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: Is microdermabrasion safe during pregnancy?
Answer: Yes, microdermabrasion is completely safe during pregnancy and is one of the few procedures or products that we will use on pregnant women. For the most part, I really recommend that women who are pregnant not undergo any sort of invasive procedure and I also recommend that they stay away from any pharmaceutical-grade skin care products even though there is really no scientific evidence that they would be harmful to the baby. Microdermabrasion, however, is noninvasive and uses no chemicals and, therefore, would be completely safe for a pregnant woman.
Question: My daughter is 20 and had problems with acne that have finally subsided leaving her with scars. Can fat injections help to smooth out the scars from adolescent acne problems?
Answer: Fat injections can definitely improve upon acne scarring but is certainly not going to be 100% effective and requires experienced hands to not only place fat into this area but also to lyse or cut the scar tissue beneath the acne scarring in a very precise and consistent manner. Depending on your daughter’s actual appearance of the acne scarring, I may or may not recommend laser treatments for a better result in my hands.
Question: What facial rejuvenation treatments do you recommend to treat wrinkles stemming from years of smoking?
Answer: At Quintessa Aesthetic Center, we have a multitude of different options available for patients interested in wrinkle reduction. Some of these can be performed in the spa setting with minimal if any downtime. Others are much more aggressive and tend to be performed in an operating room and can give a patient nearly a week of significant downtime. With each treatment option there comes a cost and a degree of improvement. In other words, the deeper we treat the skin the more significant the improvement, and this usually is a technique that is going to be more costly and give patients more downtime. Ultimately, every patient’s face and finances and tolerance of downtime is different and we, therefore, highly customize the treatment so that the patient gets the results that they desire.