Plastic Procedures > Non-Surgical Procedures > Adjuvant therapies
What is Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels have been proven to be among the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedures chosen by patients. If you've ever overdone tanning on the beach and peeled afterward, you're halfway to understanding the cosmetic surgery principle used in chemical peeling. However, it’s not rays of the sun, but an acid solution which is painted on the skin of the face.
Chemical peels use several types of acid solutions to improve and smooth the texture of your facial skin. The acid works by removing damaged outer layers and are sometimes also used on the neck and hands.
Chemical peels vary according to their specific ingredients and strength. The actual depth of the peeling can also depend on other considerations such as how long the solutions remain on the skin and if they are lightly, heavily or vigorously applied. The most commonly performed peel procedures are lightly applied to smooth rough dry skin and aids in control of acne.
There are three common types of chemical peels:
- For light to medium uses, physicians use a solution known as AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid,) which include glycolic, lactic or fruit acid. AHA treatments may require a series of multiple applications.
- TCA (trichloroacetic acid) is stronger and flays the skin down to a greater depth. TCA peels are more effective in treating patients with darker skin and offer a shorter recovery time than with solutions used for lighter peels. A TCA peel may also require pretreatment with AHA or a Retin-A cream.
- While Phenol, the strongest acid, is used for the deepest peels and is most commonly used to treat skin wrinkling around the lips and chin. However, Phenol may pose a special risk for patients with a history of heart disease and Phenol is not usually applied to darker skins.
Although chemical peels may be done in conjunction with a facelift, the peel is not a substitute for that surgery, nor will it stop aging. A chemical peel is most useful for fine wrinkles on cheeks, forehead and around the eyes and the vertical wrinkles around the mouth.
With the increasing popularity of various cosmetic surgery procedures, including peeling procedure, it is imperative that the prospective patient research and understand different issues like what the procedure can and cannot treat, inherent risks, costs, and so on. Keep in mind, cosmetic surgery is just that – a surgical procedure whose results cannot simply be erased. When considering any form of cosmetic surgery, it is important to have a good understanding of the procedure before making a decision. Take some time to view the introductory information we have provided on chemical peel. While the information contained in this website will provide you with a basic understanding of the procedure, it may not answer all of your questions. To get complete answers to the questions you are seeking, we recommend that you contact us.
Benefits of Chemical Peels
After the top layer of skin is peeled away, new, fresh skin regenerates without imperfections, lines and wrinkles.
Deeper chemical peels are an effective treatment for the extreme wrinkling caused by spending too much time in the sun.
Who would best Represent an Ideal Candidate for Chemical Peels?
The fair skinned, light haired patient who has a very wrinkled face or who has a face dotted with liver, age and sun spots, freckles or splotching due to taking birth control pills - and wants a looker, fresher look - would be a good candidate for a chemical peel.
The face that has a dull texture and color may be improved with chemical peeling.
Precancerous keratoses or scaling patches may improve after chemical peeling.
However, the procedure does not correct sags, bulges and deep furrows. Those conditions are often better treated by face, brow and eye lifts or soft tissue fillers.
How are Chemical Peels Performed?
A full face chemical peel usually takes one hour to perform and is safely done in the outpatient clinic under local anesthesia. Superficial and Medium peels may not require anesthesia while the deep peels usually require intravenous sedation.
You have to eliminate certain drugs from your system before doing the procedure. But a more limited procedure - like treating only the wrinkling above the lip - will generally take less than 30 minutes.
The solution is applied using a sponge, cotton pad, swab or brush. The treatment begins with a thorough cleaning of the skin to remove any traces of grease with rubbing alcohol or acetone. The peeling solution is left on the face for a few minutes then removed.
After the peel solution has worked on the skin, it is neutralized with water.
About an hour later, a thick coating of petroleum jelly is layered over the face and covers the protective crust left by the acid solutions. That crusty layer stays in place for one to two days. The deeper a peel penetrates, the more visible will be the results. However, the recovery time may be longer.
