Chemical peels are a well established aesthetic procedure that can deliver profound rejuvenating effects. Chemical peels involve applying specific solutions over the skin to produce a controlled reaction to remove certain layers of the skin and provide a deep exfoliation. Chemical peels are used for the purposes of tightening and to an extent levelling of the skin. They also help with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation problems and help to soften and improve scars. Skin has smoother texture, enhanced glow and more even pigmentation.
How does it work?
The skin is composed of two layers. The top layer is the epidermis and the bottom layer is the dermis. The dermis is further divided into the papillary dermis and deeper reticular dermis. Fine lines, wrinkles and scars result in imperfections in the skin and can involve parts of the epidermis only or go as deep as the dermis. Pigmentation problems, specifically hyperpigmentation is usually the result of problems at the level of the epidermal dermal junction. Chemical peels penetrate the skin down to different levels depending upon their strength. The stronger the peels the deeper they penetrate and the more layers they remove. Afterwards the skin is left to regenerate the layers that have been removed improving appearance, texture and elasticity. The epidermis is thicker and there is a degree of collagen and elastin stimulation.
What happens during the treatment in clinic?
After performing an accurate assessment of your skin we will discuss your concerns and formulate a bespoke treatment program with you. We offer chemical peels from the Zein Obagi skin care line – specifically the ZO Invisapeel, ZO Retinol Stimulation Peel, ZO Three Step Peel and the ZO controlled depth Blue Peel. These are mainly trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels of varying strengths that are also self-neutralising. We will try to make the peel as pain free as possible but are not keen on the use of topical anaesthetics because they can affect the depth of penetration of the peel. Where necessary we will use nerve blocks to help eliminate any discomfort. Processes involved in maintaining good skin health are extremely complex. It is normal for these processes to naturally slow down and become disorganised by the age of 30 years. For the deeper chemical peels, we insist on preconditioning your skin for at least 6 weeks beforehand in order to ensure your skin responds to the peels in the best possible manner to achieve the best possible result.
At Rejuvence we have a thorough understanding of the complexities of skin health. We are extremely thorough and are always careful to ensure clients have adequately preconditioned their skin well prior to having deeper more effective chemical peels. We also have experience in treating different skin types and are always mindful of potential side effects. There is no doubt that chemical peels alongside a good skin care program will provide fantastic results.
Chemical peels can be used to improve skin on any part of the body. Chemical peels are commonly used to treat fine lines and wrinkles that are not too deep seated as well as the signs of sun damage. Deeper wrinkles and rhytides can be improved with chemical peels but often alternative approaches are required. Moderate acne scars and hyperpigmentation can also be treated with chemical peels. However, ice pick acne scars do not improve dramatically with chemical peels and often a combination approach is necessary. Following application of chemical peels to the skin the regenerative process that takes place results in an overall tightening of the skin as well as a certain amount of levelling depending upon the strength of the peel and how many layers of the skin it has removed. This results in smoothening of skin. Chemical peels are normally not a one off procedure and required on a semi regular basis to maintain a natural glow.
There is a large body of scientific research available to support the use of chemical peels in skin rejuvenation. Researchers have published evidence detailing the effects of different types of solutions and their strengths on different skin conditions. Much work has also been completed to identify the best treatment combinations for specific skin conditions. Most importantly researchers have identified side effects and rates of scarring associated with different strengths of chemical peels and also identified what skin types are particularly susceptible to scarring and poor results. This has tremendously helped achieve consistent results and avoid poor results.
The stronger the chemical peel the deeper it penetrates and the better the potential results. However, in certain skin types and especially without adequate preconditioning, your skin can react badly to strong chemical peels. Poor technique and a lack of understanding of what type of skin problem is being treated can result in the wrong chemical peel being selected and poor final results. Side effects can include scarring and hyperpigmentation as well as skin infections, and reactivation of herpes simplex if you have had cold sores in the past and not taken antiviral medication. It is important not to pick at skin flakes and scabs after a deep chemical peel as it can result in scarring and infection.
The procedure will last 30 to 40 minutes. The ZO Invisapeel does not require preconditioning and has minimal downtime with a swift return to work. The ZO Retinol Stimulation Peel and ZO Three Step Peel require varying degrees of preconditioning and are associated with a slightly longer downtime. You will be required to take 3 to 5 days off. The ZO controlled depth peel is the deepest and gold standard peel but is associated with a significant downtime and you will need a least 7 to 10 days to recover before going back to work.