A chemical peel is one of the oldest cosmetic procedures in the world, already performed in ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt. Chemical peel is a method used to enhance the appearance of the skin. An acidic substance is applied to the skin, this acid is designed to separate certain specific layers of the skin, allowing the skin to appear smooth and healthy.
Deciding if chemical peel is right for you should discuss with your physician. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions or express any concerns you have during your initial consultation. The physician of your choice will explain you the steps pf the procedure in detail, including realted risks and benefits and how long the recovery period takes. If you have a history of herpes, you should inform your physician prior to the procedure.
A chemical peel is generally performed for cosmetic reasons to enhance appearance and self confidence. Benefits of chemical peel is its ability to remove pre-cancerous skin growths, soften acne facial scars and even have a controlling influence on acne.
The mildest chemical peel formulas for light chemical peel are alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), such as fruit, lactic, or glycolic acids. These types of chemical peel are the most superficial chemical peel methods, recommended for people who wish a fast recovery from the chemical peel treatment and provide smoother, brighter-looking skin.
AHA chemical peel are commonly used to treat fine wrinkling, uneven pigmentation, areas of dryness, and acne. This treatment needs repetitive skin treatment using various concentrations of an AHA to obtain the best result. The quantity of repetitions can be decided by the physician of your choice, controlling the expected results during the treatment proceeds.
For medium-depth chemical peel treatment generally a trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is used to treat superficial blemishes, fine surface wrinkles, and pigment problems. For a long-lasting chemical peel result a phenol chemical peel is recommended. This is the strongest chemical peel method and is mainly used to treat coarse facial wrinkles, damaged or blotchy skin areas caused by extensive sun exposure. The phenol chemical peel treatment is even used for pre-cancerous growth treatments. As a phenol treatment is a strong chemical peel it may cause scarring to the neck or other body areas if it is applied there. Therefore a phenol chemical peel is primarily used on the face. Nevertheless some lightening of the treated areas. You should discuss with your physician if this is an appropriate treatment for you determining this by your skin pigmentation.
A Chemical peel is normally a safe procedure when it is performed by a qualified, experienced physician. However, chemical peel carry some unpredictability and risk such as infection and scarring.
After a AHA chemical peel some skin irritation, redness, stinging and crusting may occur. However, these effects will subside as the skin adjusts to the treatment. TCA chemical peel there is no risk of lightening of the treated areas. The treated skin will be able to reproduce pigmentation as always. However, sun exposure has to be avoided for several months after the chemical peel procedure to protect the newly formed layers of skin. With TCA there exists a slight possiblity of unintended color changes in the skin.
A phenol treatment damages the pigmentation ability of your skin. This means that there will be a constant lightening of your skin and even the risk of uneven pigment changes. Asure that your skin is always protected from sun exposure. With a Phenol treatment there may be a special risk for patients with a history of heart disease. Be aware of informing your physician of any heart problems when your medical history is taken.
1. Your medical condition, drug allergies and previous medical treatments.
2. If and what kind of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco & drugs you use.
3. If and which previous surgeries you have already realized.
4. Your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors.
5. Define if you´re a candidate for the specific procedure.
This will help the dentist to get a feel for what you want and understand your needs and concerns.
The success and safety of your chemical peel depends very much on your complete candidness. The physician of your choice will give you some instructions on how to prepare yourself for the peeling treatment.
Either a Retin A prescription medication, a derivate of Vitamin A, or in cases of Retin A intolerance a AHA pre-treatment is used to thin out the skin’s surface layer, to allow the TCA solution to penetrate more deeply and evenly. I case of blotchy skin areas or pigmentation problems there is used Hydroquinone, a bleaching agent, in conjunction with Retin-A or AHA pre-treatment. Before the actual peal can be realized you may have to spend about a month in the pre-treatment phase.
Your physician will also inform you where your procedure will be performed. Most chemical peels may be safely performed in a facility, like a office-based surgical center, outpatient or ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital, is accredited and audited regularly by FlyClinic®.Nevertheless your physician may require an overnight stay in a facility or hospital if other cosmetic procedures are performed simultaneously.
Step 1 – Anesthesia
For a phenol or TCA peel no anesthesia is required because the chemical solution acts as an anesthetic. However, sometimes there may be used sedation before and during the treatment to relax you and keep you comfortable. For AHA peels no anesthesia is requiered since they cause only a slight stinging sensation during their application.
