Chemical Peeling

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Chemical Peeling

Chemical peeling is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin, which is typically performed on the face, hands, or neck. The procedure is meant to diminish imperfections by peeling away the skin’s top layers, allowing the skin to rejuvenate. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.

A chemical peel is one of the least invasive procedures used in order to improve the appearance of the skin. Chemical peels are ideal for patients with mild to moderate skin conditions, including sun damage, wrinkles, acne, acne scarring, and fine lines. This procedure is suitable for all skin types. A thorough evaluation by your Dermatologist is necessary before choosing a chemical peel program.

What can a chemical peel do?
Chemical peeling is used to treat fine lines, especially under the eyes and around the mouth. Wrinkles caused by sun damage, aging, and hereditary factors can be reduced or even eliminated with this procedure. This procedure can treat certain types of acne and improve the appearance of scarring. It can also reduce age spots, freckles, and dark patches and improve the look and feel of skin that is dull in texture and color. After consultation, a dermatologist will decide which treatment is the most appropriate type for each individual case.

How are chemical peels performed?
The procedure may be performed on the face, neck, chest, hands, arms, and legs. The recovery time will vary depending on how deep the peel is. After consultation, a dermatologist will determine the best suited peel for a patient’s skin.

Certain instructions and preparations may be included prior to treatment. Depending on the type of skin damage present and the desired results, a dermatologist will suggest the best suited peels available. Chemical solutions such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or carbolic acid may be used.

Once the treatment begins, excess oils are removed from the skin using a cleanser and the eyes and hair are protected. The dermatologist then applies the solution to various areas of the skin. Eventually, layers of skin will peel off due to the treatment, which produces separation. This allows the skin to healthily rejuvenate.

During the procedure, patients may experience a warm to hot sensation that lasts five to ten minutes. Depending on how deep the peel is, the procedure may be more painful and may require medication during or after the treatment.

What should be expected after treatment?
Depending on the type of peel, a patient may feel a burning sensation that is similar to a sun burn. Redness and scaling may occur for three to five days after the application of the chemical peel

Medium-depth and deep peeling can sometimes result in swelling and blisters that may break, crust, turn brown, and peel off over a period of 7 to 14 days or longer. Surgical tape may be applied to the treated skin after certain peels.

It is important to avoid overexposure to the sun immediately after a chemical peel since the new skin is fragile and more susceptible to injury. It is highly recommended to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen after a chemical peel. Your dermatologist will prescribe appropriate follow-up care to help the skin heal.

What are the possible complications?
There is a risk of temporary or permanent color change depending on a patient’s skin type. Birth control pills, pregnancy, or a family history of brownish discoloration on the face may increase the possibility of developing abnormal pigmentation.

The risk of scarring after chemical peels is minimal but may occur. Treatment is available if scarring does occur. Patients with a history of fever blisters may be prone to reactivation of cold sores or herpes simplex infection. Prior to chemical peel, it is important for a patient to inform the Dermatologist of any past history of keloids, unusual scarring tendencies, extensive X-rays or radiation to the face, or recurring cold sores, for proper precautions to be taken.

What are the limitations of chemical peels?
Chemical peels cannot remove loose or sagging skin since they cannot eliminate the gravitational forces which produce the loose skin. A facelift, brow lift, laser/light-based skin rejuvenation, or other procedures may be required.

Chemical peeling does not remove deep scars. Dermabrasion, laser resurfacing or non-ablative laser therapy, punch grafting, punch elevation, scar excision, or soft tissue fillers may be much more effective for scars and should be discussed with your Dermatologist.

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