Of all the procedures plastic surgeons perform, a properly performed facial peel, often following a facelift,
gives the most dramatic improvement in a patient's facial appearance. Fine wrinkles, brown age spots, roughened
sunspots, pigmentary abnormalities and many other age and sun-related conditions can all be improved. Over the last
several years improvements have been made in the procedure making it safer and more comfortable for the patient. In
addition, the more conservative “light peel” approach gives better results with less “down time.” The chemical peel
procedure is tailored to you by selecting the particular peel solution and the manner with which it is applied. In
addition to the face and neck, your arms and hands can be treated with equal ease. Peeling agents can include TCA,
Glycolic Acid, Kojic Acid, Phenol, and Croton Oil.
The chemical peel can also be combined with other facial rejuvenation procedures such as CO 2 or IPL lasers and
dermabrasion for optimal results.
Patients with an active tan should typically wait for two weeks prior to receiving a chemical peel to minimize the
risk for pigmentation irregularities. Those with a history of oral Herpes simplex virus infection will need to take an
antiviral medication for 2 days prior to their peel to minimize any risk of recurrence. For better skin healing and to
prevent post-inflammatory pigmentation, start the skin pre-treatment regimen as soon as possible.
A typical skin care regimen includes:
- Retin-A 0.05% cream - skin rejuvenation agent - should be applied 3 times a week, only at night.
- Glyquin – a bleaching agent containing Glycolic acid for exfoliative purposes should be applied every day and night.
- Vitamin C Acid - skin rejuvenation agent and an antioxidant - should be applied in the morning.
Your individualized chemical peel can typically be performed in our procedure rooms. Dr. Sayah performs more
superficial peels with topical anesthesia using a strong numbing cream. The cream is applied to your face or hands 15
minutes prior to your procedure and is simply washed off. Your skin is prepared for the peel by cleansing the skin and
your pores with a specialized solution. The peeling solution consisting of a customized mixture of TCA (Trichloroacetic
acid) glycolic acid , or Koji Acid is gently applied to your face. After the desired effect has been accomplished, the
peeling agent is washed off. A strong moisturizer is next applied to your face to return your skin's moisture without
blocking your pores.
For deeper peels Dr. Sayah prefers to numb the superficial sensory nerves to the face by injecting a long-acting
anesthetic. Your skin is next prepared and the peeling solution applied. Your skin's moisture is then returned by
applying a strong moisturizer.
After the Procedure
On the first day after your procedure your skin will have a reddish hue and you may experience some slight to
moderate stinging or burning as the local anesthetic wears off. This usually lasts only a few hours. Use ice
compresses as often as you can. A fan will provide relief and decrease swelling.
The second day after your procedure your skin may turn a light or dark brownish color and feel tight. You may
notice small areas of crustiness. Continue to maintain your skin moist with the prescribed ointment. You may apply
cool compresses several times a day. You may shower and wash your hair as usual, but be sure to wash all traces of
shampoo out of your hair.
On the fourth to fifth day, the actual peeling of the outer layer of skin will begin if you have had a deep peel.
This process is painless and will progress on its own. The new skin underneath will be pinkish and soft, much like a
baby's. It is extremely important that you prevent direct or reflected sunlight from reaching your skin during the
first two weeks. Your new pink skin will be very sensitive to heat, cold, wind, and especially to sunlight. You must
follow our instructions carefully and protect your skin against the elements when going outside or in your car. Do not
try to rush things. The peeling must progress at its own speed. You should remove only the very loosest pieces of
dead skin. After light peels this step usually does not occur. You will continue to see gradual improvement in your
It is very important that you protect your skin from exposure to the sun for six to twelve weeks following your
peel, or until you receive clearance from the office.