What is a Chemical Peel?
Your skin is a living organ made up of millions of cells. Everyday thousands of cells die and are replaced by new cells. Unfortunately, as we age, this becomes a slower and more haphazard process, making your skin unable to shed dark blotches, sun damage, or a dull complexion.
The function of a chemical peel is to produce an evenly controlled shedding of the damaged skin cells. This exposes a new, fresh layer of skin with a more even color and a smoother texture. In addition, the peel stimulates collagen and new cells to grow, thereby tightening the skin, which decreases wrinkling.
There are several types of peels, each using a different chemical to create this peeling effect. Light peels include glycolic, salicylic and pyruvic acid and treat conditions such as wrinkles, dull texture, brown spots and acne. Light peels have little down time and peel lightly for only a few days after. Medium depth peels include combination peels, Jessners, and others and stimulate more collagen, smooth texture irregularities and can help with mild to moderate pigment problems and acne scarring. These have a longer recovery time of 3-5 days of peeling. Deeper peels effect the most change, but it can be a longer recover. They are great for wrinkles, brown spots, texture irregularities, and acne scarring and give a nice tightening of the skin.
An example of a deeper peel is a TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid) peel. TCA is a non-toxic chemical which has been used to perform skin peels for over 30 years. A TCA chemical peel has the additional advantage of creating a fresh natural appearing complexion, while preserving the normal skin color. For this reason, they are often referred to as “freshening peels.”
Conditions that benefit from chemical peels include dull, weathered skin, acne, freckling, blotchy pigmentation, sun damage, fine wrinkles and shallow acne scars.
As with any procedure, not everyone is a candidate for every peel. Please discuss your type of skin with Dr. Jennifer Janiga or our Nurse Practitioner Darci Page and they will help you decide which type of peel is right for your skin.
Before deciding if you are right for a chemical peel, Dr. Jennifer Janiga will examine your skin and discuss the potential benefits and risks of a TCA peel for your particular skin type and condition. If it is determined that you are a good candidate for this peel.
TCA peels are performed as an outpatient procedure in Dr. Janiga’s Reno office and usually do not exceed 30 minutes. A solution containing TCA is applied to your skin. This is usually associated with two or three minutes of stinging sensation.
Recovery & Results
Most people take around a week to heal from an average TCA peel. During the healing process, there is no pain, but the skin looks darker in color for a few days and then begins to peel in sheets. Most people return to work after having a TCA peel. However, if you require more discretion, you may want to stay home until you’ve finished healing.
Anyone who has had a medium depth TCA peel is more sensitive to light for at least six to eight weeks after their peel. During this time, it is very important to protect the new skin with sunscreen, hats and the avoidance of strong sunlight. Most people want to protect their newly improved skin from the damage of sun exposure and they continue to wear sun screen daily, even after they have healed completely.
When TCA is applied to the skin, it causes the top layers of cells to dry and peel off over a period of several days. When the old skin has peeled off, it exposes a new layer of undamaged skin that has a smoother texture and more even color.
Although one chemical peel can significantly improve the appearance of the skin, some skin problems are deeper than others. It is possible that you may require more than one peel to achieve your best results.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information, or to set up a consultation with Dr. Jennifer Janiga or Darci Page, NP for chemical peels in our Reno cosmetic center please send us an email or call 775-364-0224.