Chemical peels are fast, effective cosmetic procedures that eliminate external skin layers to rejuvenate a patient's appearance. Although a number of different chemical peels are available, each involves applying chemicals to the skin in order to cause shedding and stimulate growth of smooth new skin. Different peels are effective for different goals, giving patients plenty of options.
Signs of aging cannot be completely eliminated by chemical peels, but when these procedures are performed by an experienced dermatologist, they can often correct a variety of common skin problems. For example, patients whose skin has been damaged by sun exposure may benefit from chemical peels. Wrinkles and patches of hyperpigmentation and dark spots can also be corrected with the right chemical peel. Finally, precancerous actinic keratoses can usually be eliminated with a chemical peel when caught early. Acne, blackheads and clogged pores can also benefit from a chemical peel.
Certain preparations, including pre-treatment and thorough cleaning, are necessary before a chemical peel can begin. A board-certified dermatologist will apply the chemical peel using sterile gauze or cotton swabs. Although certain treatments may cause burning feelings, most are easily tolerated by patients. Finally, the chemical agent is neutralized before the patient leaves wearing an emollient or antiseptic cream.
Patients can expect to have red, swollen skin for days after a chemical peel, but this does not last long. The skin begins to crust over and peel on its own over time and will heal with help from the patient, who should clean and moisturize the skin regularly. The results of a chemical peel can be long-lasting, but many patients prefer to have regular treatments performed to control damage caused by time and sunlight.
If you’re considering a chemical peel contact one of our offices in Orange County to meet with one of our board-certified dermatologists to determine if there is one that is right for you.