21 Sep 2023 | by Leonard Miller, MD, FACS, FRCS
As we age, our skin’s ability to turn over decreases. Dead cells that were easily sloughed off at 21, stick around for a lot longer at 41. The result is:
- Dull looking skin
- Brown, sun spots
- Crepey, uneven texture
- Pre-cancerous growths
- Fine lines & wrinkles
A chemical peel is an excellent way to reverse many of these early signs of aging. It is basically exfoliation on steroids. And as anyone who reads health or beauty magazines knows, exfoliating the skin is one of the fastest and easiest ways to look more youthful. Here at the Boston Center for Plastic Surgery, we are so “pro peel” that it is an integral component of any of our non-surgical anti-aging treatment plans.View our before & after photos
Today’s Chemical Peels Are Different
For many patients, they hear the term “chemical peel” and they want to head for the hills. Today’s chemical peels, however, are completely different than those of the past. Gone are the days when you had to hide out in your house because your face looked as if you had been badly burned. At the Boston Center for Plastic Surgery, we offer our clients the full range of chemical peels from mild to significantly less mild. The key to a successful outcome is finding the one that is right for you:
- Ability to tolerate downtime
What is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is exactly what it sounds like: a chemical solution is applied to your face, hands or neck to improve skin tone and texture by eliminating the damaged outer layer of your skin. Peels vary in terms of their strength. The stronger the peel, the more your skin will slough off. This is great for treating more intense sun damage and diminishing fine lines and mild wrinkles, but it will result in more downtime. With a TCA peel, for example, you can expect to look a little rough for anywhere from 2 to 5 days. But with a Vitamin C peel, you can return to your daily life immediately. However, while the Vitamin C peel will help fade your dark spots and boost collagen production, it is not going to be as effective at treating that severe sun damage.
Finding the Peel that’s Right for You
The important thing is finding the peel that suits both your needs and your lifestyle. When you come in for your anti-aging consultation, we will examine your skin and talk with you about your lifestyle. Let’s say you have significant sun damage and/or uneven skin texture. But you also have a busy career that does not allow for downtime. We may recommend a milder Glycolic or Lactic Acid peel, but suggest that you commit to multiple treatments. One of the things that we love about the chemical peel is its versatility. It can be adapted to any individual, any skin type and any ethnicity. The latter is revolutionary. In the past, patients with darker skin tones did not do well with a chemical peel. But thankfully, that is no longer the case because sun damage affects everyone, including those patients with dark skin.
Pros & Cons of a Chemical Peel
The benefits of a chemical peel are numerous. It is a fast, effective and relatively pain-free way to improve sun damaged, dull looking skin without:
Accelerating your skin cell turn over with a chemical peel will result in brighter, smoother, more vibrant looking skin that can take years off your appearance. And when you look better, you feel better. But a chemical peel is not without a downside. The newly “reborn” skin will be extremely vulnerable to the sun. This is why winter is the perfect season for a chemical peel. The shorter days may not always be ideal for productivity, but they are perfect for protecting your post chemical peel skin. However, do not forget the sunscreen.
Sunscreen is a Must
Even though the sun seems to be on hiatus for most of our Boston winter, this does not mean that you can forget the sunscreen. This is true whether you have a chemical peel or not. First of all, sunscreen will help protect your skin from getting sun damaged in the first place. This is always a good thing. But if like many of us, you did not practice the best sun care in your youth, and have gotten a chemical peel to reverse some of this damage, the regular application of a high-quality UVA/UVB sunscreen like EltaMD will protect you from further damage. This will go a long way towards ensuring the longevity of your results.
So, if you have been feeling as if your skin could use a little “pick me up”, now is the time to come in to talk with us about a chemical peel. You will be astounded by your results.
To find out more about a chemical peel at the Boston Center for Plastic Surgery, contact us today or call (617) 735- 8735 to schedule a consultation.