Benefits of a Chemical Peel
In a chemical peel, a solution is applied to the epidermis to start a process of peeling that reveals a smoother, less wrinkled and more vibrant layer of skin below. Chemical peels reduce fine lines beneath the eyes and around the mouth, treat the wrinkles caused by sun damage, soften age spots and dark patches, stimulate collagen growth, and improve the skin’s overall look and feel. They are most often done on the face, but can also be done on the neck and hands.
Chemical peels are great way to tackle:
- Wrinkles and fine to moderate crease lines
- Sun spots and sun damage
- Scars from acne and other similar skin conditions
- Uneven skin tones
- Patterned or patchy redness in the face
What Chemicals are Used?
The thought of briefly bathing your face in chemicals might not at first be very appealing. But not only is it safe and very widely done, but there are also three degrees of peel to choose from: Light, Medium and Deep.
- Light or superficial peels use milder acids (like salicylic acid) to penetrate just the outermost layer (the epidermis) and gently exfoliate.
- Medium peels use a bit harsher acids (like glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid) to reach the middle and outer layers of skin to remove damaged or dead skin cells.
- Deep peels penetrate the most and so remove the most damaged skin cells. In a deep peel, the chemicals are applied for longer periods of time and the patient will be sedated.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Chemical Peel?
Patients who are concerned about dullness in the face or signs of aging and who want brighter, smoother skin make good candidates for a chemical peel. They are best suited to persons with fair-skin and light-hair, as darker skinned patients are more likely to have an uneven or possibly patchy skin tone post procedure.
How Chemical Peels Work:
- Patients will get a consultation with a Schwartz skin care specialist to discuss their skin concerns and their goals for the procedure.
- A light but thorough facial cleansing will be done.
- A skin care specialist will use a brush, cotton ball or gauze to apply a chemical solution to areas of the skin. During this time, patients are likely to feel a burning or stinging sensation as the peel works its way to smooth perfection.
- When the solution has done its work, a neutralizing solution or will be applied to remove the chemicals.
What are the Side Effects of a Chemical Peel?
Done properly and by a board-certified provider, chemical peels are very safe. Patients should expect slight stinging and burning during light and medium chemical peels, followed by temporary redness, dryness and some swelling. Most patients find this easily bearable. Deeper skin peels produce a more pronounced result but come with additional risks to be considered. Though not common, side effects can include scarring and infections, or problems developing from the chemicals used.
A TCA peel gets its name from trichloroacetic acid (TCA). TCA is used to treat skin discolorations, scarring and wrinkles. TCA is applied to the outer layer of your skin to gently clear away dead skin cells, revealing the newer and smoother skin layers below.
How does a TCA peel affect my skin?
TCA peels come in a variety of strengths or concentrations of trichloroacetic acid. This acid helps to renew the skin by gently removing dead skin cells and stimulating new skin cell growth.
A TCA peel typically takes about 30 minutes to apply. It’s best for clients who are looking to address scarring, uneven skin tone or discolorations of the skin from sun, age or other issues.
What should I expect after my TCA peel?
Just after the TCA peel, your skin may look reddened or gray. The redness of the skin will persist for two to six weeks. The next day, it may look dry. The following day, the outer skin will begin to flake off, similar to the way a sunburn would. By the fifth day, the peeling is usually complete.
While your skin is healing, be sure not to scratch it, even while it’s peeling. Keep your face out of the sun during this time as well, as the rays from the sun can damage the delicate new skin.
The results of your TCA should produce more smooth, evenly colored and radiant skin, lasting between one and two years.
What is the Recovery Like?
Recovery time will vary depending on which peel a patient receives. For light and medium peels, patients will typically experience 4 to 5 days in which the face is reddish and blotchy-looking, but by 1 week out, the skin should be rejuvenated, fresh and evenly toned. Deep chemical peels are followed by a more severe recovery period of 2 to 3 weeks, with redness possibly lasting longer.
Because a fresh new layer of skin is exposed, for several weeks following the procedure, your skin will also be more sensitive to the sun so it’s important to wear a good sunscreen and limit your exposure to the sun.
Meet Dr. Michael R. Schwartz
Double board certified in both plastic surgery and general surgery, Dr. Michael R. Schwartz is the go-to plastic surgeon for face, breast and body procedures. With over 20 years of experience, his vast expertise, meticulous eye for detail and rare level of artistry allow him to achieve results that are both beautiful and extremely natural.
Sought after all over the world for his expertise in plastic surgery, Dr. Schwartz has authored and presented numerous papers and has been an invited speaker at several national plastic surgery meetings. With his wealth of expertise, artistic skill and national reputation, few surgeons are more qualified than Dr. Schwartz to enhance your appearance and deliver the exquisite cosmetic outcomes you desire.