Over time our skin can be subjected to a wide range of environmental aging factors that can leave it dry, damaged and dull-looking. Exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun or to chemical irritants like cigarette smoke can prematurely age the skin, making it look weak, tired, and listless while promoting wrinkling and discoloration. Moreover, skin gradually loses fat volume and elasticity as it ages, causing it to sag and making expression lines more readily apparent. A chemical peel is one of the least invasive ways to improve the appearance of your skin and leave it looking smooth, even, and vibrant with minimal downtime.
Chemical peels are designed to address many skin conditions including acne, age and liver spots, fine lines and wrinkles, rough or scaly patches of skin, and even scars. By chemically inducing exfoliation and collagen production, damaged layers of skin can be removed to reveal healthy, undamaged skin underneath. Although used most commonly on the face, chemical peels can also improve the skin tone on the neck or hands. They can be performed both as a non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatment for patients wishing to revitalize their facial skin with minimal downtime, or after facial plastic surgery to address the skin’s surface and texture and minimize the appearance of scars. During a chemical peel, chemical solutions are carefully applied to the skin in order to stimulate the body’s natural healing factors and collagen production while removing the damaged outer layers of skin. I generally prefer to use trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels because they are relatively mild, unlikely to negatively affect pigmentation, and allow for a faster recovery than most other peels. After the face is thoroughly cleansed, the chemical solution is brushed onto the skin and left for just a few minutes to do its work. Some patients my experience minor burning or stinging until the chemicals are neutralized with a cool saline compress. It is common for patients to experience redness, stinging and skin crusting in the days just after the peel, but these side effects are generally mild and subside as the skin completes the healing process over the course of the next few weeks.
I perform chemical peels in two different strengths in order to accommodate different patients’ unique skin care goals. The 15% TCA chemical peel can be done in our Atlanta office to address minor signs of aging or skin imperfections, while the more powerful 30% TCA peels are performed in the operating room, either during or after a surgical procedure such as a facelift or brow lift or for patients with particularly severe skin conditions. While chemical peels are an extremely safe and effective treatment for the effects of facial aging, some side effects can occur, particularly if the skin is exposed to harsh environmental conditions before the healing process is complete. For this reason, patients are generally advised to avoid significant sun exposure or at least wear strong sunscreen consistently after a trichloroacetic acid peel. As with any peel, the skin will be left red and exposed during the recovery period, but it doesn’t take long for new healthier skin to surface.
If you are interested in learning more about a plastic surgery procedure I perform, please contact me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, today. Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. also can provide a variety of options for financing, including CareCreditSM, in order to assist you. Be sure to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.