Perhaps the treatment most synonymous with the decade is the chemical peel. Even though they’ve been around since Cleopatra’s milk baths, chemical peels had their hey day in the 90s when physicians widely tapped into their power for addressing a multitude of skin concerns.
Decades ago, deep chemical peels were a force to be reckoned with that often left skin red and raw. However, as time progressed, formulas improved. Unlike peels popular in the early 90s modern peel techniques have been modified to produce less post-treatment irritation. Thanks to the reduced reactions and downtime, a growing numbers of facial plastic surgeons are turning to these oldies but goodies to address a wide range of skin concerns and conditions.
According to statistics recently released by the (AAFPRS), more than half of facial plastic surgeons polled (52%) say that chemical peels are in high demand. And for good reason – these workhorses can improve acne, age spots, discoloration, tone, fine lines (especially under the eyes and around the mouth), freckles, melasma, sun damage, and more.
One of the things that contributes to their popularity – there’s a peel for everyone. “Some peels produce changes that are relatively light and freshen the skin through exfoliation,” says Fred G. Fedok, MD, President of the AAFPRS. “Moderately deep peels will help various kinds of pigmentation issues. The deeper peels are effective at correcting wrinkles.”
The AAFPRS reminds consumers: Always practice peel safety. “While it may be tempting to order your own high concentration solutions on the Internet, consumers should stick to a concentration of 10 percent or less for peels withalpha hydroxy acids or AHAs, like salicylic and glycolic acids,” says Dr. Fedok.