The Different Degrees of Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are among the most widely known cosmetic treatments in Belmont, Massachusetts and throughout the nation. Patients turn to chemical peels for the facial rejuvenation it offers. This treatment has been used to treat sun damaged skin, wrinkles, scarring, acne, precancerous lesions and skin discoloration. By producing a controlled damage to the skin, chemical peels encourage the growth of new skin and thus an improved appearance.

There are several different chemicals used in treatment including glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), salicylic acid, "Jessners" solution, and phenol. To better understand these chemicals patients should speak with a medical professional at a reputable clinic in the Belmont area. Different solutions are used to produce a different degree of injury depending on the depth of treatment that patients are looking for. Treatment may span from a light peel to a very deep peel that requires a great deal of recovery.

For patients unsure of the degree of treatment they are looking for, a medical professional should be consulted. They will discuss the patient's desires and which peels may provide them with satisfactory results. The lighter peels affect only the most superficial layer, the epidermis, while the deeper peels will affect the deeper layer of skin called the dermis. Superficial peels are often used to treat acne and other conditions that do not require significant injury to the skin. Deeper peels are commonly used to treat more severe photoaging and wrinkles.

To perform chemical peels, a vigorous cleansing of the skin is often the first step. Light peels may produce a burning sensation during the procedure and do not require a lengthy recovery. In fact, they are often referred to as 'lunchtime peels' because they can be performed over a lunch break. Patients who opt for a deeper peel will go through a much more involved recovery period that may require downtime. Recovering from deeper peels may require occlusive bandaging and could potentially take up to a month to heal. Patients are encouraged to speak with a medical professional to determine which peel is right for them and to discuss recovery periods.

The risks associated with chemical peels depend on the degree of peel received. Lighter peels are minimally invasive and typically are not associated with serious risks. Minor irritation of the skin may occur in some cases. Deeper peels may come with a risk of scarring, texture changes, infection, redness and discoloration. An anesthetic may be required for deeper peels, which requires that vital signs are monitored.

The number of peels required to reach optimal results will again depend on the degree of the peel. Superficial peels may require several sessions before optimal results may be reached. Deeper peels often require only one peel. Repeat treatments may be required in the future to maintain results. Speaking with a medical professional in the Belmont area is encouraged to discuss everything from the procedure itself to recovery requirements to the number of sessions required to reach optimal results.

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