Which Chemical Peel is Right for You?

With varying degrees of chemical peels available, patients in the Alpharetta, Georgia area or other parts of the country may have trouble determining which is right for them. With chemical peels available from the most superficial peels to the deepest peels that penetrate into the dermis, figuring out which is right for you to help accomplish certain cosmetic goals may be confusing. A trained specialist should be consulted for guidance as patients work to determine which is for them, but a little background knowledge heading into a consultation may prove worthwhile and quite helpful.

Chemical peels work by producing a controlled damage to the skin so that new skin grows in its place. These treatments may be used to help patients overcome a variety of conditions such as sun damage, wrinkles, acne, acne scarring, precancerous lesions or discoloration of the skin. Different chemical solutions may be used depending on the degree of chemical peel being sought, and each peel may offer relief from different conditions.

For instance, superficial peels may treat conditions including acne and skin discoloration, while deeper peels may be used to reverse photoaging or wrinkles. In most cases, the deeper the peel, the more drastic the results will be. Deeper peels, however, require a longer recovery period with patients sometimes requiring up to a month to recover from a deep peel. It is important to discuss one's candidacy for treatment before undergoing any chemical peel procedure. Patients who are in poor general health or who have active infections and who are using certain medications may not be considered candidates for chemical peels or certain chemical peels. Those with abnormal scarring, certain skin diseases and those who have recently undergone surgery may not be considered a candidate either.

Very light chemical peels, which may contain 10-20% TCA, penetrate the dead skin cells on top of the epidermis and produce almost no injury to the skin. This type of peel may be considered an exfoliation in some cases. Light peels, which may contain 70% glycolic acid and 25-35% TCA, are used to injure the entire epidermis, stimulating the regrowth of a new epidermis. Patients may experience burning during this procedure and recovery may be quick. Some even call lighter peels 'lunchtime peels' because they may be performed on a lunch break in some cases.

Medium depth chemical peels, which may contain 35% TCA and another chemical (glycolic acid), are used to injure the upper part of the dermis to stimulate the formation of new collagen to plump the skin. Burning may be present during this procedure and cool compresses or a topical anesthetic may be used to ensure comfort. Deep peels injure the mid dermis. A phenol solution may be used to administer this peel. Complications including scarring, permanent textural changes and darkening and redness of the skin may be present with deep peels. Anesthesia is used during this procedure and the patient's vital signs must be monitored during a deep peel. Recovery involves occlusive bandages and may last for up to a month. Chemical peels should always be performed by a trained professional using the proper tools and monitoring equipment.

The cost of a chemical peel may vary depending on several factors including the depth of chemical peel used as well as the number required to reach optimal results. In general, chemical peels may cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. For more accurate pricing information, those interested should seek consultation with a medical professional in the Alpharetta area. As these are considered cosmetic procedures, insurance generally will not cover the cost of treatment.

Learn more about chemical peels in Alpharetta, Georgia.

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