Chemical Peels are procedures that remove the upper layers of skin, allowing a new skin to grow. These peels vary in depth, from the "lunch hour" glycolic peels, to the "long weekend" TCA peels, to the 2-week phenol or laser peels.
The deeper the peel, the more profound the effects. Superficial peels have minimal "down-time" but require monthly peels for at least 6 months before seeing an effect. They are for people who simply can not lose time. The next level of peel, the TCA peel, is very useful for pigment problems, but only minimally helps with wrinkles. The deepest peels are useful for wrinkles. These peels have profound effects - rejuvenating the skin.
Unlike many practices, Dr. Perry performs all of the peels himself. Beautiful results from peels requires a careful pre-peel program capped off by the artwork of the peel. Dr. Perry does not feel these procedures should be delegated to assistants.
These peels are performed usually with a type of alpha hydroxy acid called glycolic acid. The peels are well formulated, and vary in strength of acid and the time applied. The goal is to not actually peel the skin, but to medically treat the skin. This treatment results in less blotchiness and a more vibrant appearance. There will usually be less brown marks and a thicker skin with more elasticity. The peels are performed monthly for 6 months, and then every few months to maintain the appearance. Between peels, a home program with glycolic acid is used.
For more dramatic, immediate effects, the TCA peel (similar to the Obagi peel) is used. This peel is best for improving splotchy brown pigmentation of the skin, and it can also help some early wrinkling. The TCA peel is performed in the office. You then go home to hide for 4-5 days (don’t answer the door except on Halloween!). The peel improves the skin for up to a year. Good peel results can be further improved by repeating the peel - there is a cumulative effect with several peels performed every 4-8 weeks.
Light lasers make alot of sense. They not only decrease brown splotchy pigmentation, but also improve some wrinkles. Using topical EMLA anesthetic or the new Pliaglis cream, the face is blasted with the laser just once, maybe twice over the deeper wrinkles. Recovery takes about 6 days.
These peels are performed in the operating room. They are the peels of choice for deep wrinkling, but recovery time is significant and the skin may permanently lighten.