07 Sep Chemical Peels 101
A chemical peel is one method used to enhance the look of skin on the hands, neck or face. The process includes applying a chemical solution to the skin which instigates exfoliation of the skin and it’s eventual removal. This process results in regenerated skin that is less wrinkled compared to the old skin. This new skin tends to be smoother and initially quite sensitive to the sun.
Types of chemical peels
Lunchtime or superficial peel – Alpha-hydroxy acid gently penetrates the exterior layer of the skin to exfoliate it. It is a treatment that is primarily used to enhance the appearance of rough skin and mild skin discoloration. It is similarly used to refresh the hands, chest, neck or face.
Medium peel – Trichloroacetic acid or glycolic acid is normally gently applied to penetrate the exterior and middle layers of the skin so as to eliminate bad skin cells. This treatment is essentially used to enhance the appearance of freckles, fine lines, age spots, moderate skin discoloration, and wrinkles. Moreover, it can be utilized in the treatment of precancerous skin growths such as actinic keratosis and to smoothen rough skin.
Deep peel – Phenol or trichloroacetic acid is applied on the skin with the intent of fully infiltrating the middle layer of skin and eliminate bad cells. This particular treatment eliminates age spots, freckles, shallow scars and moderate lines. It is very effective in improving the appearance of the skin. It is commonly carried out on the face. This particular procedure can only be performed once.
Chemical peels are effective in the treatment of a number conditions. These include acne scars, aging skin, crow’s feet, scars, sun damaged skin, sagging skin and even wrinkles.
Candidates for the procedure
Fair-skinned people and those with light hair make the best candidates for the procedure. Unfortunately, dark-skinned individuals and chemical peels do not go together. It is not recommended for people who have infections, those with active skin diseases, sunburns, active Herpes simplex or broken skin. Other candidates who are not suitable for the procedure are women who are nursing or pregnant, people with dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis and those who have taken Accutane in the previous six months. Also, patients who have used Retin-A and Renova skin care products, products that have ascorbic acid or bleaching products in the last forty-eight hours are advised to wait to have this procedure done.
Is the procedure painful?
Chemical peels are not known to cause a lot of pain but sting a little bit. The most gentle chemical peels utilize glycolic, lactic acids and alpha-hydroxy. They initially cause redness, crusting and stinging. However, as the skin commences adjusting the effects lessen. For stronger peelings, trichloroacetic acids are more appropriate. It should be noted that Phenol is the strongest of all the chemical peels treatments. This treatment may sting more painfully than the gentler acids. On completion of the treatment, patients who received phenol treatments may result in swelling, irritation and redness. Gels and creams effectively reduce the negative effects.
Potential side effects
Some of the common side effects of chemical peels include scarring, reactivation of cold sores and permanent or temporary alteration in skin color.
Chemical peels are generally safe procedures that can have beautiful, lasting results. Those who are interested in having a chemical peel done should consult a medical professional, such as Dr. Reddy, and do a little research on their own regarding which procedure would best meet their goals and the recovery time for that particular procedure.
Dr. Sue Reddy specializes in the treatment of infectious disease among many other specialties. She understands what is required to live a healthy, active life. Please feel free to take a look around her website and if you feel she provides services you may be interested in, give Dr. Reddy a call. Her staff would be more than happy to set up an appointment and answer any questions you may have.