If you are affected with problematic, blemish-prone skin, uneven texture and tone, pigmentation or wrinkling, a chemical peel may be a treatment to consider.
What is a Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels are solutions formulated to correct the outer layers of your skin by exfoliating the skin to reveal a brighter, more radiant and smoother skin complexion in various areas of the body, including the legs, arms, neck, chest, hands and feet.
These peels can:
- Improve the tone, texture and clarity of your skin
- Reduce or eliminate age spots and sun damaged skin
- Soften lines and wrinkles
- Reduce the appearance of pores
- Clear acne skin conditions
- Reduce acne scarring
- Stimulate the production of collagen for firmer more youthful skin
Types of Chemical Peels
Chemical peels come in three main varieties: superficial, medium depth and deep.
Superficial peels can be performed by a non-physician provider and generally have little or no downtime. They are often referred to as “lunchtime” peels because makeup can be applied right after the procedure and no recovery time is needed. This type of peel leaves the skin soft, smooth and clean and may help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. Often, a series of 6 superficial peels are performed once monthly to achieve the desired effect. Maintenance superficial peels are performed every 6 weeks to 3 months.
Medium depth peels are performed using a single peeling agent or a combination of agents. Some commonly used peeling agents include trichloroacetic acid (TCA), Jessner’s solution and salicylic acid in higher concentrations. Other peeling agents may also be used. This type of peel requires more preparation than a superficial peel. During your consultation, you will be asked a series of medical questions designed to make sure your peel goes smoothly and safely. If you have a history of cold sores, you may be required to take an antiviral medication to prevent an outbreak with the peel. This type of peel carries a recovery time of approximately 5-12 days depending on the depth of peel used. During this time, a special regimen of aftercare will be prescribed and you will have to practice strict sun avoidance. The deeper the peel, the higher the risk of problems like hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) and uneven color. By following the pre- and post-peel directions, complications can be minimized.
Deep Chemical peels will eliminate deep wrinkles and can remove pre-cancerous growths. They are generally performed with conscious sedation. These peels use a chemical called phenol in various concentrations. Phenol can cause arrhythmias, so your heart and blood pressure will be continually monitored. The peel is also performed in a stepwise fashion to minimize penetration through the skin. Recovery time is two weeks.
Preparing for a Chemical Peel
We will ask you about any allergies you may have and any medications you might be on to ensure your peel goes smoothly and safely and prevent negative reactions.
- If you have a history of cold sores, you may be required to take an antiviral medication prior to the peel and continuing for a week or after, to help prevent an outbreak.
- Patients that are nursing or pregnant should not receive chemical peel treatments.
- Refrain from using Retin-A, Renova or products containing retinol, bleaching or skin lightening agents for 72 hours prior to treatment.
- Patients who have taken Accutane in the last 6 months should not have treatment.
- All patients should use a high SPF sunscreen prior to and after peeling.
All chemical peels are performed in our office with board-certified dermatologists and licensed providers ensuring you receive proper care at all times.
We offer PCA skin® products for chemical peels and will customize a peel suitable for your needs and concerns. Pricing is dependent on patient needs and concerns.
Please contact the office to schedule a consultation to see if a chemical peel is the right option for you.