A chemical peel is a procedure in which a chemical solution is topically applied to remove the damaged outer layers of the skin. The skin that grows back after a chemical peel appears softer, less wrinkled, more even in color, tone and with improved texture. A chemical peel may also be combined with laser resurfacing, soft-tissue fillers or other cosmetic procedures to achieve the individual needs of the patient.
Benefits of chemical peels
A chemical peel is used to treat a variety of cosmetic and medical conditions, including the following:
- Uneven skin pigmentation
- Precancerous growths
Depths of chemical peels
Chemical peels vary in depth from light to deep. During the initial evaluation, Dr. Evans will determine the appropriate depth and type of chemical peel for the patient's specific condition. A light chemical peel can be repeated as often as once a week for up to six weeks, to achieve the desired results, while medium to deeper peels can performed every month and then six to 12 months to maintain results.
Types of chemical peel solutions
- Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
- Glycolic acid
- Salicylic acid
- SkinMedica Vitalize peel
- Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)
Dr. Evans will discuss the types of chemical peels and help choose the appropriate type for the individual patient. Every chemical peel solution is customized to the needs of each patient.
The chemical peel procedure
Chemical peels are performed in the doctor's office. Before the procedure, the skin is cleaned. Then, the chemical peel solution is applied with cotton balls and gauze sponges. This will cause a burning sensation which may last for five to ten minutes in most patients, followed by a stinging sensation which may last up to 20 minutes. If needed, pain medication may be taken before or after the treatment, along with cool compresses to reduce swelling.
After the procedure
The chemical peel can cause redness, irritation, flaking or crusting, and sometimes mild swelling which can last a few days and sometimes up to a week, depending on the strength of the peel used. Dr. Evans will prescribe the correct individualized regime for aftercare for your peel.