menu black
columbus institute of plastic surgery logo
beautiful young woman

Visit Our Female Site

visit the

Chemical Peels

Conveniently located to serve Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland

When did laugh lines on your face stop being a laughing matter? Does it seem like new lines and wrinkles keep appearing? These lines and wrinkles are likely your most obvious signs of aging. With our safe and effective chemical peels and other facial rejuvenation procedures, our patients from Columbus, Dayton, and elsewhere in Ohio can achieve a smoother, younger-looking complexion. Dr. Bivik Shah provides expert treatment to those who would like to reduce or eliminate the signs of aging.
two beautiful woman with their heads on one another


With Dr. Shah’s outstanding procedures, you can do something about crow’s feet (crinkly lines at the corners of the eyes), as well as wrinkles around the mouth and cheeks. If you have considered facial rejuvenation procedures such as chemical or laser peels, you are not alone. At our comfortable Columbus, Ohio office, we help many people dramatically improve their look with these popular techniques.

If you have fine to moderate wrinkles, age spots, discolorations, or poor skin tone, facial rejuvenation may be the best option for you. chemical peels or laser resurfacing can tighten your skin, lighten discolorations, reduce moderate wrinkles, and fade fine lines. Though nothing can completely erase the signs of aging, a chemical peel with Ohio plastic surgeon Dr. Bivik Shah at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery can certainly provide greatly enhanced beauty.

Please contact plastic surgeon Bivik Shah to learn how chemical peels and other facial rejuvenation procedures at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery, serving Dayton and all of Ohio, can help you accomplish your aesthetic goals.


Both laser skin resurfacing and chemical peels perform the same function; they remove the top layer of the skin (epidermis) and a part of the second layer of the skin (dermis). A skin peel does this with chemicals (acids); a laser does this with energy (heat). Both of these procedures can be done with topical and local anesthesia (numbing medicine) or under sedation (twilight sleep). One of the immediate effects of both chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing procedures is a pink hue of the skin. In general, this may be a little longer with laser resurfacing but it can be tailored to your specific needs and ability for “down time”.


There are many types of chemical peels available as a means of facial rejuvenation at our office, serving the Dayton and Columbus, Ohio areas. Chemical peels come in many different types, each with its own strength. At Dr. Shah’s office, take-home chemical peels are available, as are aesthetician-performed peels and physician-strength peels. The type of peel you choose depends on how much improvement you would like and the quality and condition of your skin. Dr. Shah will help you determine which of our chemical peels will provide you with the best results. The take-home chemical peels offered at our Ohio office come with the prescription-strength skin care product Dermesse™. Aesthetician-performed peels are one step stronger than take-home peels. Aesthetician-performed peels are performed primarily with glycolic acid, lactic acid, or alpha hydroxy acids. The strongest chemical peels available for facial rejuvenation are the physician-strength peels. Dr. Shah and his staff, serving Columbus and Dayton, Ohio, are trained in administering physician-strength peels, which include TCA (tri-chloroacetic acid) peels, and phenol peels, the strongest type.


Determining the appropriate chemical peel to provide you with optimal results depends on your skin type and condition. During a facial rejuvenation consultation with Dr. Shah or Dr. Villalobos at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery, the doctors and their staff will perform a thorough examination of your skin. After speaking with you about your goals for treatment, Dr. Shah will recommend the chemical peel or peels that will be the most beneficial for your facial rejuvenation. Dr. Shah and his staff will provide you with complete information and answer any questions you may have. In general, non-physician peels (glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, and lactic acid peels) and the Dermesse™ skin care product line are most appropriate for skin care maintenance, mild correction, and resurfacing. The physician-strength peels, such as TCA or phenol peels, are designed for significant correction, rejuvenation, and resurfacing.

Frequently Asked Questions


The chemical peels performed at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery can restore a more youthful appearance to wrinkled, unevenly pigmented, sun-damaged, or blotchy skin. Depending on the strength of the peel, your skin will tighten a small amount, providing you with a mini face lift. Your chemical peel will also help to reduce the appearance of fine to moderate wrinkles, liver spots or age spots (solar lentigines), uneven skin tones, sun damaged skin, and acne or chicken pox scars. A TCA or phenol peel will turn the clock back on the aging process!


When performing chemical peels, Dr. Shah uses a solution to remove the top layer of skin and expose skin that is younger and more vibrant looking. There are three basic types of chemical peels, each of which is used for facial rejuvenation by Dr. Shah and their Columbus, Ohio staff. Below, we discuss each type of chemical peel. If you have any further questions, Dr. Shah and his staff will be happy to answer them.

