A new, nonsurgical procedure is creating
increasing interest in slowing the effects of the aging process and in
rejuvenation of the skin.
Chemical peeling has emerged as an exciting anti-aging procedure and may offer you the fresh look you desire.
After evaluating your skin and discussing your cosmetic goals, Dr. Branham may recommend skin laser resurfacing
or other enhancements to be used in conjunction with chemical peels to provide the most dramatic look for you.
What is a Facial Peel?
Facial peels are a chemical solution that is applied to the face and/or
neck and penetrates the layers of the skin. The active ingredient in
the solution causes the outermost layers of skin to gently peel off,
shedding dead and pigmented skin. The depth of the peel depends upon
the solution’s active ingredient and its concentration, which can be
glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid or alpha hydroxy acid
The purpose of a chemical peel is to improve and smooth the
texture of the facial skin by removing its damaged outer layers. This
works well for uneven skin pigmentation, facial blemishes, fine lines
and some types of wrinkles. Chemical peels may also remove
pre-cancerous skin growths, and soften acne facial scars.
A chemical peel uses a chemical solution to improve and smooth
the texture of the facial skin by removing its damaged outer layers.
There are two main types of chemical peels available from our center depending on your specific needs or desires.
Comparing Facial Peels
The optimal peel for you will depend on your skin type, changes in skin
tone and texture, in addition to appearance issues you are
experiencing. At a private consultation and after a thorough
examination you will be advised of the best option for your problem
Light Peels have
proven to be effective in treating dry skin, acne, liver or sun spots,
and for diminishing fine facial wrinkles, decreasing pore size, and
improving skin texture. Light peels are usually performed in a series
of six to eight peels, each peel two or three weeks apart. This type of
peel leaves the skin with a red glow that lasts only for a day or two.
Alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA), a naturally occurring acid
fround in fruits and other foods, can be found in very low
concentrations in most over-the-counter facial peels. Due to the small
amount of AHA, the penetration into the skin layers from these products
is topical in nature and the effects are minimal.
If your skin is just beginning to show the wear and tear of
smoking, sun exposure or age, then you may want to consider using at
home skin care products with higher amounts of alpha hydroxy acid that
can reach the underlying skin layers. These products, including
cleansers, moisturizers, creams and peels, are only available through a
physician’s office and are comparable to department store prices at $25
Glycolic acid peels
are considered light peels and are performed in the physician’s office.
Results depend upon the concentration of glycolic acid used, but are
similar to those achieved with a prolonged use of Retin-A™, without the
side-effects. While physicians use a 70-99% concentration of glycolic
acid for this type of peel, aestheticians are limited to using a 40%
concentration. A glycolic acid peel improves mild blotchiness, removes
layers of dead skin and gives the skin a youthful radiance.
The course of four treatments at the Facial Plastic Surgery
Center costs $400-$450 and the sessions are scheduled in two week to
one month intervals for the best results. At first, the skin will look
mildly sunburned, but there is no loss of work due to this enhancement.
Glycolic peels can be used on a portion of or the entire face.
Medium peels have the same
benefits as light peels, but because of deeper penetration into skin
layers they can remove larger wrinkles and precancerous skin lesions.
These peels most often involve the use of trichloroacetic acid, which
can cause the skin to look as if it has had a severe, sunburn for
approximately five-to-seven days. There is a one-week recovery time for
this procedure. These peels are performed only once a year.
TCA or trichloroacetic acid peels are performed in the
office. This peel is considered to be medium in intensity and is used
to revive dull, weathered skin, and to even out skin tones. It can also
refine skin texture, eliminate or soften fine wrinkles and improve the
appearance of mild acne-scarred skin.
A single treatment is sufficient to remove fine lines and
dramatically improve skin tone, color and freshness. A TCA peel can be
used for the entire face or on select areas. The cost is $1,000 for a
TCA peel at the Facial Plastic Surgery Center.
In certain medically related cases, health
insurance may cover the cost of the peel procedure. Please examine your
policy and contact your insurance company before the procedure is