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professional chemical peels

Professional Chemical Peels

professional chemical peels

Professional Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are treatments that should always be done by a trained professional like a dermatologist or aesthetician. In some states, the use of high-strength professional chemical peels is limited to dermatologists only or someone under their supervision. Peel solutions with higher concentrations of active ingredients are often only available with a prescription. Performing a chemical peel at home with a solution obtained online can lead to adverse reactions in the skin if it is not applied properly. Additionally, the results obtained will not be the same as a peel performed by an expert who has knowledge of the skin and experience performing chemical peels.

Chemical Peel Benefits

Professional chemical peels can be used for almost all skin conditions. Even for individuals without a skin condition, chemical peels can provide an improvement in the complexion and reduce signs of aging. With age comes a decrease in the skin’s ability to renew itself as the rate of cell turnover decreases. The removal of damaged skin and the renewal of skin cells through the healing process produce a healthy, glowing, and more youthful appearance.

Differences between Superficial and Medium Strength Peels

The strength of a chemical peel is how deep the solution penetrates and affects the skin. Chemical peel strength is determined by three main factors:

  1. The concentrations of ingredients in the solution: Higher percentages of an ingredient will cause greater peeling than lower concentrations of the same ingredient.
  2. The pH of the ingredients in the solution: The more acidic the solution is the more the skin will peel.
  3. The length of time the solution is left on the skin: A chemical peel solution with a lower concentration may produce a stronger affect on the skin if allowed to sit longer before it is neutralized.

A superficial chemical peel will affect only the epidermis and not penetrate deeper into the dermis. Superficial peels use lower concentrations of ingredients like salicylic acid and glycolic acid. Deeper peels have higher concentrations and will penetrate deeper into the dermis, which produces more peeling. Deep chemical peels can produce much better results than a superficial peel but also require more time for the skin to heal.  In most cases a deep chemical peel will only be performed by a physician, while superficial to medium strength peels may be performed by an aesthetician or other provider.

Customization of Professional Chemical Peels

A chemical peel obtained over-the-counter will have a set percentage of ingredients. Professional chemical peels obtained from a compounding pharmacy can be customized with strengths and ingredients based on a treatment provider’s preferences. Since skincare professionals deal with people’s skin on a daily basis and frequently perform chemical peels, they know what combinations of ingredients will work best for an individual. A prescription chemical peel solution can be compounded to meet the preferences of a dermatologist or aesthetician.

Customization of a chemical peel can be based on a patient’s unique skin type. Different Fitzpatrick skin types will respond better to certain chemical peel ingredients. Hyperpigmentation can result if the wrong chemical peel is used on darker skin. Sensitive skin may burn and peel excessively if the concentration is too high or the peel is left on too long. Professional chemical peels are performed using ingredients that are optimal for an individual’s skin type and goals for treatment.

Chemical Peel Treatment Steps

  1. Before Professional Chemical Peels

Dermatologists recommend regular daily use of an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen all year. However before and after a chemical peel it is especially important to protect the skin from UV rays. The treatment provider will also likely recommend that the patient not use products that may irritate the skin for a few days before the procedure. Prescription strength retinoids may be stopped for two weeks before treatment. Accutane, a medication for acne, should not be taken for six months before having a chemical peel. Here are some notes for pre-procedure care:

  • Use SPF 30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen daily and avoid sun exposure if possible
  • A dermatologist may recommend discontinuing certain skin medications for a week or two before treatment. This might include salicylic acid and glycolic acid products or retinoids.
  • Use any skincare products recommended by the treatment provider to prepare the skin.
  1. Application of Professional Chemical Peels

While a chemical peel is relatively quick and seems simple, careful monitoring is necessary to get the best results with minimal adverse effects. The strength of the peel and the time it is left on will determine how much the skin peels. Chemical peel solutions are applied with a cotton ball or brush to the entire treatment area. The solution is usually allowed to sit for about two minutes then washed off. A neutralizer may be used to stop the effects of the acidic solution and return the skin to normal pH. Some peels like TCA and salicylic acid peels are self-neutralizing and will stop working automatically. The two minutes of application time is a general guideline and a peel may be left on longer or only for a minute. The provider applying the chemical peel will determine how long it should be left on.

  1. After Professional Chemical Peels

The skin will be red and irritated after a chemical peel. The deeper the peel, the more irritated the skin may be and the more it will peel. Post-procedure care can involve regular use of a moisturizer and sunscreen, avoidance of sun exposure, and careful washing of the treated area. A chemical peel removes layers of skin, which makes it more sensitive to sun exposure and irritants. As the skin heals it requires protection from the environment and UV rays. Moisturization is essential to keep skin hydrated throughout the healing process. Using an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen is also necessary to protect the skin from UV rays. Here are some notes for post-procedure care:

  • Keep skin moist with water and use a moisturizer regularly.
  • Use SPF 30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen daily and avoid sun exposure if possible
  • Apply Aquaphor to deal with irritation and help skin heal
  • Clean the skin gently without using anything abrasive. Don’t exfoliate while the skin is healing.

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  1. Pingback: Dermatology Compounding - Products that are Not Commercially Available

  2. Pingback: Anti Aging Prescriptions - Skin Aging, Hormone Decline, Cosmetics

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