Stay up to Date on Chemical Peels Information
In many ways your skin is like an onion: it has layers. What you see most often is the outer layer. This is the layer that absorbs damage, shows signs of aging, and, generally, protects you from the elements. However, beneath that outer layer, your skin is hiding a few more layers of epidermis, and these layers are well-protected, smooth, and youthful looking. Cosmetic surgeons have developed a wide variety of ways to access those inner layers of the skin, and one of the most traditionally reliable and effective ways is called a chemical peel.
During a chemical peel, certain chemicals or acids are applied to the skin in order to get it to “blister” and peel. In most cases patients feel no more discomfort than a little heat and suffer no more serious side-effects than some redness. Once the redness recedes, the skin that is revealed by the peeling is smoother, more uniform in color, and more youthful in overall appearance. For these reasons, in addition to the general feeling of rejuvenation most patients experience, it’s easy to see why chemical peels remain an incredibly popular option for non surgical cosmetic surgeons and their patients.
Am I a Good Candidate for Chemical Peels?
There are a wide variety of chemical peels options available on the market today, and they each have their own unique advantages. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that there are some results that chemical peels may not be able to achieve. To see if a chemical peel is what you’re looking for, think about whether you meet any of the following candidate criteria:
- You have minor wrinkles and lines you want to eliminate
- You have age spots you want to eliminate
- You are not allergic or have a bad reaction to chemicals in chemical peels
- Your skin is not overly sensitive
- You are able to take several days off of work to allow redness to subside
- You are not seeking a dramatic transformation
- You have realistic expectations about what this procedure can accomplish
- You are generally healthy enough for this procedure
How Does a Chemical Peel Work?
As mentioned above, chemical peels work by taking advantage of the structure of your skin. The chemicals work to break down the outer layer of your skin, and there are several solutions available to do this. Your cosmetic surgeon may recommend a glycolic acid, a salicylic acid, or a carbolic acid, among others. Each of these has their own distinct advantages, so which acid is best for you will depend on your skin and your desired results.
Once the peel is applied, it will need to sit on the skin for several minutes. During this period, patients may experience a warm or “burning” sensation, though in most cases this is a relatively modest feeling. However, if you are interested in a deeper peel, there may be more significant discomfort that requires a cold compress or pain medication. Once the required time has passed, the peel will be removed or rinsed.
Chemical Peel Recovery and Results
After a chemical peel is finished, it may take a week or two for redness and peeling to subside completely. Many patients describe the experience as no unlike a sunburn. As a result, some patients make it a point to take time off of work so they can let the worst of the redness pass before going out in public. That said, most patients are not restricted when it comes to daily activities. Your cosmetic surgeon will likely provide you with individualized recovery instructions so as to protect your health and your results.
Once any redness or swelling subside, you will be able to appreciate your results. For most patients, this means a diminishing of lines and subtle wrinkles, as well as an evening of overall skin tone. Age spots will likely diminish and many patients are left with an overall more youthful appearance. In most cases, chemical peels won’t make a dramatic impact on the look of your face, but they can help you look younger, more energized, and so on. In other words, people will recognize that you look good, but they won’t necessarily know you’ve gone in for a cosmetic procedure. And sometimes that’s exactly what patients want.
So if you’re thinking about a chemical peel, or want more chemical peels information, contact your local cosmetic surgeon today.