Chemical Peels

Improve Your Skin with a Chemical Peel in Voorhees Township, NJ

About Chemical Peels

A chemical peel is a cosmetic procedure designed to improve the texture and tone of your skin. With this procedure, a chemical solution is applied to the skin surface, causing its outermost layers to peel off. This prompts a healing process that generates new skin cells, revealing a youthful and vibrant glow with fewer blemishes.

The skin concerns we commonly treat with chemical peels at South Shore Plastic Surgery include:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Mild acne scars
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Precancerous skin lesions

Chemical peel solutions are available in different strengths: superficial, medium and deep. Milder peels yield subtle improvements with little to no downtime, while stronger ones produce more discomfort and peeling but also more dramatic results.

Many different acids are used in chemical peel solutions, such as glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids. Which chemical peel solution you will benefit from depends on your skin type and skin concerns.

Advanced skin concerns often do not respond well to chemical peels. We normally treat problems like sagging skin, deep wrinkles and deep acne scars with Skin Resurfacing, Microdermabrasion or Injections instead.

Types of Chemical Peels

At South Shore Plastic Surgery, we use chemical peel formulations from renowned brands that have been clinically tested for safety and efficiency. Each chemical peel is designed to address specific skin concerns and to work with different skin types. In general, chemical peels can be divided into four main groups:

AHA peels

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) are naturally occurring acids, often sourced from fruit and food. Examples of AHAs include glycolic acid, citric acid and lactic acid. These gentle acids provide mild exfoliation, making them ideal for patients with sensitive skin. There is no downtime required with AHA peels, but they do require months of regular application to provide optimal results. Acne-prone skin can also benefit from AHA peels.

TCA peels

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is derived from acetic acid, a derivative of vinegar. These peels come in different strengths and concentrations, from 7 to 30 percent. We prefer these peels in patients who need dramatic results, like those with moderate wrinkles, skin laxity and discoloration. TCA penetrates deeper than many other peels and thus requires longer recovery times.

BHA peels

Beta hydroxy acids (BHA) are oil-soluble, making them a fantastic choice for patients with oily and acne-prone skin. Examples of BHA peels include salicylic acid and tropic acid. A BHA peel can treat concerns such as acne, blackheads, enlarged pores, hyperpigmentation and inflammation. Many peels combine BHA and AHA for best results.

Phenol peels

Phenol peels are deep chemical peels used mainly in patients with prominent facial wrinkles, sun damage and precancerous skin changes. Phenol peels are stronger than TCA peels and penetrate deep into the dermis, causing controlled damage to provide dramatic results.

Before Your Chemical Peel

At a consultation, Dr. Vasisht or a member of his staff will evaluate your skin to see if you are a good candidate for a chemical peel. We will also need to gauge which chemical solution is best for your particular case.

You may need to avoid certain products — as well as treat any active skin disease, infection or acne — before your appointment. In the days to weeks before a chemical peel, Dr. Vasisht advises patients to avoid the following:

  • Retinol products and prescription retinoids
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Chemical exfoliants and cosmetic products that dry the skin
  • Laser hair removal, electrolysis and depilatories
  • Tanning and excessive sun exposure

You may need to take antiviral medications if you have a history of herpes or prescribed antibiotics if you have a health condition that can affect skin healing.

The Chemical Peel Procedure

During your chemical peel, your provider will ask you to rest on the treatment chair and will proceed to cleanse your skin to remove oil and impurities. We usually use gentle oil- or water-based cleansers for this.

The provider then carefully applies the chemical solution with a cotton ball, brush or sponge. The chemical solution is left on your skin to produce controlled damage to the outermost cells. To minimize discomfort, we may give you a hand-held fan, mild painkillers or even IV sedation.

After a while, the skin develops a frost-like appearance as the acids react with your skin. The provider then neutralizes the chemical solution and cleanses your skin. Finally, they apply an ointment to the skin to aid in healing.

The duration of the chemical peel depends on its strength and type. Self-neutralizing and deep peels take longer to complete than superficial peels. Deep peels are also done in 20-minute intervals and under mild sedation.

The Recovery Process

The recovery process after a chemical peel takes one to three weeks on average. Since downtime after a chemical peel can be significant, it is a good idea to have a chemical peel when you can get time off from work. The mildest peels may not require downtime or involve actual peeling.

We advise patients to bring a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen to their appointment. The skin is sensitive to the sun immediately after a peel, and you need protection on your way back. If you were given sedation, have someone else prepared to drive you home.

In the days to weeks post-peel, you will notice irritation similar to a sunburn. Medium to deep peels may cause swelling and crusting. Avoid picking your skin as this can lead to scarring and skin infections. Some level of discomfort is normal after a peel and can be managed with medication.

Aftercare immediately following a chemical peel involves applying SPF whenever you go out, using gentle cleansers and moisturizers, and avoiding exercising and steamy baths.

We may arrange follow-up visits to monitor your recovery process.

Chemical Peel Results

Results with superficial peels are subtle and involve a more radiant skin tone with reduced discoloration and texture. For more significant results, we advise repeating superficial peels. Stronger peels make the skin noticeably smoother and more even, while deep peels yield dramatic results that become more noticeable after several months.

Results from a chemical peel can last a long time with proper skincare. Since your skin will continue to age and accumulating new damage is inevitable, you may need to repeat chemical peels every couple of months or every two to three years, depending on the state of your skin.

After a chemical peel, your skin may be more sensitive to sun exposure than usual. Protecting your skin with high SPF and wide-brimmed hats will help it stay healthy.

FAQs

Are chemical peels bad for your skin?

Chemical peels improve the appearance and health of your skin. Not only do they remove damaged skin cells, but they can also clear precancerous growths. According to a 2020 systematic review on chemical peels, there is no evidence they increase the risk of skin cancer, and they may even be protective.

Are chemical peels effective for acne?

There are chemical peels that are specifically designed to treat active acne. Peels exfoliate the skin, which can prevent pores from becoming clogged and acne from forming.

Can chemical peels remove scars?

Chemical peels can remove superficial and mild scars. If you suffer ice pick scars and deep scars, we may recommend Microdermabrasion as an alternative.

Can I get results with a single session?

You will notice some amount of improvement after a single session, even with superficial chemical peels. For best results, we recommend repeating superficial chemical peels every couple of weeks to months. Medium and deep peels produce more significant improvements right away.

How often should I get chemical peels?

Patients can get superficial chemical peels once a month until they achieve the desired results. Deeper peels can be performed every two to three years to keep skin looking smooth and even.

Are chemical peels good for dark skin?

Dark skin types can get beautiful results with chemical peels. We usually use mild acids to treat dark skin tones to prevent the worsening of hyperpigmentation, which is a concern when chemical peels are used on this skin type.

Great Skin Starts With Us

Want to find out if you are a good candidate for a chemical peel? Contact us for a free consultation. Our friendly staff is here to help all Voorhees Township, NJ residents and visitors who want to learn about the best options for achieving great skin.