Introduction to Chemical Peels

Easy and effective, Chemical Peels offer a new form of confidence when it comes to your face. Turn the clock back, find new confidence, and reveal the skin that you have always dreamed of. A Chemical Peel is most commonly performed for cosmetic reasons — to enhance your appearance and your self-confidence. Our Beverly Hills Chemical at the Nikolov Center for Plastic Surgery may also remove pre-cancerous skin growths, soften facial acne scars, and even control acne. In certain cases, health insurance may cover the peel procedure. Be sure to check your policy and contact your insurance company before the procedure is performed.

Touching Face | Chemical Peels | Dr. Nikolov

What are Chemical Peels?

Let’s get down to what an actual Chemical Peel is. A Chemical Peel uses a chemical solution to improve and smooth the texture of the facial skin by removing its damaged outer layers. It is helpful for those individuals with facial blemishes, wrinkles, and uneven skin pigmentation. Phenol, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), and alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) are used for this purpose. The precise formula used may be adjusted to meet each patient’s needs. Although chemical peel may be performed in conjunction with a surgical procedure, it is not a substitute for such surgery, nor will it prevent or slow the aging process.

What are the Benefits of Chemical Peels?

The benefits stack up when it comes to getting Chemical Peel in Beverly Hills with our award-winning team. They improve skin texture and tone and lessen the appearance of fine wrinkles. The results are subtle but increase with repeated treatments. If you have a medium chemical peel, treated skin will be smoother. After a deep chemical peel, you’ll see a dramatic improvement in the look and feel of treated areas.

What Types of Chemical Peels do we offer?

Below is a breakdown of the different types of Chemical Peels to further help anyone understand how you can benefit the best from Dr. Nikolov’s treatments.

Alphahydroxy Acids (AHAs) Uses:

  • Smoothes rough, dry skin
  • Improves texture of sun-damaged skin Aids in control of acne
  • Can be mixed with bleaching agent to correct pigment problems
  • Can be used as TCA pre-treatment


  • A series of peels may be needed
  • As with most peel treatments, sunblock use is recommended

Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) Uses:

  • Smoothes out fine surface wrinkles
  • Removes superficial blemishes
  • Corrects pigment problems


  • Can be used on neck or other body areas
  • May require pre-treatment with Retin-A or AHA creams
  • Treatment takes only 10-15 minutes
  • Preferred for darker-skinned patients
  • Peel depth can be adjusted
  • Repeat treatment may be needed to maintain results
  • Sunblock must be used for several months
  • Healing is usually quick, much quicker than with a phenol peel

Phenol Uses:

  • Corrects blotches caused by: sun exposure, birth-control pills, aging
  • Smoothes out coarse wrinkles
  • Removes pre-cancerous growths


  • Used on the face only
  • Not recommended for dark-skinned individuals
  • The procedure may pose a risk for patients with heart problems
  • Full-face treatment may take one hour or more
  • Recovery may be slow – Complete healing may take several months
  • May permanently remove facial freckles
  • Sun protection, including sunblock, must always be used
  • Results are dramatic and long-lasting
  • Permanent skin lightening and lines of demarcation may occur
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What’s the First Step?

The first step to getting a chemical peel in Beverly Hills at the Nikolov Center For Plastic Surgery is to schedule a c consultation. After a decision on what peel works best for you, Dr. Nikolov will instruct you on how to prepare for your peel treatment.

*On occasion, Retin-A, a prescription medication derived from Vitamin A – is used to pre-treat the skin. This thins out the skin’s surface layer, allowing the TCA solution to penetrate more deeply and evenly. If your skin won’t tolerate Retin-A pre-treatment, an AHA cream may be used instead. Hydroquinone, a bleaching agent, is sometimes used in conjunction with Retin-A or AHA pre-treatment, especially if you have blotchy skin areas or pigmentation problems. You may have to spend a month or more in the pre-treatment phase before Dr. Nikolov will schedule your actual peel.

What to Expect on the Day of Chemical Peels

Most of our Chemical Peels may be safely performed in Dr. Nikolov’s office. Anesthesia isn’t required for phenol or TCA peels because the chemical solution acts as an anesthetic. However, sedation may be used before and during the procedure to relax you and keep you comfortable. No anesthesia is needed for AHA peels since they cause only a slight stinging sensation during application.

Steps you can expect on the Day of Chemical Peels:

Step One – AHA peels/treatments: Dr. Nikolov will apply the AHA solution to your cleansed facial skin, a process that usually takes no more than 10 minutes. No “after-peel” ointment or covering is required. Depending on the strength of the peel, periodic treatments may be necessary until the desired effects are achieved.

For some patients, the application of an AHA-based face wash or cream once or twice a day at home will be sufficient to accomplish the desired goal. Dr. Nikolov may add Retin-A or a bleaching agent to your at-home treatment schedule. After several weeks of at-home use, your doctor will examine your skin to determine if your regimen needs adjustment.

