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Cosmetic Dermatology

Chemical Peels

At Lucent Dermatology our focus is on the health and beauty of your skin. We offer professional chemical peels applied by our board-certified and fellowship trained dermatologists. They are knowledgeable about the safe and effective application of our chemical peels. To increase the effectiveness of a chemical peel, our team will recommend pre and post peel care to balance the skin before the peel and nurture it after the peel to minimize the risk of side effects.

Chemical peels have been used for centuries to improve signs of photoaging, premature skin aging caused by cumulative exposure to the sun and artificial ultraviolet light.  Photoaging is responsible for 90% of the visible skin changes including fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation changes and precancerous lesions.

What is a chemical peel?

A chemical peel is a cosmetic treatment to improve the appearance of the skin of the face, neck, chest and hands.  An acid solution is applied to the area to be treated skin, and causes controlled destruction of the outer layers of skin for skin regeneration, the growth of new, smoother, more evenly colored skin and a radiant complexion. The benefits are improved skin tone and texture, and less wrinkled and blemished skin for refreshed appearance.

Chemical peels can help to treat:

  • the effects of sun damage (photoaging) including age spots, sun spots, wrinkles and fine lines
  • fine lines and wrinkles caused by aging (anti-aging)
  • clear acne
  • improve the appearance of acne scars and other scars
  • enlarged pores
  • redness and rosacea
  • hyperpigmentation
  • actinic keratoses

The different types of chemical peels?

Chemical peels only affect the top two layers of skin called the epidermis and the dermis. The extent of wounding depends on the depth of skin penetration which is characterized as superficial, medium depth and deep chemical peels. The depth of a peel is directly related to improved results and side effects that can occur.

Superficial Peels

Superficial peels only treat the outermost layer of the skin called the epidermis. Superficial peels use alpha hydroxy acid in the form of glycolic acid, fruit or lactic acid which provides gentle exfoliation to improve skin tone and texture for a refreshed effect. These peels may be beneficial to treat acne. Healing takes less than one week. The risk of side effects is low and the benefits are mild.

Because these peels are so gentle and cause only minor irritation, patients can return to work with no downtime which is why these peels are often called lunchtime peels. The use of sunscreen protection is essential to maintain the peel effects.  Makeup may be worn right away.

Medium Peels

Glycolic acid, Jessner’s solution or trichloracetic acid (TCA) or a combination are used to penetrate deeper into the dermis, the middle layer of skin. This is an anti-aging treatment to improve the appearance of age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, superficial blemishes, photoaging, freckles, mild to moderate discolorations and minor acne scars. It will also improve skin tone and texture. A medium peel can treat precancerous growths called actinic keratoses.

For comfort pretreatment, a mild sedative and anti-inflammatory medication may be used. Side effects include redness, swelling and potentially blistering. Side effects will worsen during the first 48 hours after treatment. Healing takes 7-14 days. The skin will be sensitive. Redness can last for a month. Sunscreen is essential.

Deep Peels

Deep peels use a chemical called Phenol acid or higher concentration of TCA to treat moderate lines and wrinkles, age spots, freckles, shallow scars, sun damage and hyperpigmentation. Deeps peels provide dramatic improvements in skin tone and texture for skin rejuvenation with long-lasting results. Healing takes 2-3 weeks. Sun exposure must be avoided for at least 3 months. For those who are prone to cold sores, an antiviral medication may be prescribed for use before treatment. It is usually reserved for use on the face.

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