Chemical peel procedures, also known as chemexfoliation or derma peeling, are noninvasive ways to improve overall skin appearance. Chemical peels are most effective in reducing or eliminating skin discolorations, acne scars, fine lines, slight wrinkles, evidence of sun damage, freckles, and irregular skin pigmentation.
A chemical peel is a highly controlled and regulated application of chemicals that works to remove certain layers of damaged skin. This then allows the body to regrow stronger, healthier, and clear, evenly colored skin. Depending on the seriousness of skin irregularities, cosmetic surgeons help patients decide between receiving a light or a deep chemical peel.
Am I a Candidate For a Chemical Peel?
Anyone with overall good health who wishes to improve the appearance of their skin is a candidate for a chemical peel. Individuals considering a chemical peel should determine whether they need a light or a deep chemical peel.
Individuals wishing to improve the following skin conditions are good candidates for a light chemical peel:
- Uneven pigmentation
- Fine wrinkling
Individuals with the following, more serious skin conditions should explore the option of receiving a deep chemical peel:
- Deeper wrinkles
- Severe sun damage
- Blotchy skin discolorations
- Pre-cancerous growths
Chemical peels, whether light or deep, are generally safe and straightforward procedures when performed by a trained cosmetic surgeon. The only real conditions that may make someone a poor candidate for receiving such a procedure are:
- Recent cold sores
- Taking birth control
- Trying to become pregnant
- Family history of abnormal skin pigmentation
How Chemical Peels Work
A light chemical peel is aimed at removing only the outer layer of skin, called the epidermis. This is accomplished by applying a mixture of very mild chemicals and exfoliating away the damaged skin layer. By removing the epidermis, a light chemical peel results in healthier, clearer skin. For best results, light chemical peels should be repeated regularly.
Deep chemical peels are much more intense than light chemical peels, and typically yield more dramatic results. Deep chemical peels penetrate to the lower layers of skin to remove deep blemishes, wrinkles, scars, and discolorations. To begin this type of treatment, cosmetic surgeons apply both a sedative and a local anesthetic to eliminate the possibility of pain and discomfort.
Following this, the patient's face is thoroughly cleaned and a solution of phenol is applied to the skin. This chemical solution is allowed to remain on the skin for anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. Finally, the phenol is washed away and a layer of petroleum jelly is applied to the face in order to aid in the healing process. The results obtained from a deep chemical peel typically last up to 10 years.
What Happens After a Chemical Peel?
Immediately following a light chemical peel, expect to experience some redness, stinging, and crusting of the skin. These side effects generally do not last long, and they decrease with repeated treatments. In more serious cases, some individuals experience hyperpigmentation, in which the skin is extremely sensitive to sunlight. When this happens, patients must be sure to wear high-factor sunscreen when outdoors.
The post-treatment healing involved with a deep chemical peel is more intensive. Typically, patients can expect redness, stinging, and skin crusting during the weeks immediately following a deep chemical peel. After receiving this type of treatment, the skin is more sensitive to sunlight, so individuals need to be cautious when outdoors. In rare cases, some individuals experience scarring, loss of pigmentation, and cysts or white spots after receiving a deep chemical peel. Usually, women can begin wearing makeup two weeks after the treatment.
Learn More About Chemical Peels In Oklahoma City
To learn more about chemical peels in Oklahoma City, contact Dr. Paul F. Benien, Jr. at 405-691-3111. Dr. Benien's office is located at 9617 S. Pennsylvania, just minutes from Will Rogers World Airport. Service areas include: Oklahoma City, Tuttle, Edmond, Norman, Moore, Tulsa, Midwest City, Lawton, Yukon, Stillwater, Mustang, Shawnee, Blanchard and Elk City, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston.