Exploring the Different Types of Chemical Peels

Those in Walnut Creek, California and other areas of the country who are experiencing problems with their skin such as wrinkles, fine lines, sun damage, acne, etc. may see improvement in these conditions or signs of aging through chemical peels. There are several depths of chemical peels available and those who are interested in this type of treatment should first speak with a medical professional in their area for more information and to help them determine which may be right for them. Each depth of chemical peel has its uses and limitations in terms of providing treatment, and different side effects may be present depending on the depth of the peel.

Very light peels may contain low potency glycolic acid and 10-20% trichloroacetic acid (TCA). These peels penetrate the dead skin cells on the top of the epidermis (top layer of skin) and produce just about no injury to the skin. Some may call this an exfoliation. A light peel, which may contain about 70% glycolic acid and 25-35% TCA, is used to cause injury to the entire epidermis. This helps stimulate the regeneration of a new epidermis and may produce a burning sensation. Patients may use this type of peel to improve photoaged skin and scarring, and results are usually subtle. The recovery process is quick and many refer to this type of peel as a 'lunchtime peel'.

A medium depth peel injury the upper level of the dermis (lower layer of skin) to stimulate the production of collagen to plump the skin. Glycolic acid and about 35% TCA may be used in this type of peel. There is minimal discomfort with burning the most common complain for those undergoing this procedure. Cool compresses or topical anesthetics may be used to provide comfort during the treatment. A deep peel injures the middle dermis and uses a phenol solution. This type of peel may provide dramatic results such as the treatment of deep furrows and scars. There may be side effects and complications with this type of chemical peel such as scarring, permanent texture changes, darkening of the skin, and redness of the skin. Patients are given anesthesia during the procedure and their vital signs must be monitored. The recovery process may take up to a month and requires occlusive bandages.

The first step in determining which chemical peel is right for one's situation is to first consider one's goals and what they expect to get out of the procedure. For those wishing for dramatic results, they should talk to a medical professional in the Walnut Creek area about a deep peel, but should be aware of the longer, more involved recovery process and the fact they need anesthesia during treatment. For those who want less drastic results and require only subtle results, very light or light peels may be the best option. These typically do not require a recovery period, although some may complain that the skin appears reddish for a little while afterwards.

Learn more about chemical peels in Walnut Creek, California.

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