Our skin is constantly shedding. For better or worse, depending on your perspective, we don’t do it like snakes that simply slough off the old skin for a new shiny layer beneath. We do it cell by cell, but the plodding pace of that can leave our outer skin dull and lifeless.
To accelerate the exfoliation process, Dr. Malamet uses chemical peels. Chemical peels remove the outer skin in varying degrees depending on the active chemicals used. Chemical peels are great for addressing a variety of skin issues: age spots, enlarged pores, acne, even pigmentation problems.
What are the different chemical peels?
There are basically three different peels, based on their peeling agent.
- Light chemical peels— Also called superficial peels, these peels are excellent for exfoliating the outermost layer of the epidermis, removing dead and damaged skin cells and refreshing the skin’s glow. Light peels use naturally derived alphahydroxy acids. These are glycolic acid (derived from sugar cane, grapes, or sugar beets), lactic acid (derived from sour milk), or salicylic acid (derived from plants). After a light peel, the patient’s skin can show some slight redness and irritation, but that passes quickly. Light peels can be done on a regular basis to keep your skin glowing.
- Medium chemical peels— Medium-depth peels penetrate more deeply, even down to the dermis layer of the skin. Medium peels are good for acne scars, deeper wrinkles, and uneven pigmentation. Trichloroacetic acid is used for medium peels. Medium peels do require some recovery time, as the patient’s skin will be red and stinging afterwards. Some crusting will develop and the skin redness can linger for a couple weeks. Medium peels can be repeated, but no more than once every quarter.
- Deep chemical peels— These are the most aggressive peels. They use phenol, also known as carbolic acid, as the peeling agent. Deep peels penetrate into the lower dermis layer, and can be used to address deeper wrinkles, sun damage, pre-cancerous growths, blotchy skin, and scars. Deep peels are an aggressive treatment and require recovery time. The patient will definitely have peeling, crusting, swelling, and redness for several days after the peel, lingering for weeks. Redness can remain for up to three months, and the patient needs to be very careful about sun exposure because the new exposed skin is very fragile. Due to their aggressiveness, deep peels can only be done once every 10 years.
We can combine chemical peels with other procedures such as laser skin rejuvenation or dermal fillers or Botox to expand your results. If you’re interested, call Dr. Malamet at 818-380-3130 to schedule an appointment.