Do you ever wish you could start all over and take better care of your skin? A chemical peel could give you that chance. Peels can dramatically reduce lines, wrinkles, acne scars, dark spots, and roughness caused by years of sun.
A chemical peel is a solution applied to the face to remove the outermost layer or layers of skin. It's a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands. A chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off. The new skin that grows in its place is softer, smoother and has fewer imperfections. The new skin is also temporarily more sensitive to the sun.
There are three basic types of chemical peels:
Superficial or Lunchtime Peel: Alpha-hydroxy acid or another mild acid is used to penetrate only the outer layer of skin to gently exfoliate it. The treatment is used to improve the appearance of mild skin discoloration and rough skin as well as to refresh the face, neck, chest or hands.
Medium Peel: Glycolic or trichloroacetic acid is applied to penetrate the outer and middle layers of skin to remove damaged skin cells. The treatment is used to improve age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, freckles and moderate skin discoloration.
Deep Peel: Trichloroacetic acid or phenol is applied to deeply penetrate the middle layer of skin to remove damaged skin cells. The treatment removes moderate lines, age spots, freckles and shallow scars. A thorough evaluation by a dermatologic surgeon is imperative before embarking upon a chemical peel.
When is a chemical peel appropriate?
Chemical peels are used to treat a number of conditions including:
Who should not opt for chemical peels?
Generally, light-haired and fair skinned people are the best candidates for chemical peel. The procedure does not work as well on dark skinned patients. The procedure is not recommended for individuals with infections, active skin disease, cut or broken skin, or sunburns. Other contraindications include patients who are:
Temporary change in skin color, particularly for women on birth control pills, who subsequently become pregnant or have a history of brownish facial discoloration.
Changes are transient and easy to take care of if taken care properly.
Depending on the depth of treatment required, your surgeon may choose one of the following peels:
Aftercare and recovery
Your dermatologist will discuss how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. After surgery, you and your caregiver will receive detailed instructions about your postsurgical care, including information about: