Balcony at Spa Greystone

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Spa Greystone, Full Service Luxury Medi & Day Spa

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How Chemical Peels Work

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.

Light Chemical Peels

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.

  • First, your face is cleansed.
  • The chemical solution is brushed onto your skin and left for up to 10 minutes. You may feel some mild stinging.
  • The chemical peel is washed off and neutralized.

Light Chemical Peels may be repeated monthly to maintain your vibrant new look.

Medium Chemical Peels

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.

  • First, your face is cleansed.
  • The chemical solution is brushed onto your skin and left for just a few minutes. You may feel some burning or stinging.
  • The treated area may turn a whitish gray color.
  • The chemicals are neutralized with cool saline compresses.
  • Your skin may turn red or brown in the days just after the peel. It may take up to 6 weeks for your skin to look normal

You may repeat a Medium Chemical Peel every 6 to 12 months to maintain your glowing new skin.

Deep Chemical Peels

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.

  • First, you are given a sedative to relax along with a local anasthetic to freeze your face.
  • Your face is cleansed.
  • Phenol is brushed onto the area and can remain from 30 minutes up to 2 hours. The chemical is neutralized with water.
  • After allowing your skin to rest for an hour, a thick coat of petroleum jelly is smoothed over your skin, covering the crust which develops. The petroleum jelly must stay in place for up to 2 days. Your skin may be covered with strips of adhesive tape with openings for your eyes and mouth, rather than the layer of petroleum jelly, if you have severe wrinkling.

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.

Procedure Information © American Society of Plastic Surgeons