Reaching the Goal of Facial Skin Rejuvenation
Most individuals are interested in looking their best, and patients regularly ask for guidance in facial skin rejuvenation. There are many services, procedures and products today that claim to remarkably improve one’s skin and restore that youthful look. I have found the most successful treatment is a combination of chemical peels, microdermabrasion, silkpeel, and a tretinoin cream or gel.
Chemical peeling is used to treat fine lines and wrinkles caused by sun damage, aging, and hereditary factors. In addition, pigmentation of the skin in the form of sunspots, age spots, freckles, and blotchiness can be improved with this process.
An effective PCA professional treatment is the application of a solution to the damaged outer layers of the skin’s surface for the purpose of removing unwanted damaged skin. The chemical solution actually causes the upper layer of skin to exfoliate, allowing new skin to regenerate. The new skin looks younger, firmer, and tighter, with fewer lines, wrinkles and discolorations.
Every peel is different, unique to each patient. I will suggest the proper peeling agent based upon the type of skin damage present and desired results. One or more chemical solutions such as alpha hydroxy acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, or carbolic acid (phenol) are used.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) are those such as glycolic and lactic acids used for the mildest of the peel processes. These are quick, light peels for improved smoothness with a very short recovery period. This mildly invasive procedure only takes 10 to 20 minutes and requires no after-peel ointments or covering.
Salicylic acid is also used for mild peels. I use this solution for oily skin types, including individuals with acne, enlarged pores and overactive oil glands. Patients with thickened, oily skin of the nose and face will see improvement in the texture and appearance of their skin. There is no recovery period with this treatment.
Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is most often used for medium-depth peeling. It treats surface wrinkles, blemishes, pigment problems, and pre-cancerous growths. The recovery period varies depending on the concentration used.
Phenol is used for the deepest of the peels. It treats coarse facial wrinkles, areas of blotchy or severely damaged skin caused by sun exposure and pre-cancerous growths. This peel is the most aggressive peel. There is a significant recovery period with this treatment.
Post-peel treatment will enhance the results of your chemical peel. It is very important that you wear sunblock after the deeper peels (since the new skin is fragile and more susceptible to injury) and that you use a tretinoin-based gel or cream on a regular basis. The tretinoin cream or gel is a vitamin A derivative approved for reducing the appearance of fine wrinkles, mottled darkened spots, and roughness in skin.
Microdermabrasions and Silkpeels can be used to enhance the effect of chemical peels when appropriate. Both remove the dead, outer layer of skin and in addition, the Silkpeel delivers a topical dermaceutical, which addresses the patient-specific skin condition.
My goal is achieving the maximum benefits with little or no downtime. Combining chemical peels, microdermabrasion or silkpeel and tretinoin cream or gel will leave the skin looking younger, smoother, and tighter.
John J. Jones, Jr. M.D.