Chemical Peels

As you age, crow’s feet make an appearance around the eyes. Age spots and freckles turn up on the arms, hands, and neck. Sun damage and hormone changes take their toll. Your skin will never be what it once was, but you can lighten irregular pigmentations and remove fine wrinkles by doing a chemical peel.

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is an application of a chemical solution to your skin that exfoliates the damaged skin, allowing the new skin to come to the surface. Dr. Tolson uses trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels to improve your skin’s appearance on your face, hands, and neck. He uses both a twenty and thirty-five percent TCA peel, allowing him to choose the strength that is appropriate to your individual needs.

What can a chemical peel treat?

Chemical peels are used for treating a wide variety of skin issues on the face, neck, and hands including:

  • Acne and acne scars.
  • Fine lines.
  • Irregular pigmentation.
  • Rough, scaly skin.
  • Sun damage.
  • Pre-cancerous growths.

Chemical peels cannot tighten sagging skin, remove deep wrinkles and lines, or remove deep scars. To address these problems, laser resurfacing would be more appropriate.

Who should consider a chemical peel?

A chemical peel may be of great benefit to you if you have the following:

  • Sun-damaged skin.
  • Lots of wrinkles.
  • Blotchy coloring or sunspots.
  • Scarring that causes uneven skin tones.
  • Precancerous growths.

Although chemical peels are of great benefit to most people, some individuals should not consider using one. They include people who:

  • Have dark complexions or skin tones.
  • Form abnormal scar tissue.
  • Have hyperpigmentation of scars.
  • Have taken Accutane, Retin-A, or Renova.
  • Have taken prescriptions containing certain ingredients.

What goes into having a chemical peel?


If you are considering a chemical peel, schedule a consultation with Dr. Tolson. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and is a member of the American Society for Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. With twenty-nine years of experience in the field of plastic surgery, Dr. Tolson combines the latest in cosmetic surgery with knowledge and experience, ensuring you get the right treatment for your needs.

At your initial consultation, be prepared to discuss:

  • Your overall cosmetic goals and treatment goals.
  • Your medical history, including any previous cosmetic treatments you have undergone.
  • Your allergies.
  • Any current medical conditions and any treatments you may be currently undergoing.
  • Your current medications, vitamin, and supplements.
  • Any previous chemical peels.
  • Any doctor prescribed acne treatments you have used or are currently using.


Depending on how deep of a peel Dr. Tolson recommends, you may need to do some pre-treatment to prepare the skin. He may prescribe the use of specific creams, lotions, or gels for a set number of weeks beforehand. Besides skin preparation, you should:

  • Stop smoking and using tobacco products at least six weeks prior to your appointment, as tobacco slows down the healing process.
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatories, or herbs that may cause the blood to thin, inhibiting healing.
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after your appointment and stay with you the first night.


Chemical peels are outpatient procedures and are performed in Dr. Tolson’s state-of-the-art, AAAASF-certified operating room in Cumming, Georgia. Usually, no sedation is required, and the entire procedure takes only thirty to sixty minutes.

Dr. Tolson begins by thoroughly cleaning the skin that is to be treated. The chemical is then brushed on and left for a few minutes before it is neutralized with a saline solution. You will be observed for a short period to ensure you are not experiencing any adverse side effects before you are released.


Even though the chemical peel is an outpatient procedure and only takes a few minutes to complete, the chemicals continue to work on the skin for several days after. The skin may appear red and sting like when you have a deep sunburn. Over the first two weeks, the skin begins to ooze and then flake off.

After the old skin has all flaked away, you may notice that the new skin is pinker than normal. The color begins to fade between two to eight weeks, slowly blending in with the rest of your skin. During this time, and for several months afterwards, you should avoid exposing the treated skin to the sun. Either cover the area or apply sunscreen liberally.


You may not see the full results of the chemical peel for several months. The treated skin must slough off first, and the new skin needs time to fade before you can get a true feeling for what has been accomplished. A general principle to keep in mind is that the deeper the peel, the longer it takes for the full effects to manifest themselves. Your new skin will continue to age along with the rest of your body, but the effects of the chemical peel should last for several years. Be sure to discuss your long-term goals with Dr. Tolson so he can choose the appropriate peel for you.

Crow’s feet, age spots, freckles, wrinkles, and scars don’t have to be defining marks upon your body. You can get rid of unwanted blemishes and wrinkles and have healthier, more youthful- looking skin with very little inconvenience.

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    Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

    Dr. Michael Tolson is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Put Dr. Tolson’s years of cosmetic plastic surgery experience to work for you.

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