The Chemical Peel | 90s Beauty Throwback on the Rise
History tends to repeat itself, and what goes around often comes back around when it comes to beauty trends – including the chemical peel. From dark lips, to metallic eyeshadow, to combat boots, cult classics from the 90s are making a comeback in a big way.
The treatment most synonymous with the 90s is the chemical peel. Even though chemical peels have been around for many years, they started gaining mainstream popularity in the 90s when physicians tapped into their power for addressing a multitude of skin issues.
Long ago, deep chemical peels were a force to be reckoned with and often left the area of skin red and raw. As time progressed, however, formulas improved. Today, modern peel techniques have been modified to produce less post-treatment irritation, while still improving fine lines, freckles, melasma, sun damage, scars, and more. And, thanks to the reduced reactions and downtime, growing numbers of facial plastic surgeons are recommending chemical peels to their patients.
What Is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is applied to the skin to remove the damaged, outer layers so that new, regenerated skin can replace it.
Skin has two layers: the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is on the surface. Underneath is the dermis, composed of long fibers called collagen that stretch and relax with age and sun damage. The dermis also has two layers, the papillary layer (upper) and the reticular layer (lower). The papillary layer can heal from injuries without scarring. When the reticular layer is damaged, scars may result.
The active ingredient and concentration of the chemical peel will determine how deep the treatment permeates. After the damaged layers have been eradicated, the skin works to rebuild the lower collagen and elastin layers of the skin to produce smoother, rejuvenated skin.
Types of Chemical Peels
A mild chemical solution, such as alpha hydroxy, glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid, gently peels the epidermis and potentially a portion of the papillary dermis as well. It reduces rough, dry skin and produces fresher, smoother skin. These light peels are not a permanent solution and may be repeated on a regular basis.
A moderate peel like trichloroacetic acid (TCA) infiltrates the epidermis and into the papillary dermis; the results are longer-lasting than a light solution peel. This peel treats sun damage, fine lines, weathered skin, and pigment problems. The chemical may be applied along with a sedative; there may be mild swelling for about a week. The TCA peel is often repeated over a period of weeks, resulting in smoother and fresher-looking skin.
A deep chemical peel, such as carbolic acid (phenol), can reduce extensive wrinkling, marked discoloration, scarring, and pre-cancerous growths. It is the strongest of the chemical solutions and causes a deep peel. The treatment and application may take one to two hours. The recovery period is from two weeks of redness and mild discomfort.
Call our office today for a free consultation appointment with our dual board certified facial plastic surgeon to discuss whether a chemical peel is right for you.