Chemical Peeling is a technique used to enhance the appearance of the skin. During this treatment we apply a chemical solution to the skin, which causes dead skin cells to separate and peel off. A chemical peel produces younger-looking skin by stripping old, sun damaged skin, which the body replaces with new, healthy skin. The new regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. The new skin is also more even in color. Chemical peeling is also an excellent treatment for select acne patients who may benefit from superficial (“light”) peels. Utilizing special formulations, our doctors peel away the outer epidermis, uproofing acne comedones and cleansing the surface skin. Some patients find that it decreased the size of their large pores. Often we see a remarkable response in our patients who have reached a standstill with conventional therapies.Some pigmentation problems may respond to chemical peeling. These include age spots, sun spots, liver spots, dark spots after acne heals, and melasma from pregnancy or birth control pills.
Types of Peels
Various types of acids are used to accomplish chemical peels. The stronger the mixture, the deeper the skin layer that is affected, and the more impressive the results. Acids commonly used are glycolic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid, or fruit acid), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), Jessners Solution, lactic acid, and salicylic acid (Beta Peel).
Superficial peels penetrate only the top layers of skin, giving a “freshening” effect. These peels are used to treat acne, rosacea, and pigmentation problems. Often a series of peels are done, with increasing acid strength or time as the skin tolerates. There is occasional redness (sunburn like) after each peel. This can be covered with make-up.
Medium peels penetrate a little deeper into the skin, and are more effective. These peels are used to treat fine wrinkles and sun damaged skin. Occasionally they are used for pigmentation problems that do not respond to light peels. There is more of a burning feeling with this type of peel, and usually 1 week is set aside for healing and proper at-home care.
Penetrate even deeper into the dermis and are used for more pronounced wrinkles. Our doctors at the Center for Laser & Cosmetic Surgery utilize the latest in laser technology and replace the need to perform deep chemical peels. Laser Skin Resurfacing yields much more effective and long lasting results with greater safety. If you are interested in eliminating wrinkles, the laser is the way to go. Please ask for our brochures. Hundreds of patients have been helped with this procedure.
Chemical peels are most commonly performed on the face, but can also help conditions affecting the neck, chest, back, hands, arms, and legs. Prior to treatment, instructions may include applying certain creams (Retin-A, bleaching creams, alpha-hydroxy acids, etc.) and for medium peels, taking certain pills (antibiotics, antivirals). First, we thoroughly cleanse the skin with an astringent that removes excess oils. Then one or more chemical solutions are applied for several minutes. Finally, the acids are neutralized with compresses or creams. During the procedure, most patients experience a warm sensation or tingling which lasts several minutes.
Depending on the type of peel, a reaction similar to a mild to severe sunburn occurs. In superficial peels, there may be redness and peeling for a few days, or the effect may be microscopic and invisible to the naked eye. In medium peels there may be swelling and even blistering that may crust, turn brown and peel off after a week or so.
Our doctors perform hundreds of chemical peels each year. The type of chemical peel that is right for you is a decision between you and your doctor from the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery.
Our experience and competitive pricing, combined with our patients’ results have made Advanced Dermatology and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery the leader and best value in chemical peels.
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