Chemical peels are a non-invasive way to restore wrinkled, blemished, unevenly pigmented, or sun-damaged facial skin using a chemical solution to peel away the skin's top layers. The new cells that form during the healing process produce smoother, tighter, younger looking skin. Chemical peels can be used on the full face or on specific regions, such as the forehead or the area around the mouth.
If you're ready to treat skin damage, uneven pigment and wrinkles with a chemical peel, it's time to schedule your visit! You can request a consultation online or call Wang Plastic Surgery at (888) 360-6688 today to schedule your appointment.
There are three types of chemical peels: light, medium and deep. Alphahydroxy acid (AHA) peels are the mildest. They are usually performed with glycolic, lactic or fruit acid and remove only the outer layers of the skin. Trichloroacetic acids (TCA) are used during a medium peel to treat skin with moderate sun damage, surface wrinkles, and uneven tone or pigment abnormalities. Phenol acid peels are the deepest peels and are used to treat blotchy, coarsely wrinkled skin. They may also be used to treat skin with pre-cancerous growths.
What are the common benefits of a chemical peel?
Chemical peels give the appearance of smoother, younger looking skin. They can also be used to treat pre-cancerous skin growths.
How is a chemical peel performed?
Prior to the procedure, Dr. Wang will thoroughly cleanse the face. Light and medium peels do not require anesthesia, however a deep peel may require a sedative and pain medication prior to beginning the procedure. After the skin has been cleaned, the acid will be applied for a short time then removed.
How long does a chemical peel take?
Light, medium and small-area deep peels take from 10 to 15 minutes per session, while full-face deep peels may require one to two hours. Light and medium peels are usually repeated within a few weeks or months. Deep peels are only performed once.
What can I expect after a chemical peel?
Most people experience some facial swelling and redness after the procedure. Dr. Wang may ask you to keep your head elevated. After deep peels, the eyes are often swollen shut. Dr. Wang will likely apply a petroleum jelly or waterproof dressing that should be left on for a day or two. You will need to make transportation arrangements after a deep peel since you will be unable to drive.
What is the recovery period like?
The recovery period is different for each type of peel. After a light peel, you may experience some flaking, redness, dryness and irritation, but these symptoms will subside over time. Once healed, the outer layer of skin will fall away. Medium peels may cause significant swelling that should diminish after the first week. You may also experience small whiteheads which should disappear when the skin is washed or Dr. Wang can remove them. After a deep peel, you may require pain medication. Any dressings will be removed within two days, but you will need to cover the area with antiseptic powders several times a day. A scab will form then, within 7 to 10 days, new skin will form. It will be red at first, but will lighten over a few weeks to a month. After any type of peel, it is critical to protect the skin from sun exposure. Like all good Riverside, California plastic surgeons, Dr. Wang can recommend a sun block with both UVA and UVB protection. It should be applied daily. You may also be asked to stop smoking for at least a week since this decreases circulation of the blood in the skin.
How long before I can return to normal activity?
You can usually return to normal activities the day after a light peel. With medium peels, normal activities can be resumed within 7 to 10 days. Deep peels may require a few weeks of recovery before returning to normal activities.