Chemical peels are a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin by exfoliating the skin using specific chemicals. For this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, causing the dead skin to lift and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin is often smoother with less wrinkles than the old skin, and is also temporarily more sensitive to sunlight.
What Conditions Do A Chemical Peel Treat?
Chemical peels are performed on the face, neck or hands. They can be used to:
- Reduce fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth
- Treat wrinkles caused by sun damage, aging, and family history
- Improve the appearance of mild scarring
- Treat certain types of acne
- Reduce age spots, freckles and liver spots
- Improve the look and feel of skin that is dull in texture and color
- Or just as a maintenance to have your skin look glowy
Areas of sun damage, which may contain pre-cancerous cells that look like scaly spots, may improve after a chemical peel. Following treatment, new pre-cancerous spots are less likely to appear.
Severe wrinkles do not respond well to chemical peels, they often require other cosmetic procedures such as Sciton microlaser peel or dermal fillers.
Who Is A Good Candidate For A Chemical Peel?
Fair-skinned and light-haired patients are usually ideal candidates for chemical peels. Darker skin types may also have good results depending on the type of condition being treated. However, with darker skin types, the risk of an uneven skin tone after the procedure is increased.
What Types Of Chemical Peels Are There?
There is a variety of chemical peels that range from superficial, medium or deep peels. Superficial peels are the most common, and are applied by our esthetician. The medium depth peels are performed by Dr. Prasad, and deep peels such as phenol peels usually require sedation, and are therefore not performed in our clinic. Many of the advanced laser procedures have decreased the need for deeper peels.
Preparing For a Chemical Peel
Before your chemical peel, we may ask you to stop taking certain drugs and prepare your skin with topical preconditioning medications like Retin-A, Renova or glycolic acid. After the treatment it is very important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily.
If you have been prescribed oral antibiotics or an oral antiviral medicine, you should begin taking those as directed. Generally, the oral antibiotics are prescribed coinciding to the depth of the peel.
What To Expect During A Chemical Peel
During treatment, most patients experience a burning sensation that lasts about five to ten minutes, followed by a stinging feeling. Cool compresses may be applied to help minimize discomfort. A deeper peel may require pain medication during or after the treatment.
Occasionally, sclerotherapy treatments can result in the development of brown discoloration on the skin, which could take a long time to fade. It also possible to develop matting, where a group of tiny red blood vessels develop around the treatment area which can sometimes be treated with the IPL (FotoFacial) device.
What To Expect After The Chemical Peel
Depending on the type and depth of the chemical peel, a sunburn-like reaction occurs following the treatment. The peeling process usually involves redness, followed by scaling that will end within three to seven days. Mild peels can be repeated at one to four week intervals until the desired result is achieved.
Medium-depth and deep peeling can result in swelling, and water blisters that may break, crust, turn brown and peel off over a period of seven to 14 days. Medium-depth peels may be redone in six to twelve months if necessary.
What Are The Types Of Peels At Laser Esthetica?
We currently have a variety of glycolic, lactic and trichloroacetic acid peels. We continually evaluate new products and will soon be adding the Obagi Vibrance Peel. If you want smoother facial skin, contact our office today to schedule a personalized consultation. Call (916) 783-0580 today!
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