PCA Chemical Peels
PCA chemical peels primarily contain alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) which are commonly used for light to moderate exfoliation to achieve a smoother and younger-looking skin. In addition, these professional grade skincare products can treat fine lines and other signs of aging, dull and leathery complexion, photoaging, dark spots and blemishes, and scars and hyperpigmentation caused by acne.
Great Alternative to Facelift Surgery
Chemical peel treatment is one of the most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedures over the past several years. In fact, about 1.1 million procedures were performed in 2010 alone, according to a report released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
However, this treatment is not ideal for patients with severe skin sagging and deep wrinkles because it can only treat superficial blemishes like uneven skin tone, fine lines, dark spots, and mild acne scars.
Substances Included in PCA Chemical Peels
Aside from AHAs, PCA chemical peels also include other substances that are designed to treat a specific skin condition and problem. One of the most common examples is hydroquinone which is ideal for treating mild to moderate acne, clogged pores, hyperpigmentation, photoaging, fine lines, and other superficial blemishes. But when treating severe skin problems such as cystic acne and thick, aging skin, this chemical is often combined with resorcinol.
Light Chemical Peel
The treatment is ideal for uneven skin tone, fine wrinkles, mild acne, and dryness as it removes the outer layer of skin called epidermis. In most cases, the facial mask used contains AHAs and beta hydroxy acids such as lactic acid, glycolic acid, maleic acid, and salicylic. Because the chemicals are relatively mild, light chemical treatment can be repeated every week for up to a month. To maintain the result, a “touch-up” can be repeated every one to two months.
Medium-Depth Chemical Peel
In this treatment, not only the epidermis is peeled off but also the dermis, which is the middle layer of the skin; for this reason, the procedure is ideal for treating deeper wrinkles, moderate acne scars, and moderate to severe skin discoloration. In medium-depth chemical peel, professional aestheticians use stronger substances such as trichloroacetic acid, which is sometimes combined with glycolic acid. To maintain a glowing, smooth skin, the treatment can be repeated six to 12 months apart.
Deeper Chemical Peels
Since PCA chemical peels are the mildest form of skin resurfacing treatment, they cannot correct deeper facial wrinkles, severe photoaging, and pre-cancerous growths. For patients with these conditions, deep chemical peeling is the most ideal approach in order to achieve the best results. In deep chemical peel, stronger substances are used such as phenol which can penetrate into the lower dermal layer of skin. To manage any discomfort, the treatment is performed under anesthesia and mild sedatives. Because of the relative invasiveness of deep chemical peels, most patients will experience redness, peeling, and discomfort for several days that painkillers are often prescribed. In general, the redness will last two to three months while the swelling will resolve within two weeks. But despite the longer downtime, the treatment can provide a dramatic improvement which can last up to 10 years.
Unlike some skin resurfacing treatments, PCA chemical peels can be used on a wide range of skin color since there is little risk of permanent discoloration. Another reason why the procedures are extremely popular nowadays is because of its ability to treat different types of skin problems. Since the treatments remove some layers of the skin, patients can experience increased sensitivity to the sun within the first few days. Consequently, it is important to stay away from the sun or at least use sunscreen with high SPF when going outdoor even on cloudy days to prevent sunburns and hyperpigmentation. In addition to proper skin care, avoiding smoking and unhealthy lifestyle can result to a longer-lasting result.
While considered as a very safe procedure when performed by a professional, chemical peel still involves some risks and uncertainties. For instance, women who are taking birth control pills, and patients with a family history of brownish discoloration on the face are prone to develop temporary or, in rare instances, permanent change in skin color. Also, the treatment may reactive the virus of patients who had cold sores (herpes) in the past. Fortunately, this can be avoided by taking medications before or immediately after a chemical peel treatment. To be on the safe side, a patient should tell his doctor about his tendency to develop keloids and unusual scarring, family history of brownish discoloration, current medications,history of herpes, and other medical conditions.
PCA chemical peels can remove some layers of skin, it is not uncommon to experience some redness, scaling and flaking, dryness, increased sensitivity to the sun, and tightness, which will resolve within days. However, it may take up to six weeks for the skin to look normal if medium-depth peeling is performed.
Meanwhile, some doctors recommend the use of a special moisturizer to minimize flaking which often lasts four to seven days, depending on the substances used during a chemical peel treatment. For some patients, they will need three or more treatments to achieve a noticeable improvement in their skin, and perhaps “touch-ups” to maintain the result.
TCA Chemical Peels
TCApenetrates the upper layer of the skin, or epidermis, to exfoliate and refine full, damaged skin. TCA sloughs away dead skin and damaged cells far more quickly than Mother Nature can, allowing lustrous, touchable new skin to grow. TCA is a more powerful, alternative to AHA and BHA.
