Chemical peel use gentle organic acids which mildly exfoliate the outer layers of skin and promote new collagen formation. The chemical peel procedure can improve the appearance of fine lines, discoloration and sun damage, resulting in a healthier, glowing appearance.
Are You a Candidate for Chemical Peel?
Potential candidates for chemical peels include men and women who are in good health, have realistic expectations, and are looking to improve the appearance of the facial skin. Patients should be aware that the chemical peel cannot produce perfect skin but it can improve the appearance of the skin. Certain factors such as skin type and color, ethnic background and age may help to determine whether or not you are a good chemical peel candidate and which chemical peel may be right for you.
There are three different types of chemical peels including glycolic acid peels which are the mildest, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels, and phenol peels which are the deepest. Chemical peels are most often performed in a surgeon’s office facility or an outpatient surgery center. Glycolic acid peels typically take no more than ten minutes to complete, TCA peels about ten to fifteen minutes, and phenol peels an hour or more for a full-face treatment. Glycolic acid peels usually do not require anesthesia as they produce only a mild stinging sensation. TCA and phenol peels already contain an anesthetic in the chemical solution, though sedation may also be used. During the procedure, the skin is first thoroughly cleansed and the chemical solution is applied. Glycolic acid and TCA peels may require multiple treatments.
Recovering from Surgery
After a chemical peel, patients may experience some swelling and crusting of the skin. Ointments are typically used for seven to ten days to keep the skin supple. The skin often appears red, though this typically fades in about four weeks. The new skin typically emerges in about one to two weeks and will appear pink and free of many wrinkles. The mildest peel, the glycolic acid peel, typically involves a much less extensive recovery than the stronger phenol peel. Most patients are able to return to work immediately after a glycolic acid peel, within about seven to ten days after a TCA peel, and within about two weeks after a phenol peel. Extremes in temperature and sun exposure will need to be postponed for a period of time.
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