Introduction to Chemical Peels
In this day and age where it seems like EVERYONE looks their best, it can be confusing and frustrating for people who struggle with skin imperfections. With the hundreds of “home remedies” and dozens of treatments out there, it can be difficult deciding what is best for you. While many things like scrubs or facials can do wonders for your skin, sometimes it just isn’t enough. Sometimes, you need to give your skin a complete reboot.
At Chase Lay, MD in San Jose, Chemical Peels are a very popular, nonsurgical procedure that can be performed in our office. Our experienced and talented team strives to provide our patients with the safest and best Chemical Peel results in the San Jose area.
What are Chemical Peels?
A Chemical Peel is a treatment usually performed on the face that applies a chemical solution to your skin to remove the top layers, creating a smoother appearance and feel as your new skin heals.
There are three types of chemical peels:
- Light chemical peel – Removes the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and treats fine wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone, and dryness. Creates subtle improvements at first, but produces a healthy glow that will increase with additional treatments.
- Medium chemical peel – Removes skin cells from your epidermis and portions of the upper part of the middle layer of your skin (dermis). Used to treat wrinkles, acne scars, and uneven skin tone.
- Deep chemical peel – Removes even deeper levels of skin cells and is typically used to reduce or remove deeper wrinkles, scars, or precancerous growths. These results are dramatic but also have the longest recovery time.
Dr. Lay offers his San Jose, CA patients some of the best chemical peels on the market, such as ZO Peel and VI Peel.
The ZO Peel is a 3-step procedure that is great for treating skin aging, Melasma, fine lines, large pores, acne, sun damage, uneven texture, and dull skin. The first step exfoliates your skin through the solution application. During the second step, a Stimulating Retinol Creme is applied to stimulate your cellular function, enhance collagen at a deeper level, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and firm your skin. The final step uses a Calming Creme to minimize irritation and inflammation and restore moisture. While it is typically used on your face, the ZO Peel can also be applied to your neck, legs, arms, hands, and chest.
The VI Peel is a medium-depth chemical peel that can penetrate through the top layer of your skin (a.k.a. your epidermis) and treat the dermis underneath. Much like other chemical peels, this peel exfoliates your skin and stimulates new protein production and many patients use it to treat signs of aging, correct pigmentary issues, and improve skin texture. It is a gentle enough treatment that it can be used on all skin types and tones, and can safely be used on the face, chest, eyelids, hands, and back.
The VI Peel is made up of a blend of ingredients such as trichloroacetic acid (TCA), phenol, salicylic acid, vitamin C, and tretinoin.
What are the Benefits of Chemical Peels?
Here are some of the benefits our San Jose patients have discovered from their Chemical Peel treatment:
- Clears up inflammation and reduces the appearance of acne
- Diminishes the appearance of sun damage
- Gets rid of dead skin cell build-up
- Improves collagen growth
- Lightens skin and improves dull, ruddy complexions
- Long-lasting results for all different kinds of skin types and tones
- Reduces blotchy patches
- Removes age spots
- Reveals smoother, fresher skin and restores a silkier texture
- Smooths out and eliminates scarring
Please keep in mind that Chemical Peels can not be used to remove deep scars or tighten sagging skin.
Who are the Best Candidates for Chemical Peels?
The best candidates for a Chemical Peel are patients who:
- Have realistic goals for the treatment
- Not currently pregnant or nursing
While a Chemical Peel can work with any skin type or tone, we have witnessed better results on patients with fairer skin that contain thinner layers. This treatment may have adverse effects if you have any of the following characteristics:
- Dark skin tones
- Deep-set wrinkles or skin with heavy sagging
- History of skin disease or cold sore outbreaks
- History of abnormal skin scarring
- Naturally dark complexion or skin tone
- Skin conditions or medications that make the skin more sensitive than normal
- Tendency to have extra pigmentation of your scars
- Used certain acne treatments within the last year
*If you are looking into a Chemical Peel and you do have the aforementioned characteristics, please feel free to talk with one of our technicians as you may be able to undergo lighter treatments.
What’s the First Step?
If you are in the San Jose area and are interested in a Chemical Peel, the first step is to contact our office and schedule an appointment. When you come in for your consultation, you will be able to meet with your technician and discuss your aesthetic concerns and desires for the treatment. You will also be asked about your medical history, so you should be open and honest to prevent any unnecessary risks. The technician will evaluate your skin and your goals to craft a procedure plan that will work best for you.
If you like the plan that was made for you, you will be able to get your first treatment performed right then, or you may need to schedule a time that works better with our Patient Coordinator.
