Skin


 

Chemical Peel (Phenol and trichloroacetic acid [TCA])

Procedure: Restore wrinkled, blemished, unevenly pigmented, or sun-damaged facial skin, using a chemical solution to peel away skin’s top layers. Works best on fair, thin skin with superficial wrinkles.
Length: 1 to 2 hours for full face.
Anesthesia: None; sedation & EKG monitoring may be used.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient. Full-face phenol peel may require admission for 1 to 2 days.
Side Effects: Both: Temporary throbbing, tingling, swelling, redness; acute sensitivity to sun. Phenol: Permanent lightening of treated skin; permanent loss of ability to tan.
Risks: Both: Tiny whiteheads (temporary); infection; scarring; flare-up of skin allergies, fever blisters, cold sores. Phenol: Abnormal color changes (permanent); heart irregularities (rare).
Recovery: Phenol: Formation of new skin: 7 to 21 days. Normal activities: 2 to 4 weeks.Full healing and fading of redness: 3 to 6 months TCA: New skin within 5 to 10 days.
Duration of Results: Phenol: permanent, although new wrinkles may form as skin ages. TCA: variable (temporary).
 


 

Collagen / Fat Injections

Procedure: Plump up creased, furrowed, or sunken facial skin; add fullness to lips and backs of hands. Works best on thin, dry, light-colored skin.
Length: 15 minutes to 1 hour per session.
Anesthesia: Collagen- usually none; local may be included with the injection. Fat- local.
In/Outpatient: Outpatient.
Side Effects: Temporary stinging, throbbing, or burning sensation. Faint redness, swelling, excess fullness.
Risks: Collagen- allergic reaction including rash, hives, swelling, or flu-like symptoms; possible triggering of connective-tissue or autoimmune diseases. (A skin test is required before collagen treatment to determine whether an allergy exists.) Both- Contour irregularities, infection.
Duration of Results: Variable; a few months to 1 year.
 


 

Dermabrasion

Procedure: Mechanical scraping of the top layers of skin using a high-speed rotary wheel. Softens sharp edges of surface irregularities, including acne and other scars and fine wrinkles, especially around the mouth.
Length: A few minutes to 1 hour. May require more than 1 session.
Anesthesia: Local, numbing spray, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient.
Side Effects: Temporary tingling, burning, itching, swelling, redness. Lightening of treated skin. Acute sensitivity to sun; loss of ability to make pigment (tan).
Risks:
Abnormal color changes (permanent). Tiny whiteheads (temporary); infection; scarring; flare-up of skin allergies, fever blisters, cold sores.
Recovery: Back to work: 2 weeks. More strenuous activities: 4 to 6 weeks. Fading of redness: about 3 months. Return of pigmentation/sun exposure: 6 to 12 months.
Duration of Results: Permanent, although new wrinkles may form as skin ages.
 


 

Laser Facial Resurfacing

Procedure: Smooth the face and smooth fine wrinkles using a carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) laser device that treats layers of damaged skin. Softens lines around the eyes and mouth and minimizes facial scars and unevenly pigmented areas.
Length: A few minutes to 1 hour. May require more than 1 session.
Anesthesia: Local with sedation, or general.
In/Outpatient: Usually outpatient, unless combined with other surgical procedures that require hospitalization.
Side Effects: Temporary swelling, discomfort. Lightening of treated skin. Acute sun sensitivity. Increased sensitivity to makeup. Pinkness or redness in skin that may persist for up to 6 months.
Risks: Burns or injuries caused by laser heat. Scarring. Abnormal changes in skin color. Flare-up of viral infections (“cold sores”) and other infections (rare).
Recovery: Back to work: 2 weeks. More strenuous activities: 4-6 weeks. Complete fading of redness: 6 months or less. Return of pigmentation/light sun exposure: 6-12 months.
Duration of Results: Long-lasting, but does not stop aging. New wrinkles, expression lines may form as skin ages.