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AHA Chemical Peel

Thousands of patients undergo AHA chemical peels each year and are delighted with the often dramatic results.

In this procedure, chemical agents are applied to the skin to improve facial wrinkles and mild scarring. After a chemical peel, damaged skin falls away, leaving smoother, younger looking skin.

Chemical peel can:

  • reduce wrinkles caused by aging, sun damage or heredity
  • improve superficial acne scarring
  • address irregular skin pigmentation, including freckles and age spots
  • improve melasma, a dark pigmentation usually seen in women who are pregnant or who are taking birth control pills
  • treat pre-cancerous conditions such as keratoses (thick, rough, reddish growths)

Chemical peel is sometimes done in conjunction with surgical procedures such as facelift (rhytidectomy).

AHA chemical peels are performed at all six Family Dermatology locations.

Before surgery

Prior to conducting a chemical peel, Family Dermatology will take your medical history to evaluate your general health. The doctor will also examine you and describe the procedure to you so you will know what to expect in terms of results as well as risks and possible complications.

You may be asked to stop taking certain drugs prior to surgery. You will also probably be asked to clean your face and hair with an antiseptic soap the day before surgery.

Family Dermatology will take your photograph before and after the surgery to evaluate the degree of improvement.

The procedure

Your chemical peel will be performed in the Family Dermatology office. You may have a light or medium peel to remove superficial wrinkles and discolorations, or a deep chemical peel for more severe imperfections.

Shortly before the procedure starts, you will be given a medication to help you relax and to relieve any discomfort. Your skin will be thoroughly cleaned and we will provide protection for your eyes and hair.

After the surgery

If you have had a light peel, you will be able to go home very soon after the procedure is finished. For a deep peel, you will stay at the office for three to six hours.

If we put bandages on your face, you will be able to remove them within a day or two. You can then cleanse your face and apply ointments to speed up the healing process. For a few days, the skin will feel like it has been severely sunburned. Family Dermatology can provide you with medications to ease the discomfort.

You should expect some swelling in the area. It is best to move around, rather than lying in bed, to keep swelling to a minimum. You should also try to keep your head slightly elevated when lying down.

As your skin heals, crusts will form in the treated area. You may also feel some tingling or itching. Using a cool compress may help reduce these sensations. When the crusts fall off, the skin will look very pink. The coloration will fade after a few weeks. Family Dermatology may recommend that you use special ointments, soaps and cosmetics during this healing process.

It is important not to expose the treated skin to direct or reflected sunlight for several months after the chemical peel surgery. You should always wear sunscreen when you are outdoors.

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