We had an interview with the nice chaps at www.plastic-surgeon-seo-specialists.co.uk about the rise in popularity of chemical peels.
Chemical peels, also referred to as acid peels, are a non-invasive cosmetic surgery that is performed to rejuvenate your skin and decrease or eliminate the appearance of wrinkles. This type of cosmetic surgery is very common and is generally performed to the hands, neck, and face and will provide you with dramatic results as well as a youthful appearance. Chemical peels are performed at various levels, however the most common is the deep peel which not only causes the most injury, but also creates the best and longest lasting results of any other level of chemical peel. You also have the option to have a medium or superficial chemical peel as well, depending on the level of correction you want made to your skin.
Layers of the Skin
There are two main layers of the skin call the epidermis and the dermis. While the epidermis is the outer most layer of the skin, it acts as a barrier for our muscles and dermis from the outside world. The dermis is the layer of the skin that lies beneath the epidermis and is responsible for the elasticity of our skin as well as structure and support. Overtime, through age and sun exposure, the fibers that make up the dermis begin to break down and lose elasticity as well as collagen. Through continuous movement in the facial muscles, wrinkles and lines begin to form in our skin.
When a deep peel is performed, the most common chemical that is used for the procedure is called Phenol or Carbolic Acid. This organic compound is aromatic and should be handled very carefully as it can be very dangerous. If misused during a deep peel, this chemical can cause poisoning and result in the need for medical attention. Phenol is also the strongest of all the chemicals that can be used in a chemical peel, it can be used in its purest form or mixed with water, soap, and various oils during a chemical peel. This is because the purest forms of phenol don’t penetrate very deeply into the skin to perform the procedure as well as phenol-based mixtures.
As a result of having a deep peel, some people may have scarring, sun sensitivity, and it is good to keep in mind that deep peels will cause your skin to become lighter after a chemical peel which is why it isn’t recommended for people with darker colored skin. However, deep chemical peels have the ability to do much more than just rid your face of wrinkles, as they have been used to correct pigment abnormalities, deep scarring from acne, extensive damage caused by the sun, blotchy skin, and pre-cancerous lesions on the skin.
The Deep Peel Procedure
It is best to keep in mind that the procedure can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours and you may feel pain or discomfort during the procedure. However it is common that you will be able to undergo this process while under general anesthesia, local anesthetic, and sedation are common practice to keep you comfortable during the procedure. An alcohol cleaner will be used to clean the area that will be treated before the procedure begins, this ensures the cleanliness of the area before the application of the phenol or phenol mixture.
During the procedure, the chemical mixture is applied using a brush or sponge to the entirety of the face. Unlike other chemical peels, deep peels damage both the dermis and epidermis. This encourages new cellular growth and rejuvenation of cells such as collagen. During the peel after the chemical has been applied, it then soaks into the skin and can go as deep as the lower dermis. Once the chemicals have set, the skin begins to turn white. This process is called frosting, the degree of whiteness is what is used to determine the depth of the treatment and once the desired depth is met, and the chemicals are then removed. The damaged layers of skin will begin to peel off overtime and slowly reduces the appearance of wrinkles over time.
After the procedure, you will see redness and irritation on the skin, and it is recommended to take at least 1 week off from work during the initial healing process. Petroleum jelly or bandages are applied to the face during this time and pain medication is prescribed to help with the pain of the healing process. You may even notice some frosting after the initial peel which will fade over time. The results of a deep peel can last for as long as a decade with proper care of your skin.