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Chemical Peels (Facial Peels) in NYC

Chemical Peels (Facial Peels) with Dr. Nina Naidu

Chemical peels provide a gentle, controlled injury to the outer layer of the skin to reveal smooth and healthy skin beneath. They can help to reduce visible signs of photoaging, including fine lines and wrinkles; improve the appearance of uneven skin tone and dullness by exfoliating surface cells; softens and smooth the skin’s surface texture; and decrease the frequency of acne breakouts and fade the appearance of post-acne discoloration. Although chemical peels may be performed in conjunction with a facelift, they are not a substitute for surgery.

Dr. Naidu uses select chemical peels from SkinCeuticals and SkinMedica®.  These are highly effective and safe peels which combine both scientifically proven and natural ingredients for optimal results. The specific choice of peel is determined during the patient’s initial consultation, and is based upon the patient’s examination and areas of concern.

Peels and products containing hydroquinone are not used in our office.

Most patients require a series of 4-6 initial peels spaced 6 weeks apart to achieve their desired results, followed by maintenance peels every 6 months.  Chemical peels are done in the office and take 20-30 minutes to perform. Most patients describe only a temporary stinging sensation as the peel is applied. Following the peel, a treatment plan for the skin will be prescribed. Patients may return to normal activity immediately, although exercise should be avoided for 24 hours to prevent overheating of the skin. The level of peeling varies greatly from patient to patient, and is dependent upon not only the peel selected, but also the individual patient’s skin. Following a good skincare regimen at home, which includes an antioxidant and daily sunscreen use, is essential in maintaining your results.


Chemical Peels Introduction

A chemical peel uses a specially combined chemical solution to remove the outer layers of the skin and improve the tone and texture of the skin.

Why Would Someone Choose to Have a Chemical Peel?

Chemical peels can be used to improve the texture and tone of the skin and may lighten areas of pigmentation.

Are Chemical Peels Safe?

Chemical peels are safe if they are performed by a trained and licensed professional who understands the various chemicals used and their safety profiles.

Are All Chemical Peels the Same?

No, there are three strengths: light/superficial, medium and deep.

1. Light/Superficial peels:

Light- or superficial-depth chemical peels use mild acids, such as alpha-hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acids. They are used to gently exfoliate the dead cells and debris from the epidermis, the top layer of the skin. These peels promote skin cell rejuvenation and can provide a healthy glow.

Light chemical peels can be used on the neck, face, chest, and hands. They are typically used to address uneven skin tone, skin texture, fine lines and wrinkles, and sun-damaged skin. There is typically little to no downtime, and rarely flaking or scaling of the skin. Most patients have a mild pink hue to the skin which fades within one day. Sunscreen should be used daily.

2. Medium peels:

Medium-depth chemical peels may use glycolic acid, tricholoroacetic acid (TCA), or Jessner’s solution. These peels will remove damaged skin cells from the epidermis as well as the upper layer of the dermis.

Medium-depth chemical peels can be used on the face, chest, or neck, and can address coarse wrinkles, rough skin texture, acne scars, excessive sun damage, and variations in skin pigmentation.

Following a medium-depth chemical peel, expect the treated areas to be red and swollen for several days. You may notice crusting or flaking of the skin which will fall off within a week; it is important not to pick or pull at these sites, as this can create scarring. If you are prone to cold cores, you will need to take an antiviral medication before and after your treatment. Sunscreen must be work daily, and makeup should be avoided for 4-5 days.

3. Deep peels:

Deep chemical peels may consist of TCA or phenol. They usually require deep sedation or general anesthesia and are performed in an operating room. These peels are best suited for lighter skin tones.

Deep chemical peels are typically performed on the face to address deep facial wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and smoker’s lines around the mouth. Expect to be out of the public for 2 weeks following a deep peel, with significant flaking of the skin. Sunscreen should be worn daily after all flaking has stopped, and makeup should be avoided for 2 weeks. The results of a deep peel tend to be more dramatic.

