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Page Updated: Apr 28, 2020

Chemical peeling is a non-surgical facial treatment used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face or neck. Chemical face peel is aimed to rejuvenate your skin by reducing fine wrinkles/lines, blotchy skin and superficial acne and acne scarring. At City Facial Plastics in Manhattan, NYC we offer a variety of chemical peels that fight the signs of aging, helping your skin look years younger. While you cannot stop aging, you can slow it down and rejuvenate your skin cells with the help of a leading plastic surgeon in New York City Dr. Gary Linkov. 

What Is a Chemical Peel?

Chemical peel involves removing superficial layers of skin to eliminate undesirable skin qualities such as wrinkles, uneven skin texture, skin lesions, loss of elasticity, and uneven pigmentation. The skin “peels” and then grows back (re-epithelialization), leading to the improved appearance and texture of the treated skin as collagen is rebuilt.

Peeling agents may be divided into superficial, medium‐depth and deep subtypes based on the depth of their penetration. Chemical peel for acne can be performed as a standalone treatment or in combination with other cosmetic procedures for aesthetic enhancement.

The skin is the largest organ of the body. Keeping it healthy, clear, smooth, and tight are the ideals that facial rejuvenation seeks to achieve. Many techniques exist to reverse the skin damages of aging and other skin ailments. Among these methods, chemical skin peeling has proven to be a mainstay technique in facial skin resurfacing.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Chemical Peel?

A good candidate for a chemical face peel has the following characteristics, including:

  • Lighter skin complexion (complications increase with darker skin types)
  • Pigmentation changes
  • Rhytids (wrinkles)
  • Scars (superficial)
  • Dilated pores

What Are the Types of Chemical Peel?

Facial chemical peels are classified as superficial, medium, and deep, based on their degree of penetration. The depth of skin penetration is directly correlated with the concentration and length of time the agent is left on the skin, and whether the skin is occluded (covered) or not.

 Superficial chemical peel

  • Cell death limited to epidermis and inflammation down to the papillary dermis
  • Effects are more temporary and require repeated treatments
  • Rapid recovery
  • Low incidence of side effects
  • Examples of superficial chemical skin peel
    • Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) of 10-25%
    • Glycolic acid;
    • Jessner’s solution
    • Salicylic acid
    • Pyruvic acid

Medium chemical peel

  • Varying degree of destruction of the papillary dermis with inflammation down to the upper reticular dermis
  • Longer lasting improvement of skin than a superficial peel
  • Examples of medium chemical peel
    • TCA 35%
    • Modified phenol-croton oil

Deep chemical peel

NYC Facial Chemical Peels, New York Younger Looking Skin
Anatomy of the Skin
  • Cell destruction of epidermis and papillary dermis with inflammation to midreticular dermis
  • Longer lasting improvement of skin but the greatest risk of scarring or pigmentation change
  • Examples of deep chemical peel
    • TCA 50% +
    • Phenol-croton oil (Baker-Gordon formula)

How Is Chemical Peel Done?

The basic steps of a chemical face peel include:

  1. Anesthesia – Depending on the type of chemical peel selected an appropriate degree of anesthesia is applied. Options are topical, local, oral, IV, or a combination.
  2. Skin preparation – The skin is cleaned, degreased, and descaled as appropriate. Acetone may be used as a degreaser. This will allow even application of the peel agent.
  3. Peel application – The peel agent is applied to the face with the use of cotton-tipped applicators or gauze sponges. A burning sensation and a visible frost may result.
  4. Post-treatment – A neutralizing agent is applied if necessary. A moisturizing agent can then be applied.

Which Chemical Peel Is Best?

There is no single best chemical peel. The selection of a peel is based on patient needs and provider preference. Dr. Linkov, as the best-ranked plastic surgeon in New York, prefers the PCA line of peels for their safety, reproducibility, and variety.

A brief review of available TCA-based chemical peels from PCA includes:

  • TCA chemical peels
    • Sensi Peel – For all skin conditions including rosacea. Key ingredients: 12% lactic acid, 6% TCA
    • Ultra Peel I – Improves aging skin and adult acne. Key ingredients: 20% lactic acid, 10% TCA
    • Ultra Peel Forte – Good for fine lines and wrinkles. Key ingredients: 10% lactic acid, 20% TCA

What Is the Recovery From Chemical Peel?

Wash the face with a non‐soap cleanser and avoid rubbing the skin. A bland emollient should be applied regularly to the skin until peeling is complete. If crusting develops a topical antibacterial agent may be prescribed. Make‐up may be applied after re‐epithelization is complete. Superficial peels are fully re-epithelialized by 5 days, medium peels between 7 and 10 days, and deep peels between 10 and 12 days.

