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Gayle A. Tanaka, LMT
(970) 219-9135

Michael P. Boyle, LMT
(970) 481-5221

Chemical Peels

Chemical Peels can improve the skin’s appearance by applying an acid-solution to the skin which causes it to “micro” blister (not actual blisters like with a severe burn, but more like a sunburn) and eventually peel off. The new skin is usually smoother with fewer wrinkles than the old skin. Chemical peels can be done on the face, neck, and hands. The following benefits may to achieved:

  • Reduced fine lines, especially around the eyes and mouth
  • Reduced wrinkles caused by aging and/or sun damage
  • Reduced appearance of mild scarring
  • Treatment of certain types of acne
  • Reduced age spots, freckles, and melasma (dark patches often caused by pregnancy or hormone use
  • Improved feel and look of skin

After a chemical peel, the skin is much more sensitive to the sun, so it is important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and have a minimum of SPF 30. Keep the areas shaded with a hat or stay indoors, especially during the high noon time of time (11:00-2:00).

People with fair skin and light hair are the best candidates for chemical peels, but those with darker complexions can also get good results. A chance of uneven skin tone is higher the darker skin tone is.

It is best to do a complimentary phone consultation with Gayle before scheduling a chemical peel, as some medications need to be stopped for a certain amount of time before a peel, or a different medication may need to be taken (since Gayle is a nurse-practitioner, she may be able to prescribe that medication for you).

How chemical peels are done: The face is first washed and a degreaser applied. An acidic solution is then applied up to three times in 10-minute intervals. Some people experience a stinging sensation that is eased with a fan or a cool compress. The stinging lasts up to 10 minutes after each application of acid. A sunscreen is then applied. It is important to avoid moisturizers for the first few days after a chemical peel. Flaking and peeling can occur up to 7 days after a peel, and it is important to avoid peeling your own skin off. New, fragile skin is exposed as the old skin peels and flakes off, and it is important to moisturize those areas and use extra sunscreen on them.

Possible complications: Darker skin types are more likely to develop temporary or permanent skin color changes than fairer complexions, especially with a subsequent pregnancy or use of birth control pills, or with a family history of them. There is a low risk of mild scarring. Cold sores may be reactivated with the procedure, but Gayle can prescribe anti-viral medication for that to either try to prevent that if a history is present or to treat them if they occur.