Many patients who want to achieve smoother, healthier-looking skin are happy with the results delivered by chemical peels. This cosmetic treatment smoothes the texture of the skin and reduces facial scars by exfoliating the skin’s outer layer to reveal new, healthy skin beneath. There are different types of chemical peels based on the aggressiveness of the chemical and the depth of the peeling it causes. Dr. Trovato will decide which peels are right for your skin and the issues you seek to address.
What are chemical peels?
Chemical peels use acid solutions to treat skin imperfections. This treatment damages the skin’s outer layers, causing the damaged skin to slough off, revealing younger skin and improving the appearance of blemishes, wrinkles, and skin pigmentation problems.
Who are good candidates for a chemical peel?
Peels usually work best on patients with fair skin. The procedure can be done on those with darker skin tones, but caution must be used because the peels can create uneven pigmentation.
What are the different types of chemical peels?
Chemical peels are categorized according to the strength of their agent. Superficial peels, the mildest type, can be used on all skin types. These peels use mild acids, such as glycolic acid, to rejuvenate the skin.
Medium peels are able to penetrate deeper into the skin’s layers, creating a second-degree burn on the skin. These peels usually use trichloroacetic acid as their main peeling agent. Medium peels usually work well on skin with wrinkles, pigmentation problems, and superficial blemishes.
The strongest of all chemical peels are deep peels, which commonly use phenol acid to treat skin imperfections such as coarse wrinkles, sun or age spots, and pre-cancerous growths. These peels usually produce the most enduring results, but their aggressiveness also requires the longest recovery period.
How are chemical peels performed?
The peel procedure varies somewhat according to the type of peel and the extent of the skin condition. Patients receiving deep peels may be given a sedative to keep them relaxed throughout the procedure. Once the skin has been cleansed, a topical anesthetic may be applied to promote patient comfort. The chemical peel solution is then applied to the skin. This may create a tingling sensation. The chemical solution is allowed to remain on the skin for a prescribed amount of time before it is rinsed off with water. Soothing ointment is then applied and Dr. Trovato will provide post-treatment instructions to follow as your skin heals.
What can I expect after my chemical peel?
The recovery time depends on the type of peel. Mild peels usually do not require recovery time. Although you may experience mild irritation in the skin, you will be allowed to return to work or to your daily activities immediately following the procedure. Medium peels take from three days to a week to heal, and deep peels can take up to two months to fully heal. With all peels, it is important for the patient to avoid sun exposure while their skin is healing.