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Chemical Peel for Arms

Chemical Peel for Arms

Postby julia12345 » Sun May 18, 2008 7:36 pm

I am trying to repair some light sun damage/freckling on my arms. What strength chemical peel would you recommend for this? Will a 30% glycolic peel have any impact whatsoever? Also, after the peel, how long is the new skin extremely sensitive to sunlight (that is, how long am I in danger of hyperpigmentation if sunscreen is not constantly applied)?

Thank you all for your time! :wink:
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Postby spy9doc » Tue May 20, 2008 6:32 am

Julia.......I'm not sure that this will be of much help to you, but I'll toss it out.

I have been experimenting with TCA peels for a couple of months. I started with 12.5% on my arms, and applied six layers and never saw a frost. I then moved up to 25% TCA (two layers) and used it on my chest and lower legs.

I have found that no matter what strength I use on my legs and arms, they really don't peel, but flake (or shed, more accurately). It has taken over a month for them to finish their desquamation. I haven't noticed any extra sensitivity, but then I don't tempt fate. I'm careful to apply sunscreen if I'm going to be out in the sun to do yard work.

Our weather here in the Northeast is still pretty cool, so covering up with a long-sleeved shirt is comfortable. I'm just now beginning to experiment with 40% glycolic, and have put away the TCA for the summer.


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Postby julia12345 » Tue May 20, 2008 11:41 am

thank you, spy9doc! can you tell me more about your results? have you noticed any real change in your skin tone/freckling?
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Postby spy9doc » Tue May 20, 2008 2:21 pm

Julia.......I have very sun-damaged skin......period. I spent my younger years baking in the sun at the beach, and midlife became a competitive triathlete which meant more hours in the sun. I stopped going in the sun about eight years ago, but by then, the damage was done.

It's really difficult for me to give you an answer. I have lots of freckling, some hyperpigmented areas that are actually scars from banging my shins on various objects, and quite a few keratoses on my chest. In contrast, my face looks 20 yrs. younger than the rest of my skin. Of course, I have had a couple of facelifts, several IPL treatments, botox, and take really good care of my skin these days.

I cannot express to you how very much I have learned on this forum as well as the skin-care one. I'm in healthcare and usually the one giving advice, but here I'm the student. You know, we can't always pay back to someone who has helped us, but I believe in paying forward so that those I help will in turn pass it along. That seems to be how our guru, Susanne, feels as well. She is always patient, there to hand-hold, and is very knowledgable, even though she is not in healthcare.

Sorry.....got off on a tangent for a moment. I have seen the most obvious results on my chest where I did a pretty deep peel. My skin is pretty resistant, and it took two layers of 25% TCA to see any effects. About 2-3 years ago, I paid a hefty price to a professional in SFO to have a chemical peel of my face, chest and arms........and saw absolutely no results.......no peeling, no results. I got better results with my recent home peels.

I can tell that I could probably get good results with repeated peels, but don't want that burned look or feel during the summer. Lighter peels such as lactic acid or glycolic acid, perhaps. We are having a rainy cool week here in the Northeast and it's the perfect time to give my 40% glycolic a test ride on my face and arms.

Was this just my rant, or is it helpful?
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Chemical peel arms and legs

Postby cj1419 » Tue May 27, 2008 3:01 pm

I just had a tch chemical peel on my face, neck and decolletage done by my plastic surgeon and am very very happy with it. I want something done to my arms and legs but he refuses to do it.. says it's too risky. I am thinking of trying an at-home peel but am not sure which to try. Thought salicylic acid might be the mildest to try first. I don't want to jump into anything like tch on my first try. My arms and legs embarrass me so much that I try to stay covered up even in the dead of summer. Any suggestions on which chemical peel to try first?
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Postby sphillips » Tue May 27, 2008 4:08 pm

Hi Cj..and welcome! Happy to hear you had good results with your Chemical Peel :D

Can you maybe tell us what your goal is for your legs and arms? What it is that you'd like to work on..is it dis-coloration, skin texture? One of our resident home peelers has done her body parts recently..Spy9doc..and I'm sure she will come along and help you out..The TCA's combos are actually better for those body parts and difficult to get a "good" peel going..but I'm sure she can give you some good insight as far as what to expect, application..protocol, etc..

What I know is that body chemical peels ie: legs, arms, hands, feet etc..usually consist of a combination of a TCA and glycolic acids. The purpose of a body chemical peel is to penetrate and improve the texture and top appearance of your body skin..and "maybe" some hyperpigmentation.

