What is a Chemical Peel? And how does it work?
A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin. After preparing the area, a chemical solution (such glycolic acid, salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid, retinoic acid, lactic acid, carbolic acid (phenol) or special blends, like VI PEEL®) is applied to the skin and this begins the process of breaking down the bonds between skin cells on the top, most superficial layer. This process mimics, but speeds up, the natural process of exfoliation. Then the skin exfoliates and eventually peels off. The new, regenerated skin has a smoother texture, brighter skin tone, and fewer wrinkles than the old skin. It also can brighten sun spots and hyperpigmented areas. Skin sags, bulges, and more severe wrinkles do not respond well to chemical peels.
Are Chemical Peels Safe?
Yes. There are several types of chemical solutions being used at the present. Here at The Murray Center, we only use Medical-Grade and SAFE chemicals. More importantly, chemical peels are even safer when they’re used in the right hands. The process of a chemical peel can be harmful if it’s not done correctly. Before receiving a chemical peel, a skin evaluation/assessment is required with our Skin & Laser Specialist. After your consultation, a treatment plan will be decided by choosing the correct and best type of chemical peel for you.
It is important to avoid the sun and to wear an effective sunblock against UV rays for several months after a chemical peel, since your new skin will be delicate. We recommend a mineral based sunblock with Zinc Oxide.
What to expect?
Depending upon the type of chemical peel, a reaction like sunburn occurs following the procedure. Peeling usually involves redness followed by scaling that ends within three to seven days. Medium-depth and deep peeling may result in swelling, as well as blisters that may break, crust, turn brown, and peel off over a period of seven to 14 days.
How effective is a Chemical Peel?
Many people are intimidated by chemical peels because of the healing stage. However, chemical peels are extremely helpful in keeping the skin healthy. However, as always, it is very important for a trained professional to apply any type of chemical peels on your skin. Remember if not performed correctly, more damage than good can happen. Chemical Peels are super effective in correcting issues such as acne, dark spots, uneven tone, and fine lines and wrinkles.
How long does the procedure last?
The procedure typically lasts about 30 minutes.
How often should I have the treatments done?
Mild peels may be repeated at one to four-week intervals until you get the best results. Medium-depth peels may be repeated in six to 12 months, if necessary.
Areas that can be treated?
The face is the most common area for treatment, however chemical peels are also applied to the neck, décolleté, chest, arms, hands, legs, and hands.
Is it painful? What are the side effects?
Usually, there is no pain associated with a chemical peel. During a chemical peel, most people feel a burning sensation that lasts about five to ten minutes, followed by a stinging sensation. We apply cool air during treatment to ease any discomfort. Putting cool compresses on or just venting the skin may ease that stinging. You may need pain medication during or after a deeper peel.
How quickly can I get back to my daily activities?
It depends on which type of chemical peel was done and on your skin type. Some patients are able to return to daily activities the next day; others may need to be off for 3-5 days.
*Individual Results May Vary*