A chemical peel is essentially a more advanced way of exfoliating your skin. By using a chemical solution, the dead skin can be exfoliated. Chemical peels remove old skin so that new layers can grow in their place and are a popular acne treatment. This controlled removal ranges in strength, from superficial peels that use mild acids to deep peels that penetrate several layers of skin. The skin that grows back is smoother and younger looking, resulting in a look that is fresher, newer and younger.
The chemical peel is one of the oldest cosmetic procedures in the world, and was performed in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to help people achieve smoother, more beautiful skin. Today, chemical facial peels performed by an experienced and trained physician are popular because they offer nearly immediate results and can be performed as an outpatient procedure.
There are different types of peels—alpha hydroxy acid peels, beta hydroxy acid peels, Jessner’s peel, retinoic acid peel, trichloroacetic acid peel and phenol peels.
Different types of peels are sometimes referred to as “light”, “medium”, and “deep”. Each type of peel uses different combinations of chemicals to create the desired result.
An alpha hydroxy acid peel is considered the most gentle of the list above, as it uses acids that occur naturally in sour milk and tomato juice. It is used to treat acne, uneven pigmentation, wrinkles and areas where the skin is dry. Effects will be noticed immediately. These types of acids can be safely combined with a facial wash or cream and added to your daily skin regimen, which can improve the texture of your skin.
The beta hydroxyl acid peel is stronger than the alpha hydroxy peel as it goes deeper into the pores, it can also limit sebum excretion, which is one of the causes of acne. A Jessner’s peel is a combined recipe of 14 per cent salicylic acid, lactic acid and resorcinol in an ethanol base. This peel can be used in conjunction with a retinoic acid peel, which can treat the appearance of scars, wrinkles and pigmentation issues. A patient with a retinoic acid peel leaves the office with the peel on their face, and the peel occurs three days following.
Trichloroacetic acid peeling can be used in concentrations from 20 to 50 per cent; the higher the concentration, the deeper the peel.
A chemical peel is not suitable for everyone. In particular, chemical peels are often a problem if you:
- Have taken some kinds of acne medication
- Have a dark complexion
- Have a freckled complexion
- Have a personal history of keloid scarring)
- Have abnormal skin pigmentation
Dr. Lynch and the Princeton Rejuvenation Institute provide a range of esthetic services appropriate for men and women of all ages. Dr. Lynch can discuss with you the different options for a chemical peel, depending on the issues that you want to correct and the condition of your skin.