What to Expect on the Day of Chemical Peels
When you come into our office for your Chemical Peel, you will begin by having your skin cleansed to remove any dirt or oils. Then, the technician will carefully apply the chemical solution to your skin using a brush or cotton-tipped applicator, which can be adjusted to meet your individual needs. You may feel a temporary burning sensation as this formula begins removing the outer dermis layers and improving texture. Finally, a neutralizing solution or wash will be applied to remove the chemical solution from your treated skin. If you are getting a medium or deep chemical peel, the technician may offer you a cooling compress or even give you a handheld fan to soothe your skin.
Afterward, a mask of adhesive tape may be placed over your face to help remove the peeling skin, which you will need to leave on for a day or two. If the peel is done primarily for skin blemishes or pigmentation problems, the tape is not normally used.
On average, a chemical peel will take about 30 minutes but could take as long as 90 minutes depending on the area being treated and the level of your peel.
Chemical Peels Recovery
Once you are finished with your treatment, you will be able to return home. Depending on the level of peel, you may want to consider arranging for a friend or family member to drive you home. Which peel you get will also affect how minimal or severe your recovery will be.
Within about 24 hours of your treatment, a crust or scab will form to protect your new skin. You will be given specific instructions on the best way to treat your healing skin, but the scab will typically be removed through gentle washing with soap and water, followed by applying ointments, creams, or non-scented moisturizer. Your new skin will have a deep red appearance, something akin to a sunburn, before gradually changing into a lighter, pinkish hue. After a few weeks, your skin should be completely regenerated with an even lighter appearance than it was before your treatment. Patients with lighter birthmarks or freckles will notice that they are practically nonexistent.
During the healing process, you will most likely experience itching and tingling, but these sensations can be alleviated with cool compresses and appropriate medication. While you may only need to rest for a day or so, you should refrain from strenuous activity for 2 – 3 weeks. A chemical peel does strip your skin of its protective layer of pigmentation, so you will need to avoid direct sunlight for about three weeks. This will help avoid giving your skin an uneven tone. As your pigmentation returns, you should wear quality sunblock to protect your skin from excessive sun exposure. You should also be able to wear a light application of non-allergenic makeup if you choose at this time.
How Much Do Chemical Peels Cost in San Jose, CA?
The cost of a Chemical Peel in San Jose, CA is determined by several factors, including which peel treatment you are receiving and the area being treated. The best way to get an accurate cost is to come in for your consultation and receive an evaluation of your skin. Once the technician has a better understanding of your needs, your treatment plan will be created and our patient coordinator will provide you with a price breakdown.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are interested in a Chemical Peel in San Jose, we encourage you to contact us today by filling out a contact form or calling our office at (408) 728-8887. Our goal is to help you achieve beautiful and clear results from your treatment and look forward to meeting with you!
Chemical Peels FAQs
Are Chemical Peels painful?
Any pain you experience from a Chemical Peel is based on the level of your peel and your pain tolerance. We do offer certain aids, such as numbing cream, to make your experience more comfortable, but you will be able to learn more about these options during your consultation. Most lighter and medium peels may have a mild burning or stinging sensation but should get better after the procedure is finished. After a deep chemical peel, you should expect severe redness and swelling, in addition to some burning or throbbing. In some cases, the swelling can be bad enough to cause your eyelids to swell shut. All of these reactions will eventually subside on their own over time.
How many appointments will I need?
The number of treatments you will need is largely influenced by what you are looking to achieve and what level of chemical peel you are getting. For our patients who get a light peel, you will typically need 4 – 6 treatments spaced apart by a month or two. If you are getting more intense treatments like a medium peel, we suggest that you wait 4 – 6 months between each appointment. Deep peels should only be performed once every few years.
How long until I see results?
Your skin will need to heal after your treatment, so depending on the level of your peel, it could take between 7 and 14 days before you see the full results. You should expect to see some redness or skin discoloration (lighter or darker) for up to a month.
Can I combine Chemical Peels with other procedures?
Our San Jose patients frequently combine their Chemical Peel with other skin exfoliating treatments such as Microneedling or a Hydrafacial to enhance their skin’s appearance. If you are interested in enhancing your experience or have additional areas you would like to address, please bring this up during your consultation with the technician. They will be able to may expert recommendations to help you achieve your aesthetic desires.
What are the risks associated with Chemical Peels?
While Dr. Lay and his team practice the utmost safety precautions, due to the very nature of the treatment, Chemical Peels do have certain potential risks and side effects connected to them, such as:
- Allergic reaction
- Burning sensation
- Changes in skin color
- Dry skin
- Flaking and peeling
- Heart, kidney, or liver damage
Many of the minor reactions will subside over a few days, but if you do experience any concerning or long-lasting side effects, please contact our office immediately so that we can offer guidance and help.