Chemical Peels

Chemical skin peeling has many advantages compared with other skin resurfacing techniques. Chemical peels are generally less expensive that other treatments, and can be used to treat areas of the face, neck, chest, and hands with minimal healing time.

There are many types and levels of chemical peels that vary from extremely superficial to deep. Unlike alpha-hydroxy peels or other superficial procedures, the Blue Peel allows your doctor to control the depth of the peel and the number of coats applied in order to tailor the process to your skin’s specific needs. The more superficial chemical peels may be performed by beauty salons or non-medical facilities. Although these “lunch time” peels provide some benefit, they are not as effective for rejuvenation as the deeper peels.

Chemical face peeling can improve fine lines and small acne scars, but is not as effective as plasma or laser skin resurfacing. The main benefit of chemical face peeling is a rapid turnover of the skin cells which causes the formation of new collagen. This causes a generalized tightening of the skin and eliminates much of the superficial pigmentation such as sun spots, age spots, and diffuse blotchiness.

Dr. Vigliante primarily uses Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) for chemical peeling. This agent is safe and effective, and can be prepared in different strengths depending on the depth of peeling required. TCA chemical peeling can improve fine wrinkling and pigmentation problems. This type of peel is done with IV sedation on an outpatient basis. The TCA solution is applied to the face and reacts with the skin. The procedure takes about 30 minutes and the patient feels like they have a sunburn for the next 2 days. At 2-3 days, the skin begins to peel and the “new” skin becomes visible. The improvement is obvious immediately.

The new skin is sensitive and must be protected. Sun protection is imperative to preserve the effects of the peel and to prevent the skin from premature aging. Depending on the peel strength used, patient healing times can vary. Usually, it can take up to 1 week when recovering from a chemical peel.

Obagi Blue Peel

Another type of TCA peel offered by Dr Vigliante at Potomac Surgical Arts is the Obagi Blue Peel. This “gentle” peel is an in office procedure designed to improve the appearance and health of your skin. Using a low concentration of the chemical trichloroacetic acid (TCA) mixed with a special blue base to slow penetration, the Blue Peel allows your doctor to monitor the appropriate depth to effectively remove the thin surface layers of aged and damaged skin from the face or other parts of the body. These dead skin cells are replaced by healthier ones, allowing the skin’s own clarity and tightness to resurface. The procedure is performed in our outpatient facility by Dr. Vigliante, who has specialized training and experience with this effective and lower risk chemical peel. Please allow 5-7 days of healing for this procedure.

This type of peel may be used on all skin types including African-American, Asian and Hispanic. With darker skin types, blotchy pigmentation can occur and the Blue Peel is a safe alternative to other types of aggressive peeling.


The VI Peel offers a safe, effective approach to achieving younger looking skin and provides superior results for all skin types. Two to four peels per year, along with proper home care, reverses sun damage, treats hyperpigmentation including melasma, acne and acne scarring, aging skin and rosacea. Patients of all ages will benefit from the treatments, from pre-teen acne sufferers to mature patients wanting to reverse the signs of aging. Unlike other chemical peels, our treatments are virtually painless require no skin preconditioning and have minimal downtime. The peels are suitable for the face and body. The VI Peels are practical, affordable and give excellent results within one week.