Chemical peeling is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin that is typically performed on the face, neck or hands. It can help to correct sundamage and mild scarring, treat fine lines under the eyes and improve brown spots from UV exposure and aging. In this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes the top layer to peel off. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin. The new skin is also temporarily more sensitive to the sun.
Chemical peels can be light, medium or deep in depth depending upon what is being treated. Many times combining light and medium depth peels are used to correct different skin problems.
Mild scarring and certain types of acne also can be treated with chemical peels. In addition, pigmentation of the skin can occur in the form of sun spots, age spots, freckles, brown spots due to taking birth control pills and skin that is dull in texture and color may be improved with chemical peeling.
Prior to a chemical peels, patients are advise to start on a retinoid cream and sun protection . If one has a history of cold sores, an oral antiviral will also be prescribed. At the time of treatment, the skin is thoroughly cleansed with an agent that removes excess oils, and the eyes and hair are protected. One or more chemical solutions – an alpha hydroxy acid, such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or lactic acid; trichloroacetic acid (TCA) are used. Most patients experience a warm to somewhat hot sensation that lasts about five to 10 minutes, followed by a stinging sensation.
After a chemical peel, depending upon the type of peel, a reaction similar to a sunburn occurs. Superficial peeling usually involves redness, followed by scaling that ends within three to seven days. Medium-depth peeling may result in swelling which turns “ a leathery brown” and peels off over a period of seven to 14 days. It is important to avoid exposure to the sun after a chemical peel since the new skin is fragile and more susceptible. After a peel, patients resume their normal skin routine.
Microdermabrasion is a minimally non invasive procedure that uses sand-like particles, specifically aluminum oxide crystals or an diamond handpiece to gently remove the most superficial layers of the skin. A simultaneous mechanical vacuum system removes the crystals along with the dead-cell layer of the skin. This procedure is used to brighten the dull surface of your skin. Microdermabrasion is effective to improve acne and some forms of hyperpigmentation , minimize fine wrinkles and optimize your prescription regimen results. After a treatment the skin is red for an hour, with mild flaking occurring for 2-3 days. Patients are normally treated monthly depending on the condition.