Chemical Peel

Chemical peels are specific procedures used to renew your skin.

Light chemical peels utilize a natural acid found in various fruits and foods called alpha hydroxyacid (AHA).  AHAs remove the damaged outer layer of skin cells, stimulating new cell growth and restructuring of deeper skin layers.  This results in healthier, smoother, plumper and tighter looking skin.

Medium depth chemical peels utilize a combination of trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and Jessners solution to enhance the appearance of your skin.  They are efficient in treating pigmentary changes, lentigines (sun spots), and photoaging.

 

Light Glycolic Acid Peel

 

What You Should Know Prior To Treatment

 

What is a Glycolic acid and how does it work?

Glycolic acid is one of the alpha hydroxyacids (AHAs), a group of naturally occurring substances often referred to as “fruit acids” because they are naturally found in various fruits and other foods. Numerous clinical publications have demonstrated their beneficial effects on skin appearance and texture. Many skin problems are caused by or associated with an excessive build-up of dead skin cells that makes the skin thick and dull, and may cause clogged pores, leading to breakouts. AHAs help loosen and remove the skin’s dead surface layer, as well as promote more even pigmentation and deeper skin firming effects.

How will Glycolic Acid benefit me?

A glycolic acid peel treatment is a specific technique for skin renewal. During the process, a high concentration of glycolic acid is applied to the skin for a short period of time and then chemically neutralized to end the treatment. This procedure rapidly removes the damaged layer of surface skin cells revealing fresh skin, and stimulates cell rebuilding and restructuring of deeper skin layers. This procedure can help skin appear smoother, healthier, plumper, and tighter, with more even pigmentation. In addition, improvements have been observed in patients with dry skin, oily and acne-prone skin.

How soon should I see benefit?

The type and degree of skin improvements you hope to gain, and the amount of discomfort and/or downtime you can tolerate with each peel will determine how quickly you will see benefit. Most patients experience textural smoothing and improvements with acne prone skin within one to two months. Deeper textural changes require multiple peels at stronger strengths. Noticeable improvements of these conditions usually occur within 3-4 months. Other skin improvements that may result from a peel series include: softening of fine lines from sun damage, increased smoothness of skin texture, mild or moderate smoothing of acne scars, lightening of pigmentation irregularities, increased skin glow or radiance, some minimization of pore size. Based on discussion with your provider, you will have a peel treatment program organized to best meet your expectations and needs. Generally, the program will involve several peel treatments in the office over a period of time, normally 4-6 weeks apart.

How safe are chemical peels, and are there any potential side effects?

Glycolic acid chemical peels are proven safe, but as with any procedure, one should be aware of the potential side effects.

  1. Redness, burning, stinging, tingling, or skin sensitivity are the most common symptoms associated with the light peel. These normally resolve spontaneously within 24 hours of the procedure.
  2. Superficial peeling, light scabbing, swelling, sun sensitivity, and skin sensitivity/irritation may occur with more aggressive glycolic peels.
  3. An acne flare due to deep pore cleansing or an acne-like inflammation around the mouth (peri-oral dermatitis) may be experienced.
  4. Patients with a history of herpes simplex (cold sores) may have a tendency for flare if no preventive treatment is used.
  5. Some patients may experience transient spots of hyper- or hypo-pigmentation (coloration or discoloration) after a glycolic acid peel procedure. These conditions usually resolve spontaneously within several weeks after the procedure, but can last for several months. Depending on your skin type, your provider may recommend a prescription topical medication to prevent this from happening.

Are there any special conditions or products I should make my provider aware of prior to procedure?

Yes! There are several conditions that make it unsafe to have a peel, or may enhance your skin’s reactivity. You may be required to discontinue use of certain procedures/products 1-2 weeks before a peel. Please inform your provider if you have a history of:

1. Herpes simplex (cold sores). You should receive preventive medicine prior to the peel.
2. Hypertrophic or keloidal scarring.
3. Warts in proposed treatment area.
4. Healing wounds in proposed treatment area.
5. Sunburn or wind burn in the 2 week period prior to proposed treatment.
6. Artificial tanning/sun bathing in the 6 week period prior to proposed treatment.
7. Waxing in proposed treatment area in the 2 week period prior to proposed treatment.
8. Accutane or other oral retinoid therapy in 6 month period prior to proposed treatment.
9. Current topical retinoid use (Differin, Retin-A, Tazorac). These products may be used to prepare/prep the skin for a peel.

Is there anyone who should not receive a chemical peel?

You can not receive treatment if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have had an adverse reaction to previous peels.

Will the peel be uncomfortable?

Depending on the strength of the glycolic acid, and the desired effect, different sensations will be experienced. You should expect a tingling, itching, or mild heat/burning sensation, but few patients describe the peel as painful. Normally, a fan is used to help with any excessive warmth or burning you experience. The peel will be neutralized, or reaction stopped if you feel too uncomfortable.

