Chemical peel

Each day, our skin cells die, flake off and are replaced by new cells from beneath. As we age, this process happens less often. As a result, the skin becomes wrinkled and blotchy and begins to show signs of age.

Through the application of a chemical solution used to remove dead skin cells, a chemical peel tightens the skin and reduces wrinkling. This results in the stimulation and production of new skin cells and restores a more youthful appearance.

Like laser resurfacing, the chemical peel works by removing the top layers of the skin to expose unlined, new skin underneath. Phenol, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) are used for this purpose.

Trichloroacetic acid is most commonly used for medium-depth peeling. Fine surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes and pigment problems are commonly treated with TCA. The results of TCA peel are usually less dramatic than and not as long-lasting as those of a phenol peel

Phenol is the strongest of the chemical solutions and produces a deep peel. It is used mainly to treat deep facial wrinkles and sun-damaged skin. Since phenol sometimes lightens the treated areas, your skin pigmentation may determine whether you are a candidate for this procedure. Phenol is used mainly on the face as scarring can result from its application to other body areas.

During a chemical peel a chemical solution is applied to smooth and generally improve the texture of the facial skin by removing its damaged outer layers.

Each year thousands of chemical peels are performed.

While laser resurfacing has replaced the chemical peel to some extent in recent years, Dr. ______ feels the chemical peel still has certain advantages has over laser peeling. There are also some drawbacks associated with laser resurfacing that are not always associated with chemical peels. These include the lingering residual redness of the skin that can sometimes be a side effect of laser resurfacing.

Dr. _______ will be happy to discuss the advantages of the chemical peel with you during your consultation. If you have a history of herpes, you should inform Dr. __________ during your consultation.

A number of skin conditions can be improved with a chemical peel:

• superficial lines and wrinkles, particularly around the mouth

• hyperpigmentation

• acne scars

• sun-damaged skin

• age spots

• freckles

While a chemical peel is not a substitute for a facelift is often performed with a facelift as an additional step in the rejuvenation process.