Step Two – Phenol and TCA peels: Typically, the skin is first thoroughly cleansed. Then, Dr. Nikolov will carefully apply the phenol or TCA solution. You may feel a stinging sensation as the peel solution is applied, but this feeling will quickly pass. A full-face TCA peel usually takes no more than 15 minutes. Two or more TCA peels may be needed to obtain the desired result, and those may be spaced out over several months. Mild TCA peels may be repeated as often as every month.

Step Three – If phenol solution has been used, Dr. Nikolov may coat the treated area with petroleum jelly or waterproof adhesive tape. With lighter peels, no covering is necessary. A full-face phenol peel generally takes one or two hours to perform, while a phenol peel to a smaller facial region (perhaps the skin above the upper lip) may take only 10 or 15 minutes. A single treatment usually suffices.

Who are the Best Candidates for Chemical Peels?

Anyone that looks to improve or enhance their facial skin is a good candidate for a Chemical Peel. Phenol is the strongest of the chemical solutions and produces a deep peel. It is used mainly to treat patients with coarse facial wrinkles, areas of blotchy or damaged skin caused by sun exposure, or pre-cancerous growths. Since phenol sometimes lightens the treated areas, your skin pigmentation may be a determining factor as to whether or not this is an appropriate treatment for you. Phenol is primarily used on the face; scarring may result if it’s applied to the neck or other body areas.

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Chemical Peels Recovery

After a Chemical Peel of any kind, your skin will be red, tight, irritated, or even swollen. Dr. Nikolov will provide all the directions for sun protection, moisturizing, and applying protective ointments to your face. Post-treatment, we ask all patients to avoid picking, rubbing, or scratching their skin. It may take several months before your skin color returns to normal, and you can see the full results of the type of peel that was performed.

After an AHA peel, it is common to experience some temporary flaking or scaling, redness, and dryness of the skin. However, these conditions will disappear as the skin adjusts to treatment.

After a phenol or TCA peel, we may prescribe a mild pain medication to relieve any tingling or throbbing you may feel. If tape is used to cover your face, it will be removed after a day or two. A crust or scab will form on the treated area. To help your face heal properly, it is essential that you follow your doctor’s specific post-operative instructions.

A TCA peel may also cause significant swelling, depending on the strength of the peel used.

If you’ve had a phenol peel, your face may become quite swollen. Your eyes may even be swollen shut temporarily. You will need someone to help care for you for a day or two. You may also be limited to a liquid diet and advised not to talk very much during the first few days of recovery.

With an AHA peel, the temporary redness, flaking, and dryness that you experience will not prevent you from working or engaging in your normal activities. A fresher and improved skin texture will result from continued AHA treatments. Remember, protecting your skin from the sun is also important following these mild acid peels. Ask your doctor to recommend a sunblock with adequate UVA and UVB protection and use it every day.

With a TCA peel, the moderate discomfort and mild swelling you may experience will subside within the first week. In about a week to ten days, your new skin will be apparent, and you should be healed sufficiently to return to your normal activities. It is best to avoid sun exposure unless you are adequately protected.

With a phenol peel, new skin will begin to form in about seven to ten days. Your face will be very red at first, gradually fading to a pinkish color over the following weeks to months. During this time, it is especially important that you use a sunblock or blotchy, irregular skin coloring may result.

About two weeks after treatment, you may return to work and resume some of your normal activities. Your skin will be healed enough for you to wear makeup. (For makeup tips, ask Dr. Nikolov for the ASPS brochure on camouflage cosmetics.)

How Much Do Chemical Peels Cost in Beverly Hills?

The most suitable way to understand the price of your procedure is to come in for a consultation and allow Dr. Nikolov to give you an examination. Once our team knows best how to help you, you will be provided with a cost breakdown for your entire treatment. The cost of Chemical Peels in Beverly Hills will change depending on various factors, such as what kind of work or technique is required to achieve your desired appearance.

Why Choose Dr. Nikolov?

Dr. Nikolov is world-renowned for his keen aesthetic sense that emphasizes facial harmony and subtle changes to create a fresh appearance. Whether he’s performing plastic surgery or an in-office aesthetic procedure, he uses his skills to help every patient enhance their natural beauty.

As a leader in the field of plastic surgery for more than twenty years, Dr. Nikolov has consulted for television programs and publications and has been featured on CNN, CBS, NBC, and the Discovery Health Channel. He has published and lectured extensively in his field and often hosts other doctors to help them learn about his techniques and procedures.

“My goal is to help all those under my care achieve better harmony, feel youthful, and gain more confidence in their appearance while retaining a natural look.” — Dr. Nikolov

Get in Touch

We all seek better, healthy-looking skin, most concerningly on our faces. Dr. Nikolov and our masterful team are here to make this vision a reality for all types of skin. The skin that grows back is smoother and younger, and after a Chemical Peel, it will have you feeling confident and satisfied. Our team works around the clock with each patient individually to determine an adequate treatment plan for his or her needs. Contact our office today at (310) 247-1932 or request your consultation through this website, and someone will be in touch with you shortly!

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