What is chemical peel?
A chemical peel is a facial treatment that will significantly improve the tone and texture of your skin by removing the damaged outer layers of your skin.
Is it safe?
Chemical peels are completely safe when they are performed by a trained and certified provider. Your provider should be able to assess your skin to determine the strength and type of peel that is appropriate for your skin. Complications or side effects include temporary or permanent changes in skin color, scarring, and reactivation of cold sores but these are rare when a peel is performed by a qualified provider.
How does it work?
Chemical peeling agents resurface the skin by inducing a controlled wound and thus removing the superficial layers of the skin. As a result, chemical peels promote the growth of a new top skin layer and improve skin problems like hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven texture and skin impurities. Chemical peels result in healthier better-looking skin!
Who is a candidate for Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels are indicated for anyone who wants to improve the texture and appearance of their skin due to damage from aging, sun, acne, acne scarring, or dark spots. Chemical peels are also proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. You are not considered a candidate for a chemical peel if you have any of these skin conditions at the peel site: infection or disease, cut or broken skin, sunburn, current Herpes simplex 1 sore, current psoriasis outbreak, eczema, dermatitis, or rosacea. You are also not a candidate if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you have taken Accutane within the last 6 months.
There are several types of chemical peels ranging in strength from mildly superficial to deeply resurfacing – alpha hydroxy acid peels (AHA), beta hydroxy acid peels (BHA), Jessner peels, retinoic acid peels, trichloroacetic acid peels (TCA), and phenol peels.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) – glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid.
This is the mildest chemical peel formula and produces light peels for treatment of fine
wrinkles, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne.
They are effective in a series and have very little downtime.
AHA peels may cause stinging, skin redness and mild irritation.
Beta hydroxy acid peels (BHA)
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid. The salicylic acid is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and it works great for acne, also reduces the bumps and discolored spots associated with acne and controls the sebum secretion.
These mild to moderate chemical peels are sometimes referred to as “lunch time” peels, because it takes little time to perform and the patient may return to their activities without any disruptions.
Trichloric acid peels (TCA)
The TCA chemical peel comes in a variety of trengths and it works by removing dead skin cells and stimulating new skin cell growth.
The TCA peel can tighten the skin by stimulating collagen, reduces the look of fine lines and large pores and significantly improves the appearance of sun damaged skin.
The mild TCA peels can be performed as a series of two – three treatments and the results will last up to few months.
The deeper, high concentration TCA peel, performed by Dr. Moelleken, has more downtime and the results will last longer, up to a year. The high concentration TCA peel require up to one week downtime due to the level of peeling that may occur. The skin continues to improve for 30 days after the treatment.
Is it painful?
A chemical peel can sting but does not cause a great deal of pain. You may experience stinging, redness, irritation and crusting after your peel, but this is normal and will lessen in the days following your peel. The stronger your peel is, the more it will sting, and more redness, swelling, and irritation is to be expected, but these symptoms can be lessened by using creams or gels prescribed by your provider.
How long does Chemical Peel take?
Your entire appointment should take under an hour. The actual chemical itself is only left on your skin for about 3 to 5 minutes, but you will spend some time with your provider consulting, prepping your skin, and then moisturizing your skin after the chemical is removed.
How often does Chemical Peel need to be performed?
You should notice improved skin tone, texture, and clarity from a single peel, but the number of treatments needed varies from person to person. Once desired results are achieved, patients can undergo maintenance treatments by having 2-3 chemical peels a year. The better your skin care routine, the less maintenance you will need to retain results. You will need to wait at least one month in between chemical peels.
How long do results last?
Results from a chemical peel depend greatly on your skin care routine. The better the routine, and the less sun exposure to the area treated, the longer your results will be able to be maintained. Since the effects of aging on skin are unavoidable, we recommend 2-3 maintenance peels per year to combat the effects of aging on your skin.
What areas of the body can be treated with Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels are normally performed on the face/neck area. Please ask your provider if you want to inquire about having a chemical peel on a body part other than your face.
What do I need to do to prepare for Chemical Peel treatment?
One week before your peel you should avoid waxing, electrolysis, depilatory creams, and laser hair removal.Two to three days before the peel discontinue using any prescription topicals such as Retin-A, Differin or Tazorac, as well as any products containing retinol, alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA), beta hydroxyl acids (BHA) or benzoyl peroxide.Patients who have had any medical cosmetic facial treatments or procedures such as laser treatments, cosmetic fillers or other surgical procedures should wait until skin sensitivity has completely resolved before receiving a peel.If you are prone to hyper-pigmentation your provider will likely prescribe some type of fading gel to help “turn-down" the melanin production in your skin. These products should be used for 2-3 weeks prior to a chemical peel.
When will I see aresults?
Depending on the strength of the peel you have, you will see results in 1 to 21 days. Depending on your skin type and irregularities, you may need additional peels to see maximum results.
What should I expect at my appointment?
Your provider will first cleanse your skin thoroughly. Then he or she will apply one or more chemical solutions, such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or carbolic acid (phenol), to small areas of your skin. These chemicals create a controlled wound, letting new skin take its place. You may feel a burning sensation that lasts about 5 to 7 minutes followed by a stinging sensation. Your provider may put cool compresses on your skin to ease the pain. You may also be given pain medication before and/or after a deep peel. In the event that you are given pain medication or any type of sedative, you will need someone to drive you home from your appointment. Your provider will give you all post-procedure instructions to follow over the coming days or weeks.
What is the recovery from Chemical Peel like?
Superficial peels require one to seven days to heal. Your skin will initially be red and may scale. Lotion or cream should be applied until the skin heals, followed by daily use of sunscreen at SPF 30 or higher. Makeup can usually be worn the next day.
Medium peels require 7 to 14 days to heal. Your skin will initially be red and swollen. Swelling worsens for the first 48 hours and your eyelids may swell shut and blisters may form and break. Your skin will crust and peel in 7 to 14 days. Your skin must be soaked daily for a specified period, followed by ointment application. Antiviral medication is normally prescribed for 10 to 14 days. Mild lotion or cream may be applied. You should avoid all sun exposure until healing is complete. You may apply makeup to the area treated after five to seven days. You will require a follow-up appointment to monitor progress.
Deep peels require 14 to 21 days to heal. The treated area will be bandaged. Your skin must be soaked 4 to 6 times daily, followed by ointment application for the first 14 days. Antiviral medication is normally prescribed for 10 to 14 days. Mild lotion or cream may be applied. You should avoid all sun exposure for three to six months. You may apply makeup after 14 days. You will need several follow-up appointments to monitor progress.
It is very important to avoid sun exposure and smoking regardless of the type of peel you have, as these can cause unwanted side effects such as infection and scarring.
How much does Chemical Peel cost?
The cost of a chemical peel varies from person to person depending on the strength of the peel, the severity of the skin irregularities to be treated, the size of the area treated, and the number of peels needed to achieve results. Please call or email us with your specific inquiry and we will be able to send you a quote prior to your appointment. We offer package deals for sessions purchased in bulk. Please don't forget to ask about any promotions we are running. If you consent to participate in our “model release" we may offer additional discounts on your treatment or package!