Chemical Peels, also called chemoexfoliation or derma peels, are treatments that improve and rejuvenate the skin. Chemoexfoliation triggers the regeneration of fresher, smoother and less wrinkled skin by applying a special chemical solution that causes damaged skin to blister and eventually peel off.
The treatment is helpful to individuals with facial blemishes, wrinkles and uneven skin tones. Chemical peels are also used to remove some types of skin growths, lighten facial scars and sometimes, even treat acne. Common target areas are the face, hands, neck, back, chest, shoulders, arms and legs.
Various types of peeling agents may be used to address different skin types and problems. Light peels enhance general skin tone, texture and smoothness, while intermediate or deeper level peels treat more dermatological conditions such as pigmentation, acne scars, sunspots, and dry leathery skin. All chemical peels are non-toxic, and give the skin a refreshed and revitalized look.
Types of Chemical Peels
There are three basic categories of chemical peels: light, medium and deep. Each type works differently, and produces different results. In general, the stronger the chemical used, the deeper the peel, and the more impressive the results. Deeper peels, however, are likely to cause a greater amount of pain, and require a longer recovery period. During the procedure, some patients experience a warm stinging sensation that lasts about five to ten minutes. This is easily treated by applying cool compresses to the area. Deeper peels, on the other hand, may require pain medication during or after treatment.
Depending on the results you would like to achieve, Dr. Lanfranchi may choose from the three basic types of chemical peels, or tailor a specific treatment to meet your skin’s particular needs.
The best way to care for your skin after a chemical peel is by using a very gentle cleanser. Since patients often experience a reaction similar to sunburn, you may also be prescribed a special moisturizing cream.
The peeling process takes place within three to seven days and involves redness followed by scaling. During the healing period, take care not to apply any glycolic acid products or prematurely peel off or scratch the treated area. It is extremely important to avoid direct exposure to sunlight, as the new skin is fragile and still susceptible to damage.
In the case of medium and deep peeling treatments, the skin is expected to swell and develop water blisters that eventually rupture, crust, and peel off in about 7 to 14 days. Some procedures require bandages to improve the effectiveness of the treatment.
Chemical peels may be repeated at intervals in order to achieve the desired results.
For more information about this procedure, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lanfranchi, please contact us.