition.


  • Chemical peels can be used to treat acne, pigmentation, wrinkles and sun-damaged skin.
  • The type of chemical peel and the concentration of peeling agent will determine the depth of peeling.
  • Deeper peels will result in greater clinical improvements in the skin, however are associated with greater downtime and side effects.
  • Glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, Vitamin A and TCA are the most frequently used peeling agents.
  • Patients are carefully assessed by a specialist Dermatologist or Registered Nurse to ensure that the correct concentration and peeling agent is used for the skin condition.

Chemical peels refer to a broad range of chemical treatments for the skin. Peels regenerate and resurface the skin at varying depths depending on the agent and concentration used.

Superficial peels remove the dead layers of the skin and can help improve uneven pigmentation, whilst medium depth peels target the deeper layers of the epidermis. Deeper peels have the ability to stimulate collagen production, which can improve both texture and tone.

Glycolic or Lactic Acid Peels

This peeling agent is the most commonly used chemical peel and is frequently referred to as the ‘lunch time peel’. Side effects are uncommon, recovery is quick (within an hour or two), and the procedure is affordable. Our peel concentration starts at 20% and typically ends at 70%.  We recommend a series of peels spaced between 2-3 weeks apart.

Ideal for – acne, pigmentation, mild acne scarring, mild photodamage, uneven skin tone.

Salicylic Acid Peels

Salicylic acid peels have an anti-inflammatory component which is ideal for acne treatments.  Recovery is seen within a few hours, and results can be seen within 2-3 days of the peel. This peel maybe used as a once off peel or a series of 2-3 peels spaced every 2 weeks.

Ideal for – acne, especially blackheads/ whiteheads.

TCA (Trichloroacetic acid) peels

This peel is aimed at reaching the deeper layers of the skin. Depending on the concentration, a downtime of upto 6-8 days can be expected for TCA peels on the face, and upto 12 days for TCA peels on the chest. One treatment with TCA peel can improve pigmentation, uneven skin tone and improve texture by upto 80%. TCA peels can also be use on the chest and neck area, however in these area we recommend a series of 3 peels to minimise side effects.

Ideal for- heavy sun-damaged skin, stubborn pigmentation including melasma, wrinkles and freckles.


The mainstay of chemical peels in this condition is the treatment of blackheads and whitehead. Dermatologist often combine a topical retinoid with chemical peels for optimal results. Mild acne scarring can be treated with a series of glycolic acid peels, however with better results are seen with Fractional laser.


Both glycolic acid and TCA peels can be used to treat uneven skin tone and texture. Westside Dermatology specialist often incorporate the use of glycolic acid in the treatment of melasma.  Heavy pigmentation secondary to age and sun-exposure can also be addressed with TCA peels.


For mild solar damage, glycolic acid peels are ideal as patients have little, if any down time. Chemical peels will give a textural change in the skin (feels smoother) in addition to removing uneven pigmentation.  In higher concentrations of  peels,  pre-malignant cells can also be destroyed.


Higher concentrations of TCA peels reach the deeper layers of the skin, promoting neogenesis- stimulation of collagen. This in turn increases skin tone over time. We often combine TCA peels with Fractionated laser / laser resurfacing and anti-wrinkle injections to achieve optimal results.


For mild cases of acne scarring, a series of glycolic acid peels maybe prescribed. Collagen stimulation maybe seen after repeated treatments.  For more significant scarring, Fraxel / Fractionated laser resurfacing is a more effective treatment method.

Deep acne scarring

For severe cases of acne scarring (ice pick or deep scars), TCA cross is the treatment of choice. For more information on TCA cross peels click here.

  1. Skin cleansed and removed from any makeup or debris.
  2. Skin is then prepped with a peel prep.
  3. Application of peel agent, general 3-5 min application time- mild stinging is to be expected.
  4. Termination of the peel with a neutralization agent.
  5. Completion of the peel with application of sunscreen and serums.

Several important factors come into consideration as to what treatment is best for you.  Dermatologists and Registered Nurses always consider factors such as the patient’s skin condition, the degree and depth of pigmentation, acne, sun-damage, skin type and the recovery or downtime allowable.

Additionally we may provide other options apart from chemical peels to best treat your condition.

Chemical peels at Westside Dermatology are performed by experienced Registered Nurses and specialist Dermatologists. All patients are carefully assessed by a Dermatologist or Registered Nurse prior to prescription of a peel. Our selection of 5 types of chemical peels with varying concentrations enables us to prescribe an accurate regime for your condition.

Chemical peels conducted at Westside Dermatology can be far stronger than that conducted at beauty therapist or day spas. Our accessibility and experience treatments such as Fractional lasers, BBL and PDT will also provide patients with the best treatment options for their condition.

Please contact us for pricing.

Glycolic /AHA 1-2 hrs 5-7 (every2-3 weeks) ++ ++ ++ +
Sal Acid peels 12-36 hrs 1-3 (every 2 weeks) ++++
TCA peels 6-8 days 1-3 (4 week-6 week interval) ++++ ++++ +


** Patient will need to be assessed by a Registered Nurse prior to all chemical peels as the peel regime is prescribed by a Specialist. This ensures the best possible outcome for the patient.

Chemical peels are considered to be cosmetic in nature and NOT covered under Medicare.

Depending on the type of chemical peel used, conditions such as acne, pigmentation, sun damage, scarring or wrinkles can be treated. Dermatologists are trained to prescribe and perform all types of peels at different depths and concentrations. This gives us the flexibility to prescribe a peel tailored to the skin condition.

Glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid peels give no downtime, but will provide a modest improvement in skin texture. TCA peels, depending on the depth, can give a dramatic improvement in skin texture and skin tone, however recovery maybe several days. A tailored peel gives the best results.