If at all possible, most people would prefer to retain a youthful appearance through the years. Unfortunately, as we age, so does the rest of our body, including the most visible parts, which are the face, neck and hands. Excessive exposure to the sun and other types of harmful rays can often cause the skin cells to deteriorate over time, leaving behind an unhealthy, unattractive and aged appearance. Thankfully, there are many ways in which individuals can recapture the look from their younger years. The most popular methods for facial rejuvenation involve different types of skin resurfacing treatments, and one of them is a chemical peel. The purpose of this particular technique is to improve the overall appearance of the skin.
There are several types of chemical peels that individuals can choose from; some of them can be very mild, while others are more abrasive because they work more deeply into the skin. The mildest chemical peels can often be purchased in stores; however the results are often short-lived due to the limited impact on the skin. Non-medical spas and salons can usually perform stronger chemical peels, including glycolic peels
. Patients that strive for more dramatic results usually opt for deeper chemical peels, which require the skills and expertise of a cosmetic surgeon.
Chemical peels are usually done with the application of a chemical solution to the skin. The solution causes the old skin to blister and ultimately peel off, leaving in its place newer, smoother and healthier skin. Most people get this type of skin resurfacing treatment on their face, neck or hands. In addition to improving the overall texture of the skin, chemical peels are also effective for:
- Diminishing the appearance of age spots, freckles etc.
- Getting rid of hyper pigmentation
- Lessening the appearance of scars
- Reducing fine lines (under the eyes & around the mouth)
- Treating different types of acne
- Treating wrinkles which result from sun damage and aging
As with othertypes of cosmetic procedures, there are some side effects associated with chemical peels that individuals should be aware of. For example, patients can sometimes experience tightness of the skin, a stinging sensation, and redness to occur. In most cases, these effects are mild and only last for a short period of time. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the potential for risk and irritation of the skin is typically heightened for those who undergo deeper chemical peels.
Chemical peel treatments are typically performed as an outpatient procedure, and can last anywhere between minutes to hours. In preparation for the peel, patients may be asked to stop taking certain drugs by their doctor or dermatologist. The use of sedatives or pain medication can also be involved depending on the duration and severity of the peel. After the chemical peel is done, it is strongly recommended for patients to wear sufficient sunscreen as they are at greater risk for sustaining sun damage.
Costs and Financing
When it comes to financing the costs associated with this facial rejuvenation treatment, health insurance companies do not provide coverage due to the cosmetic nature of the procedure. However, as a general rule of thumb, the deeper the chemical peel is, the more money it costs. Individuals can consult with their doctor or dermatologist, who can assess their skin condition and determine the type of chemical peel treatment that will achieve the desired results.
[page updated December 2008]