Chemical Peels are procedures that are used to chemically exfoliate the top layers of the skin in order to remove thickened, fibrous type sun-damaged skin, to soften deep creases or to even out blotchy pigmentation. The level of improvement depends entirely on the depth of injury. There are many different types of chemicals used and they are associated with particular outcomes.
The staff at the Aesthetic Day Surgery will give you a realistic indication of the results you can personally expect from a chemical peel during your initial consultation.
What are Chemical Peels?
Chemical peels are procedures that are used to chemically exfoliate the top layers of the skin in order to remove a thickened, fibrous type sun-damaged skin, to soften deep creases or to even-out blotchy pigmentation. The level of improvement depends entirely on the depth of injury. There are many different types of chemicals used and they are associated with particular outcomes.
Is there more than one type of Chemical Peel?
In our practice, we prefer two distinctly different types of chemical peeling agents: 70% glycolic acid (fruit acid) and 20-35% tricholocetic acid (TCA) peels.
Glycolic Acid peels are considered the most superficial, penetrating only the surface layers of the epithelium (top layers of the skin). They are used, usually, in a series of four, approximately two weeks apart. They are used to freshen a dull appearance, soften sun-damaged texture and stimulate the circulation, resulting in a fresh glow. No recovery time is needed , as you may return to work the same day. Our 70% glycolic acid peel, the Refinity Peel, has an extra ingredient called Cosmederm-7, which take away the sting factor, rendering it to be a very comfortable procedure.
TCA peels area completely different story. Using a 20-35% solution (depending on skin type and level of damage), this chemical penetrates through to the dermis either superficial dermis or mid-dermis. This peel may be repeated annually for cumulative benefit. However, one peel of this depth may correct blotchy pigmentation, dull complexion, soften deep lines, remove the pigment from acne scars for many years to come. If the patient embarks on a skin care regime, using daily sun block and glycolic acid creams to maintain healthy skin. Prevention of further damage only continues to enhance the results.
How are Chemical Peels done and what kind or results can I expect?
As mentioned, the Glycolic Acid Refinity Peel is usually done in a series of four peels approximately two weeks apart. Your face is cleansed and degreased and the peel is applied. Careful observation for signs of irritation during the process is necessary. Each peel may be increased in time left on the skin before the chemical is neutralised.
Moisturising is necessary, particularly for the next two to five days. No suntanning is allowed. No exfoliation or scrubs. Simply moisturise and protect the face with sunblock. During the first day or two some mild shedding or a ‘gritty’ feeling may be noticed, then by the third day your skin will be smother and will have a fresh glow to it.
Note: TCA Peels are much more involved. One week of work is recommended.
How long does a Chemical Peel take?
A Refinity glycolic acid peel may be scheduled in a thirty minute appointment. The length of time of each peel is increased as it is tolerated.
A TCA Peel is scheduled over a one hour appointment. However the actual peeling time is about twenty minutes. Handheld fans are used to cool you down during the hot/prickly phase, which extends to 3-5 minutes.
Refinity Glycolic Acid Peels may be repeated as needed. Some people schedule a Refinity peel to freshen up just before a birthday or special event.
A TCA Peel may be repeated for cumulative effect.
A Refinity Peel has little or no side effects, the worst being minor irritation, redness, itchiness etc. A moisturiser with Cosmoderm-7 is given to you to minimise any probable post-peel.
With TCA Peels because of the depth of the peel more potential side effects of risks may occur. If you are prone to oral Herpes, Zovirax ointment is recommended prior to peeling.
Excellent hygiene is necessary during the week of the peel to prevent any possibility of infection. If any signs of infection should occur, antibiotics would be prescribed. Scaring is a rare complication. Most practitioners keep the TCA range in the 20-35% to prevent such problems from occurring.
Are Chemical Peels suitable for me?
The decision to go ahead with an aesthetic procedure is a very personal one. The first step is a consultation with one of the qualified members of staff at the Aesthetic Day Surgery. Whatever your reasons you should frankly discuss your personal goals and expectations with respect to the outcome of the procedure (both physical and emotional). As with any aesthetic procedure you should always keep in mind that the desired result is improvement not perfection.