Before the introduction of fractional technology, the lasers of the past ablated the surface of the skin leaving it bloody and oozy and the patient with a great deal of downtime. There was also a known risk of hypopigmentation. Chemical peels, on the other hand, were more forgiving and could be reduced in potency to reduce downtime. For this reason, chemical peels remained an appealing option.
Nowadays, fractional lasers such as Fraxel and FX (Lumenis) offer patients repair with minimal downtime, albeit several treatments later. The appeal of the chemical peel has practically vanished, as practitioners with pricey lasers and high monthly lease rates push the technology and barely mention the chemical peel option to their patients.
In actuality, chemical peels carry a high rate of patient satisfaction. The purpose of skin resurfacing is to improve skin texture, reduce uneven pigmentation and to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Chemical peeling does all of these things.
If your skin is looking dull, a Jessner’s peel is a light application of lactic acid, salicylic acid, and resorcinol. It lifts the dead skin layer and results in a brighter complexion. Even a Jessner’s peel can be varied to affect the amount of repair, and subsequently the length of downtime. You may experience little to no peeling in some cases or up to 3-4 days for a heavier application.
TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peels are popular for more extensive resurfacing. The percentage of TCA used can vary as well from 10% to 30%. A 30% TCA peel is the stronger solution and can make a marked difference in skin texture, radically reduce brown spots, fine lines, and wrinkles, and can even tighten the skin slightly due to its effect on collagen stimulation. With this peel, 5-10 days is the expected downtime due to extensive skin sloughing.
Chemical peels range in price from $250 to $1500 at Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa. Fall and winter months are the best time for skin resurfacing. Call us to find out which peel best addresses the amount of repair you desire, the downtime you are willing to undergo, and the price that best fits your budget.
Copyright 2014 Jill Darrah for Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa.