Also known as light chemical peels and deep chemical peels.
As we age, dead skin cells do not slough off as easily as when we are younger, causing the skin to appear dull. Light, medium and deep chemical peels are a popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure used to peel away the skin’s top layer to improve sun-damaged, unevenly pigmented and wrinkled skin. Improving the evenness of color and texture in your skin creates a youthful look and restores a healthy, luminous and radiant appearance.
When to Consider Chemical Peels
• If you have wrinkles or sun-damaged skin.
• If you have skin discolorations, blotchiness or brown spots.
• If you have scars that have made the surface of your skin uneven.
• If you have certain precancerous skin growths.
At Lincoln Park Aesthetics we offer several options depending on the treatment depth you require and your Esthetician will recommend an approach based upon your aesthetic goals. The amount of time you can allow for recovery may be an important factor to consider when selecting a particular chemical peel or determining the extent of treatment.
Light to Medium Peels
Generally, the most superficial peels are those using alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), such as glycolic, lactic or fruit acid. AHA peels can reduce the effects of aging and sun damage including fine wrinkling and brown spots. Sometimes a single treatment with an AHA peel will give your skin a fresher, healthier appearance and a radiant glow. No anesthesia is needed and you will only feel a tingling or mild stinging sensation when the solution is applied. Immediately after the procedure, you generally will be able to wear makeup and you can drive yourself home or back to work. Various concentrations of an AHA may be applied weekly or at longer intervals to further improve the texture of your skin.
Trichloracetic (TCA) acid peel
A TCA peel is a stronger, medium depth peel. TCA peels are often used for the treatment of wrinkles, skin pigment changes and blemishes. Many patients can benefit from having TCA applied not only on the face but also on the neck and other parts of the body that have been exposed to the sun. For spot peeling of limited areas such as around the mouth or eyes, TCA formulas are often preferred because they have a reduced bleaching effect compared to solutions containing phenol, another popular peeling agent. Some surgeons have found TCA to be effective in treating darker-skinned patients. Milder TCA peels can be repeated frequently in order to achieve cumulative effects or TCA can be used to achieve a medium or even a deep peel, depending on the acid concentration and manner of application.
The Vi Peel/Phenol Peel
A phenol peel is a deep peel that is sometimes recommended for treating severe wrinkles (from fine lines to deep creases), sun damage, uneven skin tone and texture and may be used in the treatment of precancerous skin conditions. Phenol is particularly useful for minimizing the vertical lines that often form around the mouth as a result of aging. Deep peels take longer to perform and will leave a healing crust on the skin that must be covered with protective ointment and limited from sun exposure. There is a burning sensation, but it is relieved somewhat because the solution also acts as an anesthetic. Phenol often has a significant bleaching effect and you may need to wear makeup in order for the treated portions of your skin to more closely match the skin color of the surrounding areas. Phenol cannot be used on your neck or other parts of your body.
American Society of Plastic Surgeon’s Position
The effectiveness of phenol chemical peeling has been proven in clinical studies over the last 30 years. Because this is a serious procedure, it is ASAPS’ position that phenol chemical peels should only be performed under the direction of a qualified physician.