"Chemical Peel" is a general classification for a number of chemical treatments used to exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin. Through a process of exfoliation, chemical peels are often used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, lighten dark spots for a more even skin tone, and smooth and soften the texture of the skin. Peels are also useful to open clogged pores for patients with oil or acne-prone skin.
Fair-skinned individuals and light-haired patients are generally the ideal candidates for chemical peels. Though chemical peels can be performed on individuals with darker skin, there is a risk of uneven skin tone post-procedure. You should always consult a physician like Dr. Robert Miller of Long Beach, CA.
Chemical peels are outpatient procedures that can be performed in a Doctor's office or in a surgery center as an outpatient procedure. During the peel procedure, chemicals are applied to the skin and left to penetrate for a specific amount of time. The chemicals are then washed off, and the outermost layer of skin will begin to peel. Once the peeling is complete, new skin will appear that is smoother and brighter.
There are a variety of chemical peels available in different types of chemicals and different strengths, all intended to achieve specific results. The chemical peel that will best benefit you depends on the results you're looking for, as well as your skin type.
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Generally, chemical peels are divided into light, medium and deep peels.
Light (Superficial) Chemical Peels: These peels are ideal for removing mild damage from the sun, acne scars and signs of aging. The chemicals used in these peels are mild and remove merely the outermost layer of the skin cells, a process that takes about 15 to 30 minutes. Light chemical peels often involve alpha hydroxyl acids, such as glycolic acid or lactic acid, or beta hydroxyl acids.
Superficial chemical peel recovery involves little restrictions and you will be able to return to your normal activities almost immediately. After your light chemical peel, your skin may have a pinkish, flushed tone, and your skin will feel soft and refreshed.
Medium Chemical Peels are used to smooth moderate wrinkling and creasing, to remove or smooth deeper acne scars and to remove age spots and other discoloration. Sedation is generally required for medium chemical peel procedures and chemical peel recovery times may last from several days to a few weeks as old skin is sloughed off and replaced with new skin.
Deep Chemical Peels are used for aggressive treatment of sun-damaged skin, the severe wrinkling of mature skin, and pre-cancerous lesions. Medium and deep peels are performed by Dr. Jonathan Hoenig, M.D. during a 30 minute procedure. Because medium and deep peels are aggressive, a full recovery generally takes about one week or longer. During chemical peel recovery, your skin will appear to be sunburned, and the treated skin will slough off in large sheets. After all of the skin has peeled, new and healthy skin will emerge.
To learn more about chemical peels and to determine if the procedure is right for you, contact us for a consultation. Our dermatology office is located in Long Beach, California and we serve the entire Southern Californian community including Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County and San Diego County.