A chemical peel is a dermatological solution that is used to improve and smooth the appearance and texture of the skin on the face, neck or hands. A chemical peel begins with a chemical formula that is applied to the skin to remove dead skin cells while stimulating the production of new skin cells. The peel causes the skin to slightly blister and eventually peel off exposing a new, regenerated layer of dermis that appears smooth and healthier than ever! After the peel, fresh skin is slightly more sensitive to the sun, however this is only temporary. With a customized treatment for each client, Dr. Tadros can guarantee that you will be looking your best with a new, youthful glow.
CHEMICAL PEEL IN DEPTH
by Monica Tadros, M.D., F.A.C.S.
When is a chemical peel appropriate?
Chemical peels are used to treat a number of conditions including:
- acne and/or scarring
- aging skin (wrinkles, sun spots, sagging skin)
- crow’s feet
- rough, dull, or damaged skin
- clogged pores
- fine lines and wrinkles
Three Types of Chemical Peels:
- Superficial or “lunch-time facial” peel: This treatment works best to improve the appearance of rough, dry skin and mild skin discoloration. A cosmetic peel can also refresh the appearance of the skin on the face, neck, chest or hands. A mild acid, like Alpha-hydroxy, is applied to penetrate the outermost layer of the skin as it gently exfoliates. Ideal candidates are individuals who have minor issues with the condition of their skin.
- Medium peel: A medium peel is used to reduce the appearance of age spots, wrinkles, fine lines, freckles and moderate skin discoloration. This treatment can also be used to smooth over rough skin and treat potential precancerous skin growths, i.e. actinic keratosis. A trichloroacetic acid, like Glycolic, is used to penetrate the outer and middle layers of skin to aid in removing dead or damaged skin cells to reveal new, regenerated skin.
- Deep peel: This treatment is ideal for individuals that want to remove moderate lines, freckles, age spots and shallow scarring. By deeply penetrating the middle layer of the skin with a phenol acid, like tricholoracetic, the deep peel will remove damaged skin cells and reveal an improved appearance in skin texture and tone. This procedure is primarily performed on the face and is a one time treatment due to its intensity.
Who is not a candidate for a Chemical Peel?
Typically, light-haired and fair-skinned individuals are ideal candidates for this procedure, however patients with darker skin may also have good results depending on the type of issues that are being treated. In this case, it is important to understand that there is a risk of uneven skin tone as a result of the procedure.
Individuals with infections, cut or broken skin, active skin disease, sunburn or active Herpes simplex 1 sores are advised not to undergo this treatment. This treatment can lead to larger issues with the skin, irritation and infection if not properly assessed by a specialist.
Patients that show aging effects like severe wrinkles, bulges or skin bags do not respond well to chemical peel procedures. Patients are advised to look at alternative methods that will have more effective results on their problem areas. Other types of surgical cosmetic procedures that may work best on these issues are laser resurfacing, soft tissue filler, a facelift, brow lift or eyelid lift. Various techniques may produce the desired results you are looking for.
Benefits of Chemical Peels
A chemical peel provides multiple benefits for the skin in a wide range of combinations. With one treatment, you can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, even out skin tone and pigmentation, reverse the effects of sun damage and blotchy patches, and help restore your skin to a more youthful appearance.
Recovery varies from client an to client. Typically, it takes about two weeks post treatment for the skin to completely heal. A sensation similar to a sunburn likely to occur. This is a normal reaction to the procedure. The peeling process begins with redness of the skin followed by “scaling” within three to seven days.
Medium and Deep Chemical Peels
More invasive peels may be accompanied by swelling, along with blisters that could potentially burst, crust over, turn a brownish color and peel off anywhere between 7-14 days if post-care instructions are not followed appropriately. The new layer of skin will begin to appear 7-10 days after treatment. Although full healing and complete recovery can take up to two months or longer. Patients typically take a week off from work after undergoing a deep chemical peel.
Bandages may be needed to cover a portion or all of the treated skin for several days. It is extremely important that all patients avoid sun exposure for several months as your newly exposed skin will be extremely sensitive and fragile.