Chemical Peels in Santa Barbara, CA
Age spots, sun spots and other imperfections that show up on our skin are often treated with chemical peels. Sara Yegiyants, MD, FACS, a triple board-certified plastic surgeon, performs chemical peels on men and women living in and around Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Ventura, CA, along with the surrounding communities, to remove dead layers of skin and reveal a glowing complexion.
What Is A Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel uses a chemical solution to smooth the texture of your skin by removing the damaged outer layers.
Although chemical peels are used mostly on the face, they can also be used to improve the skin on your neck and hands.
A chemical peel is one of the least invasive ways to improve the appearance of your skin. Sun exposure, acne, or just getting older can leave your skin tone uneven, wrinkled, spotted or scarred.
A chemical peel can help improve:
- Acne or acne scars
- Age and liver spots
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Irregular skin pigmentation
- Rough skin and scaly patches
- Sun-damaged skin
Chemical peels will not treat deep facial lines, tighten loose or sagging skin, remove deep scars, or treat pore size.
How Does A Chemical Peel Work?
Chemical solutions improve the texture by removing damaged outer layers.
The chemicals used are phenol, trichloroacetic acid, and alphahydroxy acids. The formula used by your doctor will be adjusted to meet your particular needs.
There are three types of chemical peels:
Which Chemical Peel Am I A Candidate For?
- Uneven pigment
- Fine wrinkling
This kind of peel removes just the outer layer of skin (epidermis) in a light exfoliation and results in a healthier glow.
Usually a combination of alphahydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid and maleic acid, are used. All of these chemicals are the mildest choices. You can repeat these treatments to achieve your desired results.
- Acne scars
- Deeper wrinkles
- Uneven skin color
The chemicals used for this type of peel will remove skin cells from both the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and upper part of your middle layer of skin (dermis).
Commonly used agents include trichloroacetic acid, sometimes used in combination with glycolic acid.
- Deeper facial wrinkles
- Skin that’s damaged by the sun
- Pre-cancerous growths
The most commonly agent used is phenol, which penetrates down to the lower dermal layer of your skin. For this type of peel, you may need a local anesthetic and a sedative to manage any discomfort.
A deep chemical peel usually involves some sort of pretreatment for up to eight weeks. This will prepare your skin for the peel and speed the healing process.
Pretreatment may include use of a retinoic acid cream or gel – a prescription medication that’s derived from vitamin A. This works to thin out the skin’s surface layer, allowing the chemical solution to penetrate more evenly and deeply.
How Is A Chemical Peel Done?
Your face will be cleansed. The chemical solution is brushed onto your skin and left on for a few minutes. You may feel some mild stinging. The chemical peel is then washed off and neutralized.
The process is similar to light chemical peel. The treated area may turn a whitish grey color.
The chemicals are neutralized with a cool saline compress. Your skin may turn red or brown in the days just after the peel. It may take up to six weeks for your skin to look normal.
You will be given a sedative to relax along with a local anesthetic to numb your face.
Your face will be cleansed. Phenol is brushed onto the area after an appropriate time interval. The chemical is neutralized with water. A thick coat of ointment is smoothed over your skin, to prevent dryness and pain. The ointment must stay in place. Sometimes your surgeon will cover your skin with strips of tape or medicated gauze rather than ointment.
What Is The Recovery After A Chemical Peel?
You are likely to experience some redness, stinging, skin flaking, and irritation from a light chemical peel. After repeated treatments, these side effects will likely subside. Other light chemical peel risks include: hyperpigmentation (when too much pigment occurs, causing brown blotches). Avoid this by always using a high-factor sunscreen.
When trichloroacetic acid is used in a medium chemical peel, you’ll experience some redness, stinging and skin crusting just like during a light chemical peel.
Although these chemicals won’t bleach your skin, you may see some color changes. You’re advised to avoid the sun for several months to protect that fresh new layer of skin.
Other medium chemical peel risks include:
Hyperpigmentation (when too much pigment occurs, causing brown blotches) may result even if you use sunscreen. Permanent scarring is another infrequent risk.
Redness, which occurs in everyone after the peel, may last longer than a few months for some people.
A deep chemical peel requires that you have an adequate recovery time.
You may return to work and some of your normal activities two weeks after treatment. At that point, your skin will be healed enough for you to wear makeup.
Deep chemical facial peels will result in peeling, crusting, skin redness and discomfort for several days.
Your doctor will provide painkillers to keep you comfortable. Although the swelling is likely to disappear in about two weeks, your skin may remain red for up to three months.
One treatment with a deep chemical peel will produce long-lasting and dramatic results that can last up to 10 years.
The chemical used in a deep chemical peel, phenol, can lighten the skin that’s treated. With this kind of peel, your new skin often loses its ability to make pigment, meaning to tan. You will always need to protect your skin from the sun.
Phenol also can pose a special risk for people with heart disease. Be sure to tell your surgeon about any heart problems and include it in your medical history.
If you live in or around Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, or Ventura, CA, and are looking for a board-certified plastic surgeon to address your cosmetic surgery needs, contact Sara Yegiyants, MD, FACS, in Santa Barbara, CA, today, to set up your consultation.
Meet Dr. Yegiyants
Sara Yegiyants, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in surgical and non-invasive procedures. Learn more about Dr. Yegiyants and why you should choose her for your next procedure.