The Different Types of Chemical Peels

Those who are experiencing various signs of aging or skin conditions such as wrinkles or fine lines in the Beckley, West Virginia area may find success in treating these conditions using chemical peels. There are different types of peels available at many medical spas or doctors' offices and learning about each one may be helpful as patients determine which is right for them. Depending on the desired results and other factors, a medical professional may recommend different depths of chemical peels. It is important to discuss this matter with a professional in the area prior to determining which chemical peel to receive.

Chemical peels may be superficial, light, medium or deep. Intermediary depths may also exist and it is important to discuss each option with a trained professional when determining which to receive. Chemical peels may help patients find relief from wrinkles, fine lines, photo-aging (sun damage), acne, precancerous lesions, discoloration of the skin, etc. Chemicals used in chemical peels include trichloroacetic acid (TCA), glycolic acid, salicylic acid, 'Jessners' solutions, and phenol. Different solutions may provide patients with varying degrees of damage of the skin. Superficial and light peels provide damage to the epidermis—the outer layer of skin—while medium and deep peels provide damage to the dermis—the inner layer of the skin.

Superficial peels produce only a very light damage, penetrating just the dead skin cells sitting atop the skin. There is almost no injury to the skin with superficial peels and some call this type of chemical peel exfoliation. Light peels produce an injury to the entire epidermis and may be accompanied by a burning sensation during treatment. The recovery process is quick and this type of chemical peel may help patients relieve photo-aged skin. Medium depth peels penetrate the upper level of the dermis and the injury helps to stimulate the formation of collagen to 'plump' up the skin. Burning may be present during this peel, but cool compresses or topical anesthetics may be used to control any discomfort.

That leaves deep peels, which injure the mid-level of the dermis and typically involve the use of a phenol solution. Dramatic results may be achieved with deep peels such as the elimination of deep furrows or scars, but complications may occur such as scarring, permanent textural changes, or darkening or redness of the skin. What's more, anesthesia is required during treatment for patient comfort and the patient's vital signs need to be monitored during treatment. The recovery process requires occlusive bandages and may last for up to a month. Needless to say, it is important that patients discuss deep peels and other types of peels with a Beckley medical professional prior to treatment to weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Learn more about chemical peels in Beckley, West Virginia.

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