Chemical peels are a popular dermatologic treatment that can improve the appearance of a patient’s skin. Available for the face, neck, or hands, chemicals are applied directly to the treatment site, causing the skin to blister and peel off, revealing smoother less wrinkled skin underneath.
Many patients choose to use chemical peels to:
- Improve the appearance and feel of the skin
- Treat certain types of acne
- Improve the appearance of scars
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles caused by sun damage and aging
Who Is a Candidate?
Most often, fair-skinned and light-haired patients are better candidates for chemical peels. Those with a darker complexion may also see good results, depending on which problem is being addressed, but may result in uneven skin tone.
Additionally, more severe skin problems such as sagging or bulging, don’t respond well to chemical peels. These issues typically require other cosmetic surgical procedures such as a facelift or soft tissue fillers. Dr. Rednam can determine the best procedure for you based on your skin concerns and desired aesthetic goals.
A chemical peel is an in-office procedure. Dr. Rednam first cleans your treatment site skin. She then applies either one chemical solution, or a combination of chemicals to small areas of the skin. These can include glycol acid, salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid, or carbolic acid. This process creates a controlled wound, and allows healed skin to take its place.
During the procedure, many patients feel a burning or stinging sensation that lasts anywhere from five to ten minutes. Cool compresses may alleviate this when placed on the treatment area, though some patients require pain medication.
After receiving a chemical peel, it is important to wear UVA and UVB protective sunscreen above SPF 30 daily. Time in the sun should also be limited for up to several months afterwards, in order to protect the new and fragile skin.
After the procedure, some patients react similarly as they do to a sunburn. This peeling and scaling of the skin typically ends three to seven days post-procedure. Deeper peels may also result in swelling and blisters.