Chemical peels vs facial plastic surgery

Chemical Peels – Skin Resurfacing

Chemical peel, also known a chemexfoliation or derma-peeling, is a technique that uses a chemical solution to improve and smooth the texture of the facial skin by removing its damaged outer layers.

By using phenol, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), in precise formulas skin is caused to “blister” and eventually peel off. This process promotes the growth of a new layer of skin that is smoother and younger-looking.

Although chemical peels are most commonly performed to enhance your appearance and bolster self-confidence, it may also be recommended to remove pre-cancerous skin growths or soften acne facial scars.

Chemical peel is a good option if you:

  • Are physically healthy
  • Have mild, moderate or severe degree of facial aging
  • Have skin growths and/or acne facial scars
  • Have specific, but realistic goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance.

Preparation for your chemical peel will depend on the type of peel treatment you are having. We may recommend Retin-A – a prescription medication derived from Vitamin A – to pre-treat the skin. This regularizes the skin’s surface layer, allowing a TCA or phenol solution to penetrate more deeply and evenly. If your skin won’t tolerate pre-treatment with Retin-A, an AHA cream may be used instead.

Hydroquinone, a bleaching agent, is sometimes used in combination with Retin-A or an AHA pre-treatment, especially if you have blotchy skin areas or pigmentation problems. This type of pre-treatment may take a month or more prior to your actual peel.

Chemical peels are often done under local anesthesia with sedation. If you are having a phenol or deeper TCA peel, we will advise you to arrange for someone to drive you home. Limiting your activities immediately following the procedure will aid in a speedy recovery.