Chemical Peel

Q: What’s a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a facial aesthetic procedure usually performed to improve the appearance of fine wrinkles, discoloration and unsightly spots. It also helps to achieve a better skin tone. Solution removes outer layers of skin which are damaged by age, sun, acne, wrinkles, or pigmentation problems. Removing the outer skin prompts the body to generate a new layer of healthier looking skin. Dr. Rayham performs several types of chemical peels. These include Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and Phenol.

Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic, lactic, or fruit acids are the mildest of the peel formulas and produce light peels. These types of peels can provide smoother, brighter-looking skin. These treatments are optimal for people who need minimal recovery time. AHA peels may be used to treat fine wrinkling, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne. Various concentrations of an AHA may be applied weekly or at longer intervals to obtain the best result.

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is used to reduce wrinkles, superficial blemishes and pigment problems. It comes in different strengths. Dr. Rayham will discuss with you your expectations and help to choose the right strength for your specific concern. The results of TCA peel are usually more noticeable than AHA peels. The recovery may take three days to a week. Often more than one TCA peel may be needed to achieve the most optimal result.

Phenol is a very potent chemical solution. It is used to treat patients with highly visible facial wrinkles and areas of blotchy and sun damaged skin. The results of phenol peel are dramatic and very long lasting. Since phenol produces a deep peel it affects melanin (skin pigment) producing cells and lightens the treated areas. For that reason phenol may not be a good choice for individuals with darker skin complexion. Phenol is primarily used on the face; scarring may result if it s applied to the neck or other body areas.

Q: Why Should I Consider a Chemical Peel?

  • To reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and lines.
  • To improve skin damaged by solar radiation.
  • To soften the appearance of age spots and pigmentation problems.
  • To lighten acne and traumatic scars

Q: How is a Chemical Peel Performed?

Plastic Surgeon Dr. Rayham performs chemical peels in his offices or hospital setting in Manhattan/NYC, Brooklyn and Staten Island, New York facilities. There is a number of different chemical solutions used to create a peel ranging from a mild solution to a very strong one. Dr. Rayham will help you to choose between Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and Phenol peels and adjust the strength of the solution to meet your goals. The choice of the solution and the precise formula used depends mainly on the extent of preexisting skin damage, skin color, and desired result.

Prior to your procedure, any active skin disease, infection, or acne needs to be addressed and controlled in order to maximize your results. Depending on the procedure, you may require either no anesthesia at all for mild AHA peels to general anesthesia with monitoring of your heart function for phenol peel. After cleansing your face a chemical solution will be applied and subsequently removed to produce just the right amount of peel. Upon completion of procedure an ointment is applied to the skin to help with healing.

Q: What Should I Anticipate After the Procedure?

After an AHA peel, you may experience some temporary flaking, scaling, redness and dryness of the skin. However, these conditions will disappear as the skin adjusts to treatment. This should not prevent you from working or engaging in your normal activities. As irritation disappears you may detect a healthier glow to your skin. Improvements from AHA peels may be very subtle at first, but you will notice a fresher and generally improved skin texture with repeated AHA treatments. Protecting your skin from the sun with adequate UVA and UVB blocks is important following these peels.

A TCA peel may cause some swelling. You may experience slight discomfort at the treated areas which can be addressed with pain medication. The discomfort and mild swelling will subside within the first week. It takes about three to ten days for your new skin to form. At this point you should be healed sufficiently to return to your normal activities. Your skin will be noticeably smoother and fresher-looking. Avoiding sun exposure during heeling period is preferred. Protecting your skin from the sun with adequate UVA and UVB blocks is important if you have to be outside following these peels.

After a phenol peel, your face will initially become very red and swollen. You will need someone to help care for you around the house for two to three days after the procedure. Mild to moderate pain and discomfort will be controlled by pain medications. Your new skin will begin to form in about seven to ten days. The swelling will also subside in seven to ten days and redness will gradually start to fade over the following weeks to months. About two weeks after treatment, you may return to work and resume some of your normal activities. By then your skin will be healed enough for you to wear make-up. Appropriate sun protection is essential to avoid irregular pigmentation. The overall result of phenol peel is dramatic and long-lasting improvement of the surface of your skin including fewer and less noticeable wrinkles, blemishes and even-toned skin.

Q: Am I a Candidate for a Chemical Peel?

You may be a candidate for chemical peel if you have any of the above concerns and you are in overall good health to undergo this procedure. Click here if you’d like to email Dr. Rayham with a question or a concern. We also encourage you to call us tall free

1.866.435.5357 (1.866.435.5357), or

1.877.DrRayham (1.877.377.2492)

to speak with Dr. Rayham or RR Plastix New York Plastic Surgery Center experienced office staff.

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