Why Should I Consider A Chemical Peel?
As we age, the process of skin cells dying, falling off and being replaced by new cells becomes a slower and more haphazard process. In addition, years of exposure to the sun can cause brown spots and premature aging. The result can be a dull, lifeless complexion.
A chemical peel, or series of peels, can rejuvenate the skin. This non-invasive technique utilizes Trichloroacetic
Acid, or TCA, to restore wrinkled, blemished, freckled, shallow acne scarred, unevenly pigmented, and sun-damaged skin. TCA has been safely used for over 30 years.
What Does A Chemical Peel Do?
The function of a chemical peel is to create an even, controlled shedding of several layers of damaged cells. This exposes a new fresh layer of skin with a more even color and a smoother texture. In addition, the peel stimulates new cells to grow, thereby tightening the skin, which decreases wrinkling.
A chemical peel also stimulates the growth of new collagen in the skin layers. This is analogous to adding new padding under a worn carpet. If the carpet (or skin) is thin, it easily wrinkles. Chemical peels when combined with other agents such as Retin-A, promote thickening of the skin layers and reduction of the wrinkles and creases on the surface.
What Areas Can Be Treated?
Chemical peels can be used on the full face or on specific regions, such as the forehead, around the eyes or mouth, the hands and chest. Although one peel can significantly improve the appearance of the skin, some skin problems are deeper than others and may require a series of peels for best results.
Are There Any Side Effects?
The most common side effect after a peel is brown discoloration of the skin. This is usually reversible but in rare cases can be permanent. This side effect is most common in those who have had sun exposure after their peel and who are not using a full spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
Where and How Is It Performed?
TCA peels are performed as an outpatient procedure in our office. A solution containing TCA is applied to your skin. This is usually associated with 2-3 minutes of a burning and stinging sensation. This stinging is brief enough that most patients choose not to use any sedation or anesthesia. Cool compresses will then be applied followed by ointment.
What Is The Down Time?
Most people take 5-7 days to heal from an average TCA peel. The skin will look as if it has had severe sunburn, so most patients choose to stay home during the healing process. If you are not too self-conscious about your appearance, you may be able to work during part of your peel recovery period.
How Do I Protect My New Skin?
Those who have had TCA peels are more sensitive to sunlight for at least 6-8 weeks after the peel. During that time they must use a full spectrum (UVA and UVB sun block of at least SPF 30 at all times.
If you are interested in a chemical peel or other methods of skin rejuvenation, please contact us to schedule a personal consultation!