If you want to regain your skin’s lost luminous glow, a chemical peel may be the right option for you. A chemical peel is intended to rejuvenate your complexion and minimize the effects of skin damage — without surgery. If you are looking for a minimally invasive procedure to correct wrinkles, sun damage, acne and other blemishes, you may want to consider a chemical peel at the Zelken Institute for Aesthetic Medicine, where we have peels down to a science.
A chemical peel is a nonsurgical procedure that is intended to improve the appearance of damaged and aging skin. Using a chemical solution which is applied to the skin, this procedure removes the damaged outer layers of your skin. Most chemical peels are performed on the face but can be used on other areas such as your neck and face. Chemical peels fall into three categories, depending on your needs: light chemical peel, medium chemical peel and deep chemical peel.
You may be an ideal candidate for a chemical peel if the following characteristics do not apply:
There are three chemical peel options to choose from:
A light chemical peel may be ideal for candidates who experience dry skin, uneven skin tone, acne or fine wrinkles.
A medium chemical peel may be ideal for candidates with acne scars, deeper wrinkles and uneven skin color.
A deep chemical peel may be ideal for candidates with deep facial wrinkles, sun damage, scars, blotchy skin areas or precancerous growths.
Before you begin the chemical peel procedure, you’ll meet with Dr. Zelken or Aesthetic Nurse Miki Omori, RN for a consultation. During the consultation, you can expect Dr. Zelken or Aesthetic Nurse Miki Omori, RN to go over your medical record and discuss any medical conditions, current medications or drug allergies you may have as well as alcohol, tobacco or drug use. As a result, Dr. Zelken or Aesthetic Nurse Miki Omori, RN will determine your current state of health and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors. He will then talk to you about expected results as well as risks or possible complications you could experience.
The chemical peel process will vary, depending on the treatment option you choose. Here’s what you can expect for either a light, medium or deep chemical peel.
A light chemical peel uses milder chemicals than a deeper peel and will lightly exfoliate the outer layer of skin (epidermis). The chemicals typically used in a light peel might include a mix of alphahydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids like glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid and maleic acid. A light chemical peel may be repeated, and the desired result is a healthier glow.
In the first step, Dr. Zelken or Aesthetic Nurse Miki Omori, RN will cleanse your face. Then, the chemical solution will be applied to your skin for a few minutes which may cause a mild stinging sensation. Lastly, the chemical solution will be washed off and neutralized.
A medium chemical peel is more involved than a light chemical peel. This procedure removes the outer layer of skin (epidermis) as well as the top part of your middle layer of skin (dermis). The chemicals typically used in a medium peel may include TCA (trichloroacetic acid), Jessner’s solution and glycolic acid.
In the first step, Dr. Zelken or Aesthetic Nurse Miki Omori, RN will cleanse your face. Then, a chemical solution will be applied to your skin for a few minutes which may cause a mild stinging sensation and may turn the skin whitish gray. Lastly, the chemical solution will be neutralized with a cool saline compress.
A deep chemical peel is the most involved chemical peel. This procedure will penetrate the lower dermal layer of skin. A chemical called phenol will be used for this treatment.You will likely have to prepare for this treatment beforehand which may include applying retinoic acid cream or gel. This will prep your skin and aid in healing.
In the first step, you will be given a sedative as well as local anesthetic to numb your face. Then, your face will be cleansed. Phenol will be applied to your skin and then neutralized using water. Lastly, ointment or sometimes strips of tape or medicated gauze will be applied to the skin for protection against dry skin and pain.
After a light chemical peel, redness, stinging, flaking and irritation can be expected. These reactions should stop once you undergo multiple light chemical peels. There may also be a risk of hyperpigmentation or infection that you should be aware of.
After a medium chemical peel, your skin may experience red or brown discoloration. Because peeling usually starts within 48 hours and last for a week, you should moisturize the treated area often. Redness, stinging and flaking can be expected, much like a sunburn. Dr. Zelken or Aesthetic Nurse Miki Omori, RN will likely advise you to avoid sun exposure and use sunblock for several months for protection. There may also be a risk of hyperpigmentation, long-term redness and, although rare, permanent scarring.
After a deep chemical peel, your treated area of skin may lighten. Because this procedure usually impacts the skin’s ability to tan, the treated area must be protected from sun exposure. If you have heart disease, phenol may be a threat to your health. Make sure you discuss this with Dr. Zelken or Aesthetic Nurse Miki Omori, RN. Recovery time is usually two weeks. You can expect swelling, peeling, crusting, skin redness and discomfort lasting from several days to weeks. The results from one deep chemical peel treatment may last up to 10 years.
If you’re considering a chemical peel or have further questions about this procedure, don’t hesitate to contact us or schedule a consultation with Dr. Zelken or Aesthetic Nurse Miki Omori, RN. We’re located at 1617 Westcliff Drive in Newport Beach, CA, and we can be reached at (949) 432-4730. We serve patients from across the world — we have a Mandarin Chinese-speaking physician — as well as clients in Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine and Laguna Beach, California.
As with any procedure or treatment, a chemical peel isn’t for everyone. Things that may make an individual a poor candidate is if they have taken isotretinoin acne medication within the past six months. You may also be a poor candidate if you have a darker complexion or have abnormal skin pigmentation.
Although a chemical peel is considered one of the safer procedures, it does have some risks and uncertainties. It can cause temporary or permanent skin lightening (hypopigmentation) or darkening (hyperpigmentation). If you have a history of experiencing cold sores, the treatment may cause a flare-up but your provider can prescribe a medication to reduce the risk of a flare up. For these reasons, is important to communicate your complete history with your provider.
Written by Dr. Jonathan Zelken
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