A chemical peel is a skin-resurfacing procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove the top layers. The skin that grows back after a chemical peel is smoother and younger appearing. Chemical peels can be used to treat a variety of conditions from wrinkles, to unwanted pigment and scars. It can be used alone or in combination with other aesthetic treatments. If you think you would benefit from a chemical peel, please call us today to schedule a consultation with Illuminate staff at our comfortable Palo Alto office.
Chemical peels can be performed at different depths in the skin – light, medium or deep depending on your desired results and expectations of downtime. Deeper chemical peels produce more dramatic results but also involve longer recovery times. Our medical staff offers a range of chemical peels from very superficial to deep. Light chemical peels are performed by our aesthetician. The treatment involves the chemical removal of the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). It can be used to treat fine lines and wrinkles, acne uneven skin tone and dryness.
Medium chemical peels remove skin cells from the epidermis and a portion from the dermis. Performed by either or aestheticians or nurses, they can be used to treat wrinkles, acne scars, and uneven skin tone. Our medical team may recommend a series of medium depth chemical peels to prep the skin for more invasive treatments like surgery or lasers. Deep chemical peels remove skin cells from the epidermis and from portions of the mid to lower dermis. Dr. Boudreault will perform deep chemical peels in the operating room to treat deeper wrinkles or scars. Deep chemical peels can only be performed once.
How you can best prepare for your treatment will be discussed between you and your aesthetic provider. Some patients, particularly darker skin types or with melasma, will likely benefit from the use of a skin lightener like hydroquinone prior to treatment. If a patient is more prone to cold sores, the practitioner may recommend pretreatment with an antiviral medication. It is also often recommended in the days leading up to treatment that patients avoid any exfoliating products such as vitamin A derivatives, alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids.
During light and medium peels, the skin is cleansed with a gentle cleanser. Your practitioner will use a brush to apply a chemical solution to the skin. During this time, the skin will whiten or ‘frost.’ Patients will express a tingling or burning sensation that subsides within 2-5 minutes. The practitioner may wish to apply multiple passes of this peel solution before applying a final layer of neutralizing solution or removing the peel altogether. Deep chemical peels are performed by Dr. Boudreault in the operating room under sedation.
The recovery time for chemical peels will vary depending upon the type of peel you choose. Deeper peels involve a longer recovery.
Once your skin heals, you will see the results. Healing time ranges from 1 day for a refreshing or lunchtime peel to 14 days or longer for a deep peel.
The cost of your chemical peel will also vary according to which type of chemical peel you choose and the number of sessions needed.
The immediate results will depend on the depth of the peel. Patients who receive light to medium depth peels should anticipate experiencing dry, flaking skin for two to five days. Once the skin has completely healed, patients should expect to see healthier, more vibrant appearing skin.
Specific post treatment advice will be given to you based on the type of peel that you receive. In general terms, it is best that you treat your skin as gently as possible in the first week following your treatment. After light and medium peels, it is best that patients use gentle cleansers, moisturizers and sunscreen. The gentler you are with your skin, the better. We DO NOT advise that patients pick at their skin or use wash clothes or facial cleansing brushes during this time.
Not all chemical peels are suited for everyone. Individuals with dark or sensitive skin should generally avoid deeper, more aggressive peels as they could lead to burns, scars or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
ZO Stimulator Peel
Perfect “lunch time” peel. This peel is very mild and can be performed once a week for four consecutive weeks for optimum results. The ZO Stimulator peel addresses fine lines, dull appearance, rough and dry texture. Little to no downtime.
ZO 3-Step Peel
This peel is a mid-depth peel and addresses acne, laxity, sun damage, uneven tone, lines and wrinkles. Pre-condition 4-6 weeks prior is required. The use of a skin regimen skincare protocol that includes retinoic acid or a .5% or higher retinol product. The ZO 3 Step Peel can be performed every 3-4 weeks. There are 5-7 days of recovery time.
Jan Marini Clarify Peel
The Clarify peel is ideal for anyone seeking a serious solution for acne and rejuvenation in individuals with oily skin. The clarify peel is safe for all skin types and recovery time is about 2-5 days.
Jan Marini Refine Peel
The Refine peel is designed for all skin types and primarily treats texture, pigmentation, acne, and fine lines. This peel is for individuals who are seeking more significant skin rejuvenation in fewer applications than a progressive glycolic series and with less downtime than more aggressive procedures. There are about 2-5 days of recovery time.
Jan Marini Transform Peel
The Transform peel is a mid-depth peel. It is an excellent solution to address pigmentation and advanced sun damage while providing overall skin rejuvenation. This peel shows the best results with a series of 3 over a 3 month period. There are about 4-7 days of recovery time.
TCA peels come in a variety of strengths depending on the treated area and indication. Skin that is thin and delicate may require a lesser concentration than thicker, more damaged skin. Dr. Boudreault performs aggressive TCA peels in the operating room under monitored anesthesia care (sedation).
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At Illuminate we’re with you during every step of your journey toward greater self-confidence. Schedule a consultation with us today and let Illuminate’s expert team listen to your concerns and guide you through treatments and procedures to help you reach your individual goals. We look forward to seeing you and celebrating your renewed appearance and realized potential.