It may be getting cold in some parts of the country, but Southern California hasn’t gotten the memo. Lucky for us, that means rocking that bronzed summer glow late into the season. Unluckily, that’s three extra months of wear and tear for our skin. Recovering from exposure to the elements is reason number one that Fall is an ideal time to up your skincare game. Barrett Plastic Surgery offers medical-grade peels in a variety of strengths to get the amount of rejuvenation your skin needs. Here is everything you need to know about chemical peels and why you should schedule yours today.
What is a chemical peel?
A medical-grade peel is an aesthetic treatment that smooths and brightens skin that has developed an uneven tone and texture. The most common formulations use alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA), trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and phenol. The peel removes the outermost, damaged skin layers to eradicate blemishes, pigmentation irregularities and signs of early aging. The substances utilized in these procedures are FDA-approved for medical and cosmetic use. The chemical used varies depending on how many layers the peel is intended to penetrate.
Light peels (also called superficial peels) usually contain alpha-hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acids and can be performed during your lunch hour. Downtime is negligible and improvements are typically subtle. Superficial peels should be repeated regularly.
Medium peels utilize trichloroacetic acid and glycolic acid, which are designed to remove a few more layers than their lighter counterparts. Dr. Barrett may recommend a medium peel when additional correction is needed–say, to minimize lines or brown spots.
Deep peels often use phenol, a potent chemical that produces dramatic improvements to the complexion. Sometimes high concentrations of TCA are used as well. Deep peels are best for more severe signs of aging and sun damage. Results can last for many years, but recovery takes some downtime.
What are the benefits and risks of chemical peels?
The benefits of a peel are numerous and range from smoother, softer skin to a reduction of fine lines and superficial scarring. Your skin’s tone and texture will improve and brown spots and hyperpigmentation will fade. While chemical peels are frequently performed on the face, they can be used on nearly any area of the body showing signs of sun damage and age. Popular treatment areas include the chest, back and the backs of the hands. We recommend that you use our ZO Skin Health product line for 30 days before your chemical peel, so your skin is in prime condition for treatment. As far as risks go, all peels cause a bit of discomfort–just think of a sunburn. Superficial peels cause slight skin tightness for a few hours; medium peels can cause stinging and reddening that will disappear in a few days; deep peels can cause skin to become red and swollen, which can last for up to one week. Bruising and tenderness can accompany these symptoms. Dr. Barrett will provide specific instructions on how to care for your skin and, after deeper peels, will see you in the office to monitor your progress.
What can you expect from your peel?
Chemical peels are performed at the office. Your skin is thoroughly cleansed and a numbing cream is applied, if necessary. The chemical solution is then applied to the skin, left on for the prescribed amount of time, then neutralized and removed. Deep peels may be performed under anesthesia and sedation to ensure your comfort.
Over the following days and weeks, the skin on the treated area will peel away, and new skin will replace it–again, much like a sunburn. To ensure proper healing, avoid infection and extend your positive results, your skin must be properly cared for during this time. Dr. Barrett will give you a topical ointment to support and soothe the skin as it heals. Sun exposure can cause hyperpigmentation, so it’s important to avoid it until your skin has finished peeling and sunscreen can be added to the post-procedure regimen.
Why is Fall the best time for a skin peel?
Because you should avoid UV rays after a peel, the shorter, cooler days of Fall make it an optimal time for recovery. Plus, our innate tendency to “hibernate” more as we move into winter makes this a season conducive to recuperation. If you’re interested in a series of peels, you can complete an entire set of treatments this time of year without having to worry about too much sun exposure. So if you’re in need of some post-summer TLC for your skin, now is the time to treat yourself. Contact Barrett Plastic Surgery at 310-598-2648 to book your facial peel today.