What Is a Chemical Peel?
This procedure can restore sun-damaged, wrinkled, blemished, acne scarred or blotchy skin to its original youthful appearance. The results are normally a smoother more even toned textured skin. The skin will look younger, tighter and “fresher” than before although it cannot remove all facial flaws. Deeper lines, wrinkles and other flaws may require additional treatments or techniques. The chemicals normally we use are Trichloracetic acid (TCA) for more superficial lines and blemishes.
The Obagi Blue Peel
This type of peel is relatively new. Developed by Dr. Zein E. Obagi, this peel is an in-office trichloracetic acid (TCA) peel to correct fine lines, superficial scars, minimal laxity and pigmentation problems. It is performed in 1-4 steps and is very beneficial to persons of all skin types. Usually more invasive peels are unfortunately suitable to only those of European Caucasian descent. With the Blue peel, persons of ethnic skin tones such Asian, African-America, Italian and other darker skins tones can safely undergo beneficial resurfacing.
The solution is applied in 1 to 4 layers and left on the skin for 25-30 minutes. You may feel a slight burning or stinging sensation as each layer is applied which may last from 2-5 minutes. A gain a fan will help you tolerate the stinging sensation – so request if this is used. The blue tint will darken and advise the skin technician when the peel is complete. The blue tinge that you get from this peel may last for up to 3-10 days, depending. So prepare to take off a few days for this one as well. This peel may be reapplied at 4 week intervals.
Are You a Candidate for a Chemical Peel?
Depending upon the peel, you may be a candidate for one if you have slight wrinkles, hyperpigmentations, splotchiness, unevenness, acne, acne scars, black heads or sun damaged skin. You may not be a candidate if you have herpes as this can spread to your healing skin and cause great, weeping sores which will damage and scar your skin. Ask your primary physician for a release and perhaps a prescription for a oral medications such as Zovirax™. This will decrease your risk of an outbreak. If your primary care physician does not release you or opposes to your having a peel – DON’T take that chance! Also, deeper peels may not be suitable for you if you are prone to keloids or hyper- and hypopigmentation.
Preparing for Your Chemical Peel
You will more than likely be asked to closely follow a skin care regimen which may include the use of AHAs, Retin A, Kojic Acid, Hydroquinone, etc. to prepare your skin and even out the skin tone itself. This will make the peel more effective as well as lessens the pigment and fades a tan by prohibiting melanin production and skin cell turn over. This way you are less likely you hyperpigment after the procedure.
Typical Post-Peel Instructions
- You will cleanse your face as usual but be instructed to use a gentle-formulated cleanser.
- You may be instructed to use a special moisturizing cream or lotion.
- Do not apply any type if glycolic acid or exfoliation products as this can severely damage or irritate the skin during the entire time of healing or the skin will become irritated.
- Avoid sun exposure if you can. Use a high SPF sunblock to help block the harmful UV rays.
- Do NOT peel, rub or scratch your skin at anytime, whatsoever. This WILL cause damage and compromise your results as well as possibly severely scar you.
- Let your surgeon or skin care specialist know immediately if you have a herpes break out. This can also result in severe and permanent scarring.
European Society of Aesthetic Surgery
American Academy Of Cosmetic Surgery
Canadian Association for Neuroscience