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Chemical Peel

Non-Surgical Skin Care

A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the appearance of the skin. In this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, which causes it to “blister” and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin, temporarily more sensitive to the sun, is smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.

What Conditions Do a Chemical Peel Treat?

Chemical peels are performed on the face, neck, or hands. They can be used to reduce fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth, treat wrinkles caused by sun damage, aging, and heredity, and improve the appearance of mild scarring. A chemical peel can treat certain types of acne, reduce age spots, freckles, and dark patches due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills. The treatment can also improve the look and feel of skin that is dull in texture and color.

Sagging skin and more severe wrinkles do not respond well to chemical peels. They may require other kinds of cosmetic surgical procedures, such as a facelift, brow lift, eyelid lift or even a tissue filler. Dr. Hess can help determine the most appropriate type of treatment for each individual case.

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Good Candidates for a Chemical Peel

Fair-skinned and light-haired patients are ideal candidates for chemical peels. Darker skin types may also have good results, depending upon the type of problem being treated. However, the risk of an uneven skin tone after the procedure increases with darker skin types.

How Are Chemical Peels Performed?

A chemical peel can be performed in a surgery center as an outpatient procedure. The skin is thoroughly cleansed with an agent that removes excess oils. The eyes and hair are protected. One or more chemical solutions, such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or carbolic acid (phenol), are applied to small areas on the skin. These applications produce a controlled wound, enabling new, regenerated skin to appear.

Preparing for a Chemical Peel

Prior to the chemical peel, Dr. Hess will ask the patient to stop taking certain drugs and prepare his or her skin with topical preconditioning medication such as Kligman’s formula, which is a combination of Retin-A, glycolic acid, and hydroquinone. This cream will prepare the skin for a chemical peel to yield better results.