​Profitability of Chemical Peels from a Dermatologist's Perspective

​Profitability of Chemical Peels from a Dermatologist's Perspective

Posted by Bryon Henry on April 1, 2024, 12:33 pm

Recently, we had the opportunity to discuss the profitability and use of chemical peel treatments in a Dermatology practice with Dr. Emily Keller. Dr. Keller is a board-certified dermatologist who owns and is the sole practitioner of IndyDerm in Greenwood, Indiana.

Most successful dermatology practices have a portfolio of products or services that contain a range of entry level items to higher priced items for good reasons.

This intentional product and service mix can help practices acquire new customers at a lower cost per acquisition while also diversifying revenue. Offering a variety of options also builds a ladder of products on which customers can climb that creates recurring revenue for the business.

For Dermatology practices, chemical peel treatments offer a way to have all of these benefits in one product category.

Chemical peel treatments are highly effective, extremely profitable, and cover a wide price range that creates recurring revenue. A varied price range of products also keeps your revenue stream balanced so it’s not as susceptible to large swings in the economy.

In this interview, we will look at the business side of incorporating superficial and medium chemicals peels into your practice.

Pairing Chemical Peels with Skin Conditions

It is common for Dr. Keller to see skin conditions like acne, scarring, melasma, wrinkles and sun damage in her practice. In a presentation she gave at ASDS last fall, Dr. Keller listed some of the superficial and medium depth chemical peels she likes to use to treat different skin conditions.

Superficial Peels

Medium Peels

  • Solid CO2 + TCA 35% or Jessner’s + TCA 35% - mild Rhytides, Actinic Keratosis and significant sun damage
  • Segmental Hetter’s can be used with the above.

When we asked Dr. Keller how she would explain Chemical Peel profitability to a Dermatologist considering adding them to their practice she said “It’s a huge dichotomy. Do you invest in lasers or peels?”

“Most Dermatologists coming out of school are taught you need a laser to treat everything.” said Keller. “If I was speaking to a Dermatologist I would say: would you like to spend 100k on a laser (on the cheap side) with a 30k per year maintenance contract or spend $25 on a chemical that if you know how to correctly use it you will get the same results if not better.”

That’s a bold statement which prompted us to ask what she meant by “if not better”. In her training and ongoing application of chemical peels, Dr. Keller has seen the results in her own practice as well as physicians she has been trained by like Dr. Bart Sterling, Dr. Hal Brody, and Dr. Peter Rulan.

She’s seen multiple before and after results from her and these physician’s experience. “The results are phenomenal”. Keller said. “There’s no way you can get resurfacing results from CO2 or fractal lasers that you get with a resurfacing peel”.

Since there is a difference in types of chemical peels and strengths, we asked Dr. Keller if the same results could be achieved with lighter peels as a resurfacing peel over time.

“No, because in the lighter peel depth, you’re not going to get the skin tightening”
she said. “But those peels aren’t for that. For Dermatologists, the lighter peels are the gateway peel and patients can move up to stronger peels which is more profitable for the Dermatologist”

Dr. Keller also stated that while many people have a lot of fear around chemical peel treatments, as they get to know their Dermatologist, they can work their way up to deeper peels.

Lighter chemical peels have their place and benefits as individual treatments or combined with other treatments. Combining non-ablative lasers, microneedling, toxins, or filler treatments with chemical peels adds enhanced results and increased profitability efficiently since the patient is already there.

Chemical Peel Profitability

Cosmetic treatment prices can vary across the US, but here are some average costs and profits for superficial and deep peels that Dr. Keller shared with us.

Profitability of Superficial Chemical Peels 

  • Cost: $3
  • Cost to patient: $150
  • Profit: $147
  • Time: 5 minutes

Profitability of Medium Chemical Peels

  • Cost: $30
  • Cost to patient: $1500
  • Profit: $1470
  • Time: 38 minutes

Dr. Keller combines these treatments with peels:

As we discussed more about the profitability of chemical peels, Dr. Keller stressed the importance of thinking of peels from a business perspective.

“As a business owner, the profitability is great. For you to be able to address everything on the face with chemical peels rather than buying one kind of laser that costs $300,000, buying small 1 or 2oz bottles that provide solution for 20 or so patients, you just can’t beat that.”

There is also another benefit to chemical peels that is often overlooked. The time during which a peel is applied allows you to get to know your patient.

Dr. Keller has seen that as you get to know your patient, it naturally leads to conversations about other services like toxins, fillers and skincare add-ons.

Chemical peel profitability goes beyond the price of the peel. It truly is a gateway to many other services.

Dr. Keller put it this way: “The 1:1 time during the peel is the gateway to talk about other things that increase your profit. You build such a good rapport they trust what you recommend. You become the expert because they can go a lot of places for services.”

Trust is critical to any successful relationship and business is no different. No matter how wonderful your business looks or how many services you offer, without trust, patients will go elsewhere.

Click here to view all Delasco chemical peels.


Dr. Emily Keller is a board-certified dermatologist and a fellowship-trained laser and cosmetic surgeon. She attended the University of Notre Dame, served as chief resident of the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic and completed advanced training in her fellowship at SkinCare Physicians in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Dr. Keller has been providing chemical peels in her practice for over 7 years and has extensive chemical peel training through the International Peeling Society workshops led by leading Dermatologists from around the world.