What is a chemical peel?
Chemical skin peels are a great solution to improve and smooth the texture of your skin. All peels work by removing a layer of damaged skin. Superficial or light peels remove only the top layer, which is mostly dead skin. As the peel increases in strength, deeper layers of skin are removed. After the skin is removed, the body produces new healthy skin cells, leaving your face looking healthy and rejuvenated.
What do chemical peels treat?
A peel can be applied to the face, neck, chest and hands, and can improve the following:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Discoloration of skin – brown spots, sun spots and uneven pigmentation
- Dull or rough skin
- Superficial acne
- Pimples and blackheads
What are the different types of chemical peels?
Dr. Kulbersh offers a variety of chemical peel formulas and strengths.
- Alphahydroxy Acid – Contain glycolic acid and are the most mild peel formulas. These types of peels are great for a patient who only needs a light peel to improve their skin tone.
- Beta Hydroxy Acid – Uses salicylic acid to exfoliate the superficial layer of your skin. Removing the top layer of damaged and dead skin cells will refine the texture and color of your skin.
- Jessners Peel – Formulated with resorcinol, lactic acid, and salicylic acid to penetrate and exfoliate the skin cells. It is excellent for all skin types.
- Retenoic Acid Peel – Derived from retinoids and provides a deeper peel.
- Tricholoacetic Acid – Stronger formula allows for treatment of more advanced signs of aging. Requires more downtime but provides dramatic, long-lasting results.
Depending on your needs, Dr. Kulbersh will determine which strength peel will benefit your skin the most. The more damaged the skin, the stronger the peel that will be required. In general, stronger peels require a longer recovery.
When are deeper peels used?
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels are deep peels for more damaged skin. This strong peel can be used to treat more advanced pigmentation changes such as brown spots and age spots. In patients that have many fine lines and wrinkles, a TCA peel can offer dramatic improvements. With this deeper facial chemical peel a patient will experience significant peeling for about three days to a week. TCA peels are commonly used during a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of damaged skin. Once the skin has healed, it will be smoother, radiant and glowing.
Chemical Peel Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How are chemical peels performed?
All peels can be performed in the office. To prepare the skin, Dr. Kulbersh may place you on a skin care program for a few weeks before your peel. At the beginning of the peel, skin will be cleansed with an agent to remove excess oil and some dead skin. Then the peel solution will be applied to the treatment area. The strength, time, and type of peel vary for each patient. Some peels will be washed off, while others will be kept on.
Q: Do chemical peels hurt?
Mild peels may sting briefly while deeper peels may require medication to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
Q: What is the typical recovery for a peel?
Superficial peels will create slight redness for about 24 hours while deeper peels may take up to 7-10 days to finish peeling. The skin may be red for up to 2 weeks after a chemical peel.
Q: How many peels will a patient need?
This depends on the quality of the skin and the goals of the patient. Healthier skin may only require one superficial peel. Skin with more damage may need 3-4 lighter treatments over the course of several months or may be treated with a single deep chemical peel.
Q: How long will the chemical peel results last?
Generally, stronger peels will have longer lasting results. The longevity of the results are most dependent on how well the patient takes care of their skin after their peel. The skin will continue to naturally age. Good skin care with a sunscreen, collagen stimulator, and other medical grade products will help the skin stay beautiful. A patient should expect the results to last for several months with a mild peel and several years with a deep chemical peel.
Q: When can I wear make-up after a chemical peel?
After a light chemical peel, make-up can be worn the next day. For deep chemical peels, the skin should be treated similarly to a wound. Make-up should not be applied until the skin has adequately healed. This is typically about 10 days after the deep peel.
Q: Why can’t I wear make-up sooner?
Make up contains metals and contaminants. Heavy metal may deposit in the skin causing a discoloration of the skin. The contaminants may cause an infection or scarring if used before the skin has had adequate time to heal.
Q: What should I wash my face with after a superficial chemical peel?
For a superficial peel, you want to use a bland face wash without exfoliation or acid in it. Cetaphil and Dove are excellent choices. Dr. Kulbersh also recommends using a moisturizer at this time.
Q: Should I take medications before a chemical peel?
If a patient has a history of cold sores or the herpes virus around the mouth, they must take medications to prevent the re-occurrence of the virus. A chemical peel may cause an outbreak that can be prevented by these medications.
Q: How much does a chemical peel cost?
The cost of a chemical peel depends on the strength of treatment that you need. To find out how much your chemical peel will cost, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kulbersh.
If you are interested in a chemical peel to improve your skin’s texture and looking to obtain a healthy glow, contact Dr. Kulbersh today and schedule a consultation.
Next, learn about Dermabrasion.