Chemical Peels are offered by dermatologists as a cost effective way to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles caused by aging and sun damage as well as lighten pigmented areas such as freckles, “age spots” or liver spots, and melasma (splotchy discoloration due to hormone therapy or pregnancy).
The procedure is performed in the dermatology office and takes approximately 15 to 25 minutes. The patient is reclined and made comfortable. The eyes are protected prior to the application of the first chemical solution, which primes the skin and allows even penetration of the chemical that follows. A solution such as trichloroacetic acid or glycolic acid is then applied. This causes a burning sensation that is short lived and is well tolerated by most people.
After the procedure, a reaction similar to a sunburn will occur. Over the first few days this swelling and redness will be present followed by peeling of the skin. The peeling usually lasts 3 to 7 days but a deeper peel may result in peeling up to 10 days post op.
During this period it is important to keep the skin well hydrated and protected by the sun. Patients are generally back to a normal skin routine by 2 weeks or sooner.
Repeat peels are often recommended for best results and can be performed as early as 4 to 6 months for medium depth peels, and every 2 to 3 weeks for superficial peels.
Fair skinned patients are ideal candidates for Chemical Peels. Because of the increased risk of healing with altered pigmentation, chemical peeling is often not recommended for dark skin types.
Chemical Peels for Acne:
Chemical Peels can also be a useful tool in reducing the number of pustules and comedones (black head, white heads). A superficial peel using glycolic acid is most often used and may be combined with manual extraction of comedones. As with all chemical peels several treatments may be necessary to achieve the best result.
For more information please contact us by email or phone at 757-838-8030.