Chemical peels are among the most popular facial treatments, and for good reason. They leave your skin soft, supple, smooth and stunning. At Worcester Dermatology in Worcester, MA, we are proud to offer chemical peels to our clients. Is this type of facial treatment right for you?
What Are Facial Treatments?
From acne and ruddiness to wrinkled skin, everyone has something they wish they could improve about their face. That’s where facial treatments come in. But with the myriad of treatment options available, it can be hard to determine which method is right for you.
Microdermabrasion is one of the best facial treatments for acne scars. Also known as the “lunchtime wrinkle treatment”, this facial treatment can be completed fairly quickly. Microdermabrasion uses a facial buffer, along with tiny crystals, to remove the top layer of dead skin cells gently. The result is a soft, smooth, youthful face.
Chemical peels are similar to microdermabrasion in that they remove the top layer of dead skin cells from your face. However, this is accomplished through chemical means rather than mechanically. Besides microdermabrasion, chemical peels are the most effective facial treatment for eliminating acne scars. They are also highly effective at eliminating dark spots, such as age spots and freckles.
Retinoids, derived from vitamin A, are one of the best facial treatments for enhancing the texture of your skin. They are also commonly used to reduce fine lines caused by prolonged, unprotected sun exposure. While mild retinol creams are available over the counter, the most effective retinol creams can only be prescribed by your local dermatologist.
PhotoFacials involve Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to penetrate light through the cells on the surface of your skin, affecting only the deeper cells. There is no recovery time, and the treatment is pain-free.
This facial treatment is used to treat large pores, sun spots, acne scars, rosacea and more. Moreover, the thermal effect of this light therapy stimulates collagen production.
Is a Chemical Peel Right for Me?
When it comes to facial treatments, not every technique is right for everyone. Chemical peels are most effective for clients with fair skin and light hair. That’s not to say a chemical peel won’t work for someone with darker skin or hair. It’s just more effective for the treatment of some problems more than others.
During your initial consultation, we can help you determine the best type of chemical peel for you. In general, a chemical peel is right for you if you want to:
- Lighten patches of dark skin
- Control an acne breakout
- Reduce the appearance of scars
- Improve the texture of your skin
- Remove pre-cancerous lesions
- Smooth wrinkles and fine lines
Types of Chemical Peels
Glycolic Acid Peel
Glycolic acid is one of the most popular ingredients found in a chemical peel. This natural acid is derived from sugar cane. While chemical peels can have a glycolic acid concentration ranging from 30% to 70%, this type of chemical peel treatment usually only targets the superficial level of the skin.
Like glycolic acid peels, alpha-hydroxy acid peels are most often used in superficial peels. Sometimes two members of the AHA family, such as actice acid and citric acid, are used together to achieve the desired results.
Which Type of Chemical Peel Is Right for Me?
Superficial chemical peels use mild ingredients, including alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), to remove the top layer of dead skin cells gently. A superficial peel is often used to improve the texture of sun-damaged skin, smoothing out skin that is rough and dry. It is also effective for the treatment of acne.
Superficial peels are one of the most popular facial treatments because they can be used on all skin types and tones. However, a series of four to six treatments may be required to achieve your desired results. It’s important to protect your skin from any further sun damage after your chemical peel. We recommend sunscreen with an SPF of at least 55.
Medium chemical peels penetrate the skin much more deeply than superficial peels. This type of chemical peel is right for you if you want to correct uneven pigmentation in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. This may be the best facial treatment for you if you:
- Have dark skin
- Want to smooth out wrinkles
- Want to remove superficial blemishes
Deep chemical peels are used to penetrate several layers of skin. This facial treatment is usually only performed one time. It may be right for you if you want to:
- Remove freckles permanently
- Remove pre-cancerous growths
- Smooth out deep wrinkles
- Correct blotches from contraceptives
- Enjoy dramatic, long-lasting results
What Should I Expect During Treatment?
Chemical peels are performed on an outpatient basis in one of our comfortable offices. Dr. Seth Kates will thoroughly clean your facial skin. Then, he will apply one or more chemical solutions to small patches of your skin. These solutions may include carbolic acid (phenol), lactic acid, glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid. Once the damaged layer of dead skin is removed, skin cell regeneration is encouraged.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
To learn more about facial treatments and discover if a chemical peel is right for you, contact the dedicated medical professionals at Worcester Dermatology today.