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Chemical peels have a bad reputation and patients are often afraid of them. Are there truths to these apprehensions? Just like any treatment, skin care or otherwise there are risks and benefits. However, when treatments are done by properly trained professionals, the benefits to the skin far outweigh the risks. When trying to choose the appropriate treatment for you it is important to research the risks and benefits thoroughly prior to committing. 

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons upwards of 1.1 million peels were performed in 2012. The use of exfoliating acids is well established as a safe way of improving the overall health and appearance of the skin. Regular skin turnover and exfoliation is paramount to healthy skin. 

This process slows with uv light exposure, environmental toxins in our atmosphere and aging. Blended peels have been used over 20 years to help accelerate this process. The bad rap that peels have gotten is from peels that tend to require downtime like phenol peels. Now, with laser, this is less required as an option.

The peels we use are blended peels consisting of TCA, retinol, lactic acid, Salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, to name a few. The blended formulations allow each to be used at lower concentrations hence minimizing the adverse harsh effects and yet at combinations formulated to maximize the outcomes.

The active acids in most chemical peels are actually quite natural. Glycolic acid comes from sugar cane, lactic acid from sour milk and salicylic acid from wintergreen. These products are safe to use as long as all risks and possible contraindications are assessed before the treatment. The word “acid” or chemical is also quite negative. Why would one want to put a “chemical” on your skin?! People are taught that acids are dangerous. These acids are actually quite beneficial and have been formulated and are used in protocols for specific problems. The beauty in the products we use are that they don’t require much downtime. Once placed on the skin these peels actually are metabolized and they self neutralize and hence are much more comfortable for the patient than the higher percentage pure peels.

The ingredients actually are targeted to deal with skin problems – acne, melasma, hyper pigmentation in general. These treatments are not one time fixes. They usually will require a series if treatments.

Chemical Peels Are Effective For Treating:
  • Hormonal Skin
  • Acne Prone Skin
  • Dull Skin
  • Dry Skin
  • Congested Skin
  • Aging Skin
Treatment Areas:
  • Face
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Full Body  

Just because there are peels available on-line or at the local pharmacy with a brand name, does not mean that they should be performed at home by untrained individuals. Additionally, these more low concentration superficial peels sold at the local drugstore, although still dangerous in the wrong hands cannot give you the results you would get from a professional peel. On the other hand, there are also many websites that are now selling professional level peels to anyone without as much as a cosmetology license. We have many clients that have performed peels by themselves and have caused irreparable damage to the skin, including hyper or hypo-pigmentation and even scarring. These deeper peels should only be performed by medical professionals or specially trained estheticians working in a medical office. There are many steps that go into these treatments besides applying the product. There are medical questionnaires that need to be thoroughly reviewed for possible contraindications. For instance if someone is prone to cold sores or has an active cold sore, applying a chemical peel can cause a herpetic breakout over the entire face that can eventually lead to scarring. The skin also needs to be cared for properly before, during and after the procedure. These “on-line” peels most often do not come with medical knowledge, experience or facial specialist training and clients find themselves spending more money in the long run on expensive medical appointments and cosmetic treatments to try and repair the damage.
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