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Chemical Peels

Even out blotchy pigmentation from your skin at any of our Tennessee locations

Chemical peels are used on the face for a variety of reasons—to even out blotchy pigmentation, fill in deep or surface wrinkles, or remove blemishes and uneven texture. They can also be used to remove precancerous growths and fight acne problems. In this procedure, a chemical solution is applied to the face to slough off the dead surface layers of the epidermis. The result is a fresh, more youthful overall appearance, though the immediacy and duration of the condition depends on the type of peel used.

The lightest peels are made from alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and are used to remove fine wrinkles. With AHA peels, no anesthesia is needed, and the entire procedure is quick and easy. No recovery time is needed, and you can immediately resume your normal daily routine. Mild side effects may include temporary redness and flakiness, but these are normal and should disappear within a few days. However, follow-up treatments are often needed to enhance and then maintain the effectiveness of the peel.

Trichloroacetic Acid Peels

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels are stronger than AHA peels, sometimes requiring pretreatment with an AHA peel. TCA peels are often used on patients with darker complexions. Generally, treatment only takes 10 to 15 minutes, and afterward, you may need a few days to recover. As with AHA peels, follow-up treatments may be required to reach a satisfactory appearance. There is a risk of altered facial pigmentation.

Phenol Peels

Phenol peels are the deepest facial peels available and are used to treat more serious facial wrinkles or imperfections, often caused by sunlight and natural age. Results from these peels last much longer than other peels—sometimes as much as 20 years. The procedure requires no additional anesthesia, as the peel itself contains anesthetic properties, but even so, you may feel a slight stinging sensation as the peel is applied. An hour after application, Dr. Moore will brush a layer of petroleum jelly on the face to protect the peel; this should remain in place for a day or two, as directed. The entire process will take a couple of hours. If only a portion of the face is treated, the procedure will likely take less than half an hour.

After a phenol peel, the new outer layers of your face will be a deep pink, but this will evolve into a lighter, more normal complexion in about a week. Possible side effects include discomfort and puffiness. Because phenol peels have a bleaching effect, there is a possibility of uneven coloration in the skin. Those with darker skin coloring should not receive these peels. Additional risks include scarring and infection. Phenol peels should not be used on any other part of the body, and recovery time will last approximately a week or two, depending on each unique situation.

With all peels, it is important to use sun protection. With phenol peels, especially, it is imperative to shield skin from exposure to the sun. It is possible that individuals who receive deeper peels will no longer be able to tan. It is also important to keep in mind that chemical peels may not be effective for individuals with skin disorders. If you are considering a chemical peel, be sure to talk to Dr. Moore about any allergies or active skin issues you may have.

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