If you’re ready for firmer, younger-looking skin without surgery, you may be wondering if a chemical peel is right for you. Dr. Michele S. Green, a Board Certified Dermatologist, answers the most commonly asked questions about chemical peels below. Dr. Green has helped men and women from New York City and the surrounding areas to look and feel their best through a number of medical and cosmetic skincare procedures.
What is a Chemical Peel?
*Disclaimer: Results may vary with each patient.
A chemical peel is a dermatological technique that can help improve the look of the skin and is typically used to treat wrinkles, fine lines and even acne scarring. Chemical peels are especially effective at treating fine lines around the eyes and mouth. Chemical peels can also be used in the treatment of sun damage. Skin tone issues caused by sun exposure, such as age spots and sunspots can be reduced through the use of a chemical peel.
A chemical peel can come in different strengths (superficial, medium depth and deep peels) and these different strengths have an impact on the overall results seen from the procedure. The basic premise is that the stronger the peel, the longer it will take to recover from the procedure. Generally most patients will undergo either a superficial or medium peel. Deep peels are rarely carried out due to the length of recovery time associated with them. However your dermatologist will provide you with a recommendation as to the best peel for your own particular case.
Am I a candidate for a chemical peel?
The best candidates for chemical peels are good general physical health. Chemical peels can be used in patients with all skin types but special care must be placed in the nature and type of peel in patients with darker skin type. Many patients who have had post-inflammatory pigmentation from laser procedures with darker skin types will benefit from chemical peels. Other individuals who should avoid chemical peel treatments are those who are pregnant or have other underlying skin infection. Any issues such as these should be discussed with your dermatologist prior to any treatment.
How do chemical peels work?
When a chemical peel is carried out the chemical peel solution is applied to the surface of the skin and this solution then reacts with the old skin, effectively ‘peeling’ off, or exfoliating the skin. This mechanism then causes the body to produce new skin, and this skin has a fresher, newer appearance to it.
Are chemical peels just for the face?
Not only can a chemical peel be used to treat wrinkles, fine lines and acne on the face, but they can also be carried out on the neck, hands, decolletage, arms, legs, and back.
Can I combine a chemical peel with other cosmetic procedures?
It is possible to combine a chemical peel with many other cosmetic procedures. Dr. Green, a board certified dermatologist based in NYC, can provide you with details of the right treatment pla
n for your own individual case. For example it can be quite effective to combine a light peel with an Oxygen facial to give a more beautiful glow. Chemical peels can also be combined with Botox and injections of Juvederm, Voluma, or Restylane.
What should I expect during treatment?
During the chemical peel procedure Dr. Green will apply a chemical solution to your face, typically containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid. Depending on the strength of the peel being applied, some discomfort might be felt. However discomfort will likely be kept to a minimum for a superficial or medium strength peel. Pain relief is not necessary since only a mild stinging may be felt. Typically for a deep peel some form of pain relief will be required.
How soon until I see results?
How soon you will see the results and recover from the treatment is dependent on the strength of peel used on the individual. For example a superficial peel has a recovery period of a few hours to a few days, however recovery from a medium depth peel will take longer. Typically recovery from a medium peel will take around a week. A deep chemical peel, depending on the strength of the peel, can take several weeks to months to completely recover.
How much do chemical peels cost?
Costs for chemical peels will vary depending on the particular treatment administered. As might be expected the stronger the peel, and the longer the time required to carry out the treatment the more expensive the overall cost will be. Dr. Green can advise you as to the overall cost of the treatment for your own particular requirements since costs vary depending on the precise treatment being applied.