The Obagi Blue Peel is a trichloracetic acid (TCA) peel which uses a blue pigment to help give the peel a more even result. It is usually performed at 15% or 20% strength and can be very useful to smooth the texture of the skin, remove superficial pigmentary blemishes like sun spots, reduce fine lines, and even mildly tighten the skin.
The peel can be fairly superficial (such as when one or two coats of 15% Blue Peel are applied) or quite deep (such as when three coats of 20% Blue Peel are utilized). The deeper the peel, the more change you will see, but the longer your recovery time.
The peel does burn after it is applied, and the deeper the peel the more intense the discomfort. However, once the burning subsides about 15 minutes after application, there is usually no pain in the recovery. The skin will harden into a mask, and 3-10 days later (depending on the depth of the peel) the skin peels off. The new, healthier skin underneath will then show itself.
In my office currently we no longer perform the Blue Peel. In its place we have the Controlled Depth Peel, which is very similar.
Make sure to tell your doctor about any past history of cold sores prior to this treatment. He/she can put you on antiviral medication to help prevent an eruption.