Chemical peels are designed to enhance skin quality by removing its damaged outer layers, in order to create a smoother surface and improve its texture. It can treat the face, neck, chest, arms, hands, and legs.
This cosmetic treatment may be useful for individuals with facial blemishes, wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, precancerous skin growths, and acne. The chemical solutions we prefer are: Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs, glycolic acid), Betahydroxy acids (salicylic acid), Jessner’s peel, and trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels. One of our featured chemical peel products is the SkinMedica Vitalize Peel that acheives a very even and thorough, but gentle skin resurfacing.
Preparing for Your Chemical Peel
About two to three weeks before getting a chemical peel, a patient must prepare the skin by cleansing it twice a day, applying a special moisturizer and sunscreen, and use tretinoin (Retin-A A) every day. First, the skin is thoroughly cleansed with an agent that will remove excess oils, whilst protecting the hair and skin. Depending on your condition, the chemical peel solution can be applied to the entire face or specific regions, such as the “crow’s feet” area or near the nasolabial folds. It is applied using a sponge, cotton pad or depending on the size of the area, a cotton swab or brush. The doctor carefully observes the skin and, based on the changes, determines how long the solution should stay on.
Having a Consultation To Determine Possible Results
While not as involved as surgical cosmetic procedures, a chemical peel is a medical procedure.
Be prepared to discuss:
* Why you want the procedure, your expectations and desired outcome
* Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
* Use of current medications (especially Accutane use), vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
* Past cosmetic treatments
Your plastic surgeon and aesthetician may also:
* Evaluate your specific skin type and how it may react to the procedure
* Take photographs for your medical record
* Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
* Discuss likely outcomes of a skin rejuvenation and any risks or potential complications.
The risks include:
* Pigmentation irregularities
* Textural changes
* Skin surface irregularities
* Burns and scarring
Careful consideration of your natural skin color and type will determine the treatment best suited for you to minimize the risk of developing additional pigmentation or a loss of pigmentation (whitening of the skin).
Recovery After a Chemical Peel
A series of treatments are required to achieve improvement in skin texture and clarity and repeated treatments are essential to maintain your results.
Temporary sun sensitivity, redness, burning, itching, pain, and discomfort (degree may vary with each peel). Moderate discomfort and mild swelling should subside within the first week. Patients should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen everyday and avoid sun exposure unless adequately protected. Return to work: 1 week to 10 days (the skin will be healed enough to wear makeup).
From subtle to dramatic results, chemical peels offer temporary to long-lasting results; although not immune to sun damage and the effects of aging.
A special note about sun exposure: Absolute sun protection is essential for the first year after any of these resurfacing treatments to prevent irregular pigmentation. Diligent sun protection for life will help to maintain your new, younger, smoother skin.