Even with all the fancy lasers nowadays, chemical peels have withstood the test of time. They still hold a strong role in the medical and cosmetic dermatology practice for many reasons. Peels can give predictable results with various skin conditions and skin types. They are a much safer procedure for patients with melasma (while lasers can have concerning complications with this skin type). And for skin resurfacing in the appropriate patient, peels can often give results that rival some lasers at a fraction of the cost. Our office offers a range of several different chemical peels, depending on your needs, downtime, and skin sensitivity. The deeper, more aggressive peels in the office are only performed by Dr. Brown herself. Before scheduling your chemical peel, please set up a consultation with us to evaluate your skin type and peel options and to confirm your post-peel regimen and anticipated downtime.
Sensi Peel - The gentlest of our peels, which improves mild breakouts and skin tone. This is safe for all skin types, including rosacea patients. There is very little downtime and no true peeling with this peel. It provides a nice glow and refreshes dull skin. It can be repeated as desired. (Contains 12% lactic acid and 6% trichloracetic acid).
PCA Peel with Hydroquinone (and Resorcinol) This peel is best for treating acne breakouts and discoloration, such as melasma or freckles. It can be repeated every 2-3 weeks for best results. A series of 6 peels is common. (Contains 2% hydroquinone, 14% lactic acid, 14% salicylic acid, 3% kojic acid, citric acid, resorcinol, and a retinol leave-on booster).
PCA Body Peel - This peel is designed to penetrate the skin of the back, chest, or arms. It is our favorite addition for rapid improvement of back or chest acne, but it also improves freckling or mild discoloration in these areas. It can be repeated every 2-3 weeks for additional results.
TCA (Trichloracetic Acid) Peel - This is our strongest peel, which helps to improve fine lines, wrinkles, and overall aging skin on the face. One peel often gives results, but it can be repeated monthly for several months in order to achieve maximum results. A milder TCA/Jessner's combination peel can be applied to the neck and chest or to the top of the hands and forearms to improve the texture of these areas. Because we cannot treat as aggressively in these sensitive areas, multiple monthly peels would be even more beneficial. This peel cannot be performed on darker skin.
Pitted Acne Scar Treatment with Pinpoint TCA Application : Deep ice-pick scars from acne are difficult to treat, but Dr. Brown has the best results using pinpoint application of an extremely potent TCA solution into each individual small pit. This method is repeated every 3-4 weeks and typically takes 4-6 treatments for most patients. It can be followed by a series of MicroNeedle Therapy Resurfacing or Infini Radiofrequency Treatments for smoother overall skin.
Before your treatment:
- Avoid sun exposure or tanning beds for 2 weeks before your treatment. A daily topical antioxidant (such as CE Ferulic or Phloretin CF, available at the front desk) is also recommended for best healing and results.
- For optimal results, we recommend pretreatment with Retin-A, Retinol, or other retinoid products for at least 2 weeks prior (the longer, the better). However, these medications should be stopped around 2-3 days before your peel, to minimize burning and stinging with the procedure.
- Waxing and/or use of chemical depilatories should be avoided for 1-2 weeks prior to peels. Shaving and threading is allowed, as long as there is no skin irritation.
- If you have a history of cold sores, notify our office at the time of your peel for prescription medicine.
- Bring a wide-brimmed hat or large umbrella to your appointment for sun protection right after your peel.
- Wear a comfortable, washable top that does not have a high neckline for your procedure.
After your treatment:
- Immediately after, there may be mild redness in the area, similar to a mild sunburn, which may last from several hours to 2 days. For most patients, peeling begins 2 days after the peel and lasts 2-7 days, depending on the type of peel. Don’t worry if you don’t peel at all, which is not expected after the Sensi Peel. Sometimes, effective peels on skin in good condition will not go through the peeling process. The skin may only look rosy and have a healthy glow after treatment.
- It is important to wear sunscreen at all times during daylight hours for at least 2 weeks after. Ultraviolet radiation also comes through the windows and from fluorescent lights, so wear sunscreen even if you are staying inside. Exposure to even small amounts of sunlight can cause brown discolored patches on the skin.
- Wash the face gently with your fingertips and a mild cleanser (such as Cetaphil or Dove) twice daily.
- Apply a mild, thick moisturizing cream or Biafine prescription cream (available at the front desk) at least twice daily. You may apply it more often, if desired. Extremely dry patches can be treated with CeraVe Healing ointment or Aquaphor ointment. These are available over-the-counter at drugstores.
- Do not pick at or peel the healing skin. This could cause excessive redness or scarring. The skin will slough off when it is ready.
- You can apply makeup, if desired, although this may exaggerate the look of the peeling skin. Do not scrub the makeup off to remove. It may remain on some dried skin patches, but will come off with the sloughing.
- Avoid glycolic washes, Retin-A, Clarisonic, or other anti-aging products until your skin is fully healed.