Chemical peels are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed to rejuvenate the appearance of the skin. Non-invasive chemical peels exfoliate your skin and reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles, scars and other issues to give you a smoother and more youthful appearance.
Chemical Peels Procedure Overview
Chemical peels are a popular non-invasive cosmetic procedure that can rejuvenate the overall appearance of the skin. Factors such as heredity, sun damage, diet and repetitive muscle movement over time can contribute to signs of aging on the face and other areas of your body. Customized chemical peels are performed on the face as well as the neck and hands to reduce the appearance of superficial wrinkles, scars and uneven pigmentation. They can also treat pre-cancerous skin lesions to reduce the risk of them developing into skin cancers in the future.
Prior to your chemical peel a consultation with Dr. Chiang will help determine what kind of peel is appropriate for your condition and skin type. A mild peel for superficial exfoliation can help minimize pore size, treat active acne, improve tone and texture. A medium peel can treat pigment irregularities, moderate sun damage, acne scars and deep wrinkles. A deep peel penetrates into the lower dermal layers to address severe scarring and sun damage.
Prior to your chemical peel, your face will be thoroughly cleansed and degreased with alcohol for maximum penetration. The peel solution will then be applied to the skin in layers. Total number of passes are determined according to the patient's discomfort level and sensitivity of the skin. The solution is left on the skin for a few minutes to an hour, depending on the type of peel and the sensitivity. Patients tend to experience some stinging, burning or itching during the treatment.
Once the acid application is complete, based on type of peel solution, the peel is then neutralized by applying cold gauze compress to the skin to deactivate the solution to control the depth and intensity of treatment. For self-neutralizing peels, the solution is on the skin for a predetermined length of time as directed by your provider. The procedure is then followed by a moisturizer and physical sunscreen to soothe and protect your skin.
Many people get Botox or injectable fillers along with their chemical peel. While chemical peels treat the surface of the skin, injectables reach within or below the skin. If you are getting a deeper peel, your doctor may recommend waiting a couple of weeks before complementary treatments.
DiamondGlow is a commonly used alternative to chemical peels. DiamondGlow exfoliates the skin in a physical process where the surface cells are manually removed. Peels work on a deeper level and treat issues below the surface of the skin. Other alternatives include laser resurfacing to trigger the skin’s natural healing process and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL or Photofacial) that can target brown spots and rosacea.
Darker skin type or reactive skin may develop transient post inflammatory hyperpigmentation after a chemical peel. Those with acne prone skin, a peel can trigger purging of breakouts. Patients with a history of cold sores should refer to their provider for a prophylactic course of antiviral medication to reduce onset of flare up. People with a heart condition and women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid chemical peels.
Prior to your consultation, we want to learn as much as possible about you in order for us to best prepare for your visit. A clear understanding of your concerns, goals, timeline, and budget will help us determine whether we have the appropriate tools and options to deliver optimal results.
During your consultation, your assigned Patient Experience Coordinator and Dr. Chiang will discuss your concerns in more depth. The doctor will do a physical assessment to come up with treatment options that balance your needs to manage your downtime, your results, and how we can help address your goals. Many times, a multi-modal approach may be presented to help provide the best outcomes.
After discussing your options, you will continue your journey with your Patient Experience Coordinator to further review your quotes and review the next steps of your aesthetics plan.
What to Expect
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Ultherapy™ is a new type of nonsurgical procedure that uses medical ultrasound for cosmetic improvement of the skin and underlying tissues. Ultherapy works deep below the surface — without harming the outer layer of skin — for firming, tightening and lifting. Improvements include a sleeker, more defined jawline and tighter skin on the neck under the chin. Sagging skin on the cheeks can be tightened and lifted, which in turn can improve folds from the nose to mouth, folds from the mouth to jaw, and drooping corners of the mouth. Tightening of skin on the forehead can reduce the sagging skin on the eyelids and promote a more open, refreshed look in general. Overall improvements in skin texture and evenness of color, as well as strengthening and adding more collagen “cushion,” can be additional benefits.
As with other ultrasound procedures, a smooth applicator placed upon your skin projects an image onto a screen. This same applicator is then used to deliver low levels of focused heat at just the right depth below the skin to achieve a positive effect, leaving the surface of your skin undisturbed. Your skin’s response to the energy is to stimulate the growth of new collagen. You will observe some immediate tightening and lifting that will ultimately result in a natural lift and conditioning of the skin over time.
Ultherapy is the only skin rejuvenation procedure that uses ultrasound to image and treat the skin. The ability to utilize an established technology — to both see below the skin and then treat it with great precision — helps ensure both safety and satisfying results.
Effects of Ultherapy can still be seen a year after treatment. Some patients may desire a second treatment to further build on the treatment results. This may be beneficial for patients who have a higher degree of laxity. A second treatment completed before six months will be provided at a discount. We like to schedule a follow-up visits to take photographs and track your progress. These visits will be typically at one, three and six months after your procedure.
Many patients describe the sensation as momentary prickling or heat beneath the skin. This is the ultrasound energy being delivered into the tissue, which is how Ultherapy lifts and tightens the skin. Comfort levels vary from person to person. Some patient may undergo the procedure with no sedation and no numbing medication or nerve blocks. Others find taking a mild sedative like Ativan or Valium can reduce anxiety during the procedure. You will need someone to drive you home if you chose to take this before the procedure. We offer all our patients the option for nerve blocks to blunt the sensation. We can prescribe a sedative prior to the procedure.
The regenerative process is initiated right away, but the full effect will build gradually over the course of two to three months or so. In the FDA clinical trial, 9 out of 10 patients had a noticeable, significant lift of the brow line. This resulted in a more open look to the eyes and a more youthful appearance overall. Patients also reported firmer, tighter, better-fitting skin in other areas of the face and neck, as well. A smoother texture and more even skin color are also possible side benefits.
You are able to return to your normal activities right away, and there are no special measures you need to take. Your skin may appear a bit flushed immediately after the treatment, but any redness should disappear in a matter of hours. You may also feel mild tenderness under the treated areas, which is normal. This indicates that the healing process is underway and that new, healthier collagen is being generated.
Of course, your skin will continue its natural aging process, so you may need to schedule an annual touch-up visit to maintain your results. The Northwestern University study followed patients up to 10 months, and improvement was still noticeable.
A good candidate is someone with skin that has “relaxed” to the point of sagging and feeling less firm. A lowered brow line or loose skin on the eyelids, for instance, is often the first sign of “maturing” skin. We will evaluate if you are an appropriate candidate at the time of your consultation.
Ultherapy uses ultrasound energy, which has been used in medical imaging and therapeutics, such as sonograms, for more than 50 years, and clinical studies have confirmed the safety of this latest application. As with any medical procedure, there are general safety considerations, which your physician will review with you. Please call (281) 404-5454 for more information about Ultherapy or to schedule your consultation.