Which Chemical Peel Is Right For You?

Chemical peels are wonderful alternatives to laser facials, which can be costly, and are a quick way to remove dead skin cells, fine lines, small scars, freckles, dark spots and/or skin imperfections caused by aging, hormones and the sun. They are controlled treatments to your face, neck and/or chest, and can be performed safely by a medical esthetician. However, the more intense peels will need to be performed by a physician.

Chemical peels are wonderful alternatives to laser facials, which can be costly, and are a quick way to remove dead skin cells, fine lines, small scars, freckles, dark spots and/or skin imperfections caused by aging, hormones and the sun. They are controlled treatments to your face, neck and/or chest, and can be performed safely by a medical esthetician. However, the more intense peels will need to be performed by a physician. 

Chemical peels are performed on an outpatient basis, and they are very effective in renewing the skin’s texture. Also, because peels slough off those unwanted dead skin cells, and force brand new fresh skin to the surface, it gives you the appearance of tighter, brighter skin and smaller pores.


There are 3 levels or grades of chemical peels, and it really depends on your skin color, texture, level of skin imperfections and elasticity to determine what chemical acid solution works best for you. In addition, your esthetician or doctor will determine if you need a stronger or lighter solution within each grade of the chemical peel.     

Lowest Grade: Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) Peel

These peels are more surface level, and they help with rough/dry skin and texture. This peel can also be mixed with skin bleaching agents to lessen dark spots or skin discoloration due to sun damage, hormones and aging. AHA peels take about 10 minutes, and you basically end up with what looks like a sunburn; the skin will be red, dry and you will peel. It takes about 5 days to heal but you can go about your normal life without any real downtime.

Medium Grade: Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) Peel

This type of peel is used to treat fine lines, surface level acne and slight skin imperfections. The TCA peel takes about 15 minutes, and for darker skin, you may need two or more treatments spaced out over several months. After having this procedure, you can expect mild swelling, redness, crusting/scabbing and peeling. The downtime can be anywhere from 5-10 days depending on how quickly your face heals. 

 

Higher Grade: Carbolic Acid or Phenol Peel

This peel is for coarse, deep wrinkles, and deeper darks spots and skin imperfections. The phenol peels are intense and can only be used on the face as it can scar the neck and other parts of the body. This peel needs to be performed by a physician because it does require general anesthesia and a sterile technique. Post-procedure, you will have heavy swelling; the eyes may even be swollen shut and you may need bandages that can be removed within 2 days. You will probably need some kind of pain medication, and you will not be able to wear makeup for two weeks. It is imperative that you stay out of the sun for at least 3 weeks as the skin is very susceptible to sun damage.    

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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