We’ve all heard about chemical peels – procedures in which chemical agents are applied to wrinkled, scarred or otherwise damaged skin. The face peel is a safe and effective procedure but patient compliance and the ability to follow directions are paramount for the success. Patients have tried most of these OTC home doit- yourself programs and by the time they consult their dermatologist, they are ready for a more definitive procedure performed with either chemical peeling or laser resurfacing. The newer systems don’t use crystals but instead tiny diamond chips embedded in the tip to provide the abrasion. For example, the Mayo Clinic notes that “a chemical peel can cause a flare-up of the herpes virus – the virus that causes cold sores.” (See MayoClinic.org, last reviewed on May 30, 2012) (2) Additionally, Dr. Then she will apply the Jessner’s solution to your face, it will then burn slightly (although this uncomfortable sensation can be relieved by a fan blowing cool air on your treatment area). Looking for an easy home remedy to cure and prevent acne?
The chemical solution is either applied lightly or rubbed more vigorously onto the skin being treated using a sponge, cotton pad, swab, or brush (avoiding your brows, eyes and lips). The use of an SPF of 15 or greater with both UVA and UVB protection will place the skin at rest and allow its reparative processes to act in concert with the resurfacing procedure. More recently, there has been a vast introduction of more superficial ‘lunchtime peels’ for ‘freshening up the skin’; AHAs, TCA, retinoic acid, jessner solution, even enzyme peels, to name just a few. Phenol offers full-face peeling when sun damage or wrinkling is severe. One of the major reasons for staying away from chemical peels during pregnancy and lactation is that the peels just don’t work wonders on your skin thanks to all the hormones in your body! The peels may give temporary relief from problems such as pigmentation and acne, but as these problems are a result of pregnancy hormones, they come recur pretty quickly (4). Although, sedation may be used before and during the procedure to help the patient relax.
Light chemical peels are safe during pregnancy. It is very important to note that chemical peels, while perfectly safe, are NOT for everyone. Your doctor will make this decision during your consultation and as the treatment proceeds. This is also not the time to use cleansing brushes such as the Clarisonic, you should cleanse the skin gently. Mild peels may be repeated at one to four-week intervals until you get the look you’re after. It is very important you avoid exposure to sun (especially the treated area). Therefore, patients with very oily skin may be pretreated with isotretinoin or a noninvasive laser to reduce oil.
By increasing hydration and viscoelastic properties of the skin, lactic acid improves skin turgor, smoothes skin texture and reduces fine lines and small wrinkles. The superficial peels are usually done several times over the course of several months. The procedure involves a chemical solution that is applied to the skin. An infected mother can pass the virus to her baby during or after childbirth.