Chemical Peels provided at vivaMD Medical Spa & Weight Management

Chemical peeling involves applying a chemical solution to the skin to remove its outer layers. How much skin they remove and how deep they penetrate will depend on the type of peel used, its strength and how long it is left on. There are three types of peel: superficial, medium and deep. These have varying percentages of active ingredients and different PH levels. The percentage of a peel just indicates how much of the peeling agent is contained in the peel so a 15% glycolic acid peel has less glycolic acid than a 50% glycolic acid peel. There is a difference between peels you can have at the beauty salons or day spas and those you can have in a medical spa or clinic.

vivaMD Medical Spa’s medical professionals have the knowledge and expertise on different types of skin and what peel would be the best for individual patient’s skin. The most important matter when it comes to peels is their PH level. This indicates how deep the peel will penetrate into your skin. Anything with a PH of less than 2.5 should be done by a doctor or nurse. Beauty salons and aestheticians cannot legally do the peel with the PH of lower than a 2.5.

Superficial/Light Chemical Peels

salycalic-acid-peel-pictureSuperficial or light peels are the gentlest type of peels available and one of the true ‘lunchtime’ aesthetic procedures. They only remove the top layer of the skin, known as the epidermis, and can give your skin and instantly brighter look as well as a smoother, more even texture. They can be used to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, mild acne scarring, age spots and dry or flaking skin. They are usually made from alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acids, known as AHAs and BHAs and include glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid. at vivaMD we offer advanced peeling systems, which offer the kind of results you would expect from a medium depth peel but with the result of a superficial peel. These types of peels use active ingredients to penetrate and deliver anti-oxidants and vitamins deep into the skin encouraging the new cells to grow stronger and healthier. A course of between six and 10 treatments is usually recommended to achieve the best results. Superficial peels do not hurt, you only feel a slight tingling or stinging sensation, and have virtually no recovery time. You can be a little bit pink afterwards and may get some mild flaking of the skin but this can be disguised with make-up. With a superficial peel you would be able to return to work or go out straight afterwards and no one would know you had had the treatment done.

Medium Depth Chemical Peels

vivaMD Medical Spa offers medium depth peels which give more dramatic results than superficial peels. Usually derived from TCA (trichloroacetic acid), they penetrate deeper in to the skin and can be used to treat sun damage, pigmentation and wrinkles. The downside of medium peels is that you will have a longer recovery. You may also feel more discomfort during the treatment than you would with a superficial peel including burning and stinging, which can last for 30 minutes to an hour after treatment. You may want to hide yourself away for a few days following a medium peel as your face can become swollen, pink and itchy following treatment and you will get more ‘peeling’ of the skin than you would with a superficial peel. Generally recovery takes around a week but your skin can be a little bit pink for up to six weeks afterwards.

Deep Chemical Peels

Deep peels are the strongest type of chemical peel available and can achieve amazing results for sun damage, scarring and deep lines and wrinkles but be prepared to look quite scary after your treatment. They usually use carbolic acid (Phenol peels) or high strength TCA to penetrate the deeper layers, or dermal layers, of the skin. However this type of peel is painful and can take months to fully recover from. Your skin will be very red and feel almost like it is sun burnt after the procedure. Although you will heal in one to three weeks the redness can still be visible for months after the treatment but the results of the peel are long lasting. Be warned you could also feel quite unwell after a Phenol peel and may need to be sedated during the treatment. The side effects of deep peels can look quite horrific. Your whole face will be swollen for a couple of days and will then scab. You will also get a lot of peeling and your skin may be quite itchy. For some people it can take up to two weeks before they want to go out in public. The most common problem associated with deep peels is patches of white or bleached looking skin, known as hypopigmentation, which can be permanent. There is also a risk of scarring. Because of the risks associated with Phenol peels it is incredibly important to be performed by an experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

Please call (510) 742-5795 to schedule a complimentary consultation about which Chemical Peels is best for you.