What are the benefits of chemical peels?
Our skin is the largest organ in the human body. It’s a pretty miraculous protective wrapping that covers every square inch of the body. All in all, our skin, if laid out flat, would occupy about 20 square feet of space.
Humans shed our entire outer layer of skin every 2-4 weeks. Healthy skin cells start at the bottom of your epidermis, about 1/3 of an inch down. As these cells mature, they prepare to deal with the elements by producing a waterproof compound called keratin. As your body produces fresh skin cells, these newcomers push the older cells out from the base of the epidermis and toward the surface. This process takes from 2-4 weeks. By the time a skin cell reaches the surface, it’s little more than a dead, scale-like structure that’s filled with keratin but none of the ordinary cellular machinery. Each surface skin cell lasts about 30 days.
Exfoliation is the name for this process. Chemical peels simply help to speed up the final portion, enabling the outer dead skin cells to hit the road. A great benefit of chemical peels is that they are basically a natural process: we’re simply accelerating the skin shedding by the use of glycolic or trichloroacetic acid.
Our superficial and medium peels are completely noninvasive. There are no injections or incisions involved. Our patients like that aspect of these treatments. Plus, they really work to improve the skin tone and vibrancy, all the while removing fine lines and wrinkles and many of those age spots and other areas of sun damage.
Who is a good candidate for chemical peels?
Generally, patients with lighter skin and light hair are good candidates for chemical peels. Those who have darker skin may still achieve good results, depending on the problem being treated. However, there is also a higher chance of having an uneven skin tone after treatment.
Although chemical peels can improve the appearance of fine wrinkles, they are not an effective treatment for severe wrinkles.
Where can I have a chemical peel?
Most of the chemical peels we perform are done on the face. But they can also be done on the neck and the backs of the hands.
What are the different types of chemical peels?
Dr. LoBuono performs our medium-depth peels using trichloroacetic acid (TCA). Because their penetration is deeper, TCA peels are usually only performed once.
Our registered nurse performs our superficial peels. We use Neo-Strata brand glycolic acid peels; these are made from natural fruit juice acids and strengths vary from 20 to 70 percent. There is some mild discomfort during superficial peels, but that passes quickly once the peel is finished. To achieve your desired results, a series of treatments are needed. Glycolic peels clear away fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin tone, reduce pore size, and return radiance to dull skin.
What skin concerns can I improve with a chemical peel?
At Dr. LoBuono’s, we use our light and medium chemical peels to improve these conditions:
- Sun damage
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Texture issues
- Pigmentation problems
- Age spots
- Acne and acne scars
- Scaly patches
Chemical peels are not meant to address issues such as sagging skin or deep lines and creases.
Chemical Peel Process Explained
A chemical peel is the application of an acidic solution to the surface of the skin. It penetrates into the skin, destroying the upper layer, smoothing the fine lines and wrinkles. This eliminates some sun-damaged brown spots and pre-cancerous lesions. There is also evidence that deeper peels can help to regenerate collagen in the dermal layer of the skin, helping to tighten it. All of these changes make for a younger appearance.
As peels increase in intensity, redness, and peeling increase. The stronger the acid, the deeper the penetration in the skin.
Superficial peels, usually mild glycolic acid, the mildest of chemical peels, target only the top layers of skin. These work well for patients seeking a refreshed, brighter looking skin with minimal redness and downtime.
Medium depth peels usually use Trichloracetic acid(TCA). With TCA peels, patients will experience a stinging and burning sensation for about five to fifteen minutes. Then the feeling is gone. To make the patient more comfortable, the face is pre-treated with a topical anesthetic cream and is cooled during the procedure to control patient discomfort. Most patients tolerate this short time very well. The medium depth, TCA peel, usually takes five to seven days for the skin to recover. Any residual redness is temporary and will resolve over time.
Is there recovery after a chemical peel?
After a superficial peel, especially if you’re not a regular customer, your skin will have some redness and irritation, but as your skin becomes more exfoliated this will pass and your skin will simply glow after your peel. There is no recovery; your skin may feel a little tight for a couple of days and you may have some slight flaking, but that’s about it.
Medium peels will require some recovery. This is because the trichloroacetic acid creates deeper penetration than the glycolic acids used for our superficial peels. Because they penetrate more deeply TCA peels loosen the skin bonds more deeply. They leave the skin red and stinging, and there will be some crusting. Facial redness can linger for up to a few weeks. We only recommend one medium-depth TCA peel per year.
Are chemical peels considered to be safe? What are the risks?
Chemical peels are nothing new. They’ve been performed for centuries. Cleopatra was the first documented chemical peel aficionado, using sour milk (lactic acid) as the ingredient to cause her skin to peel, keeping it younger looking and vibrant.
When chemical peels are done by trained, experienced professionals, such as Dr. LoBuono and our registered nurse, they are safe and effective. Getting a chemical peel from the place you get your nails done is a bad idea. The chemical agents can burn and scar if the person applying them doesn’t know what he or she is doing.
You need to remember the goal — to remove varying degrees of the outer layers of the skin. Because this exfoliation is forced to a deeper degree, there is some redness and tenderness after your treatment. Your face will feel a little dry. With a light peel, it will feel as if you have a light sunburn. With a medium peel, it will feel more like a medium sunburn. There will be some light flaking with light peels. Medium peels will have a little crusting of the skin. Other than that, our light and medium chemical peels are safe without any real side effects.
Deep peels have a much more involved recovery and there can be danger of infection and scarring; that’s one reason Dr. LoBuono has opted not to perform deep phenol peels.
“What a wonderful doctor and awesome staff. Highly recommend. So happy I was referred by a friend.” – Laura S.
“I’ve been to multiple dermatologists, none of which had been able to help me. Within 5 minutes of my visit with Dr. LoBuono he knew exactly what was going on and was able to develop a course of treatment. Truly he is experienced, honest, and personable. I would recommend him, especially out of other dermatologists in Monmouth County.“ – Caity C.
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Our dermatologist, Dr. Lobuono, provides the perfect combination of cutting-edge dermatology techniques and superior patient care in Spring Lake, Wall Township, Brick, Point Pleasant Beach, and the surrounding areas. Call today, or fill out our contact us form and a representative will be sure to reach out at our earliest convenience.