How Much Pain is Associated with Chemical Peels?
With AHA, the patient only feels some stinging or irritation and sees some redness on the face. These procedures can cause puffiness in the face which subsides after several days.
Temporary flaking or scaling, redness and dryness are normal after effects. Ointments, used for seven to ten days following surgery, keep the skin supple. Some deep chemical peels require a break from normal activities for one to two weeks.
What are The Long-Term Effects of Chemical Peels?
Sun block is always recommended after chemical peels, especially after a TCA treatment because your skin will be extremely sensitive to sunlight and may not tan evenly.
The effects of a phenol chemical peel sometimes last as long as twenty years and have quite dramatic results.
What Are the Risks and Limitations of Chemical Peels?
Some inadequately trained practitioners claim in advertisements they have “miracle treatments” to rejuvenate the skin. Possible complications can include scarring and infection of abnormal pigmentation.
Overall, you must be free of skin infections, including acne and any type cold sore, especially herpes simplex sores.
You must have not taken Acutance for twelve to 18 months before treatment.
And, you will be asked to limit your exposure to the sun for at least a month before undergoing the peel.
What Are The Typical Costs Associated With Chemical Peels?
Often the price says nothing about the quality of the work. Most multicenter clinics charge much more than private doctors — their advertising budget is more and the owner of the clinic has to take his 20% or 30% off the top. In my opinion, you are less likely to get a quality procedures at these multi-center locations.
Although price is a factor when deciding on surgery, the most important factor is that you feel you are getting a good quality, natural-looking result from the procedure.
Chemical peeling costs are ranging from 500 to 1000 U.S. dollars. When dealing with costs, you also need to take into consideration the fact that the procedure may need to be repeated. Most medical insurance providers do not cover this procedure.
Frequently asked questions from patients when considering undergoing Chemical peeling?!
Q - What is the type of anesthesia, and when I can return to normal life?
A - Local anesthesia, and you can practice your normal life within 2 hours up to few weeks.
Q - What are the symptoms that may occur in the first five days after peel procedures?
A - Soreness which could be managed by pain killer’s medications and there may be edema or swelling of the face.
Q - What are the guarantees that the success of the process?
A - There is no doubt that the followers of the medical instructions and close follow up visits are the main factors for the success of any surgical procedure. If not, the process to achieve the agreed outcomes before, the process repeats at reduced cost. The procedure may needs refine touch after 2 weeks.
Q - When can we get the final results?
A - The final results is achieved after the first three weeks.
Q - Is the peeled face seems naturally?
A - Yes.
Q - What is ideal age for chemical peels?
A - It could be done at any age.
Q - If you are not Egyptian, What is the minimum period for follow up?
A - One day.
Q - What are the contraindications of peeling procedures?
A - There are no absolute contraindications but the patients should inform their surgeons about any allergies, serious medical conditions, and medications they may be taking especially Acutane.
Q - Where will the chemical peel procedures be performed?
A - In outpatient bases (clinic).
Q - In my case, what is most appropriate peeler to help me achieve my cosmetic goal?
A - It depend on the your age, skin features and your preference.
Q - How much does peel procedure cost and what elements factor into that cost like hospital fees, anesthesia, and so on?
A - Ranging from 500 to 1000 U.S. dollars. Medical insurance dose not cover peel procedures.
Q - What is the surgeon’s level of experience in performing chemical peel procedures?
A - Consultant or Doctoral in Plastic surgery.
Q - What percentage of patients experience complications with peeling procedures?
A - 3 - 5%
Summary of Chemical peeling Procedures:
The time of the procedure:
from half to two hours.
Type of anesthesia: local anesthesia +/- sedation.
Expected Side effects: Temporary swelling and pain.
Recovery time: return to work after 2 hours and the final outcome within 3 weeks.
Cost: according to peeler ranging from 500 to 1000 U.S. dollars, or 2500 to 5500 Egyptian pounds.
Results: according to peeler ranging from months to years and sometimes permanent results.
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