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Chemical peels are exactly what they sound like. A chemical agent is used to exfoliate or peel the outermost layers of the skin, allowing the healthy “new” skin to replace the old surface skin. Chemical peels can help hydrate the skin, fade hyperpigmentation, soften wrinkles and reduce acne. There are a large number of peels on the market as well as different peel depths. Here at Zap we do everything from light enzyme peels to more aggressive VI Peels®, TCA, and Jessner peels. With all the different peels Zap has to offer we can do everything from hydrate your skin to change the overall appearance. As a general rule the deeper, more aggressive, the peel the more profound the results but that also means a longer recovery time.
Peels can be done as an individual treatment or in a step to an individual treatment plan. Chemical peels can be performed on the face, neck, hands, and back.
What Conditions Do a Chemical Peel Treat?
However, sags, bulges and more severe wrinkles do not respond as well to chemical peels.
How Are Chemical Peels Performed?
The skin is thoroughly cleansed with an agent that removes excess oils. One or more chemical solutions, such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), salicylic acid, or lactic acid, are applied to the skin. These applications produce a controlled wound, enabling new, regenerated skin to appear. After the peel our licensed esthetician will perform extractions to remove any white heads, black heads or mila on the face. Then a mask is applied to reduce redness and to help hydrate the skin. And a quick massage with different serums and moisturizes finish off this experience.
Preparing for a Chemical Peel
Prior to the chemical peel, your skin care professional at Zap Laser may ask you to stop taking certain drugs and prepare your skin with topical preconditioning medications such as Retin-A, Renova, or glycolic acid. After the chemical peel, it's important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.
If you have been prescribed oral antibiotics or an oral antiviral medicine, you should begin taking those as directed. Typically, the oral antibiotics are prescribed depending on the depth of the chemical peel.
What to Expect During the Procedure?
During the procedure, most patients experience a warm to somewhat hot sensation that lasts about five to ten minutes, followed by a stinging sensation. Cool compresses may be applied to help alleviate this stinging. A deeper peel may require pain medication during or after the procedure.
What to Expect After the Chemical Peel?
Depending upon the type of chemical peel, a reaction similar to sunburn occurs following the procedure. Peeling usually involves redness, followed by scaling or light sloughing that ends within three to seven days. Mild peels may be repeated at two to four-week intervals until the desired clinical effect is achieved.
Medium-depth and deep peeling may result in slight swelling, as well as the presence of water blisters that may break, crust, turn brown and peel off over a period of seven to 14 days. Medium-depth peels may be repeated every six to twelve months, if necessary.
You will work with our licensed esthetician to determine the depth of peel that is right for you. This joint decision can vary, depending upon the condition of your skin and the objectives of treatment.
It is important to avoid over-exposure to the sun after a chemical peel since the new skin is fragile and more susceptible to complications.
What Are the Possible Complications of Chemical Peels?
In certain skin types, there is a risk of developing a temporary or permanent color change in the skin. Taking birth control pills, subsequent pregnancy or family history of brownish discoloration on the face may increase the possibility of developing abnormal pigmentation.