A chemical peel is a skin rejuvenation technique that uses a chemical solution to improve and smooth the texture of facial skin by removing its outer layers. Three types of solutions are commonly used: alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) for light peels, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) for medium peels and phenol for deep peels.

Full-face peels with AHA and TCA take only about 10 to 15 minutes, while a full-face peel with phenol may take one hour. Sedation is required for chemical peels with TCA or phenol.

Preparation of the skin before chemical peels is helpful in achieving optimal results. Afterward the patient can immediately resume normal activities but will notice temporary redness and flaking and should wear a doctor-recommended sunblock.

With a TCA peel the patient will have mild swelling, blistering and peeling for about a week and should avoid strenuous activity and any sun exposure. With a phenol peel, scabbing and peeling will be more intense, and it will take seven to 10 days for new skin to form. The patient should rest and avoid any sun exposure for two to three weeks.

The best candidates for chemical peels are people with facial blemishes, wrinkles or uneven skin pigmentation who don’t spend a great deal of time outdoors. The deeper the peel, the more scabbing and peeling and the longer the recovery – but also the smoother, softer and more uniform the result.

For more information or to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Stice, call 402-758-5500.