A chemical peel is an aesthetic procedure performed to achieve better skin tone and to remove fine lines, especially on the face. The chemical solution removes outer layers of skin which are damaged by age, sun, acne, wrinkles, or pigmentation problems. Removing the outer skin prompts the body to generate a new layer of skin cells which are tainted by the previous skin condition. Chemical peels may not be appropriate for darker skin complexions.
Reasons for Considering a Chemical Peel:
- Reduce facial wrinkles and lines.
- Improve sun-damaged skin.
- Correct age spots and pigmentation problems.
- Lighten scars (especially from acne).
- Treat precancerous skin lesions.
At the time of your procedure, any active skin disease, infection, or acne needs to be under control in order to maximize results. There are several different types of chemical solutions which can be used, ranging from a mild solution to a very strong one. The surgeon will select what is best for the patient based on their skin condition, color, and desired result.
During the procedure, the skin is first cleansed of oils. A solution is then carefully applied and is allowed to remain on the skin for a short time in order to remove the layers of damaged skin. At this point, the skin will turn white, a frost-like effect. The skin is then neutralized and cleansed. Finally, an ointment is applied to the skin to aid in healing.
Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. An ointment and dressings are applied immediately following surgery to aid in the healing process and to minimize swelling. The skin will have a pinkish color, and a thin crust may form over the area that was treated. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with the procedure, which can be treated effectively with oral medication. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the post-operative directions given by the surgeon. Recovery time varies depending upon the extent of the chemical peel.