Chemical peels are performed using a chemical solution that removes the damaged, outer layers of skin, revealing the smoother, younger, more vibrant looking skin beneath. Chemical peels can improve a variety of skin concerns including wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, sun damage, blemishes, acne scars, and pre-cancerous skin growths. There are many different types of chemical peels available, from mild to strong, including alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peels and trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels, Milder peels produce a light peel for smoother, brighter-looking skin and improvement in fine wrinkles, dryness, acne, and uneven pigmentation. Stronger peels can treat coarse wrinkles, blotchy or sun-damaged skin and pre-cancerous growths for a dramatically more youthful look. While chemical peels are often available at spas, a medically-administered peel usually provides deeper, longer-lasting results with fewer side effects.
Candidates for chemical peel treatments are in good physical health and have realistic expectations for improving aged or sun-damaged skin. Some stronger peels may not be appropriate for patients with darker skin tones. After the consultation, our doctors will recommend the best chemical peel to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.
Chemical peels are typically performed in the office setting and may take anywhere from ten minutes to an hour to complete depending on the strength of the peel. Medium-depth and stronger peels often contain an anesthetic in the chemical solution and do not require additional anesthesia. Milder strength peels often produce just a slight stinging sensation and do not need anesthesia.
Recovery will depend on the depth of the peel. Some flaking, scaling or crusting of the skin may occur, as well as redness. Stronger peels may also produce swelling, tingling or throbbing and may require pain medication. A crust or scab often forms on the treatment area and peels off after a period of days to weeks. The skin will be sensitive to the sun for a period of time and sun exposure should be limited. Patients can often return to work right away after receiving a mild peel like an AHA peel. Stronger TCA and phenol peels may require one to two weeks of recovery before resuming normal activities.
To learn more about chemical peels or to schedule a consultation, contact us.