Chemical peels are non-surgical treatments used to rejuvenate skin.  The process involves applying a chemical agent on the skin for a specified amount of time. The epidermis, uppermost layer of skin, is then removed depending on the chemical’s strength and length of application. This creates a controlled damage to the skin that stimulates collagen production resulting skin elasticity and smooth structure. After the skin is cleansed, a chemical solution is applied which creates a controlled peel that removes old and damaged skin.  The strength of the peel can vary from mild to intense, depending on the severity of the skin condition and the desired results.

Chemical peels in New York are used for the following:

After a chemical peel, the skin will be red, swollen and likely sore.  This is normal and is part of the regeneration process. The more aggressive the level of the peel, the longer recovery will take.  For mild treatments, expect peeling and redness for up to five days.  For medium treatments, recovery will take up to two weeks.  The redness and peeling you will see during recovery is the old, damaged skin peeling off to reveal fresh, healthy skin!

If needed, Dr. Rokhsar can prescribe medications for any discomfort.  To ensure the best results after a chemical peel, you must protect your skin from the sun with broad-spectrum sunscreen.  Protecting your skin from future sun damage will make the results of your peel last even longer. Dr. Rokhsar uses peels that use the naturally occurring carboxylic acids such as glycolic acid, and salicylic acid peels. These are very effective in battling acne and acne scarring.

Chemical Peels for Facial Rejuvenation

Chemical peels are facial skin rejuvenation procedures that treat superficial to moderate photoaging skin damage. Mild chemical peels can be applied to people in their 20s, to prevent effects of aging skin from becoming apparent too early in life.

In a chemical peeling treatment, a chemical solution is applied to facial skin, causing the skin to blister and peel off over a period of days. As the treated skin blisters and peels, new skin forms to take its place. The new skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.

A mild chemical peel is usually all that is necessary to treat fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. Patients with minimal skin damage often respond best to a series of light peels in combination with a skin care program including retinoids and a sunscreen protection program. A medium-depth peel is often more effective for patients with moderate skin damage, including age spots, freckles and actinic keratoses. A medium-depth peel may be combined with another treatment such as laser resurfacing to achieve maximum effectiveness.

Depending on the objectives of the treatment as determined jointly by the patient and dermatologist, the condition and type of the patient’s skin, and the degree of skin damage, the dermatologist by performing dermatologic surgery individualizes the strength of the chemical solution and the depth of the peel. Peeling solution may include one or more chemicals such as alpha-hydroxy acids, trichloroacetic acid, or carbolic acid. The procedure can be performed in the dermatologist’s office, or in an outpatient surgery center. In addition to skin rejuvenation, chemical peeling is effective in reduction of some acne scars. Peeling does not remove deep scars.

The immediate after-effect of a chemical peel is similar to a sunburn. After a mild or superficial peel, redness and scaling of the skin last 3 to 5 days. Medium-depth or deep peeling can result in redness, swelling, blistering and peeling for 7 to 14 days. Medications are prescribed to alleviate discomfort. Overexposure to sun must be avoided for a period of time to prevent sun damage while the new skin is susceptible to injury.

Chemical peeling is effective only for surface skin damage. Effects of aging in deeper tissues, such as sagging jowls and drooping eyelids, must be addressed by other procedures that can be recommended by your dermatologic surgeon.

Chemical Peels FAQ

How does a chemical peel treatment work?

Chemical peels can stimulate new skin production, creating a smoother and less wrinkled layer of skin. Chemicals are applied to the skin. The solution makes the skin peel off, exposing the newer, healthier and less damaged skin.

What kind of chemical is used?

Glycolic acid is the most widely recognized and used chemical peeling agent. It is a water soluble acid that works to accelerate the turnover of skin cells, remove lesions, restore elasticity and can help improve moisturizing characteristics of the skin. There are a variety of different skin peel chemicals that are applied depending on the condition and type of skin being treated.

Do you need to prepare for a chemical peel?

It is important to prepare the ski at least two weeks prior to appointment. Those who are prone to hyper-pigmentation should use a fading gel to decrease melanin production in the skin.  Hyper-pigmentation is a condition that changes the skin unevenly that can leave blotches or discoloration in certain areas.

Who is a good candidate for a chemical peel?

Chemical peels are generally better for those with fair skin and light hair because the solution will be able to create a more even skin complexion. Very saggy skin, bulges and deep wrinkles may not respond well to chemical peels and need to consult Dr. Cameron Rokhsar in order to receive a proper consultation. Certain skin conditions may be more effectively treated with difference cosmetic procedures, such as laser resurfacing.

How long does a chemical peel take?

Chemical peels take about 30 minutes in total depending on the type of skin that is being treated, however all peels are performed in less than one hours, making it an ideal treatment for those with busy schedules.

Can I do outdoor activities or go sunbathing afterwards?

Patients that undergo chemical peel treatments can go outside afterwards, but it is important that sunscreen be worn at all times the days following. Sunscreen should always be worn regardless if you have just undergone a chemical peel, but it is very important for the health of your skin to protect it once it has this treatment. Skin will be more sensitive, increasing the skin’s susceptibility to sun burns.

How many chemical peels can I have?

The skin can be treated with chemical peels with three sessions every two weeks. Chemical peels that use glycolic acid complement products that contain glycolic acid that can be used for at-home skin care.