Frequent follow-up visits are important to detect potential postoperative complications. Postoperative erythema is expected to last several weeks and may be managed with topical hydrocortisone (steroid) if needed. Avoid UV exposure for the first 2-3 months after chemical peel for dark spots to prevent hyperpigmentation. The new skin may be too sensitive for sunscreens during the first few weeks.

Are Chemical Peel Results Permanent?

No chemical face peel result is permanent, but it can significantly improve your appearance for a long period of time. In general, the deeper the peel the longer the result will last. The aging process will continue after treatment, creating more wrinkles and sun damage changes. Avoiding direct sun exposure and taking excellent care of your skin will allow you to enjoy your chemical peel benefits.

What Are the Risks and Complications From Chemical Peel?

There are risks to chemical face peel, which include:

  • Milia – small white bumps
  • Acne
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction
  • Scarring
  • Herpes
  • Prolonged redness
  • Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Hypopigmentation
  • Corneal injury
  • Ectropion

The eyes need to be carefully protected during a chemical face peel to avoid direct contact and injury.

What Are the Contraindications for Chemical Peel?

There are a few contraindications for chemical peel, mainly processes that impair the rate of re-epithelialization, which include:

  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Immune compromise
  • Isotretinoin in the past 6-12 months
  • Active infection or inflammation
  • History of head and neck radiation  (relative contraindication)
  • Darker skin pigmentation – Fitzpatrick IV to VI (relative contraindication)
  • History of keloid formation (relative contraindication)
  • Liver, kidney, or heart dysfunction (if phenol-based peel used)
  • Pregnancy

What Are the Alternatives to Chemical Peel?

There are a few other options for skin resurfacing, including:

  • Dermabrasion – Useful as a focal treatment for raised areas or irregular borders
  • Laser resurfacing – A more expensive modality for skin resurfacing with more precision control

Is It Possible to Combine Chemical Peeling With Facial Plastic Surgery?

Facial plastic surgery procedures, especially those that focus on the aging face such as facelift, neck lift, and eyelid surgery can be combined with a chemical face peel for improved results. Most aging face surgeries will not dramatically improve the skin texture, therefore a skin resurfacing modality is often employed. A chemical peel after an aging face surgery can enhance the final result significantly.

Are Patients Satisfied After Chemical Peel?

Patient satisfaction is high with chemical peel if the type of peel and patient are correctly selected. The best peel for you will depend on your skin complexion, the tolerance for downtime and potential complications, and the expectation for results. A person who expects dramatic results will need to anticipate a longer recovery.

Is a Chemical Peel in UES, Manhattan Right for Me?

Men and women both benefit from chemical peel facial treatments if they are beginning to notice the aging of their skin. Discolorations, uneven skin tone, dullness, and a crepey appearance can be minimized with chemical peels. The procedure takes less than an hour and helps to flake away old skin cells. New skin cells appear and collagen in the skin increases, helping to improve elasticity and tone.

There are different levels of facial chemical peels available that impact the skin in different ways. Some light peels require no downtime, just a little redness after the procedure. Other peels that work on deeper layers of the dermis can result in redness and flaking for a few days. We will let you know what to expect from your chemical face peel to help you plan your activities.

What Is the Cost of Chemical Peel?

The chemical peel cost in Manhattan’s Upper East Side ranges between $150-$2000 per treatment. Packages may be offered for superficial peels as numerous treatments, performed 1 week – 1 month apart, are often recommended. The chemical face peel cost depends on the experience of the provider, the type of peel, and the location of services.

Who Is the Best Chemical Peel Expert in NYC?

Dr. Gary Linkov is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Manhattan, NY specializing in non-surgical and surgical facial aesthetics, including professional chemical peels. An experienced facial plastic surgeon in New York, Dr. Linkov delivers safe, consistent, and natural results to each one of his facial rejuvenation patients. He is able to devise a treatment plan that addresses all layers of the face for an optimal outcome.

Chemical Peel Before and After

If you want to learn more about chemical peels and other anti-aging treatments at City Facial Plastics in Midtown, Manhattan contact our office today to schedule an appointment. Dr. Linkov is a top-rated facial plastic surgeon in New York, who can help you find the best procedure to obtain the look you desire to improve self-confidence in your appearance.

City Facial Plastics: Dr. Gary Linkov
635 Madison Ave #1402E
New York NY 10022
(212) 439-5177

Page Updated on Apr 28, 2020 by Dr. Gary Linkov (Facial Plastic Surgeon) of City Facial Plastics in New York

What Dr. Linkov's Patients Say
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