What should I expect directly after treatment, and how should I care for the treated area?

Initially your skin may be somewhat red or puffy. It may take up to one week for the renewal and rebuilding process to allow your skin appearance to return to “normal”. Light peeling is an expected result, but not necessary to see the improvement you want. The sensations will lessen over the course of a week as the skin rejuvenates. There may be some crusting and or swelling, particularly if a stronger peel is used.

Proper care for the treated area will produce optimal benefit, and reduce the risks of any scarring or unwanted side effects. Directly after the treatment you should apply NeoStrata Post Peel Nutricream, NeoStrata Bionic Cream, or Neutrogena light moisturizer for sensitive skin. You should avoid sun exposure, artificial tanning devices, and direct heat sources. The use of a broad spectrum sunscreen beginning the day after the peel procedure or as soon as you can tolerate it is recommended. Avoid the use of products that may be irritating (AHAs, salicylic acid, retinoids) until skin has fully healed. Normally these products may be restarted within 1-2 weeks after the treatment. If your skin is very sensitive, avoid the use of makeup for up to a week. If you have little skin sensitivity, you may apply makeup without a wait.

 

Medium Depth Chemical Peels

 

What You Should Know Prior To Treatment

 

What is a Medium Depth Peel, and how does it work?

Most of our patients spent their youth and much of their early adult life in the pre-sunscreen era. We have learned very clearly over the last several decades that excess sun exposure and tans are unhealthy, and cause real damage to the skin. Changes on the skin caused by sun exposure include various combinations of irregular skin color (pigmentary changes and sun spots), changes in skin texture, fine or deep wrinkles, and skin looseness. These changes are due to damage in the skin’s support system, and to the pigment producing cells.

Medium depth peel treatment is a specific technique for skin renewal using a combination of Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and Jessners solution. Jessners solution is used in combination with TCA to enhance the effectiveness of the peel. TCA peels have been widely used for over a quarter century, and have been found to be effective at treating a number of pigmentary changes, lentigines (sun spots), and signs of photoaging.

How will a Medium Depth Peel benefit me?

Chemical peeling is a technique used to enhance the appearance of the skin. During this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, which causes dead skin cells to separate and peel off. A chemical peel produces younger-looking skin by stripping away old, sun damaged skin, which the body replaces with new, healthy skin. The new regenerated skin is usually smoother, more even in color, and less wrinkled than the old skin.

How soon should I see benefit?

Most patients experience some degree of textural smoothing and lightening of hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) after the first treatment.  Results can be expected approximately 3-4 weeks after therapy, but further improvements can be seen up to several months after therapy. Other skin improvements that may result from a peel series include: softening of fine lines from sun damage, increased smoothness of skin texture, mild smoothing of acne scars, lightening of pigmentation irregularities and increasing skin glow or radiance. Based on discussion with your provider, you will have a peel treatment regimen designed to best meet your expectations and needs.

Are there any special conditions or products I should make my provider aware of prior to procedure?

Yes! There are several conditions that make it unsafe to have a peel, or may enhance your skin’s reactivity. You may be required to discontinue use of certain procedures/products 1-2 weeks before a peel. Please inform your provider if you have a history of:

1. Herpes simplex (cold sores). You should receive preventive medicine prior to the peel
2. Hypertrophic or keloidal scarring
3. Warts in proposed treatment area
4. Healing wounds in proposed treatment area
5. Sunburn or wind burn in 2 week period prior to proposed treatment
6. Artificial tanning/sun bathing in the 6 week period prior to proposed treatment
7. Waxing in proposed treatment area in 2 week period prior to proposed treatment
8. Accutane or other oral retinoid therapy in 6 month period prior to proposed treatment

Is there anyone who should not receive a chemical peel?

You can not receive treatment if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have had an adverse reaction to previous peels.

How safe are the peels, and are there any risks?

Chemical peeling has been done for over a century, and TCA/Jessner peels have been performed for over a quarter century. The peel procedure and products are generally safe, however there are potential risks of the procedure. These include temporary redness, burning, stinging, tingling, skin sensitivity, and swelling. Peeling, light scabbing, sun sensitivity, and skin sensitivity/irritation often occur 1-10 days after the procedure. We will discuss all of the risks with you prior to treatment.

Will the peel be uncomfortable?

Depending on the desired effect, different sensations will be experienced. You should expect a tingling or itching sensation at first, followed by a burning sensation as the peel procedure progresses.

What should I expect immediately after the treatment, and how should I care for the treated area?

Initially your skin may be somewhat red or puffy and your eyes may swell.  Fairly significant peeling is an expected result.  You may feel like you have a mild to moderate sunburn.  It may take up to one week for your skin to look and feel “normal”.  You should avoid sun exposure, artificial tanning devices, and direct heat sources in the 2 weeks after treatment. We will give you detailed care instructions at your visit.

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