woman's legs, with the heel of the right foot touch the toes of the left footSkin resurfacing, also known as a chemical peel, provides significant and long-lasting improvement of sun-damaged, unevenly pigmented, or coarsely wrinkled facial skin. Usually you will undergo a single procedure rather than a series of treatments commonly recommended for milder skin revitalizing techniques.

A phenol or TCA peel solution is applied to your entire face or just certain areas. Chemical peels containing phenol and trichloroacetic acid (TCA) may be used on your entire face (avoiding your eyes, brows, and lips) or only on a limited area, such as vertical wrinkles around your mouth. Phenol, which generally is the strongest peeling agent, may be recommended if you have fair skin, severe sun damage, and deep wrinkles. Variants in the phenol formula can create a milder solution for broader use. TCA has less bleaching effect than phenol and often is recommended for patients with darker complexions. TCA can be applied to your neck, upper chest, and other areas of skin damaged by sun exposure.

Like other resurfacing methods, the laser is effective in treating wrinkles, blotchiness, or age spots, and scars from acne or other causes. Your plastic surgeon is able to precisely control the amount of energy transmitted to your skin’s surface by the laser beam.

Dermabrasion uses a small, rapidly spinning wheel with a roughened surface similar to fine-grained sandpaper to abrade the skin, removing its upper layers. This resurfacing technique is well suited for the treatment of facial scars or vertical wrinkles around the mouth. The treated area usually will blend well with the surrounding skin so there is little if any noticeable difference in pigmentation.

A few days following a deep peel, laser resurfacing, or dermabrasion, your new skin emerges. Its bright pink color will fade over the next few months and, in the meantime, may be covered by makeup. In most cases, you should be able to return to work within a week or two.

If you are interested in skin resurfacing treatments, such as a laser peel or chemical peel, in Bloomington, Illinois, please contact us today at Institute for Plastic Surgery. Our plastic surgeon, Dr. Otis Allen, and his friendly team will be happy to answer your questions!