Preparing for a Professional Chemical Peel

If you are planning to have a chemical peel, you should avoid all forms of skin tanning, and advise your physician if you have a history of cold sores as you will need to take an anti-viral medication. If you are having a deep chemical peel, let your physician know about any cardiac problems as this might be a contraindication to a deep chemical peel.

A Chemical Peel Treatment: What to Expect

During a chemical peel, your skin is first cleansed thoroughly, and the peel is applied. The length of time that the peel remains in place depends on the type of peel being used. Some peels require neutralization with water or bicarbonate, while others are self-neutralizing. You may notice mild to moderate tingling of the skin during the procedure, depending upon the depth of skin targeted. Deep peels are very painful, and anesthesia is used for this reason.

What Makes Someone a Good Candidate for a Chemical Peel?

Good candidates for a chemical peel will be generally healthy with specific skin concerns that they wish to address. Chemical peels cannot lift skin and are not a replacement for surgery.

Is There Anyone Who Should Avoid Chemical Peels?

Patients who have a history of keloid scars, very dark skin, have used Accutane in the past year, or have very sensitive skin are generally not good candidates for chemical peels.

Initially, How Many Chemical Peel Sessions Are Necessary for Optimal Results?

The number or peels required to see results depends upon both the depth of the peel and your goals for your skin. Light chemical peels may require 4-6 treatments to maintain results, depending upon the patient’s goals. Results typically last for 6 weeks. Sunscreen use is required daily.

Medium-depth chemical peels are generally performed 2-4 times to see results, which may last 3 months or longer. Sunscreen use is required daily.

Deep chemical peels are typically required only once, and results may last for 10 years. There is no maintenance after the initial healing aside from daily sunscreen use.

Are There Any Risks or Complications?

Risks of a light chemical peel include infection and hyperpigmentation. Risks with a medium-depth peel include hyperpigmentation, redness, and permanent scars. Deep chemical peels can be associated with skin lightening and cardiac arrhythmias. For this reason, they need to be performed in a monitored setting.

Chemical Peel FAQs

What is a chemical peel?

Chemical peels are performed with the application of a medicated fluid to the face which provides a gentle, controlled injury to the outer layers of the skin to reveal the healthy skin beneath, and stimulates the production of collagen.

Could I have a chemical peel performed on my chest area and neck?

Almost any part of the body can be treated with a chemical peel, although the depth and type of peel performed will vary from one site to the next.

Can a chemical peel be used to treat hyperpigmentation?

Certain chemical peels can be very useful in treating hyperpigmentation, but you should be evaluated first to determine which peel is appropriate based upon your skin health and your skin pigment.

I have a few acne scars on my face and I would like to find a permanent solution; is a chemical peel the answer?

Acne scars generally will not fade with a chemical peel, but pigmentation from acne may be lightened with a series of chemical peels.

How long does it take for the hyperpigmentation and brown spots to diminish following a chemical peel?

Most pigmentation from a chemical peel is temporary and will flake off within 5-7 days.

How many days do I have to wait between my chemical peels?

You should wait an average of 4-6 weeks between chemical peels, depending upon the strength of the peel and depth of injury.

How often will I need to have chemical peels to maintain my results?

The length of results from a chemical peel depend on your skin condition and the depth of your peel. Most medium-depth peels will maintain their results for 3 months or longer.

Are there any risks associated with having a chemical peel done while breastfeeding?

Chemicals from the peel can potentially enter the bloodstream, and therefore you are advised to avoid peels during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Is there any way to have a full-body chemical peel?

The chemicals from a peel can enter the bloodstream, and therefore it is recommended that less than 25% of the body be peeled at a time to prevent toxicity.

Is there any way that a chemical peel could cause a cold sore to develop?

Chemical peels can activate prior herpes simplex infections and induce cold sores. You are advised to let your physician know of past infections prior to a peel so that a prescription for an anti-viral medication can be prescribed.