Aging, sun damage, and the accumulation of dead skin cells cause dull, discolored skin and pimples, emphasize wrinkles and skin imperfections and can create the appearance that you are older than you really are!
The skin barrier protects you from the effects of UV radiation and pollution which produce free radicals that cause discolored skin, as well as degradation of the collagen which leads to wrinkles and sagging skin. A chemical peel can mitigate the damaging effects of UV radiation, and remove the effects of pollution including toxins and impurities.
What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands with the use of an acidic solution to exfoliate outer skin layers. Exfoliation encourages skin cell regeneration and softens acne scars. The result is smoother, less wrinkled skin with improved clarity, tone and texture.
What conditions can be treated with a chemical peel?
Chemical peels are effective and noninvasive treatments for aging skin, uneven pigmentation, melasma, acne scars, and sun damage.
Peels can be performed on the face and neck, chest and hands. At New Orleans Aesthetics we offer a complete selection of chemical peels in various strengths. Each is designed to deliver specific degrees of exfoliation based on your needs.
Types of chemical peels
Chemical peels are available in superficial, medium and strong. In – office peels contain higher concentrations of acids than are available over the counter. Because they are stronger, you will be monitored to ensure you have no unwanted symptoms or side effects. The depth of the peel is based on the type and percentage of acid used which determines if it is superficial, medium or deep. As concentrations increase, the results increase.
- Superficial chemical peels only remove the outer most layers of skin. They are best for fine lines and wrinkles, dryness, acne scars and uneven skin tone. They will tighten, brighten, firm and smooth. Light chemical peels are often made of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA). AHAs release the bond that holds the surface skin cells together so the dead skin can peel off. Underneath is new healthy skin. AHA will gently retexture the skin and can help to stabilize oily and acne prone skin. After a light peel, your skin may be pink and peel for a few days. AHA peels are called lunch time peels because there is now downtime. Light peels are very safe, can be used during pregnancy, and can be repeated every few weeks if desired.
- Salicylic acid, a type of beta hydroxy acid, can be a superficial peel or a medium peel depending on the percentage of acid used. Salicylic acid dissolves dead skin cells and facial oils that cause acne. These peels are best for wrinkles, clearing acne, and treating uneven skin tone. Your skin will peel, and flake and your skin will be pink.
- Medium chemical peels penetrate deeper than superficial peels. Trichloracetic acid (TCA) is the chemical used for medium peels. It is designed to penetrate the outer and middle layers of the skin to remove damaged cells. TCA peels are effective to treat sun-damaged skin, and improve age spots, uneven pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, freckles, rough skin and actinic keratosis- precancerous skin lesions. They improve the tone and texture of the skin and provide a more dramatic result than light peels. The degree and depth of this peel is customized for each patient. Dead skin layers slough off to reveal a new, smoother layer of skin. TCA peels deliver long-lasting results with only a brief healing period.
- Deep chemical peels penetrate deeply into the dermis and are only available from a dermatologist. They are often made of higher concentrations of TCA, or a chemical called phenol. Deep peels are best for deeper wrinkles, actinic keratoses, sun damage, and acne scarring. A deep peel can be uncomfortable so you may need a local anesthetic to manage the discomfort. Typically, before a deep chemical peel your skin will be treated with prescription retinoic acid to thin out the skin so the phenol can penetrate deeply. Talk with Dr. Zeena to learn more about deep chemical peels as they do pose certain risks, including peeling, crusting, and discomfort that can last for weeks.
During your consultation with Dr. Zeena, she will listen to your skin concerns and goals, examine your skin and recommend the best peel for your needs.
Chemical peels are ideal for men and women who desire smoother, more youthful skin and a healthy glow. Contact New Orleans Aesthetics to schedule a consultation to learn more about the chemical peels we offer.
At a Glance
Dr. Zeena Al-Dujaili
- Double board certified in dermatology and Mohs Surgery
- Fellowship trained in cosmetic dermatology
- Authored several chapters in clinical textbooks and peer-reviewed publications
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