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Plastic Surgery
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Los Angeles Guide

Los Angeles Chemical Peels




Marina Plastic Surgery Associates

4644 Lincoln Blvd.
Suite 552
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 827-2653
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The skin is the largest organ in our body. It is made up of millions of cells that protect us from the environment and regulate our body temperature. Every day thousands of cells die, flake off and are replaced by new cells from beneath the skin. As we age, this process begins to slow down. Our skin may become dull. Dark blotches, fine lines and other signs of sun-damage and aging begin to appear.

Chemical Peel Skin Rejuvenation
Chemical Peels have been used for over 100 years to create an even and controlled shedding of damaged skin cells. Each year thousands of chemical peels are performed in the United States. Chemical peels use a solution applied to the skin to remove dead skin cells and stimulate the production of new skin cells. It tightens the skin, reduces wrinkling and restores a more youthful appearance.

What skin conditions can a chemical peel improve?
Chemical peels can effectively improve a wide variety of skin conditions including:

Fine lines and wrinkles
Uneven pigmentation
Shallow acne scars
Sun-damaged skin
Age spots
Freckling

A chemical peel is not a substitute for a facelift. It can not eliminate excessive or lax skin. But, in many cases a chemical peel is performed in conjunction with these procedures.

The Biomedic MicroPeel is a complete and technically advanced system for the skin that can improve years of environmental exposure and skin conditions such as acne. The MicroPeel is a three-step process that removes a micro thin top layer of skin. Using either physical or enzymatic exfoliation, alpha hydroxy acid solution and cryogenic therapy the skin is exfoliated and stimulated. These peels are safe and effective procedures that require little or no recovery. With each additional procedure, you will notice improvements of skin clarity, tone and texture. For maximum results we recommend a series of 6 treatments in 4-6 week intervals.

The Biomedic Micropeel Plus outperforms other superficial peels by freeing the skin of all dead cells and stimulating cellular turnover. An application of salicylic acid in the form of microcrystals target the exact area on the skin that needs improvement. Resulting in a softening of fine lines and discoloration, fading dark spots, and diminishing enlarged pores and acne. This procedure is considered to be a revolutionary skincare advancement with minimal recovery and can be performed every 4 -6 weeks. The amount of MicroPeel Plus treatments you receive will be determined upon evaluation.

Chemical peel uses a chemical solution to improve and smooth the texture of the facial skin by removing its damaged outer layers. It is helpful for those individuals with facial blemishes, wrinkles and uneven skin pigmentation. Phenol, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) are used for this purpose. The precise formula used may be adjusted to meet each patient's needs. Although chemical peel may be performed in conjunction with a facelift, it is not a substitute for such surgery, nor will it prevent or slow the aging process. This brochure provides basic information about certain types of chemical peel treatments and the results you might expect. It won't answer all your questions, since a lot depends on your individual circumstances. Once you and your plastic surgeon have decided on a specific peel program, be sure to ask about any details that you do not understand.

Deciding if chemical peel is right for you
Chemical peel is most commonly performed for cosmetic reasons -- to enhance your appearance and your self confidence. Chemical peel may also remove pre-cancerous skin growths, soften acne facial scars and even control acne. In certain cases, health insurance may cover the peel procedure. Be sure to check your policy and contact your insurance company before the procedure is performed.

Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic, lactic, or fruit acids are the mildest of the peel formulas and produce light peels. These types of peels can provide smoother, brighter-looking skin for people who can't spare the time to recover from a phenol or TCA peel. AHA peels may be used to treat fine wrinkling, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne. Various concentrations of an AHA may be applied weekly or at longer intervals to obtain the best result. Your doctor will make this decision during your consultation and as the treatment proceeds. An alphahydroxy acid, such as glycolic acid, can also be mixed with a facial wash or cream in lesser concentrations as part of a daily skin-care regimen to improve the skin's texture.

Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) can be used in many concentrations, but it is most commonly used for medium-depth peeling. Fine surface wrinkles, superficial blemishes and pigment problems are commonly treated with TCA. The results of TCA peel are usually less dramatic than and not as long-lasting as those of a phenol peel. In fact, more than one TCA peel may be needed to achieve the desired result. The recovery from a TCA peel is usually shorter than with a phenol peel.

Phenol is the strongest of the chemical solutions and produces a deep peel. It is used mainly to treat patients with coarse facial wrinkles, areas of blotchy or damaged skin caused by sun exposure, or pre-cancerous growths. Since phenol sometimes lightens the treated areas, your skin pigmentation may be a determining factor as to whether or not this is an appropriate treatment for you. Phenol is primarily used on the face; scarring may result if it's applied to the neck or other body areas.

