Chemical peeling is a tested and approved method of rejuvenating the skin and reducing the effects of age and sun damage on the skin. It is an important part of the job of a dermatologist to understand the active agents in available treatments, protective techniques, and the nature of sun and skin damage in order to recommend the proper procedure to rehabilitate and restore a patients skin. A dermatologist that is familiar with the various chemical peeling alternatives that are available will be able to solve skin problems that are either mild, moderate, or severe by using chemical agents that are specifically used for deep peeling, medium-depth, superficial, or extremely superficial skin cleaning procedures.
The type of treatment will usually depend on the type of skin a patient has as well as the pigmentation of their skin. Certain procedures, especially those that involve deep chemical and medium peeling, may result in unwanted changes in the color of the skin that need to be disclosed to the patient prior to any chemical peeling procedure taking place. The actual procedure that will be used will depend on the classification of the patients skin type, which are generally classified as types I through VI. A careful evaluation of a persons skin type and skin problems must be assessed prior to any procedure as certain chemicals used with certain skin disorders can result in complications and side effects of which the doctor will have to make the patient aware of.
Trichloroacetic acid has been found to be an effective agent in reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and is most effective when combined with other agents such as glycolic acid. A 35 percent TCA formula has proven just as effective when used with other agents as a 50 percent TCA formula, and presents the advantage of achieving good results without the worry of any scarring taking place.
Prior to the medium-depth chemical peeling procedure, the area that is being treated must be vigorously cleaned and degreased to allow an even penetration of the solution. Cotton tip applicators will then be used to apply what is known as Jessner’s solution followed by the TCA solution. The cotton tip applicators are a useful tool in determining the amount of solution being applied. To dilute the solution, cool saline compresses will be applied. The peel will then heal with .25 percent acetic acid soaks and a mild emollient cream.
While this is only a description of the medium-depth chemical peeling procedure, it can give you an idea of what the chemical peeling process entails. By consulting with your dermatologist and determining your skin type and the skin problems that need to be corrected, you will be able to determine the best chemical peeling procedure that is right for you.