Sun damage, skin blemishes, and the effects of time – these are among the many factors that can diminish the skin’s appearance. At the Zelken Institute, we can help you recapture the glow with a chemical peel.
A chemical peel is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to smooth the texture of your skin by removing damaged skin cells using a chemical solution. Chemical peels can be used to treat fine lines, and wrinkles, skin discoloration and acne scars that are usually on the face but can also be done on the neck, hands and back.
Chemical peels are typically done as an in-office procedure. Before the procedure, you will be examined to ensure you are a good candidate. After it is determined that you are a good candidate, your face will be thoroughly cleansed and the chemical solution will be applied.
During the chemical peel, your provider will apply a chemical solution that typically consists of Glycolic Acid or Salicylic Acid to the treatment area with a gauze. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) may also be used for a deeper peel. A mild to moderate amount of stinging or burning sensation may be felt during the procedure and for a short period of time afterwards. Depending on what chemical is used, a neutralizing solution or water may be used to wash off the chemical solution and a cool compress may be applied to cool the skin.
Other than the widely used Salicylic Acid that is good for the treatment of acne, or Glycolic acid that is good for the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles, that are many other types of chemical peels that are becoming popularized.
Glyderm is a simple glycolic acid peel that comes in different strengths. This peel is used to reduce photo-damage, fine lines and wrinkles. It can be used for the face, neck, chest, back and hands. Peeling begins around the second and third day and continues to peel for seven days.
The Vi Peel consists of a uniquely formulated blend of chemicals that consists of Salicylic Acid, TCA, Phenol, Retinoic Acid and Vitamin C and is considered safe for all skin types. It is used to treat hyperpigmentation or melasma, reducing the appearance of sun damage, improving skin tone and texture, reducing acne scars and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin which results in firmer skin. The day of the procedure, the ViPeel solution will be applied to your skin by a provider. The solution is to be left on your face for the rest of the day or at least 6 hours after. Nothing is to be applied to the treated area, not even SPF or moisturizer. It is recommended that you bring a hat or scarf for the day of the procedure. You will begin to peel around the third day and will continue to peel for about seven days.
The Cosmelan Depigmentation Peel, as stated in its name focuses on treating hyperpigmentation, melasma and cholasma. It is similar to the ViPeel in that it is applied in office and the solution is left on the treated area for six to twelve hours depending on the degree of correction needed. Peeling will begin around the third day and will continue for about seven days. The full benefits of Cosmelan Peel are seen around the fourth of fifth week after treatment.
The Jessner’s Peel is similar to a glycolic acid peel in that it targets the superficial layers of the skin. It is used to treat sun damaged skin, aging skin and hyperpigmentation. It is comprised of a combination of three chemicals: salicylic acid, lactic acid and resorcinol. The Jessner Peel is applied in the office and will be neutralized. A calming mask will then be applied to the skin. The skin will then peel for up to seven days after the treatment.
Regardless of the peel that is used for treatment, it is important to always follow the providers instructions. Keep in mind that one treatment may not be sufficient and may take three to four treatments for the desired effect. When peeling begins to occur, do not peel away the skin and let it shed on its own. It is also very important to use a sunblock with an SPF of at least 30.
The treated skin may be red and irritated but will subside within a few hours. The skin may feel tight and dry. It is important to apply a gentle moisturizer and sunscreen. Over the course of the next few days, the treated skin will begin to form a crust and may darken or develop brown discolorations. The crust will then begin to slough off after a few days. Depending on how strong the chemical solution is, the treated areas may take up to seven to 14 days to heal. Once the skin is healed, the skin texture and tone will be improved. The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles will be decreased.
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.