The Ins and Outs of Chemical Peels

What Does A Peel Do?

 

Chemical peels are chemical exfoliants that are meant to resurface the top layers of the skin by dissolving dead skin cells and surface debris. They vary in their strength so treatment can be customized based on available downtime and desired results, and many chemical peels can be repeated on a monthly or even bi-weekly basis. Some benefits that can be achieved with chemical peels are more even skin texture, improved skin tone including the reduction of acne scars and sun spots, decreased fine lines and wrinkles, a reduction in current and future acne breakouts, and an overall healthier, glowing complexion.

 

What Are Different Kinds of Peels?

 

Let's start by talking about the different kinds of peels there are. Peels can be comprised of a whole host of different acids including but not limited to glycolic, lactic, salicyilic, mandelic, and trichloroacetic (TCA). All of these different acids do different things, and can be mixed and matched to deliever a more customized result. Glycolic acid is part of a group of acids called Alpha Hydroxy Acids, or AHA's, and is derived from cane sugar. Because it has the smallest molecular structure in the AHA group it can penetrate the deepest making it ideal for fine lines and wrinkles. Lactic acid, another AHA, is ideal for hyperpigmentation and discoloration, and is one of the most moisturizing acids out there so it doesn't feel as stripping as other acids can. Salicyilic acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) derived from plants. It's obtained from willow bark and winter green leaves and is a natural anti inflammatory and antibacterial agent. These factors combined with it's ability to promote exfoliation make salicyilic acid ideal for acne prone skin, to reduce any inflammation or infection. Another acid that is beneficial for acne prone skin, and can be combined with salicyilic acid is mandelic acid. Mandelic acid is an AHA derived from acetic acid which along with being an antibacterial agent, is also a xenobiotic metabolite (it destroys foreign substances on the skin). This makes it a powerful acne fighting ingredient. Finally trichloroacetic acid, more commonly known as TCA, is not an AHA or BHA, but a monocarboxylic acid. It's a caustic chemical, meaning that it has the ability to burn or corrode organic tissue. For this reason TCA is used very conservativley for first time patients, but its benefits are well worth the peeling. TCA peels several layers of the skin and can have both theraputic and cosmetic benefits including the treatment of actinic keratosis and fine lines and wrinkles.

 

Should I Get A Chemical Peel?

 

Now that we've talked all about the different kinds of peels, you may be wondering if it's the treatment for you. Peels can be performed on almost everyone with the exception of patients who are pregnant, and anyone with a skin infection, or open wounds or lesions. All skin types and tones can benefit from chemical peels, but darker skin types (darker Indian/Middle Eastern to Black skin tones) may require a test patch before treatment, because these skin types are more prone to hyperpigmentation after treatments such as peels.

 

How Long Will I Actually Peel?

 

You may be asking yourself, "Am I really going to peel?". Different peels deliever different results and down time, and at Jazzi Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Medicine, we offer a range of peels to customize your treatment and recovery. Our TCA peels result in a white frosting of the skin with mild redness for a couple of days with a tight feeling to the skin. After 2 or 3 days the face begins to peel, and continues on for about a week. If you're someone who doesn't want, or have time for, that much down time we do offer alternative treatments. We now carry Dermalogica Pro Power Peels, which offer professional results, without any downtime. These peels can be used for all concerns including acne, discoloration, and fine lines and wrinkles, but don't cause any frosting, redness, or peeling.

 

How Often Can I Get A Chemical Peel?

 

Peels can be repeated more often than you probably think, every 2 weeks for Dermalogica Pro Power Peels, every 4 weeks for lighter TCA, and every 3-6 months for deeper TCA. It is recommended that peels be done in a series of 3 to receive the best results.

 

Now that you know all the dirty details about peels, come by Jazzi Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Medicine for your complimentary consultation!

Author
Jazzi Cosmetic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine

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