As we get older, dead skin cells are not sloughed off the face as easily in our teens and 20s, which can make your skin look dull and old. That’s why light, medium, and deep chemical peels are among the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedures.
A chemical peel removes the top layer of skin on your face to improve aged, sun-damaged and wrinkled skin. Enhancing the evenness of the color and texture of the facial skin makes you look younger. The result is a healthy, radiant, and luminous appearance that can give you a much-needed boost in self-confidence.
When Should You Think About A Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel could be a good option for you in these situations:
- If your skin has wrinkles and deep lines from aging or sun damage.
- If your skin is discolored or has blotchiness or brown spots.
- If you have scars that make your facial skin uneven.
- If you have acne scars from your adolescence.
- If you have various types of precancerous skin growths.
Considerations About Chemical Peels
As with any cosmetic procedure, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider before you schedule the procedure with your surgeon or physician.
- There is no sedation or anesthesia needed.
- If you have a light or medium chemical peel, there is little recovery or aftercare needed.
- Deep chemical peels take more recovery, but can treat deep wrinkles and lines in the face without surgery.
- After your chemical peel, you will be sensitive to the sun, and your skin pores may look bigger temporarily.
- Deep chemical peels can make the skin lighter, so people with darker skin need to check that with their doctor to ensure this is the correct procedure for them.
- Deep chemical peels take a few weeks for a full recovery; you will look like you had a deep sunburn on your face with peeling skin.
- Chemical peels can make some skin disorders worse, such as cold sores or allergic reactions.
Chemical Peel Procedure
A dermatologist or plastic surgeon often does chemical peels. The chemical peel involves applying a chemical solution to the face or certain parts of the face. Some patients choose to focus on the crow’s feet around the eyes or vertical lines around the mouth.
The chemicals are applied lightly for a light to medium peel or more vigorously with a sponge for a deep peel. During the application, you may feel some tingling or burning in your skin. These sensations are more intense for a deep peel, but your medical professional will carefully time how long the peels remain on the skin, depending on the results you want.
Several types of peels vary based on their ingredients and strength. The depth of the chemical peel can also be affected by how long the chemicals stay on the skin and how they are applied.
After a light or medium peel, you don’t need to use any ointment or bandages, and there is little recovery time required. However, a deep peel will require protective cream to be layered on the face to protect the crust that will form over the new, raw skin. Expect this ointment to stay on the face for about two days.
A chemical peel will remove dead skin cells, enhance skin texture, and clear up acne scars and sun damage. Deeper peels will smooth deep wrinkles and discolored patches of skin.
Chemical Peel Options
For a light or medium peel, a solution using alpha hydroxy acid is the most popular option. This type of peel can reduce the signs of aging and sun damage, including brown spots and wrinkles. Some patients only need one treatment with alpha hydroxy acid to give the skin a fresh, younger glow.
You don’t need anesthesia for a light or medium peel; you’ll only notice a tingling or mild stinging feeling for a few minutes. You can usually go back to work or your regular activities the same day.
A phenol solution is often the choice for a deep peel that can benefit deep wrinkles caused by acne or sun damage. Phenol is helpful to reduce vertical lines around the mouth from aging.
Deep peels take longer and will leave a crust over the new skin that must be covered with ointment for a few days. It’s also essential to avoid sun exposure for a few weeks. You will feel a burning sensation when the phenol solution is applied, and there can be a bleaching effect on some patients’ skin.
Deep peels using phenol chemicals are effective, but it is a serious procedure, so an experienced, board-certified physician should only perform it. Talk to your physician to determine if a chemical peel or other non-surgical procedure, such as dermal fillers or Botox is a good choice for you.
Request A Chemical Peel Consultation
Interested in a Portland chemical peel? Dr. Aric Aghayan is proud to serve Portland area patients at his practice, Après Plastic Surgery. He’ll go over the options, your goals, and more to determine if you’re an ideal candidate for a light, medium, or deep chemical peel.
Chemical Peel Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/younger-looking/chemical-peels-overview
Overview Of Chemical Peels. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/chemical-peel/about/pac-20393473