We all want to look and feel our very best and those that suffer with various skin conditions are often seeking a non-invasive solution, whether this be to combat pre-mature ageing, sun damage or more medical conditions such as acne and hyperpigmentation.
Dr Riccardo Frati offers a range of chemical peels to combat various skin conditions and to revitalise and rejuvenate the skin.
Chemical peels are a non-surgical, cosmetic treatment and can be used to treat a variety of skin concerns. In this treatment, a chemical solution of varying strength is applied to the skin. Depending on the strength of the solution, the reaction of the skin and subsequent downtime can vary greatly. This is decided, depending on the condition. Chemical peels can be administered on the face, neck, hands or any areas of congested skin such as the back and décolletage.
Chemical peels, in varying strengths, can prove an effective and long lasting, sometimes permanent solution to the following skin conditions:
• Fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth
• Wrinkles caused by sun damage and aging
• Improve the appearance of mild scars
• Treat certain types of acne
• Reduce age spots, freckles, and dark patches (melasma) due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills
• Treat hyperpigmentation due to sun damage
• Improve the overall appearance and texture of skin
Prior to any treatment, Dr Frati will conduct a full consultation to discuss your medical history and skin concerns. Generally, fair-skinned and light-haired patients are better candidates for chemical peels. If you have darker skin, you can also have good results, depending upon the type of problem being treated and the type of peel needed to treat the condition. Dr Frati will be sure to give you all the information you need in order to make an informed choice.
A chemical peel can be performed in clinic and usually within a lunch hour, so it is a very convenient treatment to have. Following a skin cleanse, the therapist will apply one or more chemical solutions such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or carbolic acid (phenol) to small areas of your skin. That creates a controlled wound, letting new skin take its place. During a chemical peel, most people feel a tingling or burning sensation that lasts about five to ten minutes, followed by a stinging sensation. Putting cool compresses on the skin may ease that stinging. Medication for any discomfort may be prescribed by Dr Frati if a deeper peel is administered.
After a chemical peel, your skin will be more sensitive to the sun, so wear sunscreen every day. You may also be given a special moisturizer to ease any peeling or scaling that may occur in the first few days following the treatment. Make sure that you follow all protocols advised by Dr Frati. Do not pick at the skin or use harsh chemical washes or creams, only the ones that have been advised. After treatment, you may need dressings for several days on part or all of the skin that was treated but this all depends on the depth of peel achieved. However, with milder peels there is no need for dressings and little or no downtime.
It is important to explain to Dr Frati if you have any history of scarring, cold sores that keep coming back, or facial X-rays. Before you get a chemical peel, Dr Frati may ask you to cease taking certain drugs and prepare your skin by using other medications, such as Retin-A, Renova, or glycolic acid. He may also prescribe antibiotics or antiviral drugs.
Depending upon the type of chemical peel, a reaction similar to sunburn occurs following the procedure. Peeling usually involves redness followed by scaling that ends within three to seven days. Mild peels may be repeated at one to four-week intervals as a treatment programme in order to achieve the best results. Medium-depth and deep peeling may result in swelling as well as blisters that may break, crust, turn brown, and peel off over a period of seven to 14 days. Medium-depth peels may be repeated in six to 12 months, if necessary.
In rare cases, taking birth control pills, subsequent pregnancy, or a family history of brownish discoloration on the face may result in colour changes of the skin, following a peel . There is a very low risk of scarring in certain areas of the face and some people may be more likely to scar. If scarring does happen, it can usually be treated with good results. For people with a history of herpes, there is a small risk of reactivating cold sores. Dr Frati can prescribe medication to prevent or treat this if it occurs.