Chemical peels are a popular skin rejuvenating treatment that can help you recapture a more youthful glow. At Peace MD, we believe in creating a glow that starts from within, and that begins with choosing the right chemical peel for your skin type.
Chemical peels remove damaged outer layers of skin to make skin smoother, reduce scarring and remove blemishes. Ranging from mild to strong, there are three types of chemical peels: alphahydroxy acid (AHA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and phenol. The strength of each peel is tailored to the patient. Peels can be combined with other procedures, such as facelifts, for additional improvement to skin. Chemical peels may be covered by insurance if they are performed for medical rather than cosmetic reasons.
Chemical peels are performed in a plastic surgeon‘s or dermatologist‘s office, or an outpatient surgical center. Anesthesia is not required because TCA and phenol have anesthetic properties, and AHA produces only a slight stinging.
Benefits of Chemical Peels
Free radicals, stress, smoking, and even the normal aging process can make your skin look dull and older than you may be. Chemical peels help to reduce the signs of aging, slough away dead skin, and also unclog pores, all of which restore a healthy glow.
Other benefits of having a chemical peel include:
- Hydrates and tightens the skin.
- Smoothes out fine lines and wrinkles.
- Decongests clogged pores.
- Improves skin texture and tone.
- Can effectively treat certain types of acne.
- Corrects areas of hyperpigmentation.
- Stimulates collagen production.
- Improves the appearance of age spots, sun damage, and unwanted freckles.
Chemical Peel Procedure
During a TCA or phenol peel, the skin is cleansed and the solution is applied, which may cause a brief stinging sensation. Petroleum jelly or a waterproof adhesive tape may be put on the skin following a phenol peel. During an AHA peel, the skin is cleansed and the solution applied; there is no need for post-peel ointment or covering.
Ideal Candidates for Chemical Peels
Ideal candidates for chemical peels are patients who are in relatively good health, are not allergic to the chemical agents, and have skin concerns at-home topical treatments cannot address. They also understand the risks and benefits of the procedure, and understand there may be a recovery period if they have a deep chemical peel.
Side Effects of Chemical Peels
A phenol or TCA peel can result in tingling or throbbing, reddened skin, a crust or scab, and significant swelling that lasts, depending on the strength of the peel used, about a week. With a phenol peel, eyes may be swollen shut at first, and the patient may be put on a liquid diet and advised to keep talking to a minimum. Any tape used is removed after a day or two. AHA peels can cause temporary stinging, redness and irritation, as well as flaking or crusting. After a chemical peel, it is essential that the skin be protected from the sun.