When patients in the Punta Gorda area think of skin care and treatment, one of the first treatment options that may come to their head is chemical peels. Chemical peels have been used to treat a variety of different skin conditions from sun damaged skin to acne. They have been used to treat wrinkles, fine lines, scarring, precancerous lesions and discoloration issues as well. By producing a controlled damage to the skin, new skin is encouraged to grow which results in an improved appearance. Of course, patients are encouraged to speak with a medical professional regarding their candidacy for and the possible uses of chemical peels, but a little basic information can also be helpful.
There are several different chemical solutions used in chemical peels and ultimately the solution used will depend on the degree of injury done to the skin. Some of the chemical used include glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, "Jessners" solution, and phenol. Patients who are interested in learning more about these chemicals should contact a medical professional with knowledge of, and experience performing this treatment.
Chemical peels may affect only the superficial layer of skin called the epidermis, or they may affect both the epidermis and the dermis, the deeper layer of skin. The level of injury done to the skin will depend on how drastic of results are necessary. Patients suffering from mild to moderate acne may require only a light peel, while patients with severe sun damage or wrinkles may require a deeper peel. Just as the degree of peel used depends on the desired results, the recovery time required will depend on the severity of injury done to the skin.
A superficial peel may require little to no recovery time. These are sometimes referred to as 'lunchtime peels' because they can be done on a lunch break. Medium peels may require some recovery or downtime, while the deepest peels may require significant recovery. Bandages may be used during recovery from the deepest peels and recovery may take up to a month. These peels are only to be performed by highly qualified physicians with the proper monitoring equipment to ensure patient safety.
It is important that patients discuss each peel and the recovery period required with a qualified professional before deciding on any treatment. Patients should discuss their condition, treatment options and recovery during consultation. Interested patients should also consider the number of peels required. Superficial peels may require several peels over the course of several weeks. Medium peels may require more than one peel, while a deep peel may require only one session, although recovery may take quite some time.
The results will also depend on the depth of the peel. Generally, results from deeper peels last the longest, sometimes for years. Each patient has different needs and goals so there is no uniform answer for the question, "Which peel is best?" Speaking with a medical professional at a reputable clinic is the best resource for further information.