A chemical peel treatment consists of a mild acid solution that is used to remove any damaged outer layers of the skin. It generally involves hydoxy avids (AHA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), or phenol.
The topically administered peel enhances and smooths the texture of the skin, effectively treating facial lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin pigmentation. It will exfoliate the outer layers, removing dead skin, revealing new rejuvenated skin of improved tone, texture, and color. In addition to full facial rejuvenation, certain types of skin peels can also be used for spot treatments or as a way to remove stretch marks or rejuvenate skin elsewhere on the body.
Patients who are unhappy with the appearance of their skin, understand the procedure, and have reasonable expectations of the outcome are ideal candidates. If you are looking to alleviate acne, smooth wrinkles, improve skin texture, eliminate age spots, or reduce the effects of sun damage, you will be pleased with the results of a chemical peel.
The different types of chemical peels come in varying strengths and provide different levels of treatment.
Candidates for Deep Chemical Peels
Patients who are interested in correcting blotchy skin caused by age or sun exposure, minimizing coarse wrinkles, or removing pre-cancerous growths could benefit from a deep chemical peel. Potential chemical peel candidates should be aware that this treatment may take an hour or more, and sedation may be required. Anyone who decides on this procedure should be prepared for a long, slow recovery period, and should wear sunscreen whenever exposed to sun. This longer procedure could mean that recovery time could last up to several months.
Chemical Peels vs. Microdermabrasion
With a variety of skim improvement techniques available today, it is common that many patients aren’t sure what treatment is best for their needs. Many wonder about the respective benefits of chemical peels and microdermabrasion. While the treatments for microdermabrasion and mild chemical peels are similar, chemical peels are about to change the actual pigmentation of the skin where Microdermabrasion is a non-chemical procedure and it attacks imperfections by “sanding”, in a way, the flaws from the skin’s surface. Deep chemical peels requires much more recovery time than microdermabrasion and mild peels. Also unlike microdermabrasion, deep chemical peels, through bleaching, change the actual pigmentation of the skin.
Light Chemical Peels
Your chemical peel will be a specific formula that is designed for you based on the characteristics of your skin and your desired result. Light peels are used for fine lines, any dry areas, uneven pigmentation, and acne. These are ideal for those you want the benefits of a facial peel but do not wish to have the longer recovery time of a deeper peel.
Medium Chemical Peel
This chemical procedure works well for treating fine surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes, and pigmentation problems. As with the light chemical peel, medium chemical peels require less recovery time than a deeper peel.
Acne Chemical Peel
There are special chemical peel solutions that are useful for treating acne blemishes and reducing existing acne scars. This are typically light chemical peels that are administered with a solution of Alphahydroxy acids (AHA). A lower-strength AHA solution mixed with a facial wash can be use as part of a daily skin-care routine.
Will I be sedated during a Chemical Peels?
A local anesthetic in combination with mild or full sedation is typically used for deep chemical peels. For light and medium skin peels, no anesthetic or sedation is necessary, though patients may request it to alleviate discomfort.
Are Chemical Peels painful?
Typically, patients will feel a mild stinging sensation during the light or medium chemical peels. The physician may prescribe a mild analgesic to relieve any potential discomfort.
Will my skin literally “Peel”?
After the patient has a skin peel treatment, the treated layers of skin will gradually flake away, revealing a fresh new layer of skin. As the chemical peel works, it removes the outer layers of the skin to reduce or eliminate that appearance of a variety of skin imperfections.
How long is the recovery period after a skin peel?
Since each type of peel affects the skin differently, the recovery time after a chemical peel depends on the type of chemical peel solution being used for the treatment.
- Light chemical peels require virtually no recovery time. Though the skin may be mildly irritated after the peel, patients can return to their daily activities immediately after treatment.
- Medium chemical peels have a longer recovery time than light peels. The new layer of skin starts to appear three to seven days after treatment and about two weeks after treatment, the skin will be fully healed.
- Deep chemical peels have an even longer recovery time. The new layer of skin begins to appear seven to ten days after treatment, though complete healing can take two months or longer. Patients typically take one or two weeks off from work after undergoing a deep chemical peel.