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Sun exposure, acne or just getting older can leave your skin tone uneven, wrinkled, spotted or scarred. If you want your skin to look smoother and younger, consider a Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama Chemical Peel at Spa Greystone. Chemical peels use a chemical solution to smooth the texture of your skin by removing the damaged outer layers.
A chemical peel is one of the least invasive ways to improve the appearance of your skin. Although chemical peels are used mostly on the face, they can also be used to improve the skin on your neck and hands.
With a chemical peel, you can improve:
Chemical solutions are carefully applied to your skin to improve the texture by removing the damaged outer layers. The chemicals used are phenol, trichloroacetic acid and alphahydroxy acids. Each one has a different purpose. The formula will be adjusted to meet your particular needs.
If you have uneven pigment, dryness, acne or fine wrinkling, a Light Chemical Peel might be the right choice. This peel removes just the outer layer of skin (epidermis) in a light exfoliation and results in a healthier glow. Light Chemical Peels use a combination of alphahydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid and maleic acid. All of these chemicals are the mildest choices. You can repeat these treatments weekly for up to 6 weeks to achieve your desired results.
Light Chemical Peels may be repeated monthly to maintain your vibrant new look.
Acne scars, deeper wrinkles and uneven skin color can all be treated with a Medium Chemical Peel. The chemicals used for this type of peel remove skin cells from both the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and the upper part of your middle layer of skin (dermis). Medium Chemical Peels use trichloroacetic acid, sometimes used in combination with glycolic acid, to make your skin will be noticeably smoother and fresh-looking.
You may repeat a Medium Chemical Peel every 6 to 12 months to maintain your glowing new skin.
If you have deeper facial wrinkles, skin that's damaged by the sun, scars, areas that appear blotchy or even pre-cancerous growths, a Deep Chemical Peel might be the right choice for you. Your physician will use the strongest chemical called phenol to penetrate down to the lower dermal layer of your skin. For this type of peel, you may need a local anesthetic and a sedative to manage any discomfort.
A Deep Chemical Peel usually involves some sort of pretreatment for up to 8 weeks to prepare your skin for the peel and speed the healing process. Pretreatment may include the use of Retin A, a prescription medication derived from vitamin A. Retin A works to thin out the skin's surface layer, allowing the chemical solution to penetrate more evenly and deeply. If you can't tolerate Retin A as a pre-treatment, you may be prescribed a different medication.
Deep chemical facial peels will result in peeling, redness and discomfort for several days. Your doctor will provide painkillers to keep you comfortable. Although the swelling is likely to disappear in about 2 weeks, your skin may be red for up to 3 months.
One treatment with a Deep Chemical Peel produces long-lasting and dramatic results which can last up to 10 years.
All chemical peels carry some risks and uncertainties. It's usually a very safe procedure when performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. It happens infrequently, but you could develop an infection or scarring from a chemical peel.
For people with certain skin types, there is a risk of developing a temporary or permanent color change in the skin. Birth control pills, getting pregnant or family history of brownish discoloration on the face may increase the possibility of developing abnormal pigmentation.
If you have suffered from cold sores (herpes) in the past, there is a small risk of reactivation. Be sure to tell your doctor because they may prescribe medication before and immediately after a chemical peel to avoid an outbreak.
Inform your physician if you have a history of keloids (scar tissue overgrowth) or any unusual scarring tendencies.
You are likely to experience some redness, stinging, skin crusting and irritation from a Light Chemical Peel. These side effects will likely subside after repeated treatments. Other risks include:
When trichloroacetic acid is used in a Medium Chemical Peel, you will experience some redness, stinging and skin crusting just like a Light Chemical Peel. And although these chemicals won't bleach your skin, you may see some color changes. You are advised to avoid the sun for several months to protect the fresh new layer of skin. Other risks include:
The chemical used for this kind of peel, phenol, can lighten the skin that is treated. Your skin tone may be a determining factor as to whether or not this is an appropriate treatment for you. With a Deep Chemical Peel, your new skin often loses its ability to make pigment, meaning a tan. You will always need to protect your skin from the sun. Phenol also can pose a special risk for people with heart disease. Be sure to tell your surgeon about any heart problems and include it in your medical history. Other risks include:
A Deep Chemical Peel requires that you have an adequate recovery time. You may return to work and some of your normal activities 2 weeks after treatment. At that point, your skin will be healed enough for you to wear makeup.
Procedure Information © American Society of Plastic Surgeons