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Chemical Peel, Skin, Face, Nonsurgical

How to Get the Best Chemical Peel Results

Chemical peels have become an increasingly popular solution for patients hoping to reverse the aging process. If you're unhappy with the appearance of your skin, it doesn't have to be permanent.

If you're considering a peel or other skin treatments, you may be wondering if you're even a good candidate. You're also probably wondering how you can benefit, and how to avoid the rare risks of scarring or hypopigmentation. Selecting the right surgeon and type of peel can be crucial to results you love.

Ultimately, the vast majority of patients who select chemical peel procedures are satisfied with the results. The length of time that your results last and the quality of your before-and-after transformation depend partially on how patients approach their recovery process. In this blog, you'll learn the steps you can take to ensure the best chemical peel outcomes possible.

What is a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is the process of applying a "chemical solution to smooth the texture of the skin" by removal of damaged, outer layers. While most patients opt for facial peels, the treatment may also be performed on the neck or hands.

Chemical peels are usually performed by a doctor or a trained specialist, such as a licensed aesthetician or a registered nurse. During the treatment, a chemical solution is applied to your skin. Depending on the type of peel selection, the solution will be left in place for a specified amount of time and then removed. After the treatment, patients see a noticeable improvement from the removal of the affected layers of skin. The result is a smoother and younger-looking complexion.

Chemical peels can effectively be used to treat the following skin attributes:

  • Acne scars
  • Age or liver spots
  • Fine Lines
  • Wrinkles
  • Blotchiness
  • Discoloration
  • Irregular Pigmentation
  • Rough or Scaly Skin
  • Sun Damage
  • Minor Sagging or a Loss of Tone
  • A Complexion That Appears Dull

Types of Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are best classified as either "superficial," "medium," or "deep" peels. The difference between the types of chemical peels refers to how many layers of skin are targeted for removal during treatment.

Superficial Chemical Peels

Superficial, or light, chemical peels reach partially through the outermost layer of skin (the epidermis). Superficial peels are typically performed using a relatively mild acid solution, which could include glycolic acid, alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA), salicylic acid, fruit enzymes, or a low concentration of trichloroacetic acid (TCA). Light peels can be safely applied by an aesthetician under the supervision of a board-certified plastic surgeon. Patients typically experience little to no downtime after the procedure.

Medium and Deep Chemical Peels

Deeper peels reach further into the epidermis and may reach the next layer of skin (the dermis). If a patient presents with advanced signs of aging, such as deeper wrinkles, extensive acne scarring, or extensive sun damage, a Surgeon may recommend this procedure. Deeper peel treatments consist of phenol peels, stronger solutions of TCA, or croton oil.

Medium or deep peels produce more dramatic before-and-after results for patients. However, they are more involved procedures. Patients may require anesthesia to remain comfortable while the procedure is being performed. Patients may need to take several days of downtime, including time away from work and minimal physical activity, in order for the skin to effectively heal.

Getting the Best Chemical Peel Results

Immediately after your initial healing period is complete, patients will notice significant improvements in the appearance of their face or other treated area. Within days of treatment, you may see brighter skin, a tighter facial appearance, or improvements in tone. However, it's important to note that if you qualify for a deep peel or present with advanced signs of aging, you may need several peels to achieve your desired results. You may choose to repeat treatment on a periodic basis to reach your goals or to maintain an optimal appearance.

Don't underestimate the importance of a skilled and experienced chemical peel provider. While you may be able to save some money by getting treatments with an aesthetician at a medical spa, this plan is particularly risky for deep peel patients. Ultimately, nurses, aestheticians, and other forms of technicians lack the comprehensive medical background and subject matter knowledge of board-certified plastic surgeons. By seeking treatment from an underqualified provider, you may fail to achieve your desired results.

The single best action you can take to ensure you are happy with your outcomes is selecting a qualified plastic surgeon for a consultation. An experienced plastic surgeon will be able to perform a full evaluation of your skin and face and develop a plan just for you. They have the knowledge and training to execute a sound treatment plan based on their expertise and recent advancements in chemical peel technology.

Which Type of Peel is Right For Me?

Before seeking chemical peel treatment, it's important for patients to understand the limitations of this treatment. You may not be the best candidate for a chemical peel if your primary goals are to correct any of the following:

  • Deep facial lines or wrinkles
  • Severely loose or sagging skin
  • Visible broken capillaries
  • Extremely large pores
  • Severe facial scarring

While there are several different types of facial peel treatments, there are a number of technologies and "mixtures" available within both superficial and deep peel categories. The difference between light TCA and AHA can affect your overall experience and results. Since skin types and goals are highly individual, seeking advice from a plastic surgeon with broad knowledge of all available treatment types is the best way to select the right treatment.

At the San Francisco office of Dr. Larry Fan, chemical peel treatment plans are crafted, in part, by the following individual factors:

  • Your skin type
  • The specific skin issues you want to address
  • The desired "depth" of the peel
  • Desired results

Ultimately, seeking advice from the most highly-qualified experts is the only way to determine the type of chemical peel that is right for you.

To learn more about chemical peels or other non-surgical approaches to restoring the appearance of your skin, click here to schedule a complimentary consultation at 77Plastic.

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About the Author

Dr. Larry Fan is a Harvard educated, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in San Francisco, CA. He is a Master Artist who is known for creating beautiful, stunning, and natural results. Dr. Fan has been named One of America's Top Plastic Surgeons for the past 10 years running and has received several national awards for his work in Plastic Surgery. He has successfully performed more than 10,000 cosmetic procedures of the face, breasts, and body over a 20 year period. Dr Fan has been an invited speaker at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons, and has been featured in national media outlets such as CNN, NBC, and ABC.

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