Treat yourself to a healthy glow and clearer-looking skin with a chemical peel

If you are looking for a way to rejuvenate the appearance of your skin with little downtime, a chemical peel may be your answer.

Although the sound of it might be intimidating, a chemical peel is one of the most popular treatments for people who want to reduce fine wrinkles, repair discolorations of their skin, such as redness or hyperpigmentation, and treat mild scarring and acne.

The Washington University Facial Plastic Surgery Center recently began offering chemical peels to its patients that may not typically be found at a spa. The center’s specially perfected formulas, applied by their physicians, help increase the skin’s cell turnover rate, bringing new skin cells to the surface, reducing the signs of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and clearing breakouts.

Choosing the chemical peel that is right for you

Determining the best chemical peel for your needs is something that can be discussed with your physician prior to treatment.

The physicians of the Washington University Facial Plastic Surgery Center — Dr. Emily Spataro, Dr. Gregory Branham and Dr. John Chi — can help patients determine the optimal treatment based on their assessment during an initial consultation, as well as on an ongoing basis during treatment.

“There are different peel depths for patients to consider with their physician — light chemical or superficial peels will not penetrate to the dermal layer and generally treat the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin),” explains Dr. Spataro. “These have less downtime because they don’t involve as much skin turnover, sensitivity or prolonged redness.”

Dr. Spataro adds that while superficial peels can be very effective, especially when given as a series of treatments every four to six weeks, they do not have as dramatic of results as a deeper peel.

“A medium-depth peel can only be completed by a doctor, and it penetrates to the dermal layer of the skin,” she says. “This may involve more prolonged redness, peeling and recovery time; however, it has a greater effect in just one treatment.”

The depth of a peel also depends on skin type. Patients with darker skin are not ideal for the deeper peels because this may cause problems with dyspigmentation of the skin.

 Also, the center does not recommend chemical peels for patients who are pregnant or nursing, taking certain medications, especially stronger skin care medications, or have other skin conditions.

Achieving the best results from a chemical peel

The Facial Plastic Surgery Center’s team works with patients to ensure they are prepared for their chemical peel and also understand what to expect after the procedure.

“Pre-treating the skin by using appropriate skin care products at least two weeks before a peel results in optimal results,” Dr. Spataro says.

Other recommendations include the avoidance of extended sun exposure, reducing and preferably eliminating the use of tanning beds because of the increased risk of skin cancer and signs of aging, and the delay of certain prescription medicines prior to treatment.

 “Following the post-procedure protocol, and especially staying out of the sun, provides the best results after a peel, as well as continuing with the previously discussed skin care regimens,” Dr. Spataro says. “While peels can improve the appearance of discolorations, wrinkles, skin laxity, texture, etc., if these problems are more severe, they may require other treatments to best address them.”

For more information about chemical peels or to schedule a consultation with the physicians at the Facial Plastic Surgery Center, call 314-996-3880 or click here.