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Chemical peeling is a tried and true method of improving skin, which has been used for generations. The milk bath, which was a popular historical beauty treatment, was actually a primitive form of a mild lactic acid peel. Modern technology has revolutionized cosmetic dermatology, with a plethora of devices and procedures now available. Yet, chemical peel treatment remains an essential component of aesthetic medicine, with a highly customizable process and reliable results. We offer several chemical peel options at our practices in Elk Grove and Stockton.
Peeling away the years
During a chemical peel procedure, the clinician applies a therapeutic formula, usually containing some type of acid. It works with natural regenerative processes to eliminate superficial blemishes and repair damage. This technique benefits skin in three ways:
Deep exfoliation – The epidermal layers of skin are perpetually regenerating, with new cells being created and older ones sloughing off. The process isn’t always efficient, and it slows as we age. A layer of dead cells tends to cling to the surface of skin, which is what you are removing when you use an exfoliating scrub. Chemical peeling not only thoroughly removes dead skin and debris, but it also goes deeper, eliminating many textural irregularities, pigmentation problems and more. Just how deep it goes depends on the peel.
Cellular regeneration – Skin cells have a fairly short lifespan, with the uppermost layer refreshing every few weeks. For deeper dermal layers the process is much slower, unless healing mechanisms are activated. Chemical peels activate these processes, causing rapid development of fresh, youthful skin.
Therapeutic topical treatments – One of the great benefits of chemical peeling is the customizability of the procedure. Formulas may include ingredients specifically targeting acne, pigmentation, or other skin concerns.
Types of chemical peels
A chemical peel is generally classified as mild, medium, or deep, depending on how aggressively it removes skin layers. However, there are actually infinite possibilities, because the strength as well as ingredients in a peel can be adjusted for each patient. Some of the most popular peels include the TCA Peel, lactic acid peel, and croton oil peel.
The chemical peel is an outpatient procedure, performed right here in our comfortable office. The steps of the procedure include:
Preparation – The treatment area is cleansed to remove impurities and debris before beginning. For deep peels, a numbing medication is used to ensure comfort.
Application – The chemical peeling solution is applied to the skin surface in a thin, evenly distributed layer.
Activation – The formula is allowed to soak in for a pre-determined length of time, usually just a few minutes.
Neutralization – For medium and deep peels, the solution is neutralized to prevent over-treating skin. This step may be unnecessary with superficial peels.
Cleansing – When treatment is complete, the peeling formula is removed from skin.
Replenishing – A hydrating, soothing topical serum or ointment is normally applied when the peel is complete.
Healing – For mild peels, there is no downtime. Medium to deep peels may require a little recovery time. You will be advised of aftercare requirements applicable to your treatment.
Results – The final, and most important, step of a chemical peel is enjoying your beautiful, smooth, even-toned skin! The results typically develop within a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the depth of the peel.
Who is a good candidate for a chemical peel
Chemical peeling is a non-surgical, customizable skin solution. Therefore, it is considered safe for most patients. However, certain medical conditions or medications may contraindicate treatment. During your initial consultation, we will review your medical history and discuss your treatment goals to determine if a chemical peel is a good option.
The many benefits of a chemical peel procedure include:
Improving the overall texture and appearance of your skin
Reducing pigmentation problems, such as melasma, freckles, birthmarks, and age spots
Dr. Gerald Bock is a board-certified general, cosmetic, and surgical dermatologist serving patients in the following California, United States communities: Lodi, CA; Stockton, CA; and Elk Grove, CA. He is a fellow with the American Academy of Dermatology and is a pioneer of cosmetic surgery in the Central Valley. Dr. Bock’s goal is to provide services that enhance an individual’s beauty without making them look like they have had anything done. He is committed to helping patients achieve their aesthetic goals with innovative treatments that deliver ageless results.