All chemical peels carry some uncertainty and risk Chemical peel is normally a safe procedure when it is performed by a qualified, experienced plastic surgeon. However, some unpredictability and risks such as infection and scarring, while infrequent, are possible.

AHA peels may cause stinging, redness, irritation and crusting. However, as the skin adjusts to the treatment regimen, these problems will subside.

With a TCA peel, your healed skin will be able to produce pigment as always; the peel will not bleach the skin. However, TCA-peel patients are advised to avoid sun exposure for several months after treatment to protect the newly formed layers of skin. Even though TCA is milder than phenol, it may also produce some unintended color changes in the skin.

With a phenol peel, the new skin frequently loses its ability to make pigment (that is, tan). This means that not only will the skin be lighter in color, but you'll always have to protect it from the sun. Phenol may pose a special risk for patients with a history of heart disease. It's important that you make your surgeon aware of any heart problems when your medical history is taken.

It is also possible that phenol will cause some undesired cosmetic results, such as uneven pigment changes. Certain modified phenol peels are gentler and may be preferred in some circumstances.

AHA peels/treatments: Your doctor will apply the AHA solution to your cleansed facial skin, a process that usually takes no more than 10 minutes. No "after-peel" ointment or covering is required. Depending on the strength of the peel, periodic treatmentsmay be necessary until the desired effects are achieved.

For some patients, the application of an AHA-based face wash or cream once or twice a day at home will be sufficient to accomplish the desired goal. Your plastic surgeon may add Retin-A or a bleaching agent to your at-home treatment schedule. After several weeks of at-home use, your doctor will examine your skin to determine if your regimen needs adjustment.

Phenol and TCA peels: Typically, the skin is first thoroughly cleansed. Then, the surgeon will carefully apply the phenol or TCA solution. You may feel a stinging sensation as the peel solution is applied, but this feeling will quickly pass.

A full-face TCA peel usually takes no more than 15 minutes. Two or more TCA peels may be needed to obtain the desired result, and those may be spaced out over several months. Mild TCA peels may be repeated as often as every month.

If phenol solution has been used, your plastic surgeon may coat the treated area with petroleum jelly or a waterproof adhesive tape. With lighter peels, no covering is necessary.

A full-face phenol peel generally takes one or two hours to perform, while a phenol peel to a smaller facial region (perhaps the skin above the upper lip) may take only 10 or 15 minutes. A single treatment usually suffices.

After an AHA peel, it is common to experience some temporary flaking or scaling, redness and dryness of the skin. However, these conditions will disappear as the skin adjusts to treatment.

After a phenol or TCA peel, your doctor may prescribe a mild pain medication to relieve any tingling or throbbing you may feel. If tape was used to cover your face, it will be removed after a day or two. A crust or scab will form on the treated area. To help your face heal properly, it is essential that you follow your doctor's specific post-operative instructions.

A TCA peel may also cause significant swelling, depending on the strength of the peel used.

If you've had a phenol peel, your face may become quite swollen. Your eyes may even be swollen shut temporarily. You will need someone to help care for you for a day or two. You may also be limited to a liquid diet and advised not to talk very much during the first few days of recovery.

With an AHA peel, the temporary redness, flaking and dryness that you experience will not prevent you from working or engaging in your normal activities. A fresher and improved skin texture will result with continued AHA treatments. Remember, protecting your skin from the sun is also important following these mild acid peels. Ask your doctor to recommend a sunblock with adequate UVA and UVB protection and use it every day.

With a TCA peel, the moderate discomfort and mild swelling you may experience will subside within the first week. In about a week to ten days, your new skin will be apparent and you should be healed sufficiently to return to your normal activities. It is best to avoid sun exposure unless you are adequately protected.

With a phenol peel, new skin will begin to form in about seven to ten days. Your face will be very red at first, gradually fading to a pinkish color over the following weeks to months. During this time, it is especially important that you use a sunblock or blotchy, irregular skin coloring may result.

About two weeks after treatment, you may return to work and resume some of your normal activities. Your skin will be healed enough for you to wear makeup. (For makeup tips, ask your plastic surgeon for the ASPS brochure on camouflage cosmetics.)

Improvements from AHA peels may be very subtle at first. You may detect a healthier glow to your skin. With continued treatments, you will notice a general improvement in the texture of your skin.

The results of a TCA peel are usually not as long-lasting as those of phenol peel. However, your skin will be noticeably smoother and fresher-looking.

If you're planning a phenol peel, you can expect dramatic improvement in the surface of your skin - fewer fine wrinkles, fewer blemishes and more even-toned skin. Your results will be long-lasting, although not immune to the effects of aging and sun exposure.

 

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