Chemical Peels, TCA & Glycolic Acid

Houston Chemical Peels: Glycolic Acid & TCA

Chemical Peels - Downey Plastic SurgeryChemical peels are a safe and effective way to regenerate one’s face. A solution is applied to the face that causes old skin to blister and slough off. The skin underneath is brand new, fresh and vibrant. Chemical peels are also great for wrinkle removal and reduction. After the chemical peel treatment, be sure to limit sun exposure as your skin will be sensitive to sun light.

The Chemical Peel Procedure

This is typically an outpatient procedure. When a patient arrives at the office, he or she has to be prepped. First, the skin will be washed thoroughly. This will remove any surface oils and dirt left on the face. Additionally, Dr. Downey will take measures to protect the patient’s eyes and hair during the procedure. The doctor will then apply the chemical solution to small parts of the face.

The doctor will do this systematically over the entire face. Small controlled burns will be produced by the chemicals, leaving behind beautiful fresh skin. Some people report a warm or hot sensation during the procedure. Deep peels may involve some stinging, and the doctor may prescribe pain medication.

What Types of Acids Are Used?

The types of chemicals used are usually selected by the doctor. The choice of acids depends greatly on the type of skin involved and the extent of damage. Some of the acids that can be used are glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and carbolic acid (phenol). The two most common types of acids used are Glycolic Acid and TCA.

Glycolic Acid is actually the smallest alpha hydroxy acid, and it can be found naturally in some sugar crops. Most of the glycolic acid that is used in chemical peels is synthetically produced though. Licensed physicians use an incredibly high strength version of the acid.

TCA is an acetic acid which can produce a moderate to deep peel depending on the strength used. It’s great for correcting pigment problems and removing superficial blemishes. Phenol is a deep peel that must be performed under cardiac monitoring in the operating room. Results can be dramatic for skin tightening and wrinkle reduction but may only be used in lighter skin complexions as they produce some hypopigmentation.

Those undergoing TCA or phenol chemical peel should be pre-treated with topical Retin-A for 4-6 weeks prior to treatment. Let your physician know if you have any history of oral herpes outbreak or “cold sores” as the peel can reactivate the virus and suppression medication should be used before and after treatment.

Who Should Get a Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is a great choice for people for a number of different dermatological reasons. First, they are a great way to combat the aging process. They get rid of old wrinkly skin and replace it with effervescent new skin. They can also help eliminate or reduce sun damage, age spots, splotching, abnormal pigmentation, and acne scaring. Patients who are interested in correcting sags, bulges and severe wrinkles should consider combining a chemical peel with another type of procedure.

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What to Expect After the Peel

Most people experience a recovery similar to sunburn, which includes redness and peeling. There may be a few days to few weeks depending on the depth of the peel, that involve scaling. Most people like to stay in the house for about a week or two after the peel. Depending upon how deep the peel is, some people may need to be bandaged. Since the new skin is very fresh and fragile, patients should avoid the sun during the healing process.

To assist in recovery, Dr. Downey in Houston,TX prescribes medications and crèmes which help to enhance the effectiveness of the peel and reduce any potential abnormal healing. After a period of time, the new skin will be strong, beautiful and healthy. The chemical peel procedure is unique to each patient, as different types of skin will need different types of acid. Before your chemical peel, Dr. Downey will consult you and examine your skin to decide which procedure is best for you. The consultation is a great time to ask Dr. Downey any specific questions about the process of the procedure and the recovery.

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Downey Plastic Surgery
+1 713-496-2427
2500 W Loop S Frwy, Suite 150 Houston, Texas 77027, USA
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Downey Plastic SurgeryMo-Fr 08:00am-17:00pm
+1 713-496-2427
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2500 West Loop S, Suite 150 Houston, Texas 77027, USA
Downey Plastic Surgery
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