In Reston, Virginia, average lows in the winter months average the low 20s to low 30s. However, the record lows show the temperatures can dip well below zero. Cold temperatures and frigid wind chills are damaging to the skin, especially facial skin that isn’t protected by layers of clothing.
At the same time, excessive heat and sun exposure is just as damaging to your skin. With the record high of 105ºF set in 2011, Reston is no stranger to hot, sunny days.
As skin loses moisture and elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles occur. Weather-related damage may also lead to sun spots. Chemical peels are good to correct the damage caused by sun and temperature extremes.
What Does a Chemical Peel Correct?
There are many reasons patients opt for chemical peels. The treatments are useful in removing acne scars. They also help to freshen blotchy, dull skin. For people with fine lines, freckles, sun spots and wrinkles, chemical peels help your body shed the layers of skin affected by these problems and leave younger-looking skin in their place.
What is a Chemical Peel?
Chemical peels come in different intensities, but all work the same way. The chemical solution is applied to the skin. This chemical causes the upper, damaged layers of skin to shed away and reveal lower layers of skin. Your facial plastic surgeon uses anesthesia for deep peels, but lighter peels are less intense and well tolerated by patients. Watch The Naderi Center for Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Care Clinic’s video on chemical peel treatments for acne.
What Are the Levels of Chemical Peels?
Chemical peels come in five strengths:
1- Light peels contain acids found in fruits. The peel takes half an hour to an hour while the treatment is given. It’s helpful in correcting fine lines and uneven pigmentation. At the end of the treatment, your skin looks mildly sunburned, but you will not need to avoid social activities or work.
2- Mild peels may contain alpha hydroxyl acid, malic acid, mandelic acid, or phytic acid. Sometimes, salicylic acid is added to help control acne. These peels can clear a dull complexion and even shrink the size of some pores. This is a stronger peel, but it doesn’t require you to undergo anesthesia.
3- Mild/medium peels may contain tretinoic acid or trichloroacetic acid. Choose this peel to even out your skin tone. They are more intense, you will look like you have a severe sunburn for approximately five days.
4- Medium peels have a higher percentage of trichloroacetic acid. They are ideal for sun spots and wrinkles. You are given a sedative prior to the chemical peel to help alleviate discomfort. After you head home, you must wash your face six times a day and use the ointment given to you by your facial plastic surgeon. The outer layers of skin feel dry and leathery before it flakes or peels away. You need to take approximately one week off from work.
5- Deep phenol chemical peels require anesthesia. They’re best for more severe acne scars, deep lines and winkles, and sun spots. It is not a good peel for people with darker complexions or freckles, because this level of chemical peel does bleach the skin. It’s also not ideal for patients with underlying heart problems. After the chemical peel, you will be given prescription pain medications for six days.
You need to wash your face six times a day and follow it with the application of a special ointment. Skin becomes very stiff and flakes off a few days after the chemical peel and lasts upwards of 10 days. Once the skin flakes away, the new layers will look sunburned for as long as a few months.
The first step in undergoing a chemical peel involves scheduling a consultation at The Naderi Center in Reston, Virginia. Dr. Jessica Kulak is a board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in the signs of aging. Read more about Dr. Kulak’s credentials and patient feedback to learn more. Once you’re ready, call the Virginia facial plastic surgery clinic at (703) 481-0002 to set up an appointment with Dr. Kulak.