As we age, and with chronic sunlight exposure, fine and deep wrinkles and pigmented spots start appearing. The skin is composed of three layers, the stratum corneum, the epidermis and the dermis. The stratum corneum acts as a barrier that protects the skin and retains its water content. The epidermis is the layer where the pigment forms and the dermis is where most of the collagen in the skin is deposited. Chemical peel is a non-surgical procedure that uses different chemicals (mostly acids) to injure and remove the superficial skin layers. Depending on the type, concentration of the acid and its contact time with the skin, a certain depth of injury is expected. In superficial peels, the stratum corneum layer is removed, resulting in exfoliation and improved skin texture. Examples include Jessner and Salicylic acid peels. In medium depth peels, the skin layers removed include the epidermis and superficial dermis. It is best used to treat skin pigmentation. TCA is used in different concentration in this category of medium depth peel. Deep chemical peels are only used to treat deep facial wrinkles, particularly the ones around the mouth.
What can I expect during a chemical peel?
Chemical peels are done alone or in combination with other cosmetic facial procedures like facelift and blepharoplasty. Depending on the strength and depth of the peel, the procedure can be performed under moderate sedation or general anesthesia. Deep chemical peels are generally performed under general anesthesia. The time of heeling and recovery depends on the depth of the peel. Superficial peels have minimal to no downtime while deeper peels can take a few days up to two weeks for complete heeling. After the procedure, the face is rinsed with warm water twice daily and petroleum jelly is applied until healing occurs.
The use of laser and light energy has several applications in facial rejuvenation. Depending on the type of laser and wavelength used, selective absorption and heating of the targeted skin components occurs. Laser energy is used for removal of hair, pigmented and vascular skin spots and for facial rejuvenation. The laser photorejuvenation process uses pulses of concentrated light to treat sun damage, tighten the skin and induce collagen deposition.
Intense pulsed light, or IPL, is a non-laser device that uses a powerful flash lamp to deliver intense light energy that can be filtered to certain wavelengths. It is indicated for treatment of photodamage, but can also be used to treat acne, rosacea and unwanted hair.
What to Expect
Most of the laser treatments are performed as office-based procedures. Recovery and healing depend on the type of laser and procedure performed. Laser hair removal, for example, has no downtime while IPL has minimal downtime and CO2 laser treatment requires longer healing time. Multiple treatment sessions may be needed to achieve the desired goal.
This form of mechanical facial rejuvenation is mainly indicated for treatment of deep wrinkles around the mouth and for facial scars. Treatment is done under moderate sedation and local anesthesia. Healing time may take seven to 10 days.
Contact Dr. Alghoul
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Alghoul to discuss laser treatments and what they can achieve, please call (312) 695-3654.