Also..body chemical peels can be a slightly stronger concentration than chemical peels used for the face, because... body chemical peels are intended to treat areas of skin MORE resistant to treatment.I usually recommend the 20-25% range..for extremeties..hands..feet..etc.. More skill is required with body chemical peels, because the skin treated also tends to scar alot easier and most professionals will administer body chemical peels as a series of treatments, rather than one single treatment at full strength. This is what my derm does..and usually, body chemical peel sessions are spaced a month or two apart, to prevent skin damage and optimize results depending on the strength used. Spy9doc just finished one so if you can check back in..she'll be along shortly to help you out there

Best of luck to you! :wink:

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Postby spy9doc » Wed May 28, 2008 7:39 am

CJ.......unfortunately, I don't have a great deal more to add other than what I have already posted in this thread about my experience. However, I will tell you what I would do in your situation.

I am older than most of you and have spent years baking at the beach, and also spent countless hours as an outdoor athlete. I previously had a professional chemical peel on my face, neck and chest, and although it seemed to be a medium-deep peel, it never actually peeled and I saw absolutely no benefit. In contrast, I have done one medium-deep TCA peel on my chest followed by one 40% glycolic, and have seen delightful results. Of course, I have a long way to go. And, I have put my TCA away for the summer.

First of all, if you are not willing to use a good sunscreen throughout the summer, then don't bother with peels.......you're wasting your money! And, you can't undo years of sun damage in one or two sessions.

As I have mentioned previously, the problem with peeling arms and legs is that they don't seem to peel, but instead flake or shed for usually three weeks. It's not particularly uncomfortable, but can be itchy and quite unsightly. If you do TCA this time of year, you will probably want to plan to wear long sleeves and long pants for three weeks.

I would suggest to start with a 40% or 50% glycolic on the arms and legs (my favorite is the Original Skin Store). With glycolic, there is a good bit of burning during the actual peel, and it feels worse than it really is. Follow the directions for the peel. (If you want to see them in advance, Platinum Skin Care has them published on their website)

Have a mixture of baking soda and water ready to neutralize the peel, a fan to cool the burn, and something else to distract you from the burning sensation. I usually do something else like pluck my eyebrows, color my hair, etc. For your first peel, leave it on about 2-3 minutes. Apply it evenly and thickly. the glycolic is a thin liquid and very apt to run, so wipe up any drips. When the time is up, get in the shower and rinse, then apply the neutralizer solution and wait a couple of minutes, and then I use a mild soap to finish. I love emu oil and usually finish with a light coat of that.

I originally did a six layer 12.5% on my arms, and a two-layer 25% on my legs. But again, be prepared for three weeks of ugly flaking. I have since done a 40% glycolic peel over those areas, and had almost NO redness or downtime.

Bottom line? Yes, happily I have seen an improvement and some fading of the hyperpigmentation on my legs. OTOH, it is going to require several more peels to see a major difference.

Let me/us know if you have specific questions.
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Postby daviskimdavis » Wed May 28, 2008 2:20 pm

Hi Julia,

I have used the 25% from Original Skin Store on most parts of my body. I have had fantastic success with it. I am especially pleased with my legs, feet and toes. I am black and had many childhood scars on my legs from bumping into things and falls. Those scars have faded tremendously. I have completed a total of 3 peels on my legs.

Also, I had some dark spots on my toes from corns. The darkness is totally gone. My toes are beautiful.

I am very pleased with my arms as well.

When I did my first peel on these areas, nothing happened. This was using TCA from platinumskincare. During my second and third peels, I got great results (25% Original Skin Store).

I did notice that I peel for about 4 weeks in those areas. I agree that there is lots of flaking as opposed to full fledged peeling, but with great results.
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Re: Chemical Peel for Arms

Postby Buttrflublu » Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:11 pm


Thank u soo much for posting this reply, I have scars from mosquito bites all over my legs and have since childhood. I have looked at alot of information that says that ppl of color cannot use chemical peels because of risk of further hyperpigmentation. I am wondering were any of your scars from insect bites? Did you use a superficial peel like glycolic acid to prepare your legs for the tca peel? And what was your aftercare? It would be so helpful for me if you could give more insight into this. Again thanks for your post. I feel like there's hope now :)
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Re: Chemical Peel for Arms

Postby GabiInChicago » Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:26 pm

I've done a chemical peel on my arms; I used TCA 50% with a pH level of .6

Here are photos: http://mychemicalpeel.blogspot.com/2011/02/tca-50-chemical-peel-before-and-after.html
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