The new VI Peel – what do you think?

What is your opinion on the new VI Peel which is a medium depth peel made of TCA, Retin-A, Salicylic Acid, Phenol and Vitamin C? I have melasma and haven't tried a peel yet. This one sounds good but want to be careful before trying. Thanks.

Okay ……. so two things on peels.   The effect of a peel, any peel, is related to the depth to which is penetrates the two outer layers of skin (stratum corneum and epidermis).   Any peel which penetrates deeper than that risks causing permanent pigment problems and/or permanent whitening of the skin (like the old aggressive phenol peels). 

Also, there are many peels currently on the market that do what the Vi peel claims to do.  It’s just that the Vi peel is the most recent, “newest” incarnation.   It is very, very easy to get quick, temporary improvement with melasma with peels or even lasers.   The problem is ……………that it almost always recurs and the recurrence is often worse than the original problem.  More on melasma.   Other blog questions on melasma.

There are some board certified dermatologist like Dr. Pearl Grimes at UCLA who are truly experts with melasma and peels.  She, and other like her, know how and when (time of year is important)  as well as many other factors and are able to get good to great results.  

My vote:  Unless your board  certified dermatologist is truly an expert at this, be very, very skeptical.  This is  not a “groupon” special sort of thing.  You could be paying for a mistake for many years.

Hope this helps,  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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