Chemical peeling is a broad term for the use of a variety of medical agents to remove surface damage and irregularities from the skin. The chemical peel is one of the earliest methods of skin resurfacing, and its value has persisted over time as new agents and techniques have been developed that provide more choices for patients and improved results. Many resurfacing agents are available; Dr. Barone and our clinical staff have a long experience with their use and benefits. Peeling agents utilized for treating sun damaged skin are selected based on their depth of penetration and therapeutic effect.
Medium Depth Peels
These peels affect the thicker and deeper layer of the skin called the dermis. The most commonly used agent for medium-depth peeling is Trichloroacetic Acid, or TCA. TCA and other medium‐depth agents not only improve surface damage but can help reverse damage and premature aging changes to the deeper layer of the skin. Fine wrinkles may also improve with the use of medium depth peels. The application of TCA can result in increased collagen formation which will thicken aged skin, help restore skin tone and improve the complexion.
Medium‐depth peeling is associated with a short period of downtime, typically 4 to 7 days. There may be a period of post‐peel redness (erythema) which should be resolved within 2 weeks and can be camouflaged with a high‐quality mineral makeup.
Deep peels affect the mid‐ to deep layers of the dermis. The agent used in deep peels is modified phenol (with Croton Oil). This helps control the depth of phenol penetration, so that different degrees of peeling can be obtained depending on the problem to be
Deeper peels are sometimes selected for severe problems such as acne scarring or advanced sun damage and aging with severe loss of skin tone. Hyperpigmentation is improved as well as both fine and deeper wrinkles, especially in the crow’s feet area and around the mouth. Phenol can also improve pre‐cancerous sun damage called actinic keratosis.
Because of the aggressiveness of this technique, pre‐treatment medical skin care is essential to prepare the skin and a long-term commitment must be made while the skin is recovering. We use a team approach to plan and post peel care utilizing licensed aestheticians and nurses along with Dr. Barone.
The phenol peel can be performed with intravenous medication for the comfort of the patient. The open peeled areas typically heal within 6 to 9 days, but redness may continue to last weeks or months post-treatment. We recommend a high‐quality mineral makeup, such as Jane Iredale for camouflage.