Our Vi™ Peel uses TCA (trichloroacetic acid), which aids penetration, stimulates collagen production and can help heal scars, to produce dramatic results without discomfort or downtime. Salicylic acid – a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) – is used as an exfoliant, with Vitamin C added for additional exfoliation and its antioxidant properties. Retin-A combats wrinkles. A Vi™ Peel is used to treat hyperpigmentation and melasma, reverse sun damage and other effects of aging, improve skin tone and texture, or clear acne and acne scars. It is also the only peel that can be used under the eyes.
MD TCA Peel
TCA (trichloroacetic acid), stimulates collagen and elastin production for firmer, softer, suppler skin. TCA make skin clearer, smoother, and more even in tone. TCA helps to removes acne scars and clears pores to prevent acne breakouts. TCA canalso help to remove age spots, sun spots, melasma, freckles, and other pigmentation problems.
Salicylic and Other Types of Chemical Peels
These are generally used to treat acne, dry skin, uneven skin tone, pigmentation, and fine wrinkles. Examples of chemicals used in light peeling include salicylic acid, fruit acids, and glycolic acid which are ideal for patients who want to improve their skin’s appearance but are concerned with the longer recovery and more risks involved in deeper chemical peels.
Medical Grade Jessner Peel
Our Jessner Peel is a medium-depth peel that uses salicylic acid (BHA), lactic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid) and resorcinol to combat more extensive skin damage. The result is softer and more radiant skin. A Jessner’s Peel is particularly effective at lightening areas of hyperpigmentation and treating sun-damaged or aging skin.
30% - 70% Medical Grade Glycolic Peel
Our Glycolic Peel uses solutions of glycolic acid – the most versatile and easily absorbed of the alpha-hydroxy acids – to reduce existing fine lines and wrinkles, as well as correct skin discolorations, age spots and dull or unhealthy looking skin. A Glycolic Peel is also an excellent choice for treating acne, skin lesions or sun-damaged skin.
Salicylic Acid Peel
Salicylic acid is a gentle BHA derived from willow bark. It's long been used to treat skin conditions like acne. As a skin peel, salicylic acid can reverse the effects of aging, wiping away fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes. Salicylic acid clears pores to treat acne, and reduces oil production to stop acne from recurring. The Salicylic Peel is great for those seeking to rid themselves of chronic or recurrent acne, and enjoy clear, firm, brilliantly youthful skin.
Caring for the Treated Area
Prior to the chemical peel treatment, most patients will be required to purchase these supplies: Benadryl tablets, fresh bottle of white vinegar, gauze sponges, doctor’s prescribed ointments, gentle shampoos (or brands for babies), and button-up shirts to avoid accidentally scratching the sensitive skin on the face.
These are the other tips on how to take care of the skin after medium and deep peelings:
- Elevating the head while sleeping for at least two weeks can minimize the facial swelling. As much as possible, it is ideal to stay up and avoid being sedentary in order to promote faster recovery.
- Avoid too much sun exposure and always use sunscreen and protective clothing (e.g., broad-rimmed hat) even in cloudy days when going outdoor. Because chemical peels can result to increased sensitivity to the sun, patients are at higher risk of developing sunburns and hyperpigmentation. It is important to note that while abnormal skin discoloration is often treatable with pigment creams, the products may take a while to work.
- During the first 24 hours of recovery, the treated area should be kept moist using ointments prescribed by doctors. Never allow them to become dry and to form crusts.
- Some doctors recommend applying the treated area with gauze sponges soaked from one cup of clean water mixed with one tablespoon of white vinegar. The patients can perform the soaks six times a day, lasting about 20 minutes at a time. After one week, this is no longer necessary since the new skin will fully resurface.
- After each soak, apply the prescribed ointment (usually Aquaphor) liberally on the treated areas. Never allow the skin to dry out or form crusted areas.
Caring for the Treated Area: Later on In Recovery
While PCA chemical peel is generally a safe procedure, it is important to find a professional aesthetician or cosmetic surgeon who is trained at skin resurfacing techniques. In this way, it would be easier to achieve the best possible result using the least invasive treatment.
- Never pick the crusts on the skin that do not loosen easily, instead, apply them with a generous amount of ointment until they come off easily.
- Because itching is not uncommon after a chemical peel, some doctors recommend Benadryl and hydrocortisone cream, which is applied before using any ointment.
- Avoid heavy lifting, strenuous activities, and bending for at least a week as doing so can aggravate bleeding and raise the blood pressure.
- Never massage and rub the face or wear make-up until a doctor tells that it is safe to do so. For many patients, they can use make-up products about a week after their chemical peel treatment.
- During recovery (or depending on the doctor’s advice), avoid products that contain tretinoin, vitamin C, and glycolic acid.
- If the skin on the nose is involved in the treatment, it is important to wait at least two weeks before wearing eyeglasses as the pressure may compromise the outcome of the procedure.