Chemical peels are among the best tools used to improve the quality and appearance of the skin. Chemical peels work on the effects of photoaging by improving mottled pigmentation, fine lines, rough skin, freckles, and sun or age spots.* They are most effective when used as part of a good comprehensive skin care program. An excellent facial rejuvenation option, chemical peels at our Baltimore, Maryland area center are offered in a variety of strengths to treat a number of problems.
In general, skin care and facial rejuvenation programs should include products which remove the old, dry, dead layers of skin, then rehydrate the remaining skin through moisturizers, and finally protect the skin from further sun damage. Most chemical peels have their effect on the top layers of the skin called the epidermis; however, some products have been shown to improve the support of the skin, the dermis. As the dermis is improved, the skin achieves a healthier and softer appearance.
Light Chemical Peels
Licensed aestheticians are qualified to evaluate and treat early to moderate skin damage. They will often use products which contain fruit acids or alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) in their regimen to achieve effective facial rejuvenation. Glycolic and lactic acids are the most common of the AHAs. A peel’s strength is determined by its percentage and pH. The higher the percentage and lower the pH, the stronger the potency. These light chemical peels may be routinely performed by licensed aestheticians.
Recently, we have added a new light chemical peel to the facial rejuvenation treatment choices available at our Baltimore, Maryland area center. The new Vitalize Peel® is a light chemical peel which combines Retinoic acid and Salicylic acid. It is extremely effective in smoothing rough, dry skin and in treating minor pigment problems.* It is also excellent for help in the treatment of acne.*
Medium-Depth Chemical Peels
At a certain point, stronger chemicals are needed to improve facial rejuvenation results. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is the most commonly used chemical for medium-depth peeling. Depending on the severity of the problem, varying strengths of the TCA can be selected. TCA peels may be applied in a number of different ways. The Obagi® peel is one type of TCA peel. These should be prescribed and performed by a medical doctor since there are increased risks of burns, delayed healing and changes in pigmentation if not performed correctly.
Most patients who undergo a chemical peel treatment should already be on a skin care program to prepare the skin and to get the best facial rejuvenation results. Low and medium strength peels are generally performed in the office with little or no anesthetic. Higher strength peels should be performed with some type of anesthesia and may include light sedation. The degree of peeling and recuperation varies from one to seven days based on the strength and type of chemical peel and degree of facial rejuvenation desired.
Deep-Depth Chemical Peels
Deep chemical peels are used to affect the dermis, the spongy support which lies beneath the top layers of the skin. Phenol has been the historical acid of choice for deep-depth peels. When used properly, phenol peels may have a dramatic affect on the appearance of the skin. However, advances in facial rejuvenation techniques have led many to replace phenol peels with laser resurfacing, which is regarded as a more precise, controllable, and safer treatment option.
To learn more about the many facial rejuvenation options available at our plastic surgery center, please contact plastic surgeon Ronald Schuster, MD today. In addition to chemical peels and other non-surgical options, Dr. Schuster also offers eyelid surgery, face lift, rhinoplasty, brow lift, liposuction, tummy tuck, breast enlargement, and more to help his patients achieve their personal appearance goals.*
*Individual results may vary