Chemical peels are an effective and non-invasive method of treating these complaints and of improving the texture of facial skin. Chemical peels are neither painful nor time-consuming. Results are quick to appear, and the peels are economical compared to surgery and many commercially-available beauty treatments and anti-aging products. Chemical peeling is a useful treatment for fine wrinkles on cheeks, foreheads and the eye and mouth areas. For these reasons, chemical peels are often the first procedure chosen by patients who consult Dr. Loving about cosmetic rejuvenation.
There are many different kinds of chemical peels. Following a consultation, Dr. Loving and the patient will make the appropriate choice from among the options according to the patient’s skin type and cosmetic desires.
Alphahydroxy acid (AHA) peels and Betahydroxy acid (BHA) peels have the significant benefits of requiring little procedure time and no recovery time. They do, however, require dedication on the part of the patient to a maintenance program, usually of one peel a month. These peels can be performed only by medical doctors. They are much stronger, more effective and safer than peels performed in beauty salons and spas, though generally not more expensive. Alpha and beta peels treat fine wrinkling, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and adult acne.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels are used for medium-depth peeling of the skin’s outer layers. TCA peels are effective on surface wrinkles, some acne scars, blemishes and pigment problems. TCA peels require about a week’s recovery time, and are often done more than once in order to achieve the desired result.
Phenol peels are the strongest peels. They require the most recovery time (about ten days to two weeks), and offer the most dramatic results. Phenol peels are performed on patients with coarse facial wrinkles, blotches caused by birth-control pills or sun-damage and/or pre-cancerous growths. Chemical Peeling Procedures
AHA and BHA peels may cause slight stinging and redness, though these sensations usually subside before the patient even leaves the doctor’s office. AHA and BHA peels may be used on the neck, chest and other body areas, such as the hands. These peels take less than a half hour to perform. Significant improvements in the treated areas is usually evident after 3-4 peels.
TCA peels cause initial stinging, redness and sensitivity, which last about a week. Treatment takes 10-15 minutes and results are visible as soon as redness fades. TCA peels can be used on parts of the body other than the face.
Phenol peels cause stinging, redness and sensitivity which last about two weeks. The procedure may take about an hour, and patients will need someone to escort them home. No anesthesia is needed for this peel, though sedation may be used to relax the patient. Patients must be aware that some permanent lightening of the skin may occur. Sun protection is extremely important following this type of peel. Results are dramatic, long-lasting and apparent as soon as skin has healed.