Step 2 – The Peel
AHA peels/treatments: The physician of your choice will apply the AHA solution to your cleansed facial skin, duration about 10 minutes. No “after-peel” ointment or covering is required. Depending on the required results there may be a periodic repetition necessary until the desired effects are achieved. For some patients, the application of an AHA-based face wash or cream once or twice a day at home will be sufficient to accomplish the desired goal. Your plastic surgeon may add Retin-A or a bleaching agent to your at-home treatment schedule. After several weeks of at-home use, your doctor will examine your skin to determine if your regimen needs adjustment.
Phenol and TCA peels: Typically, the skin is first thoroughly cleansed. Then, the surgeon will carefully apply the phenol or TCA solution. You may feel a stinging sensation as the peel solution is applied, but this feeling will quickly pass.A full-face TCA peel usually takes no more than 15 minutes. Two or more TCA peels may be needed to obtain the desired result, and those may be spaced out over several months. Mild TCA peels may be repeated as often as every month.
If phenol solution has been used, your plastic surgeon may coat the treated area with petroleum jelly or a waterproof adhesive tape. With lighter peels, no covering is necessary.A full-face phenol peel generally takes one or two hours to perform, while a phenol peel to a smaller facial region (perhaps the skin above the upper lip) may take only 10 or 15 minutes. A single treatment usually suffices.
Step 3 – After the Treatment
Your physician will support you with specific instructions and informations about how to care after the peeling, about prescripted medications, how to reduce the potential risk of infection, and when to follow up with your physician.
After an AHA peel, it is common to experience some temporary flaking or scaling, redness and dryness of the skin. However, these conditions will disappear as the skin adjusts to treatment.
After a phenol or TCA peel, your doctor may prescribe a mild pain medication to relieve any tingling or throbbing you may feel. If tape was used to cover your face, it will be removed after a day or two. A crust or scab will form on the treated area. To help your face heal properly, it is essential that you follow your doctor’s specific post-operative instructions.A TCA peel may also cause significant swelling, depending on the strength of the peel used.
If you’ve had a phenol peel, your face may become quite swollen. Your eyes may even be swollen shut temporarily. You will need someone to help care for you for a day or two. You may also be limited to a liquid diet and advised not to talk very much during the first few days of recovery.
It is FlyClinic®´s concern to provide you comprehensive information about the treatment procedure you selected, as well as important facts about the safety and risks of it. To decide to do a Chemical Peel is highly personal and you will have to balance the benefits and calculate the risks and potential complications related to the treatment and its outcome.
The physician of your choice will familiarize your with the risks associated with the treatment. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.
With an AHA peel you will experience a temporary redness, flaking and dryness which will not limitate you from your daily activities or work. The result of an AHA treatment will be a fresher and improved skin texture. You should thouroughly protect your skin from any sun exposure. The physician of your choice will recommend you an adequate sunblock with sufficient UVA and UVB protection for your every day use.
With a TCA peel, you will experience a mild swelling and a moderate discomfort which will subside within the first week. This symptomes will disapear within a week to ten days and your new skin will be apparent and you should be able to return to your daily activities. It is recommended to avoid sun exposure, so be aware of adequately protection.
As the phenol peel is the strongest peel treatment among all peelings your skin needs to heal for about seven to ten days until you may return to work and resume some of your normal activities. You will experience some swelling and a strong temporary redness of your facial skin over the following weeks to months. During this time, it is highly recommended to use a sunblock or blotchy to avoid irregular skin coloring as a result of no protection of your facial skin.
About two weeks after treatment your skin will be healed enough to consider the use of makeup. Please ask your physician for makeup tips, he will provide you information on camouflage cosmetics.
Step 4 – The Results
An AHA treatment may show very subtle results at first glance, but you should notice a healthier glow of your skin. Continuing the AHA peeling treatment there will be a general improvement of the texture of your skin visible.
The results of a TCA peeling treatment are generally not as long-lasting as those of a phenol peeling. Nevertheless, you will notice a significant smoother and fresher surface of your treated skin.
In case of a phenol peel, you will experience a dramatic improvement in the of appearance of your skin. This treatment reduces visible fine wrinkles, blemishes and tones your skin more even. The phenol treatment results are long-lasting, but cannot avoid the effects exagerated sun exposure and aging.