Question: The texture of my skin looks very rough, I think in part because I look like I have large pores. Can a chemical peel improve this?
Answer: A chemical peel can definitely improve the rough texture of the skin and even improve the visibility of large pores depending on which peel in performed. Ultimately, the deeper the peel or the deeper the laser resurfacing the more significant the results but also the more downtime and higher risk involved. I would recommend seeking out someone with a very significant amount of experience with chemicals or lasers so that you ultimately get the result that you would want while minimizing any risk of unexpected complications.
Question: During my teen years/early 20′s I played sports, spent hours on the beach without sunscreen. Now I am a 40 year old male adult. I am a general contractor and spend the better part of my days outside. I want a facial peel to help soften my rugged look. My question is, how long do I have to stay out of the sun before I can return to my daily work routine?
Answer: There are a variety of treatments that we can recommend at Quintessa Aesthetic Center for overly sun damaged skin. We would have to personally evaluate your skin and then discuss the variety of options available so that you can choose the best option for your lifestyle and finances. A treatment option that can provide significant improvement in the skin texture and overall skin coloration and quality is what we call a 4-Week Challenge. This involves customized broadband light treatment followed by a ProFractional Laser treatment followed by another broadband light treatment each spaced about two weeks apart. It can provide significant improvement in the skin with only one to two days of downtime. A more aggressive approach and, in fact, the most aggressive approach would be a full laser resurfacing, which would be typically performed in an operating room setting and will give you a good six to seven days of significant downtime followed by sensitivity and pinkness to the skin for several weeks after that. You would be able to go back to work after the first week, but you obviously would want to wear very good sun protection to prevent any further injury to this fresh new skin.
Question: I’d like to get a smoother texture to improve my skin and also improve some pigmentation issues and acne scars. Does a chemical peel seem like a good choice for this?
Answer: A chemical peel can certainly be an excellent choice for improvement in discolorations and textural abnormalities of the skin and even acne scarring if the peel is deep enough to improve this. Most peels, however, are not going to be deep enough to improve the acne scarring and you would need a very aggressive approach to make any sort of significant visual improvement in this problem; nonetheless, frequently by performing more superficial peels we can make a visible improvement in the texture and discolorations of the skin and this in turn makes the skin look healthier and can give the illusion that the acne scarring is improved.
Question: I am worried about getting chemical peels for my acne scars because I have been told that peels will make skin thinner. Is this true?
Answer: Chemical peels really do not make your skin thinner. In fact, the peeling process allows for a significant amount of collagen to be laid down into the dermis and, in fact, most patients’ skin is slightly thicker after a chemical peel though the epidermis itself and certainly the stratum corneum may be thinner. I will caution you that acne scarring is very difficult to treat and only very aggressive chemical peels are going to give you any significant amount of improvement, so I would recommend that you not waste your time and money on superficial or medium-depth peels for acne scarring.
Question: I would like to do my own chemical peel at home, but I am afraid that my skin will come out looking very shiny and waxy. What strength do you suggest for a person with minor acne scarring?
Answer: First of all, I would recommend that patients not perform chemical peels on their own since most chemicals that are used for peeling could be potentially damaging to your eyes and if they are not applied correctly could cause burns. You do not mention which chemical you were planning on using, but in reality it does not really matter since virtually any of the chemicals used in chemical peeling could cause potential side effects. I would highly recommend that you seek out a professional who has extensive experience in chemical peels and allow them to do what they are experienced at. Regarding your minor acne scarring, I will let you know that mild and even medium-depth chemical peels are going to do very little to improve acne scarring. This is, unfortunately, something that I see in my office virtually every week where patients have spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars getting peels for acne scarring and they do not see any significant improvement. This is simply due to the fact that the person that they saw to get these chemical peels most likely is unable to perform deeper peels that would be more effective and, therefore, has nothing better to offer than a light to medium peel in a repetitive fashion. Unfortunately, the patient has now undergone multiple peels without results and presents to my office where they are told they need something more aggressive and, of course, this is going to cost additional money which can be upsetting for the patient. I certainly am very honest with my clients and let them know that anything less than a more aggressive approach is not going to give them the result that they desire.
Question: How would my skin feel to the touch after having a chemical peel?
Answer: Right after the peel, the skin can feel rough and irregular and as the peel actually is healing some of the skin will eventually literally peel and fall off, but after healing the skin will be extremely soft and smooth.
Question: Are phenol peels still performed today? Can they treat severe sun damage and will they do anything for wrinkles?
Answer: Phenol peels are definitely being performed today and in fact may be undergoing a bit of resurgence due to the fact that modification of the standard Baker-Gordon phenol peel has enabled surgeons to customize the peel approach to their patients and essentially minimize the downtime and recovery. Phenol peels are excellent choices for treatment of severe sun damage and will definitely improve wrinkling. At this point in time, I still prefer my Erbium laser due to the fact that it has such extreme precision, can be highly customizable for each person’s face, and overall I feel as if I can get a very significant wrinkle reduction without the prolonged redness and risk of scarring that the phenol peel gives. I also do not tend to see the overall lightening of the skin coloration that we used to get with phenol peels.
Question: There seem to be so many different types of chemical peels. How do you choose the right one?
Answer: Choosing the right peel certainly is a very customized process, so we have to take into account the client’s particular skin type and the problems that they have with their skin as well as their ability to tolerate any sort of downtime. We can then customize a chemical peel to maximize their results while fitting it into their lifestyle and finances.
Question: I love the results I’ve seen online with chemical peels. I’ve got some sun damage and minor wrinkling. Can this be improved with a chemical peel and would I need to have repeat treatments to maintain the results?
Answer: Sun damage and minor wrinkles can definitely be improved with chemical peels and depending on the depth of the chemical peel will really depend on how long your results are going to last and obviously the way that you treat your skin after the peel will also determine how long the results will last. Medium-depth chemical peels such as a Blue peel or a Jessner’s TCA peel both can provide very nice improvements in the appearance of sun damage as well as fine wrinkles. Deeper peels can do a wonderful job of treating even deeper wrinkles and then maintaining good skin care as well as sun protection will prolong the results significantly. These peels can be repeated in the future as necessary.
Question: I have chickenpox scars on my face from when I was six years old. I am now 30. Is there any kind of chemical peel that would work now or is it too late?
Answer: For the most part, chemical peels are really not the best option for chickenpox scars though, theoretically, a very deep chemical peel could certainly improve their appearance. I personally am partial to the ProFractional Laser by Sciton as the fractionated Erbium laser treatments spaced a month apart for about three treatments can do a wonderful job of improving textural and surface irregularities due to problems such as chickenpox scars, traumatic scars, surgical scars, and acne scarring.