Learn about what a chemical peel treatment is, the different types of chemical peels and how they work, common side effects, and more before deciding to get one.
What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is a procedure where the damaged outer layer of the skin is removed using an acid solution. For this process, the doctor uses trichloroacetic acid (TCA), phenol, or alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) on the patient’s face. The acid is applied as a facial peel to improve and smooth the skin’s texture. This is a great solution to facial flaws and uneven skin color. They remove the outer layer, which is comprised of dead skin, leaving the patient with a new, smooth layer that has an improved color, tone, and feel to it.
Apart from rejuvenating the face, you can use a chemical peel to treat a specific area or get rid of stretch marks. It also pampers the skin by making it look younger. Chemical peel treatment has been used as a cosmetic solution for ages all over the globe. In Rome, Greece, and Egypt, this procedure was used many years ago to help people attain a smooth and more radiant skin. The chemical facial peel is preferred as it gives almost immediate results and is classified as an outpatient procedure.
What Can a Chemical Peel Treat?
Chemical peels come with numerous benefits, including:
• Minimizing any fine lines that are usually found around the mouth and under the eyes
• Improving the feel and look of areas that have been damaged by sun rays
• Treating aging and sun damage wrinkles
• Improving the looks of moderate scars
• Treating some acne types
• Reducing coloration, spots, dark spots, and freckles
Not everyone can reap full benefits of a skin chemical peel. Those who are most suited include people with fair skins and light hair. However, a dark-skinned person can also benefit from a chemical peel, depending on what they are trying to treat. Some conditions like sagging skin, severe wrinkles, and bulges cannot be corrected by a chemical peel. These might require other cosmetic surgeries like dermal fillers and laser resurfacing. Before going for a chemical peel, a doctor will help you decide the ideal treatment.
Things to Consider Before Getting a Chemical Peel
It is very important to let your aesthetic doctor know whether you have any history of recurring cold sores, scarring, or X-rays of the face.
Patients are also advised to stop some medications and prepare their faces for others. You should be in touch with the aesthetic therapist to decide how deep the peel will be. The decision is usually based on the skin condition and treatment goals, and the doctor can help in choosing by evaluating your skin type, areas to be peeled, the amount of risk you are ready to take, and desired results.
The first step is using a small test spot so that the patient can have an idea of what the results will be like especially if they have a darker skin.
Three weeks prior to the operation, the patient is supposed to begin preparing their face for the peel by ensuring they cleanse it two times a day, and apply a special moisturizer and a sunscreen on a daily basis. This routine will aid the skin to peel evenly, have a speedy recovery, and minimize the chances of an infection and other complications.
Types of Peels
Basically, there are three types of peels namely:
Superficial peels- these are the mildest types and are considered safe for any type of skin. For the superficial peel, the doctor uses a liquid that has dilute glycolic acid. In some cases, dry ice is used.
Medium peels- these penetrate the skin deeper than the aforementioned ones, causing a second-degree burn to the dermis. The main agent used in medium peels is trichloroacetic acid (TCA). However, the doctor can do this kind of peel using another chemical solution and then follow it up with TCA.
Deep peels- this kind of peel penetrates a number of skin layers, causing second-degree burns to them. Such peels are only used on the face. The doctor uses phenol as the peeling agent. These peels are not suitable for dark-skinned people since they bleach the skin, which could lead to hypopigmentation. Even in people with light skin, deep peels could result in bleaching. This kind of peel can only be done once.
Chemical Peel Recovery Period
Superficial peels are the most preferred as they can take care of different skin problems and have little recovery time. After going through this procedure, the peeling process begins 1-2 days afterward. The skin will only peel for a few days after the treatment and a little pinkness will be experienced, which fades quickly.
Medium peels may come with some discomfort, redness, and some inflammation that lasts for around two days. Most patients spend one week at home recovering. The skin might appear rosy for the next few weeks but it can be covered up with makeup.
On the other hand, patients who have undergone deep chemical peels take more than a week to recover. However, they give the most dramatic results and are well-suited for the treatment of deep wrinkles and extreme spotting. This means that the patient will take time to recover and exercise extensive post-peel skin care.
What Should You Expect During the Healing Process?
The skin should be kept moist using the Aquaphor ointment once the dressing is removed. This ointment should be applied four times every day.
When instructed, you should soak the peeled skin with warm and moist gauze. This gauze is supposed to be applied thrice every day and left for three minutes after every application.
The new skin will be very smooth and rosy in color for some weeks. However, expect the redness to subside gradually. The area can be covered with makeup once your doctor allows it.
You should not experience extreme discomfort after any of these procedures. If the discomfort appears too much to bear, an infection could be present and you should notify your doctor as soon as possible.
The new skin is very sensitive to any sun exposure. Therefore, always ensure you protect your face from direct sunlight. Get a hat and sunglasses to help with the situation. Also, the doctor will let you know when you can resume using sunscreen, facial creams, and makeup. Avoid exposing your face to the sun for the next three months. This will help prevent any discoloration to the face.
If you are looking forward to having a chemical peel, consider Glasgold Group Plastic Surgery, which specializes in facial surgeries. They are located in New Jersey have qualified staff members who they treat like their extended family. Their surgeons ensure openness to the patients on what to expect, and so, the results of their work are not surprising.