As we age, our skin tone can become uneven, and we often develop wrinkles or spots. We may also develop scarring as the result of acne. These imperfections are some of the most common signs of aging, and they can make you look older than you feel. When it comes to getting rid of these problems and restoring a more youthful appearance, a chemical peel is one of the most effective and minimally invasive treatments.
What Is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a treatment that uses a chemical solution to smooth out the texture of the skin, creating a more youthful look and feel. The chemicals remove the damaged outer layers of skin, allowing new, healthy skin to grow in its place. Chemical peels using TCA, or trichloroacetic acid, are classed as medium peels, and they are commonly used to treat a variety of problems.
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How Is a Chemical Peel Performed?
Prior to your peel, your doctor will help you determine the exact method that will work best for you. In the weeks leading up to your peel, you will need to prepare your skin by cleansing it twice daily and applying a special moisturizer. Your doctor will also recommend that you use sunscreen. These preliminary steps ensure that the skin peels evenly and helps to prevent complications. Immediately before your peel, your skin is washed thoroughly, and the chemical is applied to your skin. It is left in place for several minutes. Because the chemicals deeply penetrate the skin, you will likely feel burning and discomfort. You may be given a pain reliever or oral sedative to relieve pain. Fans and cold compresses can also be used to ease the burning caused by the peel.
Am I a Candidate for a Chemical Peel?
Because chemical peels are minimally invasive, many people seeking skin rejuvenation are good candidates. You should be in good overall health, and your skin should be in good condition. You should have a healthy immune system and be free from diseases or disorders that could delay healing.
Recovery from a Chemical Peel
Once the chemical has been removed from your skin, most of the burning and stinging sensations should stop. The skin may be covered in a protective dressing or ointment. Your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your dressing or when to apply ointment. You will need to keep the area clean using a special wash, and it will need to be kept moisturized. Avoid sun exposure during the healing process. Once peeling has stopped, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily to protect your new skin. You may need to take a couple days off of work, and the skin will take up to seven to ten days to heal to a point where you are able to wear makeup.