Chemical Peels & Dermabrasion

Chemical Peels & Dermabrasion in San Francisco

What is Skin Dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion (also known as Dermaplaning) is a safe and effective way to smoothen fine lines and wrinkles, reduce the appearance of acne scarring and alleviate uneven skin pigmentation and sun damage. The procedure is relatively painless and can be performed at our office in downtown San Francisco.

How does Dermabrasion Work?

Your plastic surgeon, his physician’s assistant or aesthetic nurse will perform the procedure during a one-hour (or less) appointment. The procedure involves the gentle removal of not only the very top layer of tired and dead skin cells, but also the upper layers of the epidermis of the skin.

The skin is sanded with a high-speed rotary Dermabrasion instrument with the depth and degree of treatment customized depending on the amount of resurfacing required and desired results.

Dermabrasion can be performed on targeted areas of skin or the entire face, depending on your individual skin condition and desired result. The procedure can also be used in combination with other treatments, such as scar revision, facelift or chemical peel.

Dermabrasion works by not only revealing the underlying new skin but by stimulating collagen production to catalyze new skin cell growth.

Perioral Dermabrasion - for mouth wrinkles and fine lines

Perioral Dermabrasion lessens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth due to aging or smoking. This type of Dermabrasion is performed under a local anesthetic and any post-treatment pain or discomfort can be treated with non- prescription pain medication such as Tylenol or Aleve.

The skin around your mouth will take 7-10 days to heal and you will notice an immediate visible improvement. Some redness may remain but this fades over the next few weeks leaving you with smoother and younger looking skin around the lips.

You should avoid any kind of Dermabrasion treatment if you have:

  • Active rosacea
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases or disorders
  • Pigment disorders
  • Warts
  • Inflamed acne

What is a TCA Chemical Peel?

TCA stands for trichloracetic acid – a non-toxic chemical (similar to vinegar) used for skin peel procedures. When TCA is applied to the epidermis, the top layers of skin cells dry up and peel off over a period of several days to one week.

The TCA peel is much deeper and more powerful than the more common exfoliation peel performed by a beautician or cosmetologist, but it is not as invasive as laser resurfacing which means a faster recovery time. The TCA peel may also be done in conjunction other treatments such as facial feminization surgery (FFS).

TCA peels can be safely used on the face, neck and other sensitive areas such as the décolletage (cleavage). Often more TCA peels may be needed to obtain the desired result, and these treatments are ideally spaced out over several months.

Your surgeon will advise you as to a recommended treatment plan based on your individual needs.

The TCA Chemical Peel is ideal for treating:

  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Acne scarring and other scars
  • Enlarged pores
  • Freckles, blemishes and uneven skin pigmentation
  • Sun damage

How does a TCA Chemical Peel Work?

The skin is first thoroughly cleansed and then your surgeon or aesthetic nurse applies the TCA solution. At this point, you may feel a mild stinging sensation but this passes quickly.

A full-face TCA peel usually takes no more than 15-20 minutes. Recovery time takes anywhere from 5 to 12 days depending on the strength and depth of the peel.

After Care for Dermabrasion and Skin Peels

After Dermabrasion or a chemical peel your skin will be generating new growth and will need extra protection from the elements. To protect new skin layers you are advised to avoid sun exposure for many months after treatment.

Your surgeon will recommend an aftercare program that includes practical tips and also recommended sun protection products.