What Does A Chemical Peel Do For The Skin?
A chemical peel effectively treats many skin conditions that patients find bothersome. During a consultation, your dermatologist will assess the skin to determine the chemical peel type that can best replenish your skin. Overall, a chemical peel will treat and improve the following:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Sun damage
- Acne and acne scars
- Uneven skin tone
- Age spots
- Large pores
- Rough or textured skin
Types Of Chemical Peels
A chemical peel works to chemically remove the rough, dry and/or dead skin cells. By removing this damaged outer layer of skin, the new and refreshed skin will be visible. Our dermatologists in Boardman and Howland, OH, perform superficial, medium and deep peels. During consultation, the best chemical peel for your skin care needs and goals will be determined.
For patients with textured skin, acne and mild discoloration this mild chemical peel may be suitable as the application of alpha-hydroxy acid gently removes the outermost skin layer. A superficial peel is the most gentle type of face peel.
Considered to be the most popular type of chemical peel, this peel removes both the outer and middle layers of skin from the treated area. A medium chemical peel uses trichloroacetic acid or glycolic acid. Age spots, fine lines and wrinkles and moderate skin discoloration are all improved upon by a medium peel.
The inclusion of phenol acid in this solution makes a deep peel the most aggressive type of peel. A deep peel effectively reduces the appearance of shallow scars, age spots, and moderate fine lines and wrinkles. Patients should note that this aggressive peel may only be safely applied once and is only appropriate for use on the facial skin.
What Are The Risks Of A Chemical Peel?
Overall, a chemical peel is a safe skin care procedure. As with any treatment, however, there are inherent risks. While these risks are considered rare, they are possible:
- Cold sore flare-up
- Permanent or temporary skin color change (lighter or darker)
- Abnormal skin pigmentation
Providing a full, detailed medical history enable your dermatologist to best predict any potential risks you may experience.
Who Is A Candidate For A Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel treatment is suitable for the majority of healthy patients. If a patient presents with broken skin, active skin disease, sunburn or infection; the treatment will need to be postponed to allow healing. Also, if a patient has an active Herpes simplex 1 sore(s), the area will need to fully heal before treatment. Women who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding are not candidates for this skin care treatment. Patients experiencing any of the following conditions may not be candidates for a peel:
Our Boardman dermatologists do not recommend a patient to undergo a chemical peel if they have utilized or are actively using any of the following products:
- Any products with ascorbic acid or skin-bleaching agents
Your full disclosure of medications and products used will allow for optimal treatment. Patients are often eligible for a chemical peel after ceasing use of certain skin care products or medications; your dermatologist will determine this during the consultation.
How To Prepare For A Chemical Peel
Patients are recommended to refrain from waxing and using hair removal and/or hair bleaching products during the week leading up to their appointment. Face or skin scrubs and other exfoliants should not be used as well. Depending on your current skin and desired skin goals, it may be recommended that you utilize glycolic acid lotion and/or a retinoid cream to improve treatment. Patients may be asked to take an antiviral medication to prevent cold sores from occurring.
What To Expect During The Appointment
Upon arrival at our dermatology office, patients will be asked to lay down face up so that the skin may be cleansed. The chemical peel solution will be gently, evenly applied to the treatment area. Patients may notice slight discomfort and stinging sensations. The skin is neutralized with a saline compress and may be deeply moisturized once the treatment is complete. In some instances, the patient’s face may be bandaged. Treatment may take up to 30 minutes for a superficial peel or up to over an hour for a deep peel. Patients that are having a deep peel performed are sedated to manage discomfort.
Results & Recovery
The amount of downtime and recovery will vary depending on the selected chemical peel. Patients who chose a superficial peel experience no downtime and only need a few days to entirely recover. A medium chemical peel will cause the skin to look as if it has been moderately sunburned, and take up to 3 weeks to heal. Alternatively, patients that have selected a deep peel will need to recover for up to a month. A deep chemical peel makes the treated area appear very red and very swollen, the skin will turn brown and peel off in a week or two. Antiviral medication and healing products may be supplied to maximize and ease healing.