Fellow, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Ghassan Zein
Joely Kaufman, MD
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Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery
Los Angeles, USA
A chemical peel is a facial treatment used by our dermatologists that uses a chemical solution to improve and smooth the texture of your skin by removing the damaged outer layers. These peels are helpful for individuals with facial blemishes, acne, wrinkles, and uneven skin pigmentation. Chemical peels can also remove pre-cancerous skin growths or acne scars.
It is one of the least invasive ways to improve the texture and appearance of your skin, and in turn your self-confidence. Although chemical peels are one of the most commonly performed facial cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, and one that can be performed in conjunction with a facelift, it is not a substitute for such surgery, nor will it prevent or slow down the aging process.
Our established physicians have tremendous experience with individualized treatments, which comes in handy when trying to find the precise chemical peel treatment formula to use for each person in order to meet their needs and goals.
Cause of Skin Discoloration
Understanding the causes of skin discoloration, such as skin inflammation, melasma, and sun damage, is a great first step to correcting it.
Acne or skin trauma, such as a scratch of burn, often leads to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which can take weeks or even months to heal. Melasma, on the other hand, is a condition in which pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, or family history creates irregular patches of pigmentation. The final and most common cause of skin discoloration is the sun. The accumulation of exposure to sunlight is a major cause of hyperpigmentation.
Types of Chemical Peels
We use three different types of chemical peels at the Beverly Hills Medical Center of Kuwait, Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), Trichloroacetic acid (TCA), and Phenol.
AHAs, such as glycolic, lactic, or fruit acids, are the mildest of the peel formulas and provide a light chemical peel. These peels can create smoother, brighter-looking skin for people who cannot spare the time to recover from stronger peels. AHA peels are commonly used to treat fine wrinkling, areas of dryness, and uneven pigmentation.
TCA can be used in many concentrations, but it is most commonly used for medium-depth peeling. This particular formula is great for fine surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes, pigment problems, and acne scars. The results of TCA peels are, in general, less dramatic and long-lasting than great strength phenol peels, but the recovery time is usually shorter.
Phenol, meanwhile, is the strongest of the chemical solutions, and provides a deep chemical peel. It is mainly used to treat patients with coarse facial wrinkles, areas of blotchy or damaged skin caused by sun exposure, or pre-cancerous growths. Since phenol sometimes lightens the treated areas, your skin pigmentation may be a determining factor as to whether or not this is an appropriate treatment for you.
Benefits of Chemical Peels
If you have ever had uneven, blotchy skin or melasma, you know how difficult it is to not only treat these conditions, but to prevent them from coming back as well. Thankfully, chemical peels are great treatment options for these skin conditions because the procedure accelerates skin turnover while simultaneously speeding up pigment reduction. This, in turn, results in healthier skin and a more uniform complexion.
Chemical peels help remove the superficial layers of damaged skin and eliminate discolored skin cells. This also enhances penetration of bleaching agents. By inducing production of new collagen and stimulating new healthy skin cell growth, peels help reveal a more youthful, radiant complexion.
Is a Chemical Peel Safe?
While all chemical peels carry some uncertainty and risk, a peel is normally considered to be a safe procedure when it is performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. However, some unpredictability and risks such as infection and scarring, while infrequent, are possible.
AHA peels may cause stinging, redness, irritation and crusting. However, as the skin adjusts to the treatment regimen, these problems will subside.
With a TCA peel, patients are advised to avoid sun exposure for several months after chemical peel treatment to protect the newly formed layers of skin. Even though TCA is a milder solution than phenol, it may also produce some unintended color changes in the skin.
With a phenol peel, the new skin frequently loses its ability to make pigment. This means that not only will the skin be lighter in color, but you will always have to protect it from the sun. Phenol may pose a special risk for patients with a history of heart disease. It’s important that you make your surgeon aware of any heart problems when your medical history is taken.
As we age, the accumulated effects of sun exposure, pollutants, acne and scarring may damage our skin and cause us to look older than we actually are. Such skin damage can be treated with chemical peel, a non-invasive procedure designed to promote cell growth and produce smoother, clearer skin.
If you are considering chemical peel treatments, schedule a consultation with the plastic surgeons at the Beverly Hills Medical Center of Kuwait by calling +(965)-222-89999 today!
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