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Chemical Peel

Chemical peeling is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin which is typically performed on the face, neck or hands.  In this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes it to "blister" and eventually peel off.  The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.  The new skin is also temporarily more sensitive to the sun.

Over the years various peeling agents are used by experts in performing multiple types of chemical peels.  A consultation and thorough evaluation by your cosmetic doctor is essential before embarking upon a chemical peel.

What can a Chemical Peel do?

Chemical peeling is often used to treat fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth.  Wrinkles caused by sun damage, aging and hereditary factors can often be reduced or even eliminated with this procedure.  However, sags, bulges, and more severe wrinkles do not respond well to peeling and may require other kinds of cosmetic surgical procedures such as a face lift, brow lift, eye lift or dermal filler.

Mild scarring and certain types of acne can also be treated with chemical peels.  In addition, pigmentation of the skin in the form of sun spots, age spots, liver spots, freckles, splotching due to taking birth control pills, and skin that is dull in texture and colour may be improved with chemical peeling.

Chemical peeling may be combined with IPL Laser, Microdermabrasion, Collagen fillers to achieve cost-effective skin rejuvenation depending upon the individual problem.  Areas of sun-damaged, precancerous keratoses or scaling patches may improve after chemical peeling.  Following treatment, new lesions or patches are less likely to appear.  Generally, fair skinned and light haired patients are ideal candidates for chemical peels and experience good results depending upon the problem.

How are Chemical Peels performed?

Prior to procedure, instructions may include the elimination of certain drugs and the preparation of the skin with topical pre-conditioning homecare products especially for darker skin types.

A chemical peel is performed as an out-patient as a short procedure.  At the time of treatment, the skin is thoroughly cleansed to removes excess oils, and the eyes and hair are protected.  One or more chemical solutions - an alpha hydroxy acid, such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or lactic acid; trichloroacetic acid (TCA); or carbolic acid (phenol) - are used.  Cosmetic doctors are well qualified to select the proper peeling agent based upon the type of skin damage present.  During a chemical peel, the physician applies the solution to small areas on the skin.  These applications produce a controlled wound, enabling new, refreshed skin to appear.  Most patients experience a warm to somewhat hot sensation which lasts about five to ten minutes, followed by a stinging sensation.  A deeper peel may require pain medication during or after the procedure.

What should be expected after treatment?

Depending upon the type of peel, a reaction similar to sunburn occurs following a chemical peel.  Superficial peeling usually involves redness, followed by scaling that ends within three to seven days.  Medium-depth and deep peeling may result in swelling and the presence of water blisters that may break, crust, turn brown, and peel off over a period of seven to 14 days.  Some peels may require bandages to be placed on part or all of the skin that is treated.  Bandages are usually removed in several days and may improve the effectiveness of the treatment.  It is important to avoid overexposure to the sun after a chemical peel since the new skin is fragile and more susceptible to complications.  In order to avoid such complications and to maximise the treatment benefit it is essential to use the prescribed home care products   to reduce the tendency to develop abnormal skin colour after peeling.


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