Light Chemical Peels
Light chemical peels are an excellent option for facial rejuvenation at our Columbus, Ohio office. These chemical peels consist of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and glycolic acids. By removing the top layer of skin, a light peel smoothes fine lines and wrinkles and lessens the occurrence of rough and dry skin. Because they can also balance skin pigmentation and lessen many acne scars, chemical peels provide our patients at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery with a way to finally reverse common forms of skin damage.

Light chemical peels tend to work best when performed in a series of sessions; usually 6 to 12 sessions spaced 3 to 4 weeks apart is sufficient for an amazing improvement in skin quality. Light chemical peels are performed by an aesthetician in our Columbus, Ohio office in only about 10 to 15 minutes. This relatively fast and simple procedure does not require anesthesia.

Medium Chemical Peels
Trichloroacetic acids (TCA) is used for medium depth chemical peels. These chemical peels are a more permanent form of facial rejuvenation that effectively reduces fine lines and wrinkles without a need to regularly repeat the procedure. TCA peels usually only require two or three treatments over the course of a couple months to achieve the desired result. Most patients require little or no anesthesia during this 15 minute procedure. The TCA solution also has a numbing effect on the skin that further lessens the likelihood that anesthesia will need to be used. The strength of these versatile and effective chemical peels can be adjusted by Dr. Shah for a facial rejuvenation that is specifically designed for you. If you would like to learn more, our Columbus, Ohio staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Deep Chemical Peels
Deep chemical peels utilize phenol acid, the strongest solution available for this type of procedure. Patients with coarse wrinkles or blotchiness many times require the deepest types of chemical peels to achieve success in facial rejuvenation procedures. Our staff has the experience necessary to safely and effectively analyze your case and properly treat your skin.

Full-face chemical peels of this type are performed in our Columbus, Ohio surgical suite. They typically take 1 to 2 hours. Every measure will be taken by our staff to ensure your comfort during this time. If the area being treated is small, such as the upper lip, the procedure may take only 10 to 15 minutes.


With light chemical peels, patients usually only experience a mild burning and tingling sensation during the application, and only minimal recovery time is necessary afterwards. Patients feel slightly more of this burning sensation during medium strength chemical peels. Phenol chemical peels are more intense, which is why patients usually need to have some type of anesthesia during the procedure. For both the medium strength TCA and full strength phenol chemical peels, more recovery time is necessary. Usually, patients will need about 3 to 5 days for TCA chemical peels and about 7 to 10 days for phenol chemical peels. The staff at our Columbus, Ohio office will be glad to answer any questions or address any concerns you have about pain during your procedure.


Each of the chemical peels provided at our office remove top layers of damaged skin to reveal that which is fresh and rejuvenated. The recovery period is different for each type.

Light Chemical Peels (Alphahydroxy Acids (AHAs))
AHA chemical peels generally cause some flaking, redness and dryness, or skin irritation. These side effects diminish over time , and most people can engage in normal public activities the day after an AHA chemical peel.

Medium Chemical Peels (Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA))
TCA peels may cause significant swelling. The immediate effect of TCA chemical peels is similar to a bad sunburn. Swelling should diminish after the first week. The skin will heal sufficiently to resume normal activities in approximately five to seven days.

Deep Chemical Peels (Phenol Acid)
Doctors who perform deep chemical peels often prescribe a mild pain medication to relieve any discomfort the patient may experience after treatment. After a deep chemical peel, a scab will form before new skin begins to appear (usually in 7 to 10 days). The skin will, at first, be red. Then it will lighten over the course of a few weeks or months. After TCA or phenol chemical peels, you may require some help with daily tasks for the first one to three days. This is due to the swelling which, in certain cases, may be severe enough to cause the eyes to remain closed for a short period.


Significant complications with chemical peels are infrequent, but potential complications include:

  • Scarring
  • Infection
  • Temporary or permanent changes in skin tone or uneven tone (especially with phenol peels). These include:
    • Hyperpigmentation (a darkening of the skin, treatable in most cases with current bleaching techniques)
    • Hypopigmentation (a lightening of the skin)
  • Cold sore breakouts in patients who have a history of recurring blisters and cold sores such as herpes or shingles. (An anti-viral medication administered before the procedure can help prevent this.)
  • Phenol peels pose a particular risk for individuals with a family history of heart disease.


If you would like to learn more about how we use chemical peels for facial rejuvenation at our office serving Columbus, Dayton, and all of Ohio, contact Dr. Bivik Shah today.

Related Procedures

BBL Skin Treatment

BBL Skin Treatment

Sciton Broad Band Light (BBL) treatments effectively treats a broad variety of skin conditions comfortably and with now down-time.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Lasers and light-based therapies for more youthful skin.

Acne Scar Treatments

Acne Scar Treatments

Active acne & acne scar treatments that actually work.



Natural-looking non-surgical facial rejuvenation for men with injectables.