A chemical peel is a simple, non-surgical way to improve the appearance and texture of the skin. At illumeMD, we offer a wide variety of medical grade chemical peels that treat a number of skin conditions, including sun damaged and aging skin, acne and scarring, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, facial blemishes, dry patches, and irregular pigmentation. A chemical peel dissolves the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin that clog the pores and contribute to acne formation. By removing dead skin cells at the surface, chemical peels revitalize the skin. A series of chemical peels can also help stimulate collagen production underneath the skin. Skin that has been maintained with chemical peels will have a fresh, smooth, and healthy-looking glow.
HOW DO CHEMICAL PEELS WORK?
A specialized chemical solution is applied to the skin for a designated period of time. The chemicals help to improve skin appearance and texture by gently removing the outer, damaged layers of skin. Chemical agents also stimulate the generation of new skin cells during the healing process. Chemical peels are available in different formulations and strengths to achieve specific results, depending on the patient’s individual needs. Light chemical peels exfoliate only the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and can help improve uneven pigmentation, fine wrinkles, acne, and dry skin. Light chemical peels use mild chemicals, such as alpha hydroxyl acids (such as glycolic acid) to remove dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, as well as beta hydroxyl acids (such as salicylic acid) to dry up the sebum that contributes to acne formation. Medium chemical peels can target acne scars, deeper wrinkles, and uneven skin pigmentation by removing damaged skin cells from both the epidermis, as well as the upper layers of the dermis.
Medium chemical peels generally use a formula of trichloroacetic acid, sometimes combined with glycolic acid. Deep chemical peels can achieve the most dramatic, long-lasting results, but involve significantly more patient downtime. Deep chemical peels use phenol, a much stronger chemical that can penetrate to the lower dermis layer of the skin. Deep chemical peels usually require pre-treatment of the skin in the weeks before the procedure, as well as a sedative and anesthetic during the procedure to ensure patient comfort.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING THE CHEMICAL PEEL PROCEDURE?
Medical grade chemical peels are performed on an outpatient basis at illumeMD. The length of the procedure may vary, depending on the depth of the peel. For most light to medium chemical peels, the solution is applied for 5 minutes or less, and anesthesia is not needed. Most patients tolerate the procedure with ease and sometimes report a mild stinging sensation. Advanced cooling methods are used to ensure maximum patient comfort.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AFTER THE CHEMICAL PEEL PROCEDURE?
After the prescribed time, the chemicals will be neutralized, and a therapeutic moisturizer and sunscreen will be applied. With light chemical peels, your skin glows and appears beautiful right away. For medium peels, your skin may appear sunburned in the days following the procedure. Results may be maintained with at-home products, or monthly or yearly follow-up procedures, depending on the depth of your peel. For deeper chemical peels, petroleum jelly should be used to keep the treated area moist for two days following the procedure. You may experience swelling, redness, and peeling in the weeks after treatment. The results from deep chemical peels may last for many years.
WHAT CAN A GLYCOLIC PEEL TREAT?
A glycolic peel is a light to medium chemical peel made from glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). AHAs are naturally occurring acids derived from certain plants and fruits. Glycolic peels can be used on a monthly basis to maintain beautiful, healthy-looking skin by removing damaged surface skin cells. For certain conditions, weekly or biweekly peels are advised. Light glycolic peels are simple and quick, with no lasting skin redness after treatment. A stronger glycolic peel can also be used to treat specific skin conditions, such as facial wrinkles, acne inflammation, and age spots. To achieve the best results, illumeMD recommends a series of treatments that gradually increase in strength. By building up the strength of the peel with each application, one can achieve the desired results without visible peeling and downtime. Our physicians will assess your condition and goals in order to design a personalized protocol best suited to your specific needs.
WHAT CAN A SALICYLIC PEEL TREAT?
A salicylic peel is made from salicylic acid, a beta hydroxyl acid (BHA), and is used to help treat acne. In addition to removing surface skin cells, salicylic acid helps decrease sebaceous oil secretions. Hence, salicylic acid peels cleanse clogged pores that contribute to acne breakouts. The pore-cleansing nature of salicylic acid peels makes them an ideal choice for treating pimples, blackheads, and oily skin.
WHAT CAN A TCA PEEL TREAT?
Made from trichloroacetic acid, TCA peels are stronger chemical peels designed to address a variety of skin conditions. With the ability to improve skin color, tone, and texture, TCA peels are commonly used to treat sun damage, facial wrinkling, skin lesions, age spots, acne, and uneven skin pigmentation. At illumeMD, we offer TCA peels in varies strengths, depending on your specific condition and goals. As an alternative, we offer sophisticated laser peels, which can address the same conditions treated by TCA peels, but in a very controlled and consistent manner.
WHAT CAN SPECIALTY PEEL TREAT?
At illumeMD we use certain specialty peels which combine various ingredients such as AHAs, resorcinol, and retinoic acids. There are several varieties of these peels intended to stimulate collagen production, reduce age spots and other pigmentation issues, treat inflammatory acne, and leave the skin looking more youthful and refreshed.
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