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Facial Peels (Chemical Peels)

Facial peels are an excellent treatment to rejuvenate and refresh your facial appearance. They rely on peeling or exfoliating the surface layer of skin and stimulating the underlying layers of skin to produce collagen. This results in a fresh and rejuvenated appearance to the face with improvements to the skin’s texture and tone and reduction of uneven pigmentation. Depending on your skin type and the results you wish to obtain, Ms Nugent may recommend a treatment course of mild facial peels, a single more extensive peel or a course of medical grade skin care in advance of or instead of a facial peel.

There are a variety of facial peels available, many with excellent results. Ms Nugent uses the ObagiTM range of facial peels as they have a long track record of excellent results that are reliable and predictable and they have a good safety record. They also compliment and work in harmony with the medical grade skin care range from ObagiTM that she uses in her practice. ObagiTM skin care products are suitable for most skin types.

Indications for Procedure:

  • Uneven facial pigmentation
  • Sun damaged skin
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • To enhance facial rejuvenation surgery results e.g. during a facelift
  • To maintain the results of facial rejuvenation surgery

Limitations of Procedure:

  • Facial peels tighten and improve skin tone. They will not lift loose facial skin or plump out hollowed areas. If you have loose skin or hollowing of areas e.g. under eyes, Ms Nugent may recommend additional treatments such as dermal fillers or facial rejuvenation surgery e.g. facelift or eyelid surgery.
  • Fine lines and wrinkles will be improved by facial peels. Deeper wrinkles may require additional treatments.
  • Some skin types are less suitable for facial peels. This is something that Ms Nugent will advise you on during her assessment.
  • Superficial facial peels work best as a course of treatment rather than a single peel
  • Medium depth facial peels work better and more evenly after a course of medical grade skin care in advance to prepare the skin
  • Facial peels should not be undertaken when your skin is tanned. This can leave a less even result.
  • Facial peels should not be undertaken if you are planning to be in the sun afterwards. It is very important to protect your skin from the sun while recovering from a facial peel as you skin will be very sensitive to the sun during this time.

Procedure Details:

Facial peels are performed in the office or clinic without anaesthesia. Before a medium depth peel such as the Obagi Blue PeelTM, Ms Nugent advised that you take some painkillers such as paracetamol or co-codamol. First your skin is carefully cleaned and prepared. The treatment areas are marked. Then peel is then applied with cotton buds to your skin. Each area is treated and “frosting” or white patchs appear on the skin. This indicates that the correct depth has been reached with peel. More than one application of the peel solution may be applied until the treatment is complete. Then the solution is carefully wiped off and a soothing post-peel cream applied. A light to medium burning sensation will be experienced during the peel application.

Superficial Facial Peel (Obagi Blue Peel RadianceTM)

This is a salicylic acid peel and gives its best results when performed as a course of 6 treatments usually spaced 1 to 2 weeks apart. The peeling is very light and can be disguised quite well with makeup. It does not require time off work to recover. Peeling usually lasts from day 3 to day 5 or 6.

Medium Depth Facial Peel (Obagi Blue PeelTM)

This is a trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel. It is recommended that you prepare your skin in advance for this peel with a 6 to 12 week course of medical grade skin care such as Obagi NuDermTM. This prepares the skin well for the peel and gives a better final result. After this peel, you will have a blue stain to your face temporarily. This can be a surprising effect but will resolve as your skin heals. The peeling is more extensive with a medium depth peel and with this peel, Ms Nugent advises 10 days off work and social activities.  This may coincide well with the recovery period following facelift surgery.

Deep Facial Peel

Ms Nugent does not offer deep facial peels as there is an increased risk of scarring with these, a longer recovery time and some additional risks.

Postprocedure Course:

Immediately after the peel, you will experience some redness and irritation of your skin. It is imperative that you protect your skin from the sun after all peels but particularly the medium depth peel. You will be given instructions regarding use of a post peel cream and sunscreen – usually to apply it 3 to 4 times a day, cleaning your face gently before each application. Ms Nugent recommends wearing a wide-brimmed hat to further protect your skin from the sun when outside.

Peeling begins between days 3 and 4 and lasts up to a week depending on the depth of the peel. The extent of peeling also depends on the depth of the peel with deeper peels causing more peeling than superficial peels. Your skin will feel tight and a little irritated during this time. It is important not to pick at the peeling skin as this may cause scarring. After the peeling is finished, you will notice that your skin feels smoother and tighter. It may be a little pink in the beginning but you will also see an improvement in the appearance of your skin. It will have a smoother and more even appearance and you will have a brighter complexion.

Recovery:

The recovery after a superficial peel is complete after about 1 week and no time off work is needed. The recovery period after a medium depth peel is 10 to 14 days and some time off work is recommended after the Obagi Blue PeelTM to allow for the blue colour to disappear and the peeling to settle.

You may apply makeup after a superficial peel after sunscreen is applied. Ms Nugent recommends using a mineral based makeup. It is best to wait until the peeling has resolved before using makeup after the Obagi Blue PeelTM and again a mineral based makeup is recommended.

Complications:

  • Redness, irritation and peeling in excess of that expected. These are expected to happen after a peel but occasionally are more extensive or last longer than expected. This will resolve with time and you are advised to continue your post-peel skin care regime until this settles.
  • If the peel solution gets into your eyes, it will cause irritation. It must be washed out immediately if this happens.
  • Overtreatment in areas can result in a less even than desired appearance. If this occurs, further treatments with peels to blend away any differences can be undertaken.
  • This is unusual but occasionally areas of underpigmentation occur following facial peels. Further treatments may be needed if this occurs.
  • This is unusual but occasionally areas of darker pigmentation occur following facial peels. Further treatments may be needed if this occurs.
  • This is rare with the peels that Ms Nugent uses. It is usually associated with deeper facial peels or deeper penetration than expected of the peel solution. If it occurs, it can be difficult to treat. It is vital that you disclose any medical conditions, medications including herbal supplements or any prior skin treatments to Ms Nugent before undergoing any facial peels. Some of these can increase the risk of scarring and may alter the treatment recommended to you.
  • Suboptimal result/undertreatment. On occasion, people are disappointed with the outcome of their facial peels. This may be due to a complication being experienced or the result being less than expected. A facial peel can be repeated if there is scope for further improvement but it is important to recognise the limitations of facial peels and when a different treatment or surgery is necessary to achieve the result you desire.

Success of Procedure:

Facial peels are very effective at rejuvenating the skin and appearance of the face. The results can be maintained for longer if your skin is protected from the sun and with the use of medical grade skin care. Both the superficial and medium depth skin peels can be repeated in the future if you wish to do so.