Chemical peels serve many purposes in our arsenal of anti-aging procedures to both soften facial lines and to refresh the color and consistency of the facial skin. The most common chemical agents that Dr. Hand utilizes are phenol, trichoroacetic acid (TCA) and alphahydroxy acids (AHAs). Since no patient has exactly the same skin, all chemical treatments are individualized for each patient.
AHA Peel with dermaplaning:
An AHA (alphahydroxy acid) peel is a procedure that the majority of our patients utilize as an avenue to refresh the skin. As a result of this peel, fine wrinkling, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne can be treated. At our office, this peel is combined in a 3 step process. The initial step is a five minute physical exfoliation of the skin by a process referred to as dermaplaning. An instrument is used to remove the micro-thin top layer of the skin. During this process, the top dead cellular layer is removed along with proteins that may inhibit the chemical peel process. A 30 percent AHA is then applied for a short duration of time. The patient may experience a slight stinging sensation that resolves after the peel is neutralized. This part of the peel helps to reduce acne related conditions by freeing impacted debris from the pores. The skin also benefits from the increased collagen response to the peel resulting in smoother and brighter looking skin. A special instrument is then used to extract blackheads and acne pimples. The third step of this procedure involves cryogenic therapy. Carbon Dioxide is applied to the face in light, circular motions. Immediately, the coolness causes an anti-inflammatory response while the surface of the skin becomes smoother. It is recommended that this peel be repeated monthly for optimal results. Unlike a facial, most patients will notice a positive change in the skin right away. Makeup can be applied immediately after the procedure. Improvements after an AHA peel are very subtle; most patients will see an improvement in skin texture and a healthier, vibrant glow to the skin. Home care products are available to compliment the prescribed skin care regime.
TCA Peel (Blue Peel):
A TCA peel is a medium depth peel used to treat fine surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes and pigment problems. This peel may be utilized on all skin types. Dr. Hand will tailor the concentration and depth of the peel to the individual skin issues of concern. During the procedure slight stinging will occur that will gradually resolve over an hour. The facial skin will look initially as if it is slightly sunburned. Over the next few days, it will become tighter and darker. By the end of the week, the old skin will have peeled off and the refreshed, healthy skin will be apparent. There is no downtime with this procedure but from approximately days 3 to 6 after the peel, the facial skin will appear very thickened and dark with areas of peeling. After the peel, careful consideration should be taken to sunscreen and protect the peeled areas.
Dr. Hand utilizes the phenol peel for the periocular area (the area surrounding the eye) as a tool to diminish fine wrinkling and dark circles. Most often this procedure is done following recovery from a blepharoplasty to rejuvenate the thin skin that cannot be totally tightened. The best candidate for this peel is the lighter skinned patient. The end result of a periocular phenol peel is usually a smoother eyelid, more homogenous color and greatly softened wrinkles. Redness will last anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 months although it may be covered with camouflage makeup after 7 to 10 days. The eyelid will appear very swollen for several days after the peel and may develop some crusting. As with all peels, careful sunscreen application is very important once the peel has healed.