Which Chemical Peel Option is Best for You?

Chemical peels are versatile treatments that have helped individuals in Portland, Oregon and other parts of the country overcome various cosmetic blemishes and signs of aging such as acne, wrinkles, sun damage, fine lines, etc. There are several types of chemical peels available, however, and figuring out which is right for you may be difficult without the proper guidance and information. Chemical peels may be superficial, light, medium or deep with variations in between. The deeper peels provide more drastic results, but have a much longer recovery period than the lighter peels and have greater risk.

Various chemicals may be used with chemical peels such as glycolic acid, trichloracetic acid (TCA), salicylic acid, 'Jessners' solution, and phenol. Depending on the degree of injury to the skin that is desired, different solutions may be used when performing treatment. The superficial and lighter peels affect only the epidermis, while deeper peels affect the lower layer of the skin called the dermis. Patients may turn to superficial peels to treatment of acne or discoloration, while deeper peels may provide treatment of photo-aging or wrinkles.

The first step in performing a chemical peel is to cleanse the skin thoroughly. Very light peels may involve the use of low potency glycolic acid and 10-20% TCA and penetrate only the dead skin cells sitting atop the epidermis. These produce almost no injury to the skin. Light peels may contain about 70% glycolic acid and 25 to 35% TCA. These injure the entire epidermis and stimulate the regeneration of a new one. Patients may experience a turning sensation during this type of chemical peel, but recovery is quick and many refer to the light peels as lunchtime peels.

That brings us to medium depth peels. These may involve 35% TCA with another chemical like glycolic acid and cause injury to the upper part of the dermis. This helps to stimulate the formation of collagen. Burning may be a common complain during the medium depth peel, but cool compresses and topical anesthetics may be used to treat any discomfort. Next, the deep peel may involve the use of a phenol solution and cause injury to the mid part of the dermis. Dramatic results are offered with deep peels like the treatment of deep furrows or scars. There is greater risk of complications with deep peels, though, such as scarring, permanent textural changes, darkening of the skin and redness of the skin. During the application of a deep peel, anesthesia is used and vital signs must be monitored. The recovery period involves the use of occlusive bandages and may last for about a month.

When seeking chemical peel treatment, make sure to choose a well-trained specialist to help avoid possible complications as much as possible. Patients should speak with a Portland cosmetic specialist before receiving any treatment to make sure that they are a good candidate for the treatment and to have their question answered so they go into the procedure with as good an understanding of the procedure as they can.

Learn more about chemical peels in Portland, Oregon.

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