Chemical Peels – if you’re like most people the idea of a chemical peel can sound, well, unsettling. Will it burn? Does it hurt? How much will my skin peel? How long will I peel? Does it REALLY help? These are all very good questions and definitely things you should be concerned about when considering a chemical peel.
At Spa Medical we want you to have the best experience possible combined with the best, medical grade results. Chemical peels are, in fact, a wonderful tool to improve the complexion of your skin on so many different levels. Under the care of a trusted practice along with advancements in chemical formulations, this is a completely save procedure that produces results. Yes, you will experience sensation during the treatment. Yes, it is tolerable and we will make every effort to make it a comfortable procedure by way of a proper consultation, homecare and making certain that all your concerns are addressed. As we complete all the necessary steps, apprehension is diminished and great results are achieved.
So, just what is the chemical peel process like?
As with so many other things, best results are achieved with prep-work, the same is true with chemical peels.
The process begins with an in-house complimentary consultation. This consultation helps us determine patient goals, home-care compliance, contraindications and a comprehensive treatment plan. A person’s home skin care regimen is critical in determining their best outcome. Ideally, a new patient should be seen at least 4 weeks prior to a chemical peel to properly prep their skin. This also provides the proper time to suppress melanocytes for someone with pigmentation issues. During this time, good skincare habits are developed which will only serve to enhance and prolong the results achieved with the peel.
Several days before the procedure, Tretinoin (Retin-A) and its various forms, as well as Alpha Hydroxyl Acids should be discontinued. Patients with a history of herpes infection will need to start an anti-viral medication one day prior to the peel.
On the day of the procedure, a patient will have a consent form to review and sign. Post-peel instruction will be reviewed and “before” pictures will be taken.
Now it’s show time! At Spa Medical we make every effort to make your treatment a great experience. Therefore, we will have the patient lie back on a warm treatment table while the skin is properly cleansed. Then, we introduce our secret weapon- a machine that blows cool, sterile air! The patient will have the option to hold the nozzle and direct the airflow to accommodate their comfort level.
Generally, our chemical peels are applied in layers. We will use the ZO 3-Step Peel as an example here. The first layer is applied with a gauze pad. The sensation experienced does vary between patients dependent on their homecare, thickness of the skin, hormonal fluctuations, etc. Typically, a tingly or itchy sensation will spike and then begin to subside. Once the sensation eases, another layer is applied and tolerated. This process can be repeated one more time and the entire process of the 3 layer application usually is completed within a 9 minute period. Afterwards, a retinol is applied to the skin. This usually produces a warm sensation, but quickly dissipates. This retinol cream will leave a slight yellow tinge on the skin. Sunscreen is applied and the procedure is complete. Homecare instructions are reiterated and the patient is on their way!
Depending on the peel, you can expect to begin peeling 24 hours after you peel and expect to peel 3-4 days post-procedure. Again, this is dependent upon which peel has been chosen for you according to your personal skin care goals and treatment plan.