Sydney plastic surgeon Dr Darryl Hodgkinson explains why winter is the best time of year for skin resurfacing. Winter is the best time for skin resurfacing, whether by laser, chemical peel or dermabrasio...Continue Reading
Glycolic Acid Skin Peel
Female Image Gallery Glycolic Acid Skin Peel
About The Procedure
Glycolic Acid Peels
Cosmedical skin peels are very different from the chemical skin peels which are performed in an operating room under anesthesia and which take weeks to fully recover from. The results from the ‘surgical skin peels’ are dramatic but the cosmedical skin peels provide a improvement to the skin especially if incorporated into a regimen of regular peels or combined with microdermabrasion.
Cosmedical skin peels are generally light glycolic acid peels that are tuned to the patient’s skin sensitivity and needs to provide an improvement in the skin’s texture or fineness and to correct minor pigmentation problems. Pigmentation problems, again are best addressed by a series of peels possibly in conjunction with a skin care regimen that might include the use of retinoids.
What are different chemical peels used for?
Chemical peels are effective if the skin is splotchy and freckled or has age spots. A milder peel using alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) is an office procedure where the skin stings for about ten minutes. Mild skin flaking occurs for the next seven days.
If you have more accumulated skin damage or the brown pigmented “pregnancy mask”, then a deeper trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel would be more suitable. This usually requires a light anaesthetic.
You will need seven to ten days off work as the healing process strips off the skin and leaves new, pink skin underneath. Makeup and sunscreen protection is required for six to ten weeks after the procedure.
I have found that patients often find chemical peeling very gratifying and are usually keen to protect their new skin with sunscreen.
Before and After Chemical Peel by Dr Hodgkinson
How can facial peels that strip skin make you look younger?
When the skin peels off, it is very similar to some animals that strip their skin, like a snake and there is new skin underneath.
As we age and we experience sun damage, which causes “browning” of the skin, “splotchiness” of the skin and fine lines, this gives one an aged appearance.
Stripping off the fine lines and the discolouration gives the skin a nice, fresher look and the rejuvenated look and enhanced complexion makes one look younger.
Will a chemical peel improve my acne scarring?
Acne scarring usually occurs during the teenage years and, with age, worsens as the skin progressively loses its elasticity. Chemical peels will lighten the colour of your skin and remove freckles or age spots but will not improve scarring.
For acne scarring, we can utilise other resurfacing techniques such as dermabrasion, Erbium or carbon dioxide laser treatment. Unfortunately, as a side effect of trying to improve the scarring, resurfacing procedures may lighten the skin pigment permanently. Dermabrasion, using newer, highspeed air-driven diamond burrs, improves the scarring with less likelihood of a permanent skin colour change than the laser.
All resurfacing procedures usually require two to three sessions to achieve the optimal result. Ten to 14 days are needed to recuperate from resurfacing. The skin is still pink and due to its sensitivity needs protection from the sun for up to six to ten weeks. Make-up and sunscreen must be used fastidiously during the healing process to protect the newly resurfaced skin.