A chemical peel is a procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to the surface of the skin to smooth its texture by peeling away damaged outer layers. Fresh, new skin will take its place afterward as the body heals.
Chemical peels work best on patients with fair skin prone to wrinkling or scarring. It is not recommended for those with darker skin. It is effective at eliminating or reducing facial wrinkles and blemishes and helps even out pigmentation.
One of the more popular chemical peels involves the lower eyelids and is often performed following a blepharoplasty, a surgical procedure to remove skin and fat from the upper and lower eyelids. The surgery itself, effective as it is, doesn’t erase wrinkles, but a chemical peel – performed simultaneously or shortly afterward – can bring about the desired results.
Lower lid chemical peels usually involve medium depth or deep peels due to the thinness of skin around the lower eyelids. The type of chemical used depends on the depth of the peel. Medium depth lower lid chemical peels are usually performed with a trichloroacetic (TCA) acid solution, while deeper peels benefit more from a phenol solution, which penetrates deeper and is more effective at removing significant wrinkles.
TCA peels usually take no longer than fifteen minutes and are an in-office procedure, while phenol peels may take an hour or two. Your doctor may opt to perform this procedure in an operating room for safety purposes, as phenol peels tend to cause more pain and burning.
Following your procedure, you can expect some temporary redness, flaking and dry skin where the peel occurred. Swelling is common and a crust or scab may form. It’s important to protect your skin by using sunblock when venturing out. You will probably be cleared to wear makeup again about two weeks after treatment, once your skin has healed sufficiently.
Full results may not be apparent for up to a year. Be sure to discuss the procedure thoroughly with your doctor before making a commitment.
Call Ear Nose Throat & Allergy Associates Puyallup at (253) 770-9000 for more information or to schedule an appointment.