Indications for Chemical Peel include wrinkled, sun-damaged, blemished or unevenly pigmented skin. A chemical peel involves the application of a solution containing either alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or phenol to remove the top layers of skin. The AHA peel is the mildest, removing the fewest layers of skin; phenol solutions achieve the deepest peel. The formulas for each type of peel can be adjusted for individual cases.
A chemical peel may be performed in conjunction with a facelift, but it is not a substitute since it does not achieve the same effects. Chemical peels do not retard the effects of aging.
The AHA peel smooths rough, dry skin and improves the texture of sun-damaged skin. It may also help to improve mild acne. The AHA solution can be mixed with a bleaching agent to correct or improve pigmentation problems.
The TCA peel is a medium peel that can be administered in various strengths to adjust the depth of the peel. The TCA peel is appropriate to smooth fine surface wrinkles, remove superficial blemishes and correct pigmentation problems. Unlike the other peels, the TCA peel may be used on the neck as well as the face, and this is the preferred peel for darker-skinned individuals. Maintaining the benefits of your chemical peel can be maintained by using our physician directed skin care line, Dermesse.
After a TCA peel, the patient may experience tingling and there may be significant swelling, especially if a strong formula has been used. Swelling generally subsides within a week. Crusts or scabs that form on the treated areas begin to slough off in a week to 10 days. At this time, the patient can return to normal activities except for sun exposure, which should be avoided until complete healing has occurred. Then the patient should apply sunblock daily for protection.
Risks vary with the type and depth of the peel, but all peels carry a small risk of infection and/or scarring. Patients with allergies could experience a flare-up of skin allergies. Fever blisters and/or cold sores may also develop.
The effects of a TCA peel are more noticeable and slightly more enduring, but they are not permanent.