For facial rejuvenation and specifically skin resurfacing, there are a number of modalities that Plastic Surgeons use to achieve healthy and more youthful skin. A chemical peel is a topical solution that is applied to the skin of the face and neck in order to remove the top few layers of skin. By removing the top layers of skin, the chemical peel acts to resurface the skin by allowing the body to repair and rejuvenate itself; revealing more even-toned, smoother, and healthier skin. Chemical peels can be used to treat specific skin conditions such as fine lines and wrinkles, scars, dry patches, pigmentation irregularities and more. A chemical peel is a non-surgical technique that has a quick recovery time depending on the type of peel used. Chemical peels come in different strengths: light peels, medium-depth peels, and deep peels.
- Light chemical peels can be performed during your lunch hour and you can return to work immediately afterwards. Light peels remove only the most superficial layer of skin leaving your skin with a refreshed and radiant appearance afterwards. Many patients will get a light chemical peel once per month to maintain their skin glow.
- Medium-depth chemical peels are deeper peels that are usually performed before the weekend to allow 2-3 days for recovery. Medium-depth peels are used for deeper lines and wrinkles and to address pigmentation issues of the skin. This type of peel penetrates deeper within the skin, hence the more aggressive rejuvenation and longer recovery period.
- Deep chemical peels are the deepest and strongest peels we use and they require the longest recovery time. This type of peel penetrates deep within the skin, which can be used to treat deep lines/wrinkles, scars, extensive pigmentation issues, and significant sun damage. After a deep peel, the skin will be red and swollen for a few weeks, therefore, the recovery is longer. Since this peel is deeper, a topical anesthetic it used before the treatment to provide the patient with increased comfort during the procedure.
The face is typically one of the first parts of our body to show signs of aging, often in the form of frown lines, smile lines, crow’s feet, or forehead furrows. Wrinkles in the face can give you the appearance of being perpetually tired or angry. As we age, our skin thins and the quantity and quality of the structural components decrease, such as collagen and elastin. Therefore, we develop wrinkles, creases, and pigmentation issues of the skin as we progress through the aging process.
Chemical peels are one tool in the plastic surgeons armamentarium for facial rejuvenation. Many patients also combine good skin care products like ZO skin health, Botox, fillers, and laser treatments to improve and maintain the youthfulness of their skin.
If you have fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation issues, you may be a good candidate for a chemical peel. Additionally, chemical peels can be used on all skin types, even dark pigmented skin. Using other skin rejuvenation treatments such as lasers on dark pigmented skin can result in hypopigmentation. The advantage of chemical peels are that they can be tailored to each patient’s skin and used on a broad range of skin types.
When you schedule a consultation with the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago, you will speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon who will review your aesthetic goals with you and perform a facial aesthetic evaluation to see if you are a good candidate for chemical peels. Be prepared to discuss your current skin care regimen and your long term aesthetic goals.
Although minimally invasive facial rejuvenation treatments seem like very simple procedures, it is always important to have an expert board-certified plastic surgeon perform the procedures or a certified aesthetician under the direction of a board-certified plastic surgeon.
A chemical peel is performed in the office by your plastic surgeon or designated aesthetician. Your plastic surgeon or aesthetician will determine the optimal type of chemical peel to use for your skin type and aesthetic goals. First, your face will be cleansed and numbing medication will be applied to the skin to be treated (depends on the type of peel used). Once the skin is anesthetized, the peel will be applied evenly and smoothly to the skin of the face or neck. After the treatment, post procedure skin care products are applied to the treatment area. The treatment time is usually 10 – 20 minutes and post procedure instructions are provided afterwards. Recovery after the treatment is typically 2 to 3 days but can be as long as 2-3 weeks if a deeper peel is used. It is important to follow your post procedure instructions closely to maximize your outcome from the procedure.
Recovery after a chemical peel is typically 2 to 3 days, after that timeframe patients may resume their normal level of activity. It is important to avoid sun exposure or soaking the treated area in a pool or bathtub for the 3 days after the treatment. Also avoid skin care treatments such as facials until after 4 weeks from the procedure date. Be sure to follow your post procedure instruction carefully.
The results of a chemical peel are not typically apparent right away. It may take 2 to 3 weeks to see the full effect of treatment and if additional treatments are planned, you won’t see the full effect until all the treatments are performed.
As with any treatment, there are potential risks that can be associated with any procedure. The potential risks of a chemical peel may include:
- Redness, bruising, or swelling at the treatment site
Overall, chemical peels are a safe and effective treatment for skin resurfacing and facial rejuvenation. As non-invasive aesthetic procedures are becoming more popular and more unqualified practitioners are performing them, it is important for patients to do their homework. We recommend finding a practice where a board certified plastic surgeon or his/her trained associate is performing the procedure.
The average cost of chemical peels ranges from $700 to $3000. The cost varies depending the depth of the peel used. Be sure to discuss all costs associated with your treatment during your consultation.
If you would like to treat fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation issues, reduce the signs of aging and have a more youthful appearance, schedule a consultation with the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago. You will speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon or aesthetician who will discuss your specific aesthetic goals and determine if a chemical peel is right for you.