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Chemical peels

Superficial chemical peels come in either salon or prescription strength, both referred to as "lunchtime peels" because they are virtually free of side effects and the person can return to work within the hour without anyone there knowing that the procedure was done.

Depth of skin penetration determines the extent to which the skin can be rejuvenated. During this procedure a chemical is wiped on the skin, left on for a specified length of time, and then removed.

Superficial "lunchtime" peels are generally safest for lighter-skinned people, but some dermatologists think that they can be safely used on all skin colors. Salicylic acid peels are somewhat safer than other superficial peels for darker skinned individuals.

The main risk of these peels is the possibility of irregular pigmentation. The procedure occasionally causes facial redness and peeling for several days. Fortunately, these side effects are uncommon, but if they occur you should notify your dermatologist immediately.

Because the pain from a phenol peel is similar to the pain from CO2 laser resurfacing, intravenous sedatives or anesthesia is used. After applying the phenol peel, petrolatum is usually applied to the skin for forty-eight hours.

These peels rarely cause permanent heart damage, but heart monitoring is essential during the procedure. Intravenous fluids are also given to help reduce the risk of kidney damage. Phenol peels are usually performed in several segments taking from sixty to ninety minutes to complete.

One can expect severe redness, peeling, and sometimes scabbing after a phenol peel. At least several weeks may pass before the results of younger, healthy-looking skin are seen. Obviously, it is necessary to follow very specific physician instructions in order to reduce unwanted risks, which can include increased blotchiness, long-lasting redness, and scarring.

The results are enhanced when they are used with a daily home regimen of alphahydroxy acids and/or the antiwrinkle cream Renova.

Because excessive peeling or skin erosions may occur, you need to follow the aftercare instructions of your dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Medium-depth chemical peels are typically enhanced by using the anti wrinkle cream Renova for several weeks beforehand.

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